Serving up some tasty apps

iChalky

Can anyone remember life before the iPhone?  Were we all bored, disorganized, and disconnected?  Not anymore, thanks to all the fabulous, useful, and just plain fun applications available!  We’ve narrowed down a list of some of our favorite iPhone apps (for both kids and parents) to share with you tech-obsessed parents. Go grab your iPhone and start downloading!

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1. MeeGenius – A collection of beautifully illustrated classic books that come with audio playback, word highlighting, and personalization so you can read your child’s favorite stories to him on the road or under the blanket.

2. BabyPhone – With this app you can program your iPhone to function as a baby monitor by setting the microphone sensitivity to a desired level (e.g. baby’s cry or babbling) that will call you on a different phone number when the microphone picks up on a sound.

3. Wheels on the Bus – This “classic” app keeps toddlers busy with many versions of the popular song, interactive components, and great graphics.  Why not try singing this song in Spanish, French, German, and Italian, too?

4. iChalky – Kids of all ages will cannot meet a cooler stick figure.  Chalky responds to every move and sound of the iPhone and you can manipulate Chalky with your fingers on the touchpad.  He will even dance when you play tunes from the iPod!

5. I Hear Ewe – This fun game helps the young ones learn and recognize 24 different animals.  By tapping on a button of an animal, the name and noise each makes is played.  This game is also featured in other languages (Chinese, anyone?) and helps develop pointer finger skills, too.

6. Build a Brag Book – Savvy moms and dads (and grandparents too!) can build a virtual scrapbook right on the iPhone by selecting a storybook template and personalizing it with photos right from the phone and adding details about the family to the story.

7. Flags Fun – Matching games are given a sleek and educational spin with this fun app.  Flags of countries all over world from Great Britain to Laos act as the card pairs in a classic matching game, or you can take it one step further by testing your national knowledge with “Flag Guess.”

8. My Little Suitcase – Before your next vacation, get your kindergartener excited about travel with this app that will let her pick a destination like the beach or sleepover and pack for the trip by dragging in the items they want to the suitcase.  After packing, the suitcase will arrive at the destination so your kid can unpack.

9. Baby Brain – A Red Tri favorite for parents of newborns.  Check out our article on this baby log that is a must-have during those first few months of sleep deprivation.

10. Skee Ball – We’re not sure if this is more fun for kids or parents, but either way it’s a great 3-D replication of a favorite throwback game.  After you’ve thrown your balls, you can even collect prizes!

11. Fisher-Price has just launched a trio of iPhone apps reminiscent of some of their classic toys: See ‘n Say, Little People Farm, and Chatter Telephone are all tons of fun for kids in the 2-5 age range, as well as for parents who grew up with the original versions.

BONUS: And making life easier for parents-on-the-go is the Texthook, a smartphone holder that attaches to stroller handlebars, a grocery shopping cart, wherever you need to be with your little ones in tow. You’ll be able to access the touchscreen and keyboard while you push or play—we’re totally hooked!

PS: What are your favorites apps – either for yourself or the kiddies? Share your picks in the comment section below.
—Sarah K. Choi