Category Archives: Living Life Lazily

10 Kid Apps for 10 Extra Minutes of Sleep (For You!) iOS, Android, and Kindle

Top Ten Kid Apps For 10 More Minutes of Sleep

In Mom life, there is little more of value than an extra ten minutes of sleep. Today I have for you my top 10+ apps for kids–so you can get 10 more minutes of sleep. Hand your kid your tablet or phone in the morning and hit the snooze button, Slacker Mom!

Prerequisites: easy to play so your child needs little to no help navigating the app. I’ve focused on toddler and preschool apps today, but leave a note if you’d love to see apps for the older kids! The following apps are in no particular order. All apps except as noted have free trials too!

Note: I don’t have an iPad or iPhone, and I don’t have an unlimited app budget. I have a huge app wishlist but I simply can’t buy them all today! I’ve listed apps I have tried and love for Android. They are available for iOS as well, but I haven’t used them personally. Please leave a comment if you have an app that works for your kiddos!

Kid Mode by Zoodles – this is the first app I download on any device! It locks your phone with a customized screen. Your child taps on their picture and is launched into a play zone. Zoodles browses the best of Web videos and brings age-appropriate content to your child. Depending on your device, you can also let your child send and receive video mail safely, add apps like those below, and even record personalized stories with the subscription. Available on: AmazonGoogle Play, App Store,  and your home computer.

Monkey Preschool Lunchbox and Monkey Math – a fantastic choice for preschoolers, this app initially frustrated my younger toddler. However, this app is so engaging, she returned to it over and over. Eventually, she actually began learning her colors and other basic skills to be able to play it with no problems! My four year old loves these apps too, and I love the menu-less interface. Monkey Math is a bit harder for my two year old (working on not hitting the tablet in frustration!), but with the positive reinforcement I predict she’ll be a numbers whiz is no time. Amazon, Google Play, App Store.

Dr. Panda Restaurant and Dr. Panda Hospital – I admit, I have put off upgrading these apps to their full versions (though my kids beg for it!) because, well, it’s not super educational! In these apps they role play a doctor or a chef in charge of either seating patients, assessing and caring for their symptoms, or seating their patrons, taking their orders, preparing their food and serving them. There’s little creativity required of them, but for an app to keep the quiet for those golden ten minutes? A pure winner for sure. Amazon, Google Play, App Store

My PlayHome – this is another role playing app, but maybe just because I’m a girl, even I find myself tinkering along with them on this one! The app is essentially a dollhouse (with a Caucasian family on the Lite version). In the living room, you can open the windows, turn lights on and off, turn on the ‘TV’ or perhaps start a CD in the stereo. In the kitchen you can ‘feed’ your little family, do a load of laundry, or boil some water for a hot cup of tea. I don’t see my girls playing with it like our real dollhouse, but it does entertain them for quite awhile! Amazon, Google Play, App Store.

Drawing Pad – hands down, my favorite coloring app on Android. I’m in love with the textures of different mediums like crayon and marker. It’s so realistic, in fact, I learned the hard way that not coloring on the tablet with REAL crayons is an important conversation to have with your toddler. For coloring book apps, I’ve got the Color & Draw HD app high on my wishlist! Drawing Pad: AmazonGoogle Play, App Store. Color & Draw HD: Amazon, Google Play, App Store.

Intellijoy apps – the puzzle app alone has occupied my toddler for cumulative hours om end. The connect the dots app (toggle between ABC’s or 123’s and more!) encourages alphabetic order awareness. And holy smokes, Android users need to check out their Learn to Read app! Amazon, Google Play, App Store.

 The Cat in the Hat by Oceanhouse Media – This app takes real books (think Dr. Suess and Berenstein Bears) and has turned them into multimedia presentations. Your child can select Read It Myself, Read To Me, and Auto Play. Auto Play is my favorite for my toddler as it performs like a mini movie for her. In Read To Me, the words are highlighted as the book is read aloud. (Looks like some nifty new features for iOS, too!) Amazon, Google PlayApp Store, and more! 

Spinlight Apps – it’s not easy to find apps as beautiful and educational as Spinlight turns out. I love these apps. I’m so excited they brought their content to Android. From AlphaTots for toddlers to Operation Math for the older kids, these apps are brilliant, simple, and fun! (Homeschoolers, don’t miss TableTots!) I wish Spinlight offered a trial version of their apps so you’ll have to take my word on this one! Amazon, Google Play, App Store.

Starfall Learn to Read – if you have a preschooler, you likely know and love Starfall.com. Starfall has been bringining their awesome content to iOS for awhile now but has more recently began to focus on Android as well. My only complaint is that not all the iOS Starfall apps are on Android (yet!) but my four year old is thrilled to have her favorite characters on my tablet too. Amazon, Google PlayApp Store

Super WhyFinally! PBS Kids is finally bringing content over to Android! So far Super Why and Play at Home With Daniel are the only released on Android, but they’re pretty great. My kids don’t know Daniel, but we are huge fans of Super Why at our house. Note, there aren’t any trial versions of these apps. Amazon, Google Play, App Store. Edit: since writing this, several more apps have been released on both Google Play and Amazon! 

Disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate, and when you purchase through the Amazon links above I get a very small portion of the proceeds.

Any must have apps that need to be on this list? Leave the app name, as well as your operating system below! (iOS, Android, Kindle, or other.)

 

Homeschooling… Or sleeping?

This past week or so has been full of challenges. Motivation, or a lack thereof, challenges. I think I’ve been avoiding my blog because I don’t like to admit defeat. More importantly; I don’t want to be defeated. I’d very much prefer to be regular feated, thank you very much!

This week we did two rather lazy days of homeschool. Then on Wednesday we… Well frankly we didn’t do much of anything. Thursday, I cleaned my room. It was pretty much an all day project. Today looks like it will be a repeat of Wednesday’s schedule.

The homeschool bubble has deflated. The fresh smell of new curriculum is worn off. The excitement of planning days has waned, knowing that my plans will surely be replaced by the desire to do nothing. Playing Where’s My Water* on my tablet is looking better than attempting to get my four year old to do a craft without a meltdown. Except sleep. Sleeping is looking pretty great these days. We do a lot of that. Or more accurately, I ask my kids, “Don’t you want to watch a show on Mommy’s bed while Mommy takes a rest?”

I know my mom will read this, and the therapist in her will ask if I am depressed. No, I don’t think so. I am ADHD still, and that’s depressing! Life is boring, and boring is super boring. (Almost like a super power. I’m Super Bored!)

What do you do when you don’t have motivation to do much of anything? 

An Unpinnable Halloween

I believe my daughter is waving to her reflection in this picture, and my toddler is grinning at a stranger in the distance.

I went to bed last night with delusions of grandeur, thinking I would wake up early and surprise the kids with some Pumpkin Pancakes (like these on the Idea Door!).
I woke up tired, grumpy, and late.

I believe my daughter is waving to her reflection in this picture, and my toddler is grinning at a stranger in the distance.

In this picture you’ll notice three girly girls, dressed up in costume. We were so late in getting ready that I missed the chance to take a photo of my son, and my oldest daughter was rushed out the door with her hair in a sloppy ponytail because we couldn’t find the brush and she was going to be late. No time for cute cowgirl braids. As she ran out I admonished, “Keep your hat on so no one sees your hair!”

Nicole, Abigail, and I went to the annual costume parade at the school but got there late, and missed Rebecca actually parading around. Instead we sat in the hallway with her and watched the other children go by on their way back to class, as Rebecca’s class was one of the first to go. (Frankly, I preferred this to getting there super early and waitingwaitingwaiting to catch a glimpse of my kid before she’s gone!)

Oh well. I’m a slacker. I decided I would make a cute little Halloween themed lunch. (These mummy pizzas are adorable, but the cookie cutter pumpkin sandwich is more my lazy style.) I would be awake, alert, and could master a little Halloween fun. We didn’t start school till just before noon and rushed through it before my daughter came home from her short day at school…

… then I realized I was out of bread, so we just reheated baked potatoes for lunch.

Our traditional pre-trick or treating bowl of piping hot chili will be waylaid by the fact that I didn’t have the ingredients for chili on hand.
Carving pumpkins? Didn’t buy ’em.
Decorating the house? Decorations were in storage… sure hope we get our Christmas decor out before February.

This blog is officially unpinnable, as far as this Halloween is concerned.

I’m just keeping it real for you. If you ever feel like less-than-the-best because of those cutesy, crafty moms on Pinterest who deck out their porches and create crafts for the season and bake up a storm, all in the name of enjoying a holiday with their family, I just wanted to let you know: you’re not alone.

Are you a slacker Halloween mom?

Homeschooling by the Seat of my Pants + a Halloween Countdown Chain

Homeschooling by the Seat of my Pants

As of right now, I have no idea what we’re doing as far as ‘homeschool.‘ I’m switching up some of my curriculum plans and trying some new things out. For now, we’re just sort of homeschooling by the seat of my pants.


What’s that mean? It means I’m making it up as I go, naturally. Take this Halloween Countdown Chain activity:

On a whim, we made a Halloween countdown chain. I loved to do this as a child. You simply count how many days left until something exciting–Halloween in this case–and make a paper chain. Cut strips of colored construction paper into 1 inch strips. Staple, or glue, on strip of paper into a circle. Loop your next circle through the previous circle, and staple that. Then continue until you have the number of days remaining until your holiday or vacation. Each day, tear off one strip and count again!

To qualify this as a ‘learning’ activity, just look at the following. We:

  • increased calendar awareness by counting how many days until Halloween
  • practiced counting numbers above twenty
  • did basic division by figuring out how many of each color we needed to cut (I needed 13 strips of each color for our 26 days)
  • could have practiced scissor skills but Mommy used a paper cutter instead :)
  • reinforced counting by counting our paper strips to ensure we had enough
  • used motor skills to work the stapler
  • discussed geometry by creating circles and discussed (uh, something) by making a chain
  • used team work to share the stapler and help a younger sibling
  • talked about cultural awareness by discussing Halloween colors
  • used math by counting down each day
  • practiced patience and forgiveness when sibling tore five circles off the next day and we put them back together
  • recognized sharing and taking turns while we switched off who got to tear off the circle for the day
Look at all those skills we worked on! With very little forethought or effort, we completed an entire math lesson in a single activity. Some days, that’s okay. Some days, a little craft activity with the slightest effort towards making it ‘educational’… some days, that’s enough.

 

You Might Be ADD: 10 Signs You Have It!

You Might Be ADD


Ladies and, well, ladies, it’s been a tough couple of weeks here at the Slacker house. Slacker Mode is in full gear (maybe it’s like allergies… it gets worse depending on the season?) and I’m fully convinced I’m losing my mind. The following are ten real life scenarios I struggle with regularly due to my AD/HD*… and they’ve all happened in the last few weeks.

Here are my top ten ways to know if you are ADD too! (Because we want everyone in our club. For real. We look a little crazy otherwise…)

10. You lose your phone literally seconds after it was in your hand. This scenario repeats dozens of times a day.

9. You have multiple alarms and notifications set in various increments on various devices leading up to an appointment, because if you don’t, you invariably need to make up excuses as to why you missed it.

8. You have half a dozen work/blog/home/craft projects that are ALMOST done, but will never be completed because you lost steam shortly after the ‘new project high’ wore off.

7. You stay up late at night, procrastinating going to bed, because the drudgery of morning is awful, but is only made worse by your late night Pinterest surf.

6. You cook all meals on the highest heat possible, hoping to get through cooking dinner as quickly as possible. Consequently, you have burned more dinners than you’d care to admit.

5. You rushed your husband home from work so you can attend a church function, only to realize as he walks in that the church function is the following day.

4. You’ve ordered some brand new books off of Amazon, then incidentally discover four days after their arrival that you already own the books.

3. Take a ‘Diet Coke nap,’ where you crash on the couch after downing some Diet Coke, hoping the caffeine will energize you before your children destroy the house.

2. Have bought, or are considering buying, additional underwear for your potty trained toddler so you can resume your sporadic/later-is-better-than-now laundry ‘plan,’ without wondering if your child is actually wearing clean underwear.

1. You have given your eldest the choice between the two worst chores in the house, one of which you should do, but instead attempt to ‘look busy’ while your kid cleans, and once finished, you order take out and call it a day.

What are your worst ADD ‘symptoms,’ real or mommy-brained?

Psst… did you know that the official diagnoses is AD/HD, which is an attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. That little / implies your symptoms are either attention deficit and or hyperactivity. I have outgrown my hyperactivity (thank heavens!) as adults sometimes can, and now am primarily attention deficit. The term ADD is colloquial but incorrect.

If you think you might have ADD, read more here, and seek the help of a physician or qualified therapist. 

Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings

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