7 Recommended iPad apps for 7 year olds

With Summer holidays looming I thought it may be an idea to share a few of our favourite iPad apps.  Finding new apps can be a bit of a minefield.  I’ve lost count of the number of iPad apps we have downloaded and it turns out they were rubbish.

You can’t always trust online reviews but I can assure you that my 7 year old daughter has played with these extensively and goes back to them over and over again. I don’t suggest you dash out and buy them all but do have a look and arm yourself for the holidays.

Chatterpix Kids by Duck Duck Moose

iPad Apps for 7 year olds

I’ve always been a fan of their apps.  I came across this one under my guise as a Computing Consultant in Education.  It has a lot of educational potential but bottom line it’s hilariously good fun.  You can make just about any object, including a piece of toast, talk simply by drawing a straight line and recording your voice.


Crazy Gears by 7 Academy

Apps suitable for a 7 year old

Children explore how mechanisms work (gears, chains, rods and pulleys)  and engage in problem solving to unravel a series of puzzles.


Thinkrolls2 by Avokiddo

iPad Apps for kids - science

I love apps that are fun and educational at the same time.  Thinkrolls2 is a series of logic problems that get progressively harder, you have to get the characters through a maze, whilst learning about force, aerodynamics, buoyancy, electricity and even get a taste of quantum physics.


Simple Machines by Tinybop

Recommended ipad apps for Year 2

Children have the opportunity to explore levers, pulleys, wheels, screws and wedges and learn about physics without even realising it.  This app is a great way to foster a love of Science from a young age.


Barefoot Atlas

Geography apps for kids

This app was created for 9-11 year olds but I think it’s brilliant for slightly younger children as well.  You have a 3D Globe that you can spin around with a swipe of a finger, then zoom in to explore different landmarks and places.  Listen to BBC TV presenter Nick Crane and learn some fascinating facts about different countries.


Shadow Puppet Edu

I have no idea why they call it Shadow Puppet as it’s a bit misleading.   This is an incredibly powerful app and very easy to use, again I came across it in a school.  I downloaded it and within minutes, without any input from me, my daughter was creating animated books, by taking photos of her favourite book and then narrating them herself.  She then moved onto creating a visual presentation on Egypt using the images that come with the app and narrating them herself.  This could make homework projects much more exciting.

Toca Hair Salon2

Fun apps for 7 year olds

We’ve had this app for awhile and my daughter never tires of it, she can cut, curl and colour hair with hilarious results.

Do you have any must have apps that I should have a look at?  If so, leave me a comment below.


My Top 8 TV Series to Watch on Netflix

What TV Series to Watch on Netflix UK?

Netflix UK

As I’ve said before I don’t tend to watch a lot of TV but am really enjoying being able to watch TV series on demand via Netflix.  On occasion, I find myself watching a couple of episodes a night and getting through series fairly quickly.  It really helps me to keep up with any complicated story lines.

In the past, if I was to watch TV, to give you an idea of my taste in TV programmes (or lack of), I would tend to watch things like Six Feet Under, Nip Tuck, 24, the Sopranos, House, The Office and Doc Martin.

So far so good!

We recently finished watching series two of House of Cards, about a scrupulous husband and wife in politics, who will do anything to succeed, starring Kevin Spacey, so you can’t go wrong.  Now we can’t wait for series three to come out.  I honestly, have no idea if there is in fact plans for series three.

We’ve just started watching the first series of Lilyhammer and I love it.  It’s about an ex-mobster, who testifies against one of his previous bosses, then is given a new identity and moves to rural Lillehammer in Norway.  The characters are brilliant and the opportunity for hilarity immense.

What TV Series Should I Watch on Netflix UK

Next on our Watchlist

I’ve been asking around for a few recommendations for when we finish Lilyhammer and after checking out the recommendations descriptions and ratings on IMDB we hope to watch the following.  This should take us through to at least Christmas 2014.

Orange is the New Black – this one was recommended time and time again.  The description on IMDB is very limited.  Apparently, it’s about a 30 year old who gets sent to prison for a crime her girlfriend committed 10 years before but with the number of recommendations I’m going to give it a go.

Breaking Bad – after being diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer and given only 2 years to live the main character turns to a life of crime to ensure that his family are financially secure after he is gone.

Dexter – we have watched a couple of episodes of this and it is truly disturbing.  Dexter, who during the day works for the Miami Police Department, moonlights in the evening as a Serial Killer, but don’t worry he only kills bad people.

The Good Wife – after her husband a politician is put behind bars for a sex and corruption scandal she is left to fend for her two kids so returns to work as a litigator in the courtroom.

Homeland – A Marine Sergeant is rescued after being kept captive in Iraq for 8 years and hailed a war-hero, but Carrie a member of the Counter Terrorism Unit reckons that he may have been turned by Al-Qaeda.

Blacklist –  A former government agent has eluded capture for 10 years but suddenly turns himself in promising to help catch a terrorist but will only work with a young FBI profiler.

There seems to be a theme running through my choices.  What else should we be watching?  Do leave your suggestions in the comments below.








Never thought I’d download a kid’s app like this…..

I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to kids apps and often boast ‘you’ll only find educational apps on my phone/ipad’.  I even have them in folders; Literacy, Numeracy, Big Books, etc.  You won’t find Angry Birds, Ninja Fruit or any farting animals!

However, during the school holidays, I started to look for some new apps that had great reviews and kept coming across one in particular.  After reading the reviews I succumbed and downloaded it (£1.49)…..

It’s from Toca Boca and it’s called……wait for it…..

Hair Salon 2!  It made me squirm!

Recommended Apps for Kids

I have never seen my daughter so taken with an app, she normally gets bored after a while but was engaged with this one for ages and eventually had to take it off her but she keeps going back to it.

Please tell me there must be some educational content:   Exploring the world around you, fine motor skills, creativity????

Am I stretching it?

Note:  Make sure you download the second one as it’s a lot better than the first version.

You can find a list of other Apps we liked here.

My Top 5: Slow Cooker Recipe Books for Christmas

If you’re looking to buy someone a Slow Cooker Recipe Book for Christmas, these are my all time favourite 5.  I have quite a collection of Slow Cooker Recipe books but I always find myself going back to these ones again and again.

Slow Cooker Recipe Books

1)      Ultimate Slow Cooker Book Over 100 simple, delicious recipes by Sara Lewis

2)      200 Slow Cooker Recipes by Sara Lewis

3)      200 More Slow Cooker Recipes by Sara Lewis

You’ll notice the first 3 are by the same author Sara Lewis, I would recommend absolutely any book written by her.  I’ve rarely had a duff recipe and she’s given me the confidence to go beyond Stews!

There is a little overlap between the first two, but if you’re buying a gift the first one is much nicer looking but has half the number of recipes.

4)      DK The Slow Cook Book by Heather Whinney

The reason I love this book is because for each recipe there is a slow cooker method and the traditional method.  So, if I forget to put food on in the morning, there is still time to rustle up dinner.  I also love the fact that it has a Recipe Chooser at the beginning of the book, choose the type of meal Vegetarian, Chicken, Pork etc and it lists, with pictures a selection of meals.

And finally,

5)      Soups for your Slow Cooker by Diana Peacock

We’ve tried quite a few recipes out of this book; Chinese Pork and Noodle, Mixed Fish and Vegetable and Chargrilled Red Pepper and Tomato.  What we found is that many of the recipes are more substantial than soups and are meal in themselves.

Happy Christmas!






Introducing Slow Cooker Sunday! You in?

I know this doesn’t ooze with originality, but as you know I have a ‘thing’ for my slow cooker, I know many of you do to, I use mine at least 3 times a week, last week I used it 5 times!  There seems to be a ‘quiet’ revolution going on.

There is nothing wrong with cooking a stew in the slow cooker, but I’m determined to show people that slow cooking is more than stews and casseroles.  I’ve cooked everything from Thai Curry to Italian Lamb Ambruzzi to a Pork Stirfry .  For a laugh, I once tried to cook pancakes, which wasn’t one of my better ideas!  I’ve even seen someone do a pizza in one????

I spend hours on the net looking for new recipes, but I’d rather try things that are tried and tested.  This is where you come in.

Each Sunday I will post one of my own recipes, most likely bastardized from someone else’s recipe, but I will disclose this.  At the bottom of it there will be a ‘Linky’ where you can share one of your own recipes.  It can be old or new, it doesn’t have to be a full recipe, possibly just a photo of one of your creations, or you could just share one of your favourite slow cooker websites.

Fingers crossed, it will be all fairly simple, but please be patient as this is our first week. Simply, add a short description of the recipe, a link to your blog/url and of course a photo.  If you get stuck or lose the will to live, shout!  I’m always happy to help.

In time, if all goes well, I hope to have themed weeks.  I’m sure I’m not alone but I’m desperate for a few summer ideas!

I do hope you join in and are excited about it as I am.

If you’re on twitter we will be using the hashtag #scsunday

I look forward to seeing you on Sunday!