A Parenting Fail Story About the Seesaw App

A Parenting Fail Story About the Seesaw App

Does your school use the Seesaw app? Here’s a story of parent fail and the awesomeness of this app. If you work for a school district as a teacher or administrator and are not using the Seesaw app, hopefully, this app review will give you some insight from a parent’s perspective on how this app works. 

We have a second grader and kindergartener this year, for reference.

Seesaw App Review

Last year, our son’s teacher mentioned needing to download the Seesaw app at open-house. It was a whirlwind event, we didn’t download the app – life went on. At this year’s open-house, we again were told to download the app. We went home, and guess what we didn’t do? Nope, too many things – as a mom to 4 kids, life gets busy.

Seesaw App ReviewThe next week, I received a nice email from the teacher stating that she sees that we haven’t downloaded the Seesaw app and asked that we download it. OKAY, third time is a charm, right? Actually, I am pretty sure there were several more reminders – as we have TWO kids in elementary school. Needless to say, I gave in and downloaded the Seesaw app and the rest of this post is a love story for the app and a bad parenting story. 

school artClassroom App

Seesaw is a classroom app that acts like a social network connecting you to your kids class, teacher and work. Here is where I tell you about the parent fail. So, I mentioned we finally installed the app. Well, where we logged in I was smacked in the face with why I should have downloaded the app the school year before. 

Seesaw app sharing class photos

Watching the eclipse!

In the app is a timeline of your child’s schoolwork. Not only that, there are photos and videos of my kid talking and reading to ME. And again, not just ONE KID – BOTH KIDS. The Seesaw app, thankfully stores all of your kid’s posting history, so I was able to view the previous year’s school work. 

Teacher Communication

Our kids’ teachers use Seesaw as a communication tool. I don’t know about you, but my email is ugly. Finding and keeping up with the teacher communication for all 4 of our kids is a joke. With push notifications, I quickly know what the teacher needs. 

teacher communicationOur second grader’s teacher posts the spelling words each week in the app. This is super helpful as we know where to find the spelling words each week. 

Student-Driven Digital Portfolio

Students are taught (even the Kindergartener) how to use the app. Here is the description from Seesaw:

Here is the description from Seesaw:

Seesaw is a student-driven digital portfolio. Seesaw empowers students of any age to create, reflect, collaborate and share. Invite families to Seesaw to keep them in the loop about their child’s learning, and easily communicate between school and home. 

Used in over 200,000 classrooms, 1 in 4 schools in the US, and over 150 countries! 

As a parent, I can heart a photo or media item, comment – as well message the teacher. 

Don’t Be a Parent Fail!

Don’t be a parent fail, like us! If your kid’s school encourages the use of Seesaw, download it! 

Download the App

Read more app reviews from Digital Mom Blog!

Learn How to Type Guide – Typing Apps, Speeds Tests, Games and More!

Learn How to Type Guide – Typing Apps, Speeds Tests, Games and More!

Learn how to type guide – let’s look at various typing resources to learn the best ways to teach typing and increase you or your child’s WPM! (words per minute)

Learn How to Type Guide

GUIDE TO LEARN HOW TO TYPETyping is now something kids and adults are just suppose to know how to do. While previously typing was a class where everyone sat behind an old school type writer and learned the asdf jkl;. While typing has gone to the way side for keyboarding, keyboarding is not a required class in many schools. Also, not all adults know how to type quickly. Let’s look at resources to help those who want to learn how to type increase their words per minute. We’ve compiled numerous resources to help you find the best way for you to learn how to type in the manner that works best for you. 

Typing Apps

Online Typing Classes

Typing Software

Speed Tests

Online Typing Games

Typing Apps

Typing Apps to Teach how to typeThere is an app for everything, including learning how to type. Here’s a list of free typing apps:

iOS Typing Apps

Tap Typing Trainer

Master typing on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch with the Tap Typing Trainer typing app for iOS.  This free app features a speed test and sample of all lessons. You can purchase full typing lessons with an in-app purchase. From beginner to pro, this app serves all levels of typists.  

Download App

Ghost Type

Ghost Type app is the  only typing tutor that allows you to create your own lessons with your content to suit your child or students With built-in lessons for beginner to advanced, this app offers parents and teachers a great platform to teach typing.  

Ghost Type iOS Typing App offers QWERTZ, AZERTY and Dvorak keyboards.

Download App

Keyboarding Without Tears

We are HUGE fans of the Handwriting Without Tears app so we were excited to see that the same company offers an iOS app specifically to teach keyboarding. The Keyboarding Without Tears app offers effective game play to learn typing for ages K-5th grade. 

Download App

Android Typing Apps

Learn to Type

From sitting posture, home row position and finger motions – the Learn to Type Android app shows you keyboarding tipes and more.  Thru online speed test, ten-key test, and free typing lessons – this app will help your K-12 student learn the best practices in typing.

Download App

Typing Master

Using your keyboard, this game helps you improve your typing speed by competing against others. Competition can motivate!  There are practice session for practicing and self-evaluation or go full-on and start competing in the Typing Master Android typing app. 

Download App

Learn Typing

Looking to improve your typing skills? This app features exercises to practice typing on a computer keyboard or classic typing machine. 

Download App

Online Typing Classes


Let’s look at various online typing classes. Learn to type from any computer with these courses.

Typing Club

Typing Club guides you from the basics on with interactive lessons teaching you to type. It’s free and a great resource for early typers!

typingclub.com

Typing.com

If you are a teacher looking for online typing courses, check out typing.com. Typing.com is free, offering unlimited classes for both individuals and students. You can pay a small fee to have advertising removed. 

typing.com

Learn to Type Software


Here is a list of learn to type software if you are wanting to learn via a software program. 

Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing

Anyone who grew up in school during the 90’s, most likely knows of Mavis Beacon. Mavis taught many of us how to type – and guess what, she is still around with even more resources. 

Side note: There is no Mavis Beacon. Nope, Mavis was a made up character. Sorry to be the one to have to break it to you!

Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing Version 18 is available on Amazon

Typing Master

Typing Master is available for Windows 10. If you are looking for a free version, they offer one – but it is limited in functionality. 

typingmaster.com

Speed Tests


Speed Tests - how fast do you typeWant to know how fast exactly you type? Here is a list of websites that offer free typing test. Leave your WPM in the comments!

Online Typing Games


Typing games for KidsLooking to get kids engaged while learning how to type? Try these online typing games. Kids love games and even better when they learn while they are playing. 

Typing Games Zone

Typing Games Zone offers over 20 typing games for your kids to play. From Alien Typing Wars to Typing Galaxy, there is a different type of game that surely your kids will find one to love to play.

typinggames.zone

Type Racer

Type racer is an online typing game that lets your “race” others by typing. 

play.typeracer.com

Typing.com

Typing.com offers 9 free online typing games for you or your kids to play. Our favorite is Type-A-Balloon!

typing.com/typinggames

There you have it, our online guide to typing. Everything you want to know about learning how to type, typing apps, speeds test, typing games and more. Have a resource we missed? Leave it in the comments!

A $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway AND An App To Help You Juggle All The Things!

A $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway AND An App To Help You Juggle All The Things!

This is a sponsored message from Allstate.

Busy parents need all the help they can get, especially as we head back to school! Our friends at Allstate get that need. Allstate has developed an app to help us juggle everything required of us parents. Busy day, a million places to go and don’t know where to start? There’s an app for that – introducing the QuickTrip app from Allstate. 

Let’s go thru the app, see what this can do to help keep our busy lives sane and BONUS – we have a giveaway! We’ve partnered with Allstate in a giveaway and are offering a $100 Visa Gift Card to a Digital Mom Blog reader! Keep reading, you don’t want too miss this or how this app can help juggle your day-to-day! 

QuickTrip App Review

Let’s get to know the QuickTrip app from Allstate Insurance. First thing to know, this is a free app that is for everyone to use. You are not required to be an Allstate Insurance customer to utilize this app! Its purpose is to help you tackle everything you need to do during the day by optimizing your to-do list, giving you a smarter more efficient route to your destinations, reminding you when it’s time for a tune-up and keeping you notified of any recalls for your vehicle. QuickTrip is the route planner that can help you save time with multi-stop routes. 

to do appJuggle All The Things With This App!

We don’t know about you, but with back to school – our to-do lists are a mile long. Do this, do that, you have this appointment here, but don’t forget to pick groceries there. We’ve all been there, right? Good news! Allstate’s QuickTrip app is here to help you optimize that to do list in an easy concise way. It works with your calendar, allows you to input your tasks and acts as an advisor as to what you should do when by optimizing you to do-list and your route! Let’s look at how this works.

Quicktrip App To Do List and Route OptimizerFirst, you have to download the app! It’s free! 

After you have your QuickTrip app installed, here is how to utilize:

Choose which calendars you would like to sync. The app will take any existing activities from your calendar and add them to your daily route!

Next, add in any additional plans that aren’t in your calendar with their location. I typically go a step further and put in how long the task will take me as well. This isn’t required, but does help with optimizing!

Next, you will hit Optimize Route. This is where the magic happens. The QuickTrip app takes in all of your data, events, appointments and to-do’s and finds what the best route is for you, along with what you should do when! So should you go pick up paint first or drop off that package at the post office? Let the app tell you! 

Up-To-Date Car Recall Information

Another feature that is super valuable is the car recall feature. When a car has a recall, it is essential to get the problem fixed. Car recalls happen.  Typically the cost of a car recall is covered by your vehicle’s manufacturer, but you have to know about the recall first! 

QuickTrip App - Recall Notifications

Good news! The QuickTrip app by Allstate Insurance makes it super easy to learn if your car is under a recall. From the top menu, select My Vehicles. You scan your VIN (or manually input it) and the app will give you personalized maintenance reminders. Then simply add those car maintenance tasks to your route. 

Feature Overview

Here is a list of general features you will find within the QuickTrip app. 

 

  • Get multi-stop routes—view all your stops for the day in a single map overview.
  • Sync your calendars for a simple, complete overview of all your daily tasks.
  • Add additional tasks or errands, so everything on your to-do list gets done.
  • Give each task a name, location and timeframe in which it needs to be completed and QuickTrip takes it from there. 
  • Save time with the smartest order for your tasks and the most efficient route.
  • Scan your car’s VIN to get personalized maintenance reminders and recall alerts. 

There you have it. Give the Allstate QuickTrip app a download and start optimizing your to-do and multi-route schedules in no time! 

$100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway

As mentioned, our friends at Allstate in addition to wanting you to know about the QuickTrip app – have partnered with Digital Mom Blog to offer a giveaway of $100 Visa gift card, perfect for filling your tank with gas or any other needs as your run errands!

CONGRATS TO AMBER H. FROM KY!

 

This has been a sponsored post on behalf of Allstate. All thoughts and opinions are that of Digital Mom This post was written as part of the Allstate Influencer Program and sponsored by Allstate. All opinions are mine. As the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, Allstate is dedicated not only to protecting what matters most–but to guiding people to live the Good Life, every day.

Handwriting Without Tears App – Wet Dry Try

Handwriting Without Tears App – Wet Dry Try

Handwriting Without Tears app has been a huge help in our house. Our 2 littles just don’t quite get the wonderful penmanship of that their mother has (I have the worse handwriting.) If your child needs help in the hand writing department, look no further – we have a solution! 

Handwriting Without Tears App

Teach handwriting with this app!

Wet Dry Try Handwriting Without Tears App

Handwriting Without Tears is a program you maybe familiar with if you have worked with a school, tutor or occupational therapist with your kid and hand writing. We had used the program thru our OT a few years ago. She had recommended that we download the Wet Dry Try Handing Writing Without Tears app to continue our son’s progress at home. 

The Handwriting Without Tears app that we use is called: Handwriting Without Tears: Wet-Dry-Try for Capitals, Numbers & Lowercase and can be found here (in case you are scouring the app store for which one to buy.)  It works with your child on teaching the correct way to write their capitals, lowercase and numbers. 

I should note – currently, Wet Dry Try app is only available for iOS. It does work amazing on the iPad since it’s similar in size to that of a piece of paper. 

Teaching Handwriting With an App

One of my favorite things about the Handwriting Without Tears app is the positive encouragement given thru-out the app. For the demo, I played quite a bit with the app and felt like I was getting a pat on the back every time I wrote my 8 the correct way!

Funny thing, as I was going thru this – I quickly learned that I draw my letters and numbers TOTALLY wrong. As mentioned, my penmanship sucks so this could be of benefit to anyone who wants help with learning the correct way to form your letters and numbers. 

Parent Tip

Just a tip when starting the learning process on this app. When you go to the letters (either capital or lowercase) or the numbers, choose the HWT ORDER button.

Order to learn handwritingThis is the Handwriting Without Tears suggested order for learning. This will teach your kids in a different order than the standard A-B-C or 1-2-3 order. This is the easiest order for your kids to learn!

About the Wet-Dry-Try App

The Wet-Dry-Try app is $4.99 – but in my opinion worth it. Here is more about the app from the developer:

Make handwriting practice fun! With Wet-Dry-Try, children learn and practice correct formation habits for writing capitals, numbers, and lowercase letters. The app simulates our Slate Chalkboard and Blackboard with Double Lines and helps children learn handwriting skills in the easiest, most efficient way. The result truly is handwriting without tears! 

Practice and Learn Hand Writing on the iPad

Here are the Handwriting Without Tears app features. Not only did our OT recommend this app, but so did our kids’ Kindergarten and First Grade teachers. 

  • A proven multi-sensory approach teaches children to write letters and numbers with correct habits and without reversals. 
  • Children can practice letters in any order they choose, or follow the HWT Order, which presents the letters in the proven Handwriting Without Tears® developmental teaching order. 
  • A personal coach helps children with friendly audio cues to learn formation steps and fix mistakes. 
  • Student-created avatars let children personalize their learning, and help them easily identify their accounts.
  • Each letter has three levels of difficulty that build skills progressively. Master a level and win a star. Earn three stars and win a letter card. Collect them all to win the grand prize! 
  • The two options for sensitivity allow parents and educators to adjust the writing tolerance depending on each student’s needs. 
  • The smiley face and Slate Chalkboard frame promotes good handwriting and reading habits for capitals and numbers. 
  • Lefty-friendly setting lets you adapt horizontal cross-strokes to make their handwriting easier.
  • The double lines, modeled after our Blackboard with Double Lines, make it easy to understand where lowercase letters start and end.

Classroom Usage

If you are a teacher or educator needing classroom usage with the app, purchase the Handwriting Without Tears Classroom edition. This will allow you a classroom license, enabling multiple students will be able to create a profile and save their handwriting progress. 

Download the App

Handwriting Without Tears Products

If you are looking for additional handwriting support, outside of an app – check out these Handwriting Without Tears products. These are used in our kids classroom and at OT and can provide great additional help when your littles need assistance with writing. 

 Handwriting Without Tears SAS Slide Stamp and See Screen, 4 Handwriting Without Tears HWT SLT Slate Manipulative Handwriting Without Tears Letters and Numbers Kindergarten Handwriting Without Tears – Get Set For School – My First School Book – Pre-K Activity Book Handwriting Without Tears – Get Set For School – My First School Book – Pre-K Activity Book Can-Do Cursive, Handwriting Without Tears: Cursive for the Older Student Grades 5 and up Handwriting Without Tears Pencils for Little Hands,4 inches Handwriting Without Tears DAW Double Line Wide Draw and Write Notebook Handwriting Without Tears FC Flip Crayon Set, Multiple Color (Pack of 206) Handwriting Without Tears Printing Power Plus (Printing Power + Kick Start Cursive) Cursive Success Grade 4 (Handwriting Without Tears 2013) Letters and Numbers for Me Grade K Handwriting Without Tears Block Paper – 8 1/2 x 11 inches – Set of 104 Sheets – Gray Handwriting Without Tears My Printing Book – Grade 1 Handwriting Without Tears Printing Power Grade 2 (2013) Handwriting Without Tears 1st Grade Printing Teacher’s Guide Handwriting Without Tears WN Double Line Regular Writing Notebook, 0.2 The Pencil Grip Original Universal Ergonomic Writing Aid for Righties and Lefties, 6 Count, Assorted Colors (TPG-11106) Handwriting Without Tears – Wood Pieces Set for Capital Letters Handwriting Without Tears Pre-Writing Roll-A-Dough Letters and Numbers Set, 4 X 6 in, Plastic Handwriting Without Tears BB Blackboard with Double Lines, 10

 

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Toca Boca Hair Salon 3 App Review for Parents – Hair Salon App For Kids

Toca Boca Hair Salon 3 App Review for Parents – Hair Salon App For Kids

Toca Boca Hair Salon 3 app is one of the top apps on the Apple app store. We decided to give this hair salon app for kids a play to see what all the fuss is about.

toca boca hair salon 3 App Review for Kids and ParentsToca Boca Hair Salon 3 App Review

We have some more app reviews coming up and decided the best way to handle the kid apps is to let our kids play them, we’ll review and give our review from a parenting perspective. I know what it’s like when your kid is screaming and all you want them to do is sit in the doctor’s office and play on the iPad for 10 minutes so that you can talk to the doctor. Been there done that. Let’s review the Toca Boca Hair Salon 3 app.

First things first: Toca Boca Hair Salon 3 app is $2.99. Is it worth it? I thought so, keep reading to learn more about what we loved and what are scared of!

What’s This Hair Salon App All About?

The Toca Hair Salon 3 app let’s your kid become a hair stylist. I should say this app isn’t just for kids. I did get lost for uhm, more time that I care to admit playing around with all the features and making awesome hair creations.  Here is what Toca Boca says about this app:

Welcome to Toca Hair Salon 3! Our most popular app series returns, better than ever! What do you feel like creating today — something quirky, pretty or edgy? Choose your character from dozens of looks that you can customize — characters have randomized styles and personalities, which creates endless play opportunities! Grab your tools and get styling!

What Can You Do in This App?

This app allows kids to play hair salon. Choose a hair client from an array of option. You can cut, add hair, shave, add facial hair, color hair, add accessories, take photos, shampoo, blow dry, towel dry and more! 

hair salon app for kidsWhat I do love about this app, it shows an array of people and hair types. From straight hair to kinky hair, this hair app shows them all. 

Toca Boca Hair Salon 3 App Features

Toca Boca Hair Salon 3 app is the THIRD app in the Toca Boca hair salon series. That’s right, there is a version 1 and version 2. Here are some updates and why you might want to consider downloading this app for your child. 

  • All-new characters with dozens of starter styles
  • Straight, wavy, curly and now kinky hair! 
  • All the tools you need to create the style you want!
  • New braiding tool!
  • Every character can grow a beard to style
  • More advanced hair color tool: Dip-dye and fade hair in any colors you want!
  • Change clothes on characters!
  • Dozens of new accessories: hats, glasses, jewelry and more
  • Change backdrops in the photo booth!
  • Snap a picture in the app and share with your friends!
  • Gender-neutral aesthetic: Unlike most hairstyling apps, all kids are welcome to play!
  • No time limit or high scores — play for as long as you like!
  • No third-party advertising

About Toca Boca

I see the Toca Boca brand quite a bit on my kids’ devices. I really like what they stay for, this is how they describe their company:

Toca Boca is an award winning game studio that makes digital toys for kids. We think playing and having fun is the best way to learn about the world. Therefore we make digital toys and games that help stimulate the imagination, and that you can play together with your kids. Best of all – we do it in a safe way without third-party advertising or in-app purchases.

Parent’s Review of Toca Hair Salon 3 App

So what does this parent thing of Toca Hair Salon 3 app? I think it’s adorable. My ONE and only worry about this app is that my curious boys will have so much fun playing this on the iPad that they too will want to cut their own hair (or each others!) or give each other a shave in real life. It’s been a while since we’ve had a kid give themselves a hair cut, I really don’t want to have to go thru that again.

If you are looking for an educational app – this isn’t it. Hair Salon 3 app isn’t an educational app in the traditional aspect.

Other than that – LOVED IT. 

  • Kid Friendly
  • Parent Friendly
  • Fun and Entertaining
  • Kept Kids Entertained

Download the App

General Screen Time Talk

Kids Screen TimeI have no problem with giving kids screens, but like all things we make sure there is balance in our kids’ lives.  Interested in learning more about our rules? One thing we stick to is the No Screens in the Bedroom rule and Screen Free Sunday

If you downloaded the Toca Hair Salon 3 app, leave a comment. I would love to know what you think!