apps Archives - A Crafty Spoonful

What Is Pokémon Go?

What Is Pokémon Go

The entire Internet, nay the entire world, seems to be buzzing about this whole Pokémon Go thing. You probably remember Pokémon as being a card game that little kids played back in the late 90’s, which accompanied a Saturday morning cartoon of the same name. So why are adults and children alike hooked on this mobile version today… and what exactly is it?

For starters, Pokémon Go is a free mobile app. While you can use real money to buy in-game currency, you don’t have to, and the game is actually more fun if you have to use your time and energy to get further in the game (because it means you physically have to go out into the world and interact with other people to advance). I explained it to my son this way, “If you want to just sit at home and pay . money to get coins to purchase things instead of go out and find these items on your own, you’re better of playing something else. Pokémon Go isn’t for you.”

Pokemon Go map

 

How Does It Work? 

The game uses your phone’s GPS for your real-world location, drops an avatar of yourself onto a map of your area, and then shows you where to go to catch Pokémon (or “pocket monsters”). You then have to physically go to the location in order to “catch” the Pokémon. 

Your collection of little monsters is stored away in a Pokédex, where you can break them out later at your local “gym” to battle them against other, real-live people’s collections. (The players are referred to as trainers, by the way. You’ll have access to gyms, where you can battle other trainers using your collection of Pokémon, onceyou get to level five in the game. 

Time to geek out: Each Pokémon has a “CP” designation, or combat power designation. The higher the CP, the stronger it will be in battle.

When you see blue diamond markers on your map, it means a Pokéstop is nearby. These are places where you can interact with other trainers or pick up other items important to your game. When you find a blue Pokéstop close by, you can spin the center medal to reveal Pokéballs, eggs, potions and more. 

Pikachu Caught in Pokemon Go

How To Get Started

If you want to give it a try, download the app. Once you open it, you’ll be prompted to sign up with either your Google account or a Pokémon Trainer Club account. You’ll get a brief how-to tutorial before three Pokémon pop up on your map. Swipe your finger across the screen to throw a Pokéball at one of them (which captures the creature). Practice makes perfect! After this, you’ll be able to explore the app. Look for blowing leaves, which mean there are hidden Pokémon nearby. 

FYI: Highly populated areas tend to have more Pokémon and Pokéstops. 

PokemonWarning

What To Look Out For

A few warnings: The app itself warns users to be aware of their surroundings when playing the game. There are a few obvious dangers, such as paying so much attention to your phone that you walk into oncoming traffic, but there are also more troublesome crimes being reported, blaming the app. Some people have been lured into unsafe areas and robbed, with the hope that Pokémon would be at the scene of the crime. The best way to avoid criminal activity is to use common sense when playing. Don’t go to unfamiliar, isolated places at 2:00 a.m. for example… On the whole, the game is harmless fun, so don’t be scared.

These isolated incidents aside, Pokémon Go is catching on because it combines gaming, physical activity and making new friends…in the real world! When you look at it this way, it makes sense that everyone’s “gotta catch ‘em all!

Have you downloaded Pokémon Go yet? 

We’ll be sharing tips on playingPokémon Go next so stay tuned! And hopefully on your adventures you don’t get this screen…

Pokemon Go servers down

Back to School Healthy Checklist

As we head back to school, I wanted to share this back to school healthy checklist, sponsored by Kinsa, as a way to keep everyone healthy over the first few weeks back in the classroom.

Back to School Healthy Checklist
I feel as if sickness has been coming through a revolving door this summer. We all get better and then WHAM! something else hits. From colds, to ear aches, and runny noses, our family has been hit with it all. And now that I’m sending the kids back to school next week, I need to make sure I’m doing everything I can to stop the cycle in this house.

We’ve been working on trying to keep our home sickness free and I’ve come up with a checklist for the kids so that they’re reminded of what to do to stay relatively healthy. Since the first weeks of school mean exposure to a whole new lot of kids, an a whir of germs, we want to be in tip top shape when we return. And that doesn’t just mean staving off illness, it also means doing routine check ups that may help prevent illness.

Back to School Healthy Checklist - what to do

Back to School Healthy Checklist

  • Wash, wash, wash your hands! Keep reminding your kids to wash their hands frequently throughout the day. I have my kids hum happy birthday two times when they’re washing (similar to how they brush their teeth) so that they wash long enough. Make sure your child’s immunizations are up-to-date. I’ve found that a lot of classrooms have hand sanitizer that they use but since my daughter has eczema, hand sanitizer burns her. 
  • Medications and Allergies need to be mentioned to your child’s school. If medications are needed during the day, make sure the school has what they need (with prescription/note from doctor if needed) and that they know of any allergies or conditions that your child may have. We had to make sure my son’s inhaler was ready to go for the new year! You might also want to mention any allergies to the room mom, if you have one, just in case.
  • Keep emergency contacts up to date! Make sure that the school has the correct emergency contact information for your child. A contact may have moved or changed phone numbers over the summer.
  • The most important meal of the day! Plan to give your child a delicous and healthy breakfast before leaving in the morning, such as oatmeal (made in a rice cooker!), smoothies, yogurt with fruit or scrambled eggs.  This will provide much-needed energy for the day. A great make-ahead option for busy mornings are these delicious egg cups!
  • Buy your child a comfortable, ergonomic backpack with thick straps. You don’t want the stress of a large load of books to hurt their shoulders or back. 
  • Make sure that your child’s shoes fit properly so that they get the support and comfort they need for all-day wear. With kids growing so quickly, make sure your child knows that they should speak up if their shoes are getting tight or their feet are hurting. My son grew 1.5 shoe sizes over the summer! Talk about a growth spurt. 
  • Has your child had a vision screening? This will ensure that he/she can see the board in class and will help with writing and reading.
  • Schedule a dental checkup to ensure that your child’s teeth are in good condition to start the new school year.
  • Concerns about hearing or speech? In the first few weeks of school you can bring your concerns to the teacher to see if they observe anything in the classroom. Or have your child’s doctor observe and make recommendations. 

And the #1 way to keep everyone healthy: Keep your child home when they’re sick! Let them rest and recover so that they feel 100% and the illness doesn’t spread. A sick kid won’t be as alert and ready to learn. They’ll be much more comfortable resting at home.

Kinsa Thermometer

But sometimes illness is inevitable. And having the right tools in the medicine cabinet is important. And Kinsa has those tools.  Kinsa has built something truly revolutionary for parents – the first smartphone-enabled thermometer designed for your peace of mind. Kinsa automatically remembers fever, symptoms, medications and notes for each child or family member, and helps you take action when fever and symptoms are cause for concern. Users can also join groups for their child’s school to see the “health weather” of the school and know what symptoms and illnesses are circulating.

And even better? They’re giving back to the community in a huge way. With their new FLUency program, Kinsa is choosing 100 deserving schools this fall and providing all families in each school with free Kinsa stick thermometers ($30 value). To nominate your school email fluency@kinsahealth.com. You can learn more by watching this video here.

 How do you keep the kids healthy during the school year?

Tips to Clear Out The Clutter with Close5

This post featuring tips to clear out the clutter is sponsored by Close5. All opinions are my own.

Tips to Clear Out The Clutter with Close5

If your house is anything like mine after the holidays then you’ll know why I’m at my wits end trying to get rid of the bomb that exploded Christmas day. While we didn’t go overboard for Christmas, the few things we did bring into the house are just enough to leave our house in a constant state of clutter.

So what’s a 36 week pregnant mom to do? Purge, purge, purge!! 

And with the help of a few tips I have, I’ve been able to do just that. Just in time to try and find out where we’re going to put all of this new baby stuff… [Read more…]

5 Outdoor and Adventure Apps for Kids

5 Outdoor and Adventure Apps for Kids

My kids love being outdoors and exploring. But they also love to have a little screen time when they’re allowed and learn more about the world around them that they can’t yet explore.

I searched for some great apps that would keep them excited about exploring their world.

These 5 outdoor and adventure apps for kids are the perfect way to bring the outdoors to life and further my kids interest in the outdoors. [Read more…]

How to Help Your Preschooler Learn The Alphabet

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How to Help Your Preschooler Learn The Alphabet

One of the biggest things we’re working on right now with our kids is learning the alphabet. From their curriculum at preschool to what is done at home, we’re always thinking of how to help your preschooler learn the alphabet.

Since my son is entering kindergarten in the Fall I want to make sure that he has every opportunity to explore the alphabet and get a head start on what he’ll be learning in the classroom.

I also need to make sure I’m making it fun for him too. Because if he isn’t interested, he isn’t going to participate at all!  [Read more…]

10 Best iPad Apps for Preschoolers

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10 best ipad apps for preschoolers

When my husband got his iPad for Christmas last year he had no idea that it would soon be commandeered by our two children. So this year when thinking of things to ask for from Santa, he thought it’d be awesome if Santa just brought the kids their own iPad mini. Problem solved!

Since the kids opened up their new iPad I’ve been on the hunt for great apps to load for them. Here is a list of the 10 best iPad apps for preschoolers that we’ve found and enjoyed over the past few weeks!

You’ll notice that quite a few of them are from PBS Kids. Since my kids love their programming, they also are much more interested in apps that include their favorite show’s characters. Plus, quite a few PBS Kids apps are free or low cost! And you can always catch up on your PBS Kids shows by downloading the PBS Kids app. [Read more…]

My Favorite Thing: Thumbs Up Wine Finder App

Thumbs Up Wine Finder App My Favorite Thing

Oh wine! Glorious wine! You are always center stage at any mom’s night in I host and the mamas are always appreciative. Especially when I host the My Favorite Things mom’s night in event I have every few months.

And this month, front and center, was wine. Because my favorite thing this month is the awesome wine app that helps you shop for wine whether you’re at home or in the store! The Thumbs Up Wine Finder app is pretty darn awesome and I was so excited when I chatted with the folks behind the app to find that they wanted to gift a few app codes to my guests as my favorite thing.

An added bonus? They sent us wine to enjoy at the party!  [Read more…]

Fun and Educational Apps for Kids from PBS Kids

Educational Apps for Kids

With both of my kids attending an in-home preschool I’ve found that I’m looking for ways to motivate them to learn through play. And since they’re starting to love playing games on their father’s iPad I’m always in search of great apps that are both fun and educational.

Luckily PBS Kids has a wide selection of apps for kids of all ages that range in a number of topics. From math, to music, to language, the PBS Kids apps are my go-to apps for learning fun with the kids.

Here are a few we recently downloaded thanks to PBS Kids and are loving: [Read more…]

Free PBS Kids Apps for Preschoolers and School-agers

Free PBS Kids Apps

Was one of your resolutions for 2013 to get your mobile app library in order? Or better yet, to focus on finding better quality apps? In a recent survey of parents of kids 2-10, parents reported that the number one factor for selecting an app was the educational quality.

To help parents and kids start the 2013 year off right, PBS KIDS has compiled a list of some of the best FREE and educational apps available to kids. Not only are they learning tools, but they are also fun, engaging and feature some of their favorite PBS KIDS characters. Here’s a look at what should be in everyone’s 2013 App Library….

Free PBS Kids Apps for Preschoolers and School-agers

[Read more…]

5 Free Apps for Weight Loss Motivation

5 Free Apps for Weight Loss Motivation

With the craziness that is my life I rely on technology to get me through the day. Whether that’s scheduling doctors appointments, keeping in contact with my friends and family, or staying motivated to lose weight. In order to continue leading a healthy lifestyle I’ve relied heavily on a few great apps to get me through the day and stay on track with my weight loss plan.

These 5 apps are not only easy to access if you have a smartphone, they’re also free! And you might have already downloaded them to your smartphone and didn’t even know it. So head over to your app store and check these out if you’re looking for great motivation to get in shape and stay healthy.

[Read more…]



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