Protect with Speck

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Just in time for Father’s Day, Speck Products has some options to protect your guy’s mobile devices while on the go.

As a stay-at-home dad, Greg typically keeps his iPad Mini handy for the meltdown moments that might happen while out and about with Evan and Ari. And let’s be for real – he likes to have it for trips, too. While I love the man, he’s dropped his share of devices (hence why he didn’t have a smartphone until recent). (And he is not alone…more on that below.)

When I was asked to check out Speck’s products for iPads, I knew Greg would love the DuraFolio which is available for the iPad Air and mini. It provides military grade protection and doesn’t add the bulk. So, while I don’t want him dropping his iPad, I know if he does, it’s safe. The fact that it is a slim case (almost like a wrap!) means that it won’t take up much more space than it would out of the box. We’ve both enjoyed the built-in stand, too. With this kick-stand style stand, we’ve been able to prop the iPad up on the kitchen counter and keep tabs on the baseball games while cooking dinner.

DuraFolio from Speck
Source: Speck Products

If your guy is particular about colors, there are several options including blacks, blues, slates, and reds. (Moms, there is even a pink one for you.) We got the “Deep Sea” (shown above) and it’s a perfect fit with my summer bag patterns…and my Galaxy case (which you can see if you click here then click “Caribbean Blue / Deep Sea Blue”). (Even moms like me have a habit of dropping phones!) *wink*

Luckily, the only features we’ve been able to really, truly test are the fit and the stand – no dropping so far! I trust that this case will keep Greg’s iPad Mini nice and safe. 

The DuraFolio is available for iPad Air for $69.95 and iPad mini for $59.95 at  speckproducts.com.

If a day to day case isn’t quite what you are looking for and you want to give the dad in your life a tool to help keep the kids busy in the backseat, consider the ShowFolio. This is Speck’s first in-car folio case. “It frees the user to take their iPad more places and provides multiple benefits due to the seamless shift in functionality from in-car viewing mount to folio.”

ShowFolio Speck
Source: Speck Products

The ShowFolio is available at Target and speck speckproducts.com in two colors for $69.95.

And for the techie in your life that doesn’t have an iPad? Speck Products has plenty of tools to keep your technologies protected. Bonuses? Free Shipping. One Year Warranty. Super engaged social communities (trust me – they tweeted me and engaged on Instagram!). Go check them out at http://www.speckproducts.com/ today!

 

Tech Tuesday: Doc McStuffins: Moving with Doc

Disclosure: I received the app below in exchange for a review. All opinions, as always, are 100% my own.

Get healthy isn’t just something I’ve been working on. The kids (and Greg) are in it with me, too. When I was asked to have the kids give the Disney/iTunes App Doc McStuffins: Moving with Doc a try, I knew it was something they’d love.

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Arianna played it for a solid day without sound. I didn’t take the time to go into the app and see what was up because she wouldn’t give up the iPad. When I finally got to look at it, I tried a few things I thought I knew would work. When they didn’t, I found the app on iTunes and went to the support link. It was very helpful:

Source: Disney FAQ http://disneystorytime.com/customer-service/
Source: Disney FAQ http://disneystorytime.com/customer-service/

Oops! Even tech-moms can learn a few new tricks every now and again. (This boggled me because other apps were playing sounds!)

She showed me the “Compete” game where she had to have the Hallie run and jump to pop bubbles (she could have picked Lambie or Stuffie, too).

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Next up was “Train” where she was able to stretch with Doc (but I got in the way with the kid restrictions and had the camera turned off). It was okay by her, and she even came up with a way to hold the iPad in a kitchen chair and her to do her thing. By stretching, she’s earning stickers in a health chart!

There’s even a game area to grab good for you foods. When Evan tried to grab a chocolate bar, Arianna screamed, “SUGAR ISN’T GOOD FOR YOU IF YOU ARE TRAINING, BUB!”

Source: iTunes

Here’s some more info about this app:

In Moving with Doc, kids can practice healthy habits and explore the importance of exercise through engaging activities featuring Doc McStuffins and her friends. Discover the basics of eating right in exciting games and activities, and even compete in the Backyard Games! Additional features include:

  • Use the in-app camera to stretch with Doc

  • Keep track of healthy habits with the Healthy Me Chart

  • Discover new ways to be healthy and fit with fun activities

  • Offline tips, recipes, and more help grown-ups reinforce healthy habits

Doc McStuffins: Moving With Doc is available on iTunes for $4.99.

Disney Princess Palace Pets

Disclaimer: I was asked to write a review of the app Disney Princess Palace Pets. All opinions are 100% my own.

We have a few new pets in our house today thanks to “Disney Princess Palace Pets”, a free app available in the iTunes App Store.

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At present, Arianna is cutting the hair Ariel’s pet “Treasure” because “it’s getting too big”. Earlier, she and Evan just could not get enough of the sweet stories of how they met the Princesses.

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These kids really love taking care of pets, and the bonus is that these ones belong to their favorite Disney Princesses. Unrelated? I swear Arianna has other clothes. She just loves to be in her jammies all.the.time. 

Here are the details I was sent from Disney:

As any animal lover knows, pets need TLC.  With the special styling section of the app, kids can pamper, groom and style the Palace Pets with brushes, bows, tiaras, and more. Kids can also save and share photos of the Palace Pets with the app’s photo-saving tool.

App features include:

  • Intricate artwork and fun animation
  • Interactive salon includes washing, brushing, treat, and accessories stations
  • Professional narration, character voices and charming music
  • Royal Gallery featuring all styled pets

Now available in toy stores is a new toy line including figures, plush, play sets and more. Children can collect, nurture and pamper the Palace Pets in real life, too. Disney Princess Palace Pets is available in the App Store for free.

I’ve been granted back a solid hour of silence simply from this app. Thanks for the heads up, Disney (and a pay it forward “you’re welcome” to you).

Tech Tuesday: Speakaboos

Today’s Tech Tuesday post is about an app our kids have quickly fallen in love with, Speakaboos! A few weeks ago, I shared my love of it on Life With Levi and thought you’d all enjoy reading about it here, too.

Disclaimer: The following post includes a review of a product that I received in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Although my kids are not going to Kindergarten this year, it’s never too early to get ready. (August is National Kindergarten Readiness Month, by the way.) Our family is getting ready by integrating as many learning opportunities into the day as we can. Speakaboos has been our nighttime go-to for the past few weeks.

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The Speakaboos application works on most digital devices (I say most because I couldn’t download the app to my Blackberry) and is full of interactive stories, songs, and videos. With multiple reading modes, my kids can read the stories (once they learn) or have them read to them. This is what we’ve been doing for bedtime. (Mom and Dad are taking it easy, shh.)

When you purchase a subscription to Speakaboos, your children will have access to over 150 stories sorted by themes. Our kids love the Animals and Princess themes best, so far.

Speakaboos
Source: Speakaboos

The pages actually flip like a book, which is pretty fun. (Sound included.) Once a theme is selected, there are many choices within the theme. By the way, the ones shown above are not all the themes, just a selection. Classic stories as well as some new ones are included, too.

My kids have been captivated by the songs, too. Every night has ended with a rousing round of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”.

If you want to check them out before you buy, you can get a free trial in the app that allows you to read three stories:

The Speakaboos app is free to download in the App Store and comes with three free stories that users can keep forever.  Families can subscribe for as little as $4.99 per month or annually for $49.99 giving them access anywhere, anytime and on any device to the full Speakaboos library.  Android and iPhone applications will be released in upcoming months.

Just make sure your kid understands that in the free trial if you click a story or song you didn’t mean to, it’s “too bad, so sad”. Arianna learned this the hard way as she selected a short song none of us knew. Drama ensued. 

For our family, we look forward to plugging the app onto the devices our kids use for traveling and popping in some headphones for a peaceful roadtrip. With the subscription, they’ll have unlimited access and we won’t have to worry about them making an in-app purchase or crying because they don’t have a certain story. Yes, this happens. Once you have a login/subscription, you can use it on any of your devices which is a good thing for families with kids who don’t agree.

My kids love begging for the iPad so they can get their Speakaboos fix in, day and night. Yours will most likely agree. (By the way, as I am writing this, Evan jumped on my lap, saw the screenshot and begged for the iPad. He and Arianna are listening over and over to a story in Spanish. You never know what they might pick up from this!)

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Update since posting on Life With Levi: The kids love picking out one, two, or three stories before bed followed by one or two songs. As of late, one song must be “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” (wonder why? ::wink::). I’ve re-learned songs and stories I totally forgot about, like “Six Little Ducks” and “Beauty and the Beast”. Thanks to Speakaboos, my kids have an app that fills the gap that this busy mom’s brain has neglected. Thank you, Speakaboos!

And now for the official info on Speakaboos:

Speakaboos is an award-winning subscription service that delivers educational, entertaining, interactive picture books to children 2 – 6 years old. Speakaboos features one of the largest catalogs of children’s interactive picture books developed in partnership with leading publishers such as The Jim Henson Company, ABRAMS, DK, Orca and Charlesbridge. Speakaboos is enjoyed on computers, tablets, and mobile devices and is used by thousands of students in hundreds of homes, classrooms and libraries worldwide. Speakaboos educational value has been recognized by the American Library Association, Education World, the Aspen Institute and O’Reilly Media. For more information, please visit www.speakaboos.com