Stuff I Love : KidzByte App

Ms. S  or the elder one turned 9 recently. Last few months, I was trying to think of a way to introduce her to news. No, no news channels. She gets KidsAge Magazine at home,  but that hasn’t been enough to cover the news that happen every single day. Man, the world keeps moving, and so should your knowledge about it.  Then , I considered signing up to some really cool kids newspapers like  curiousowl and one more. However, given the time kid will have in the morning – I wasnt very optimistic she can get anything done.  Oh yes, I could read to her but that time will be spent in getting the younger one ready. So, TV is out.  News papers are out.  So, how else can get her started?

Enter KidzByte app. Its a curated news app for curious minds ( read : younger kids )

kidzbyte

The app has many categories, and all the latest news are promptly updated.  It has a Read to me version and a short video before the text. So, kid is essentially given 3 options to understand the same news item. And the app has built gamification to its best use.  Every article ( short : around  150 to 200 words), has a question with objective type answer format. So, kids now have an incentive to read / listen / view the item. Sometimes, the  question isnt from the article, but definitely answerable by the smart phone assistant readily available on all phones these days.

There are many categories of news, and the information is updated every single day. Almost, all major events in the world and a lot of trivia is added – which adds up over time to the kid’s general knowledge.  There is an overall leaderboard, and every week’s leaderboard.  Each player is given an overall rank, and there are levels the player can reach based on the number of points he/she earns in the game. So, how does one earn points?  By answering the questions right?  How smartly connected 🙂

So, how does the app makers earn money? By giving bonus points and power ups for certain amount of money. Ofcourse, kids want to earn points quickly, and when they are learning something along the way, parents won’t mind spending as well. I’ve recharged twice as of now,  and it keeps the kid really motivated to read more and learn stuff.

There are lot of competitions they conduct on a daily basis, which Saanvi hasn’t participated yet. The next step is to create a gmail account for her,  via Family feature of gmail. Every day morning, now it’s a ritual for the kid to do the app for 10 minutes and collect her share of points for the day. At the same time, get the latest news in the most informative, non intrusive way!

Kudos to the makers of this app, and  this is one of the best apps for kids out there.

Rating – 5/5

Have a good day and keep rocking!

An article everyone should read: Posting Kid’s Pics to Facebook

As part of my casual weekend reading, I turned to http://www.thenewsminute.com late night yesterday and was shocked to read a DISGUSTING article. Don’t believe me, read for yourself:

http://www.thenewsminute.com/article/should-parents-post-pictures-their-children-facebook-paedophiles-lurking-our-midst

What the … ?? Facebook, a platform where people share their personal photos are being targeted in such a vulgar manner. The more I thought, I wanted to QUIT Facebook and every social media platform out there. Better safe than sorry?  Or shall I start treating Facebook as an unknown ocean full of  dangers, and put in only selective things – like a small fish going around afraid of life all the time?

I’m always for technology. I believe technology in essence is not bad, we just find more bad use cases for it than good. So, although one part of me wanted to quit Facebook – the other said: Use some caution. I decided on the second one.

First thing after coffee in the morning is to open Facebook, waste few minutes looking at updates and then go straight to Privacy Settings. I’ve updated as below –

FB_Privacy_Settings

Guys –  Please don’t post your kid’s photos for likes, and social approvals. If needed, post it with strict privacy measures. Keep rocking!!

Dadi Nani ki Kahaniya – hindi stories for kids

Telling kids stories is very interesting. First you tell them a version and then you can be ready to listen as many version they create every single day. But, in this fast paced life – where do we get enough stories to tell? I found this, while wandering around in itunes. Here is the website link:

http://dadinani.podbean.com/

You can find the podcast in itunes as well. I listened to quite few stories and they are very good. The stories are in hindi and are suitable for kids who can understand complete hindi when spoken by others.

You can actually make your kids listen to a story everyday. And ask them to tell what they understood.

I wish we had something like this in telugu, my mother tongue.

Have a good day and keep rocking!!

Kidihou Childrens Museum Hyderabad Review

kidihouWith a toddler at home, you will always fall short of activities to do and places to visit.  I do google for kids events in hyderabad only to find 2 bhk apartments with playgrounds and a whole lot of playschools. On a particular day determined to find something, I went googling and finally found this gem:  Kidihou.

I took my daughter there, and she had a really good time. It’ s India’s First Childrens museum. What does it mean?

It simply means – there are lot of activities where your kid can do, have fun and learn at the same time.  She did play blocks, shopping, painting, balls and doctor doctor 😀  Upstairs, there are activities for elder kids ( >5 yrs). Being 2 and half, my kid spent most of her time downstairs.

The museum is open from 12 PM to 8 PM on weekdays and 10AM to 8 PM on weekends.  Currently with promotion, you pay Rs. 300 for the kid and Rs. 200 for the adult. So, for a day full of entertainment – it’s still very affordable.

How to go there?

Take a right at Hitech city and tell them to go to Whitefields. The most notable landmark is MEDPLUS.   This is the entire address :

  • Plot no 5 and 6, Sanjeev Enclave, Whitefields Road, Whitefields, Kondapur
  • Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh 500084
The only downfall is – they do not have a pantry yet. So, if you plan to take your kid for the whole day – take her lunch box /snacks with you.

My rating for the place : 10/10.

Have a good day and keep rocking!!

Feedback and its appreciation

Sometimes, it’s hard to see at yourself without a mirror. But, the people around you – they act as your first-hand mirrors : Nothing really escapes their eyes. The past few days, where I was looking after Saanvi –  it was becoming impossible to feed her. I was at the verge of tears when i spent close to 1 hour and all she did was run from here and there. As soon as the food plate shifted to her grandma’s hand , she opened her mouth. I was so tired that i just rushed to my room to have some time for myself. I was tired, frustrated and angry. How can i feed her???

So, the next day – when I woke up as usual to prepare morning tea, I asked my mother in law on why is she so dificuilt to feed, espicially to me. Her answer came to me in an instant – you make her play, her concentration is more on games when she’s with you. Stop playing games with her, and just feed”. I shook my head, and defended as much as I could. We left the conversation after I was adamant that all kids need to play during their lunch time. By today’s lunch time – I was tired of the day’s work and had the gigantic task of feeding her – she staring at me, while i call out for lunch.

I remembered my mother-in-law’s advise and why not – I didn’t have an ounce of patience to run around her today. So, i just kept talking and asking her to run around. I took a stair case and just sat there. It took time, but atleast she was opening her mouth. God, it was such a relief. Evening, i did the same – and it worked. I confirmed that she is normal, and I am at fault.  She is 2 now, and understands who does what. If I can give her the message that mommy comes to feed her, not play during lunch time – my feeding sessions are going to be much better.

Have a good day, and keep rocking!!

A sensible doctor

Today, the weather in gurgaon is SOOO chilly. My DD throwed up so much that, we wanted to take her to a pediatrician on SUNDAY EVENING. All the big hospitals I called up wanted me to come for emergency, n werent sure that doctor will attend ASAP. An idea flashed, n I called JUSTDIAL (08888888888) n asked for pediatricians in gurgaon who would see the patients on Sunday evening. I got the doc’s number n finished up my visit. Quite impressed. She doesnt see patients on sundays, but called me because she thought that people only call in if there is any urgent problem.Below are the details:

Dr sunita
C 61
Sushant lok
Gurgaon
Ph: +919811163430

While coming back, the auto guy took us to 6 medical halls to make sure we get the medicine. Thoughts today:

No matter how big (doctor) are you paid OR how small (auto guy) – it really depends only on YOU whether you wanna go the extra mile.