Apps We Love! Ladybird: I’m Ready for Phonics

I’ve been on the hunt for a decent Phonics App for quite some time and if I’m honest the ones I’ve found have been crap.  Being Canadian I can overlook American accents, but many of them use the wrong font, wrong pronunciation, wrong level and don’t reflect how kids are being taught Phonics in school.

Phonics AppThanks to the lovely Geek Mummy, I finally found a good one, Ladybird:  I’m Ready for Phonics.  It’s not cheap at £4.99 but I personally feel it’s worth it.  There are 12 Spaced Themed levels that the children can progress through and it is in line with the Letters and Sounds documents that schools in the UK follow.  I love the fact that they can record themselves pronouncing the letters.

It also contains and easy to understand Parent’s Guide to Phonics.  Even as an ex-teacher, I trained pre-phonics and it’s all new to me.  So I’m glad I have some guidance so I don’t contradict what the school is doing.

My 5-year old loves it and have to drag her off it!

You can check our more of our favourite apps here.

Apps we love! Doodlecast

I absolutely love this app, bar the music at the beginning.  At first, Doodlecast (£1.99)  just looks like another drawing app which we have many, but if I’m honest we prefer paper and crayons for that.  What I really love about this one is that the children can record their own narrations whilst drawing the pictures.  It comes with a selection of templates for inspiration (shopping trolley, park, dinner late, faces etc) or you can start from a blank canvas.

In addition, if you set it up, it will automatically upload the final product to YouTube which makes it incredibly easy to share with friends and family!

You can check our more of our favourite apps here.




Monkey Preschool Lunchbox

Available from itunes for 59p

I have to say that I really like this app, if you can ignore the annoying American accent.  I’d seen it recommended on a few websites and now that we’ve had a play with it I’m surprised the Sunday Times didn’t feature it in it’s Top 500 apps.  It’s perfect for Madame who is 3.5.  It has a combination of matching, sorting, colours, number and letter recognition and problem solving!

So overall here is what we thought:

[xrrgroup][xrr label=”Educational Content:” rating=”5/5″ group=”s1″ ] [xrr label=”Fun:” rating=”5/5″ group=”s1″] [xrr label=”Ease of Use:” rating=”5/5″ group=”s1″] [xrr label=”Age Appropriateness:” rating=”5/5″ group=”s1″] [xrr label=”Value for Money:” rating=”5/5″ group=”s1″] [xrr label=”Overall:” overall=true group=”s1″ ][/xrrgroup]

Clever so and so!

Do you ever wish that your child was slightly thick, just enough so you can pull the wool over their eyes? Madame has been showing flashes of genius lately, not Mensa level and it’s not consistent, but just enough to worry me.  She definitely didn’t get this from her father.

Madame was a brilliant eater and like many children when she hit 2.5 this all changed.  Many people warned me about this but honestly I didn’t believe them.  She’d eat just about anything, including liver, that I put in front of her and her father and I are not picky eaters.

Anyhow, we are now struggling with meal times.  But, I’m determined to not make it into a battle.  We offer her one meal choice, if she doesn’t eat it we nonchalantly wrap it up, put it aside and serve it to her again the next time she says she’s hungry.  I’m not going to be one of those mum’s who cooks several different meals each night.  Then on our own terms we offer her toast just before bed, if we didn’t she’d wake up in the night hungry and we’d be the losers.

On the weekend, when we were eating as a family, which is a rare occurrence, she brought her Jessie doll to the table.  I know this is a bad idea and we don’t normally allow toys at the table but in this case I just wanted to focus on one thing at a time.  So, long story short, I said ‘if you don’t eat your dinner I’m putting Jessie in the loft’.  She didn’t eat her dinner so I hid Jessie.

Bless her…I found her wandering around the landing at about 4am stressed looking for her Jessie doll and I’m not that mean so I gave it back to her.  However, that’s not the clever bit.

The following night we all sat down to dinner again, she ate fairly well, but after dinner she hopped down and proceeded to rummage around in the cupboard under the stairs.  I wondered what the hell she was doing…….then I worked it out.  She’d hidden Jessie before we had dinner!  The clever so and so…..

Easy Christmas Decorations

If you’re snowed in and the kids are climbing the walls you could make some Christmas Decorations.  Madame and I’ve been making them over the last couple of weeks.  I’m not crafty and she’s only 3, if we can manage you can too.  Have fun.

The template for the Smiley Snowflake can be found here!

The Santa Stars were inspired by

It’s fairly straightforward but here are the instructions for the Layered Tree

The Felt Presents were dead easy.

Happy Christmas and all the best in 2011!