iPhones and Kids – Color Now

The iPhone is a great investment if you have kids.? Forget about all the cool features you’ll want for yourself.? Your kids will want it more.? And all the games available will come in handy when you need to keep your kids occupied and quiet for an extended period of time.

There are some really great games for kids.? Thing 1 likes to play Checkers.? Thing 2 likes Sound Box, where you press a button to hear a “whiney dog” or a “cuckoo clock” sound.? I won’t let Thing 3 touch my iPhone because, well, that will be the last time it works.? Best of all, most of these basic games are free or almost free.

Color NowToday I had Thing 1 and Thing 2 try Color Now.? Color Now is a unique application that takes coloring books to the digital era.? Kids and kids-at-heart will be able to add color to artistic images using a vibrant palate of paints.? Once they?re finished, they can save their finished masterpiece and use it as wallpaper on their iPhone, print it or send it to friends via email.? There are 12 images to choose from.?? The image here is one example.

The concept is good enough. But I have to say it didn’t translate well to the small iPhone screen and would probably work better as a full desktop application.? Thing 2 had trouble selecting the colors and shapes on the screen.? At 4 years old, he can’t quite get the hang of the iPhone reverse pinch zoom.? Thing 1 was able to manuever better but he said it wasn’t a game “because there was no winner at the end.”? He’s very competitive.

Laundry Made A Little Easier

Let’s face it — laundry has to be one of the all-time worst chores.? It’s never ending and as soon as you think you’ve caught up, it’s time to do another load.

Laundry BasketThat’s why I agreed to try out a new product called Purex Complete 3-in-1 Laundry Sheets.? Any product that claims to improve the laundry process I had to see for myself.? It’s a detergent, softener, and anti-static all in one? sheet.? You put into the washer and the detergent part gets washed off with the water.? Then transfer with the clothes to the dryer and it’s a regular dryer sheet.

I was a little skeptical at first.? It’s not like doing laundry with a separate detergent + dryer sheet is all that difficult.? Do we really need an all-in-one?

I did a couple loads and it lived up to it’s promise.? Clothes were clean, soft, and static free.? The end result was no better than what I usually get, and we’re probably not going to make a switch just yet.? But I can see the benefits to the all-in-one concept.? These would be great in a college dorm, when travelling with the kids, or whenever space is limited.

Spider-Bat Lives On With StickyFan

When I introduced the world to Spider-Bat, I thought he would be a short lived phenomenon, not lasting much past Halloween.? But, the legend of Spider-Bat lives on and keeps growing.

StickyFan is a cool website that creates giant life-size posters from your own digital photos.? It’s great for action photos of your kids doing sports, but really any photo can be used.? The poster sticks to any wall or surface and can be moved over and over.

When I showed Thing 2 the five foot tall image of Spider-Bat, he was in awe and wanted him on his bedroom wall to watch over him.? Maybe with Spider-Bat in the room, he won’t get scared in the middle of the night and wake me up.? Regardless, StickyFan is worth checking out.? Tell them Spider-Bat sent you.

Go Dads!

Thanks to dad-to-be James, I just learned about a new site called BabySpot for sharing photos and videos of your baby.

Parents from all over the world congregate here to share their child’s baby pictures, offer parenting tips & tricks through parenting blogs, and to meet new people and share family stories on their family blog.

And the best part is it was started by dads. Imagine that, fathers excited, interested, and involved with their babies!

You Can’t Beat An Original

It’s always the case that originals are the best. In movies, the original always beats the sequels (see Star Wars, Rocky, Godfather, Shreck). After all, if the original weren’t so good, there wouldn’t be any sequels in the first place. I find this logic holds true with the Baby Einstein videos.

The early videos were low budget. Like something I could make in my basement (why didn’t I think of it?). You can see someone’s hand in the videos moving the toys, and the kids are the daughters and friends of the creator, Julie Aigner Clark. But somehow they work better than the higher budget, animated, effect ridden ones after Disney bought the company.

Two of the best originals are Baby Mozart and Baby Van Gogh. I never quite bought into the Mozart Effect on kids. You know, the one that says listening to Mozart music makes babies smarter. But if you are looking for something that will capture the interest of your baby, for say, 30 minutes, so you can do something, like eat, or shower, or brush your teeth. Then Baby Einstein is for you.

If you are a new parent, or plan to be one, or know someone who will be, go for the original gift pack.

Saving For College

The cost when my kids go to college will be upwards of $100,000. And that’s for each kid! Better start saving now. That’s why I use Upromise.

In five years, we have made more than $600 for doing, well, nothing. All we did was sign up for a free account. Then, when you make purchases at stores you would shop at anyway, you get a small percentage back in your college savings account. Buy gas at Exxon-Mobil? Get $0.23. Buy anything at Target? Get 4% back. Walmart, JCPenney, eBay? There are hundreds of stores.

That grocery and drugstore shoppers card you already use, which gives you store discounts, also gets you free money in your college savings account, when you sign up with Upromise.

You can get the whole family involved. Sign grandma and grandpa up and when they put gas in their car or buy groceries, they will also be adding to their grandkids’ college funds.

Who said you can’t get something for nothing?