Educational iPad games/apps; keeping kids busy while …

Educational iPad games/apps keep my kids busy while I prep for dinner. They learn something while eating veggies and I get 30 minutes to make dinner, clean up and gear up for the dinner fiascos and the after dinner routine.

When my girls were 2.5 years of age I caved, and started giving them screen time on their iPads (I do have two iPads). However I only give it to them at 4:30/4:45pm pm in the afternoon, otherwise known as the ‘witching hour’. At the same time I also give them their vegetables – carrots, cucumbers, snap peas, green beans, red peppers, frozen peas in a dish, so while they are playing they can easily grab a veggie. Dinner is at 5:15pm and my weekday meals must only take 15 minutes to create. I do have a meal plan for each day which I do create on Sundays (I’ll write a post about that another time).

Parent Map had a great article a few years back listing some good educational apps– however most were for children older than 2.5 years. But they did list a great site appolearning.com to find educational games for all ages.

Example of appolearning.com
Example of appolearning.com

 

The apps are reviewed by educators and then given a mark out of ten. The apps with 9/10 are the ones I download. I also notice, that some games are listed for older kids but I still download them if I think my kids can handle the challenge. However, if your child is getting frustrated with the game, be sure to sit with them and see if they can do it or if it’s out of their skill level. I do rotate games in and out and if I introduce a new one – I do sit down with them for a few minutes and be sure they understand the requirements. (I also turn on restrictions on my iPad settings so they can’t open the internet and purchase more apps).

Here is my list of iPad games/apps that help with mathematics, science, writing, reading, music, health, history and the world we live in. I’ve listed them at the time of introduction. Most of the apps that are listed under 3 years of age are for children ages 3-5 years old.

2.5 years of age
A to Z Music Videos from ABCmouse.com by Age of Learning
Awesome Xylophone by Tharts
I Hear Ewe – Animal Sounds for Toddlers by Claireware Software
Interactive Alphabet ABC’s by Piikea St.
Monkey Preschool Lunchbox by THUP Games
Peekaboo Pets by Kid Baby Toddler Ltd.
Peekaboo Barn by Night & Day Studios
Play Lab
Stop & Go by Shortstack
Toddle Puzzle Shapes by Technolio
Wheels on the Bus by Duck Duck Moose

3 years of age and older
tryIconLeo’s Pad by Kidaptive (This is for older kids but my girls love this. At 4 they are still learning various items from this game)
Gazzili Science by GazziliWorld (love this one – wish there were more)
Petersons Inventions by Filimundus – this is a fabulous game for the Engineer. The girls did get stuck at first a bit but I would say “try two things” and then I’d help. We did a couple together and then they caught on. Now they can outsmart me!
Kids Learn Spanish with busuu by Busuu Limited
Paper by Fifty Three
Doc McStuffins: Time For Your Check Up by Disney
Doc McStuffins: Moving with Doc by Disney
Abby Monkey Preschool and Kindergarten by CFC
Preschool Colors Toys Train Kids by 22Learn

3.5 years of age and older
ABCmouse.com – Early Learning Academy by Age of Learning
LetterSchoollearn to write letters and numbers by Sanoma Media
iWriteWords by gdiplus
iTrace by iTrace
Super Why ABC Adventures by PBS Kids
AbbyPhonics: Kindergarten Reading by 22learn
BrainPop Jr. by BrainPop – This app is for older kids. However they have videos that teach the kids about various things from President’s day, vegetables vs cookies, voting to smoking. It helps start conversations and it helps you as a parent address the issues you see with your kids. For example before they watched the smoking/addiction video they were asking me why was smoke coming out of that person’s mouth, what was the pipe they were holding? These videos are 3 minutes in length, there is a robot named Mobi who does things wrong or tries things out and the girl in the video ‘educates’ Mobi. During our dinner we discuss what they have learned that day from BrainPop. I do limit this game to two videos a day…I can only handle 4 new topics to discuss at dinner. When I toured a school recently I did see them using this in grade 1. My girls don’t do the activities yet just the videos.
Motion Math: Hungry Fish by Motion Math
Motion Math: Hungry Guppy by Motion Math
Toy Store Delivery Truck by MindSmack
Moofy Recognizing Pattern by PlaySmart
Counting Caterpillar by Bellamon
Peg + Cat Big Gig by PBS Kids
Meet the Orchestra by Vide Infra Group
DoReMi 123: Music for Kids by Creativity
Animal Orchestra For Kids by Devmiles

4 years of age and older
The Word Monsters: Learn to Read by Mindconnex learning
Seasons and Weather! by Tribal Nova
Animals! Life science by Tribal Nova
Ansel & Clair’s Adventures in Africa by Fingerpring
Dragon Shapes -Lumio Geometry Challenge by Lighthouse Learning
Numbers and Counting – Teacher Tilly by Shoto
The MathTree by Bellamon
Jungle Time: learn how to tell time by Andrew Short
Measurement by Emantras
Toca Builders by Toca Boca AB
Sound Recall by Javelin Sdn Bhd
Mathcubes: Addition & Subtraction for kids by Apps4Needs (I have just introduced this one)

Feel free to drop me a line and let me know your favorites as I’m always looking for new educational apps to add.

 

How to get veggies into your kids! (Juice Recipes)

Click here to view just the Juice Recipes

It was just over a year ago that I started juicing (the girls were two). I have two very picky eaters and ones that don’t eat veggies. Yes I did try to expose them 15 times to the same vegetable, yes I did give them veggies to gnaw on when they were babies, and yes I made fun shapes and designs out of vegetables. I even put in a small vegetable garden – had the girls choose their vegetable, plant the seeds, water the seeds but the only ones they would eat would be the peas. After this – I felt like a failure of a mother because I thought I’m not getting my kids to eat vegetables. They will grow up not eating and appreciating the value of vegetables. I hated meal times. I still do. To this day I still carry the Peter Rabbit Organics, Pea, Spinach and Apple Puree, 4.4-Ounce Pouches (Pack of 10) (vegetable ones only) but it makes me feel somewhat better.

Then I was introduced to juicing when I ate at the Willows Inn at Lummi Island. My first juice was carrot, then came lemon balm! Wow! I asked the server what was in it. They specifically told me that it was just fresh carrots for the carrot juice and the lemon balm had some simple syrup (dissolved sugar). All I was thinking about was if I thought this was awesome the girls would like it. (I had tried various green juices before but I couldn’t stomach them, they really didn’t taste great no matter how you tried.) So I decided I’d buy a juicer and start to find juices that I liked and not the ones that are: good for you plug your nose kind. It worked. The girl’s love the juices listed below and drink one every day and I feel like a star.

First you need a juicer, not a blender because the juicer strains out a lot of the pulp. Yes even a Vitamix doesn’t work as well as a juicer. I have a Breville BJE510XL Juice Fountain Multi-Speed 900-Watt Juicer and it’s easy to clean (dishwasher proof) I highly recommend to rinse it right after use, so no pulp is caught in the in-between spots.

How I introduced the girls to juices: I started with carrot juice (its sweet), put them in shot glasses (or use fun new glasses) and called it Super Juice and said this will make them see better and possibly see better in the dark. (Ok I know that studies show this is not the case but it got them to drink it) I also tell them it helps them grow, and builds brain cells to help them learn new things.

So here are some juice recipes that my girls, husband and I love AND get the veggies in. I received a few of these recipes from an avid juicer, plus another twin mom (KG) who puts her juice in a martini glass! I’m still on the search for a broccoli juice. My girls won’t go near broccoli even though I’ve called them trees, had dips for them etc. I did install a green house in hope that if the girls water and take care of the vegetables especially the broccoli they will want to eat what they’ve grown. Fingers crossed.

Juice Recipes

1. Carrot Juice
Carrots – purchase carrots at a farmers market or choose the organic ones in the grocery store that still have their stems on them. Do not buy bagged carrots. Depending on how many people you’re serving cut up 8-10 carrots. Clean the carrots, de-stem, juice and serve. If your kids have texture issues – you can strain it using a strainer over the cup.

2. Beet, Strawberry, Apple, Ginger Juice (Purple Super Juice)
1 beet – cleaned, raw, de-stemmed.
1 cup of strawberries
1 honey crisp apple
Thumbnail of fresh ginger. I put the ginger with the apple when I juice

3. Spinach, Blueberry, Apple, Lemon (Sour Brown Super Juice)
2 heaping handfuls of Spinach (I put this in the juicer with the apple)
1 honey crisp apple
¼-1/2 cup of fresh blueberries
½ peeled lemon

4. Kale, Red Pepper, Cantaloupe, Mango New Favorite
6 stems of Kale (juice it with the cantaloupe)
1 red pepper
1 cup – 1 ½ cup of ripe cantaloupe
1 ripe mango peeled and pit removed

5. Sweet Potato, Red Pepper, Beet, Carrot, Apple, Orange (Pink Super Juice)

Quantity of juice from ingredients 27.5oz

Quantity of juice from ingredients 27.5oz

Ingredients of Pink Super Juice

Ingredients of Pink Super Juice

½ sweet potato (yams)
2 carrots
½ red pepper (picture shows 1/4 because I used it in dinner last night)
1 beet
1 honey crisp apple
1 orange (a great way to use up dry oranges)

Of course when the girls are sick I grab a case of oranges from Costco and juice oranges.

*New Juice 06/19/2014 from a colleague of my husbands. This juice is from “The Big Book of Juices” by Natalie Savona

6.  Beet, Carrot, Celery, Apple, Orange, Ginger (Pinkalicious Juice)

1 beet
2 carrots (I did 3 carrots)
1 stick of celery
1 apple
1 orange
1 small slice of ginger

I will update my list as soon as I have a broccoli one! Please feel free to send me your favorite juice recipes and I’ll try the out and post if successful. Enjoy juicing.

Paula