Monday, July 9, 2012

Best Apps for Toddlers

As we're getting ready to fly cross-country with Baby C (for the first time!), I'm definitely starting to get a little nervous. Will she be a good traveler? Will she scream the whole time? Will she sleep? What will I need to pack? It's making me crazy!

We got an iPad for Christmas, and I think when we travel, it's going to be worth its weight in gold...not that it weighs very much, but you get the point. I've already loaded up on a ton of good apps that I've tested with Claire and so far, here are the favorites!

1) Bubbles - yep. That's pretty much it. This is actually a challenge to find a kid who doesn't like bubbles. It's just like it sounds - bubbles come up on the screen and kids pop 'em. ($1 on iTunes)

2) I Hear Ewe - this is a great game for babies and toddlers to get to know sounds. There's 12 farm animals, 12 jungle animals and 12 cars/planes - do the math - that's a lot of time to be entertained. (free on iTunes)

3) AlphaBaby - a fun game for even the littlest toddlers, AlphaBaby has a simple concept - touch the screen and a letter, number or shape comes up at the same time a cheerful voice tells you what it is. It will be a great way to learn. Claire just likes dragging the letters across the board. (free on iTunes)

4) The Wheels on the Bus - Claire's favorite song? There's an app for that. It won the Parents' Choice Award in 2010 for an outstanding educational/fun app. Check out other apps by the same developer (Duck Duck Moose) - they have Itsy Bitsy Spider or Old MacDonald if that's more your speed ($1 on iTunes).

5) Piano - We've had this on our iPad for awhile, and Claire just loves it. We've decided that although she's not the next Beethoven, she loves slamming her little fingers down on the "piano" and making music to her ears (free on iTunes)

Most of these apps are available for the iPhone and Droid, too - even if your trip is just across town, it's nice to have something to entertain the kiddos.

Have you discovered a wonder app you'd like to share?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Snack Time!

Just so you know, 30 for 30 is still happening. I have worn outfits almost every day since starting my self-imposed challenge....but I've been reeeaaalllly bad at taking pictures. Maybe models have it harder than I give them credit for? No, probably not.

I thought I'd actually have some real mom stuff on here as opposed to fashion-y stuff. Not that the two are mutually exclusive...anyway, since Baby C is basically a full-blown toddler now, I want to make sure I have snacks on hand at all times. When we're home, Claire eats fresh fruit and vegetables (or things that make more of a mess). But it's tough eating on the go, which we are most of the time.

Here are some items I make sure to pack in the diaper bag so many very hungry caterpillar can get her fill:

1. Trader Joe's Freeze Dried Raspberries - Claire has a come into a recent obsession with these. I love that she loves them because it's the benefits of fruit without the juicy mess, need to be refrigerated, etc. I can keep these in my diaper bag for if they'd last that long. The freeze dried strawberries are great, too! Plus, I love to sprinkle them on cereal or yogurt...or even sneak a few out of the bag when Baby C's not watching.

2. Trader Joe's Crushers - applesauce is like crack to Claire. She asks for it ALL.THE.TIME. I suppose there are worse things for her to want. Enter Crushers - they come in 3 flavors (apple, apple banana, and Claire's favorite, apple carrot). Plenty of companies make these now, but I find the TJ's ones a pretty good deal ($2 for a box of 4, where most competitors price around $1/pouch) and the ingredients are just fruit puree and juice.

3. Babybel Cheese - Claire's not quite into string cheese yet, but Babybel is great! It's easy to break up (still getting things in bite sized pieces) and a good source of fat and protein.

4. O's cereal - these are a staple in most houses with young children. I make sure to have a container of these in my diaper bag wherever I go. But make sure to check the ingredients - O's cereal can be high in sugar. They are also a great base for "toddler trail mix" - add dried fruit, pretzels, crackers, chocolate chips - whatever your little one desires.

5. Happy Baby Puffs - similar to Os, these are great little crackers for little fingers. They quickly dissolve so they even are good options for younger babies. I get the greens variety because it's made with kale, spinach and collard greens. It's not like it's a serving of vegetables or anything, but any little bit helps.

Bonus item: the Munchkin snack catcher. These genius inventions make snack time much less messy and I would definitely add this to the list of products that will make your life better. They're BPA free, dishwasher safe and you can pick them at Target.

Any snacks I missed? What do your bebes clamor for at snack time?