Monday, June 2nd, 2014
When we heard that Apple will refund at least $32.5 million for in-app purchases made by kids without their parents’ knowledge, we couldn’t help but think of a few other items we’ve bought that should be refundable.
$56 The stuffed animal-hat, -slipper, -flashlight, and -pillow hybrids that our kids “needed” after seeing them on infomercials.
$660 The annual gym membership we thought would help shed the baby weight, but were too tired to use.
$357 The Pinterest-worthy first birthday party we threw with printables, favors, and balloons that our kid won’t remember and pretty much hated anyway.
$675 The price of every DVD we bought for our kids before Frozen was released that we can toss now that they’re obsessed with Elsa, Anna, and Olaf.
$53 The super plush crib bumper we bought to protect our baby that we wanted to torch once we found out it’s actually dangerous.
$42 The loom kit and bajillions of extra rubber bands still hidden in the crevices of our home that were used to make more bracelets than our entire family could ever wear.
$150 The toddler and preschool tech gadgets we bought hoping (praying) they would replace our smartphone as his favorite toy ever. Nope.
A hefty refund that more than makes up for watching LoomBoy99’s Snake Belly bracelet tutorial on repeat for hours indoors on a sunny day. Well, almost.
Image: Mom gives child money via Shutterstock
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Thursday, March 21st, 2013
Who doesn’t love Little Critter? We read the books all the time (see my son Joe with our favorite, about going into the city with Mom, down below) and I was thrilled to talk with the author and illustrator, Mercer Mayer, also shown, on the eve of his launch of the Little Critter app for iOS, Android, Nook and Kindle devices.
Q: First, what is Little Critter?
Mercer Mayer: “He technically is identifiable, but I don’t tell anybody what it is.”
Q: Is he based on you as a child? Or your own children?
MM: “Everything you do as an author is from that well of your own childhood. I got some advice many years ago from a publisher to ‘Just start with your childhood and lie like hell.’ Little Critter is full of things that happened to me as a child and then I exaggerate when I imagine what a kid might go through.”
Q: You have kids of your own, right?
MM: “Three boys and a girl, and now grandkids. They just added to the whole pastiche. I would love to find a way to get this into a book: When my eldest boy was 9 years old, he would never go to bed. I would throw him up in the top bunk and he’d scream that he was hungry, or had to go to the bathroom. Then one night he said he was sick. I didn’t believe him…and then he threw up all over me.”
MM: “I write about situations that kids get into that can be overwhelming. But now my books are getting an extra kick in the pants with the apps! There are more possibilities with them.”
Q: The apps sound like they’d be good for Spring break and Summer travel.
MM: “The games are simple for 3- to 7-year-olds. There’s animation and the story pops out. So there’s reading, and it’s educational, but also games, such as a hidden alphabet and color-by-number. The GamePak includes DigiStix, which are interactive stickers that a kid can move around. I know some apps are just for reading, but these two create a whole little world of adventure, and it’s a lot of fun.”
Q: Are you still writing new books?
MM: “Yes, I’m working on Just a Kite now and finished up Just a Little Love. I write about three a year. I’m still doing it. I guess I don’t know how to stop!”
You can get The Trip-Little Critter Reading Adventure for $3.99 at all the usual channels (iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, Barnes & Noble). And for the first 30 days of the launch, you can buy the additional The Trip-Little Critter GamePak for $2.99 (after that it goes up to $3.99). The GamePack is the one that includes more than 175 cool DigiStix digital stickers.
Want the chance to win both the apps and also a signed giclee print from Mercer Mayer? It’s this collage of Little Critter and his baby brother with their toys, and would look great in a kid’s room! It’s officially worth is $75 but I think it’s fairly priceless. Leave a comment below, up to one a day between now and the end of the day on Wednesday, March 27th. After that we’ll pick one person at random to win both the print and a code for the apps, worth about $83 all together.
You can click here to read our official rules. Goody luck!
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Friday, November 30th, 2012
This time of year can put children’s (and parents’) patience to the test — long trips in the car to visit family, seemingly endless shopping lines. Make the most of the time your kids will spend waiting with a fun new educational app, Little Ashby: Star Reporter.
Created by Parents’ celebrity correspondent and Entertainment Tonight co-host Nancy O’Dell and developed by StoryChimes, the app is an interactive storybook that allows children to follow TV reporter Ashby (named after Nancy’s daughter) and her crew on exciting assignments.
Ashby’s first job? To interview Santa! Children will love joining Ashby on her journey to the North Pole. Along the way, they’ll learn educational facts, values, and morals that will be reinforced with engaging activities and games.
Little Ashby: Star Reporter – Santa’s Big Premiere is available on Apple devices now for $2.99. A portion of the proceeds for the app will go to the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) in honor of Bryson Foster, MDA’s 2012 National Goodwill Ambassador and the voice of Arty, the little cameraman, in the app.
Remember to keep an eye out for more adventures with Ashby and her crew in the new year!
Read more from Nancy O’Dell on Parents.com:
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Tuesday, November 13th, 2012
Mobile Apps Make Reading Fun for Children With Dyslexia, Occupational Therapist Says
Mobile apps and daily visual activities can encourage children with dyslexia to participate in reading exercises, says Lenin Grajo Ed.M., instructor of occupational science and occupational therapy at Saint Louis University. (via ScienceDaily)
Acetaminophen in Infancy Again Tied to Asthma, Study Suggests
Babies given acetaminophen for fevers and aches may have a heightened risk of asthma symptoms in their preschool years, according to a Danish study. (via Fox News)
Dance Intervention Improves Self-Rated Health of Girls With Internalizing Problems
A dance intervention program improved the self-rated health of Swedish girls with internalizing problems, such as stress and psychosomatic symptoms, according to a new study. (via ScienceDaily)
CPS ‘Healthy Snack And Beverage’ Proposal Could Ban Gatorade, Whole Milk, Sugary Drinks
Chicago Public Schools this week could move to ban the sale of a swath of snacks and drinks deemed unhealthy as part of its broader “Healthy CPS” initiative. (via Huffington Post)
Kansas Board Of Education To Discuss Role Of Cursive Writing In School Curricula At Tuesday Meeting
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The Kansas State Board of Education will discuss the role of cursive handwriting in school curricula during its monthly meeting on Tuesday, the Wichita Eagle reports. (via Huffington Post)
acetaminophen, asthma, Babies, Chicago Public Schools, cursive writing, dyslexia, girls health, handwriting, healthy eating, healthy snacks, Kansas State Board of Education, mobile apps, Noelia de la Cruz, Parents Daily News Roundup | Categories: