A is for App

As a new mom I have spent a lot of time at home watching movies on Netflix and using apps on my phone.  As an iPhone user, I recently had the opportunity to play around with the Samsung Galaxy S4 and try some of the mommy and toddler apps that it offers.  The Samsung Galaxy S4 was user-friendly to set up and operate and has a large screen that made viewing apps easy.  N did not have any prior experience using a touchscreen, but he learned how to use it quickly and was operating the Samsung Galaxy S4 almost as good as I was within minutes.  This phone was thin, light, and bright and would be easy to throw in my purse or use while traveling.  The large screen size made it ideal for playing games and taking pictures.

Pocket Booth app - CopyThere are apps for everything now– buying, organizing, learning, creating, networking, gaming, etc.  My favorite ones though are the less serious apps that allow you to have some fun with your phone.  While there are many apps that suggest they will help you with your busy mommy lifestyle, I’m still a little old school in how I choose to organize my family and work life.  This is why my favorite app was one called Pocketbooth, which turns your phone into a 1950’s era photobooth.  I always have fun when there are photobooths at events and this app allows me to take photobooth style photos whenever and wherever I want.  All you need to do is pose in front of the phone camera and it snaps 4 quick photos, which you can then email, tweet, Facebook, save to your phone, or order directly from Pocketbooth.  G and I had fun posing for this one (although forgive my sleep-deprived appearance as she is only 3 weeks old):


I had N test out some of the toddler apps.  In general, I try to limit his media time and follow the recommendations of the AAP.  There are certain circumstances though where media comes in handy (i.e. travel, restaurants), and in our case currently, its in avoiding cabin fever while staying in with a newborn.  In limited amounts, screen time can serve its purpose.  So the app that N tried was one called Monkey Preschool Lunchbox, which is recommended for ages 2-5.  This app uses fruits to teach letters and colors and has matching games and puzzles.  I liked that the emphasis here is on fruit and not candy, jewels, or made-up creatures like so many other games.  Also, it is very repetitive, which taught and then reinforced the concepts.  N enjoyed it, although I think he is still a little young to fully appreciate it.  This is one that we will definitely save for later use.

Monkey Preschool Lunchbox app2 - Copy

So when shopping for apps, there are plenty of websites that will guide you to the ones that are best and give you ratings on them before you make a purchase.  My advice is to think about how the app will fit in with your lifestyle and to think about how you use your phone.  It is important to have screen-free time to spend with your kids and then when using media, do so in a way that is interactive and educational.  There are many apps, like the two mentioned above, that allow and encourage moms and children to play together, which in my opinion is the best use of these devices and a healthy media diet.


{Disclaimer:  Verizon loaned me the Samsung Galaxy S4 for my review and covered the expense of downloading the apps on it, but I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are my own.  The apps mentioned above are independent of Verizon and can be used by multiple mobile devices.  My usage of this device and the apps does not influence my medical decision-making.  My opinions on these apps are those of a mom and not as a pediatrician.  Please talk to your own doctor about your child’s media usage.  These opinions are my own and do not represent my employer.  Please see my full disclaimer here.}



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