by Krista In 2007 I gave birth to my first born, which was the same year that I bought my first BlackBerry smartphone. Little did I know that my BlackBerry would become my superhero when stuck in difficult situations with my kids. Not many parents would hand over their smartphone to their babies or toddlers but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. I quickly learned that with close supervison I had no worries in handing my smartphone over to my toddler while he sat on my lap in the doctor's office or sitting in the grocery cart while waiting in a long lineup.
My first introduction to the concept of kids apps was when a friend of mine started his own BlackBerry app company called Zeebu Mobile. The founder, Anthony Rizk, is a longtime BlackBerry developer, who wrote the book on BlackBerry development. He literally wrote a book about it: (http://www.apress.com/9781430272250). After his first daughter was born, he realized the potential in getting a few moments peace by distracting his little one with his BlackBerry smartphone. I on the other hand was not too sure about handing my beloved smartphone over to a toddler... until that faithful day.
I'll never forget the first time I used my BlackBerry to keep my toddler busy. I found myself in a doctor's office with no toys or distractions for my toddler. So I whipped out my BlackBerry and downloaded my first kids app, BabyGo! This app allows for your child to press the keys or tap the screen (on touch screen devices) and see colourful images, letters and numbers dance across the screen. Do you know the best part of the app? It intercepts the keys so that your little one cannot accidentally send an email or make a phone call while using your smartphone! My BlackBerry came to our rescue that day in the doctor's office and the app became an instant success! My sanity was saved by my BlackBerry!
BabyGo! is a free app but you can also purchase Super BabyGo which has more functionality. I like that you can download expansion packs to keep changing the activities for your toddler such as letters, numbers and animals. The app is supported on BlackBerry, iPads and Android smartphones. The neat thing about Zeebu is that it is an Ottawa company. Yay for local companies! For more information on the apps I mentioned go to http://www.zeebu.com
Would you hand over your smartphone to the willing hands of your child? What would be your age limit?
Krista is mom to four year old Ewan and two year old twins Angus and Lachlan. She met and married the geek in the next cube at her first high tech gig over 10 year ago. She blogs at thetechmom.ca about her high tech life as a mom and wife. She runs a mobile app company called Smarter Apps and can also be found on Twitter as @kristahouse.