5 Apps for the ‘Cool’ Parent

June 17, 2016

11:49 am

There’s nothing like modern technology to help the modern family stay safer, better organized, and to enjoy their time together even more. Here are 5  apps that “cool” parents can use to make life better on many fronts.

Take advantage of the features of the apps listed above. You’ll find that they bring both enjoyment and safer, healthier, and productive living to your lives.

Family Orbit: In a single day, children in a family might have school, work, activities, practices, playdates, and more. For many, this means that the kids don’t always have a parent by their side to keep them safe. This is where Family Orbit can help. With Family Orbit, parents can track the location of their children, define safe zones for the younger children, track where teen drivers have gone and how fast they were driving, and verify that photos taken are appropriate. Children can use the app to request that parents pick them up in the event of an emergency. There is also a private photo sharing feature.

ChoreMonster: This app is more than a chore organizer and tracker! Children log into the app and complete the chore lists that their parents have created for them. As they complete each task, they earn points. After so many points are earned, they get ‘Monster Rewards”. Parents can use the app to keep track of kids’ progress, and if they wish, associate points with rewards or special privileges at home.

Heads Up!: Are you looking for a way to make game night a bit more fun? Heads Up is an app that became wildly popular after it was discussed on the Ellen Degeneres show. Players launch the app and then shake their phones. Without looking at their screens they then place their phones against their foreheads. Then, everybody has great fun trying to guess the phrase, name, or title displayed on their phone by giving one another hints. The first person to correctly guess who or what they are is the winner!

SonicDad: This a great app for parents who want to add more fun and creativity into the quality time they spend with their children. SonicDad offers both videos and print versions of instructions for a variety of fun toy building projects parents and children can enjoy together. While they work on building these toys that can fly, speed along, or pop, the kids are learning about the principles of physics. Best of all, these toys can all be built from items found at local craft stores or around the home.

Common Sense Media: Is that movie, video game, book, or television show appropriate for your child? Are you sure? Even if you have great memories of watching a movie as a child, for example, it might not be appropriate for your child. Perhaps they are more sensitive than you. Maybe there are some elements that you missed as a child. If you’ve never watched, read, or played the book, movie, game, or show in question, then you really don’t know. You could go by the official ‘rating’, but that doesn’t take your child’s individual needs under consideration. Common Sense Media provides detailed reviews that inform parents of everything from use of sexual innuendo to frightening noises to specific instances of profanity. Parents can then take that information and make decisions according to their own values and needs.

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Dianna is a former ESL teacher and World Teach volunteer, currently living in France. She's slightly addicted to apps and viral media trends and helps different companies with product localization and content strategies. You can tweet her at @dilabrien