How Parents and Caregivers are Easing Life with Tech Tools
Parents can only be in so many places at once. Parents, nannies, and babysitters are tapping into some amazing new tech tools to help them feel more connected and safe. Don’t be like this clueless Dad who said “What’s a family app? Have I been missing something in my life?” Read on to discover tools to increase parental ease and enhance the safety of the children in their care.
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Apps to Stay Organized and on Task
- The clear winner for calendar organization is Cozi, an app that has been around for long enough to beat away several competitors and remain standing, and a family favorite. A shared family calendar, and a central place to notate lists and to-do’s, this app even includes a recipe planner. Families and caregivers love the ease of use with the clear and easy-to-understand interface.
- Another very well-liked app is the Kiwi family shared calendar app. What makes it special? The kids get to contribute too! One user says everyone “joins the app and can add their calendars and create tasks, shopping lists, etc. that everyone can see. You can add your kids and manually approve the things they add. There’s also a chores feature if you want to motivate your kids to help around more!” Another user says “I finally feel like I know what’s going on across my family. I mostly use the shared tasks and shopping list with my husband and 2 kids.”
Apps for Staying Connected, Scheduled and Safe
3. Not to be confused with the Circle app which is a parental control for devices, the Family Circle app is a favorite of many because it’s a closed network that allows for safely sharing photos and messages. The app is a way to “connect with family members, chat, share personal photos & videos with the family.”
4. Life 360 is described by one user as “the helicopter parent’s dream” for its location-sharing capabilities. Teenagers dislike the app quite a bit as it not only shows parents where they are at all times but sends alerts if they drive over the speed limit, or their phone battery is running low. However, for children being cared for by a nanny or babysitter, this app can offer a lot of reassurance to all parties and eliminate the need for frequent check-ins, thereby allowing the caregiver to increase their focus on the kids. The emergency alert capability on this app is also a prime feature.
Apps to Promote Education and Entertainment
The human brain doubles in size in the first year, a statistic that even seasoned educators may find surprising. Therefore engagement in the first weeks and months is more critical than previously understood.
5. For very young children the app Kinedu makes developmental milestones easier to understand. It offers ideas about how to interact with a newborn or infant. One Dad commented that it was not as useful past the infant stage. He states “I liked it in the months after the newborn stage and before he started crawling because I was SO BORED and it had some fun activities for us to do together.” For caregivers looking to get creative around engagement with infants, this can be a helpful tool. It cannot be underestimated how much of an impact the earliest weeks, months, and years of an infant have on brain development. The more tools we have to understand this, the better.
6. The brilliant creators behind one of the world’s most popular ways to learn a dual language have put their brain power into creating an app for kids to learn to read. It’s called Learn to Read with DuoLingo and is popular with teachers. “It helps kids read and write,” says one parent. It’s “interactive so it’s kind of like a game.” Learning to read made fun? Yes, please.
7. Khan Academy Kids is the children’s version of the established brand Khan Academy for older kids and teens. Some parents complain that the material does not offer content past the 2nd grade for learning, but many parents love the app. One states I am “very impressed. Especially because it’s free for everyone and very easy to sign up for, unlike a lot of other learning/teaching apps.”
8. A comparatively new educational and task-tracking app to the market that is designed specifically for in-home childcare is Rayz Kids. it was designed by a Mother of two and employer of a nanny. She recognized that unlike daycares, the nanny industry is unregulated. By introducing a communication tool that is a schedule and also offers age-related educational activities, the app is helping to create a framework for an otherwise unstructured work environment. The creative activity content and developmental milestone features are praised by professional caregivers.
Apps for Transportation and Safe Rides for Kids
9. Transporting children safely has been a code that many tech companies have attempted to crack. One is coming out on top with their app for easily booking rides with drivers who are screened to a higher degree than an average ride-share driver. HopSkipDrive allows parents some relief when they realize there are more kids or activities than there are adults to safely get them there.
10. The Carpool Kids app is a solution for busy parents, but a bit different from ordering a ride from a stranger. Join other parents and caregivers seeking a solution. Start by creating scheduled rides with what is described as a “simple and user-friendly” app. There are also many parents who rave about the support, which is not something you often hear. “The Tech support is always on standby to help and they continue improving the app all of the time” says one.
Love it or live with it, tech is taking more of a front seat to our lives, and that includes our children. Make life more seamless, organized, or just less overwhelming with these apps while waiting for the next best thing to come out. Organization and ease in daily life is no small feat. If these apps can help, it seems like a win for the adults in charge.