Shot on the iPhone SE
Although we love nothing more than the soft pages of a good book under the warm glow of the sun, we’re not about to pretend we’re not leaning heavily into the tech these days. Hello, it’s quarantine! And in case you haven’t noticed, all bets are off. Now is definitely not the time for screen judgment and we’re here to equip you with some of our fave apps and tech activities so you can get back to working / momming / cleaning / napping (haha – yeah right).
For the kiddies, we look for things that promote growth, are engaging and fun, and generally make us feel good about handing a device over (again). For ourselves (of course we included stuff for you, babe!), we look for apps that require a quick setup, are easy to use, and better our lives in some way.
But before we get into our well-researched list of faves, we will say this: One of our favorite uses of technology has been introducing our school-aged kids to photography and videography via iPhone. It’s a great way to let them explore their creative side and play around with features as we stroll the back alleys of the city on our one permitted walk a day. #2020life
Lately we’ve been playing around with the new iPhone SE (a simplified spin on Apple’s latest tech). So far, it’s not only been perfect for tiny hands (it’s comparable to iPhone 7 in size and the home button is back!) and artistic photo walks – but it also makes for a sweet accessory for new-to-the-tech-game grandparents who want to stay connected in this increasingly digital age. Its simplicity and updated basics (don’t worry, the camera is comparable to the one on iPhone 11 and other recent models) make it easy for anyone to connect with family and share photos and videos. Bonus: It’s Apple’s most affordable phone, so if you got a tween incessantly breaking your balls for their first phone, this may be a sweet option.
Now without further ado, here’s our quarantine list of online faves for the stir-crazy humans in your home (yourself included). And when all else fails, throw on The Lion King for the ten billionth time and remember – we survived the 80s and the screen babysat our asses. The kids will be alright.
FOR THE KIDS:
Sago Mini School — newly released Sago Mini School blends the joy of learning through play with essential outcomes like early math, literacy, spatial and science skills. Kid-approved topics like Bugs, Big Trucks and Rainbows help children relate their learning to everyday themes they’re naturally curious about.
Khan Academy Kids — learn reading, language, writing, math, social-emotional development, problem-solving skills, and motor development with open-ended activities and games like drawing, storytelling, and coloring to encourage creativity and self-expression.
Originator Kids Endless Series — provides comprehensive early learning preparation for your child with this delightfully interactive educational apps for reading, math, spelling and more!
Epic! — the leading digital library for kids, where kids can explore their interests and learn with instant, unlimited access to 40,000 high-quality ebooks, audiobooks, learning videos, and quizzes for kids 12 and under.
Clips — an easy to use free app for iPad and iPhone for young minds to let their creativity run free to create fun videos, complete with adding text, effects, graphics and more.
K-5 Science for Kids – Tappity — your child’s personal science teacher. Tappity teaches 100+ science topics with fun experiments, stories, and games. Tappity recently unlocked 30 free lessons across a variety of topics and in Tappity Gameshow.
Swift Playgrounds — a free intro to coding app exclusively for iPad and Mac that teaches coding for kids through a world of interactive puzzles and playful characters. Students play their way through the basics of Swift code to guide a character called Byte through a 3D world, collecting gems along the way.
GarageBand — music enthusiasts love GarageBand as their fully equipped music creation studio right on their iPad or Mac — complete with sound library, so kids can make their own music like a pro.
Tayasui Sketches School — with this free app students can express themselves through drawing and painting on iPad with Apple Pencil, experimenting with a number of different shapes, brushes and over 20 artist tools.
Quick Math – Mental Arithmetic – practice mathematics while racing the clock in this innovative app. Featuring advanced handwriting recognition and a beautiful interface, Quick Math will take your child’s general arithmetic skills to the next level.
Hologo — an augmented reality library bringing an amazing education experience that teaches chemistry, biology, physics, math, geography and more using interactive AR presentations.
Quizlet Flashcards and Learning — an easy way to study, practice and master whatever you’re learning through custom flashcards or from millions catalogued that were created by other students. More than 50 million students currently study for free with Quizlet each month.
iMovie — with iMovie, students can take their videos they’ve shot on iPhone, then edit on iPad or Mac to produce their own Hollywood-style trailers and their own videos.
Note: You should also know that a sweet new collection of education apps just went live this week (pulled together by the App Store editors themselves) and they’ve extended their free trial periods to at least 30 days. Check ‘em out here.
Apple Books — lets you lose yourself in the best books and audiobooks right on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and even Apple Watch. Our faves right now include: Untamed by Glennon Doyle, Dear Girls by Ali Wong, and of course, The Rebel Mama’s Handbook for (Cool) Moms.
Apple Music — discover the best new music and stream 60 million songs ad-free. We love how you can follow along and tap ahead as you listen with “lyrics view” for a karaoke-like experience, or just to confirm what on earth is being said. Right now the “Always Sunday” playlist is giving us life!
Houseparty — makes group video calls easy and fun. Add up to eight people.
Asana Rebel — features yoga-inspired exercise programs that can be squeezed into even the busiest schedules. The name has a nice ring to it too.
Shine — provides wonderful audio sessions for stress and anxiety, while its section for daily rituals makes bland activities more intentional. They also launched Care for Your Coronavirus Anxiety, a free resource curated by Shine in partnership with Mental Health America to help you manage your mental health in a global climate of uncertainty.
Nike Training Club — more than 185 free workouts to choose from for all skill levels led by Nike Master Trainers, including some that train your favourite athletes like Isaiah Thomas, Sydney Leroux Dwyer and Cristiano Ronaldo. The app seamlessly connects with Apple Health so you can keep track of your workouts on Apple Watch.
Apple TV+ — With major new Apple Originals drops, including Beastie Boys Story, Home Before Dark and Fraggle Rock: Rock On!, a subscription to Apple TV+ will keeps offering new content to binge when the kids are asleep, or enjoy with the whole family. For $5.99 CAD/month + a free 7-day trial, you’ll have access to premium content to stream on iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV. And don’t forget, Apple TV+ is included for one year when you purchase select Apple devices.
Apple Arcade — Gaming isn’t just for the kids, there’s something for everyone on Apple Arcade, a new tab on the App Store where subscribers get unlimited access to 100+ games, all curated by Apple and all playable across iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and Apple TV. Subscribers get the full version of every game including future updates and expansions, all without any ads or additional in-game purchases.
Group FaceTime — makes it easy to chat with multiple people at the same time. You can bring together up to 32 of your friends, family and/or colleagues in one FaceTime call (just ring the first person then swipe up to add more!). Great right now for a virtual happy hour, game night, dinner party, etc. And its secure using what’s called “end-to-end encryption,” so there’s no way for Apple to decrypt the content of your conversations when they are in transit between devices.
Family Organizer helps you maintain some sense of control with a shared family calendar, to-do lists, special occasions, and more — there’s even a way to create live shopping lists when planning out getting the essentials.
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