Category Archives: Activities

Road Trip (With Kids)! What to Bring Along

Mummy Confession: I don’t mind hours in the car on the road. However, a road trip with kids is a bit more complicated and may prove a bit challenging!

As I mentioned before, we are taking our first family trip to the snow soon! I have compiled another list of things to bring on the road! Not only for the drive, but what to have close at hand, and just in the car, when traveling with kids!

Plus, better still, some great suggestions for games, recipes that travel well, and other advice from fellow-travelers! I’ve included a quick click here, or scroll to see! To check out what to bring to the snow (for kids), check out my post here.

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Road Trip Quick Click:

What To Bring in the Car (With Kids)

Easily Accessible

In the Glove Box

In a Bag/Container in the Car

Activities for the Car Trip

Music for the Trip

Recipes That Travel Well

Helpful Road Trip Resources and Tips

Advice from Fellow Travellers

Road Trip! What to Bring in the Car/Specifically for the Drive:

We’re talking a 4+ hour drive with kids in tow. Two of which are toilet trained, so that should be interesting! I want to be sure that on the trip down, we are taking minimal breaks (I mean, as minimal as you can with kids). In order to insure this, I have a list of what we will be taking in the car, strategically placed so as to have necessities accessible while driving. You know how it is when little Munchkin wants that’s toy that’s in the boot? Yeah, we will try to avoid that.

Easily accessible or in the front:

1. Eskie (Cooler) with drinks/snacks– Nothing says “pull over!” Like a thirsty child. Be sure to have plenty water bottles and other beverages for you and the kids as well as some ice packs if desired. We bring a water bottle for each child in addition to drinks, so there is less mess going! Sippy cups are my favourite.

2. Snacks/Food– The road trips in my childhood bring back memories of my beloved Barbeque chips and savouring them as we drove along. Snacks can help pass the time and hold the kids over until the next rest stop. Opt for healthy, or whatever suits your family! There are some great road-worthy recipes for snacks and ideas below courtesy of some amazing Bloggers! (Click here to skip to the recipes)

Little Bellies make some good snacks for babies and toddlers!

3. Activities/Games/Toys– I often pick a few cheap toys the kids haven’t seen yet and hide them for a bit and give them out at random times. Nothing too loud, of course! You do need to be in a car together for hours! If you enjoy playing games in the car or need other suggestions, there are some ideas below (or click here).

4. Toy Organiser/IPad Holder– Unless you wish to hold everything on your lap, it’s probably best to invest in something to store all the bits and pieces from your kids’ toy box. We opted for something to hold a tablet so we can play a movie some of the time, or a couple toys or tissues that are easier to grab. Skip Hop looks like they make good organisers.

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Skip Hop Car Backseat Organiser; Photo Credit: Skip Hop

5. Chargers for phones with car adapter &Phones– You don’t want your phone to run out of batteries while you are on the way to your destination. Especially if you use it for a GPS or to stay in touch with other cars on the way there!

6. Any music desired– When “99 bottles of” your chosen beverage are no longer on the wall, or your refuse to entertain the idea of signing that, opt for some alternative tunes. Go “Retro” as the kids call it nowadays and blast some of your old favourites, or if you’re game, let the kids pick the music. See some ideas below (or click to skip there now).

7. GPS or other Directions– We do need to arrive somewhere close to our holiday spot, eh? I think this one is self-explanitory.

Screenshot from Google Maps

8. Access to internet or written down numbers/addresses for hospitals, medical centres, etc (just in case!)– You can never be too prepared! Either have information on your phone, in a notebook, or however your prefer. Google is great for searching, too, if your GPS is questionable (I know mine is…), so be sure whatever you are using is reliable! And when in doubt, follow the signs!

9. Car Pass for Toll Roads or Money for Tolls– If you plan on travelling the way of Tolls. Try to stay away from trolls and bridges though.

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In the Glove Box:

1. Tissues and/or Wipes– Messes happen, and so do boogers. I often have a few travel packs on hand throughout the car. Baby wipes aren’t just for babies!

2. First Aid Kit– So long as you have access to the first aid kit in the car than its location isn’t necessarily needed in the glove box (it’s jut the easiest place to store it.) I will say, make sure you have a vomit bag in there because, well, you never know. If you would like to purchase a first aid kit, Mumma Morrison has a great place to find one with a great cause here (first aid kit proceeds going to families in need to provide first aid training).

3. Spare Change– You never know when shops may not take cards or have minimum EFTPOS limits. Take some cash just in case!

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In a Container or Bag in the Car (I call this my Go Bag):

1. 1 Change of clothing for each child, full set with two pairs of understuff

2. Wipes – Always an essential. Even without babies.

3. Nappies (if you have one in them)- I always have three per child who needs them.

4. Plastic bag or wet bag– For dirty or wet clothing, or rubbish you need to bring from the car.

5. Towel, blanket, burp cloth or muslin wrap– For the messes, spills, and comfort of your child. Especially in winter, I always carry a blanket.

6. Nappy rash cream– Sudocreme is always good one to bring, because it is not only a nappy rash cream, but is also good for cuts, grazes, and burns. Be sure to use a cotton bud if you intend to use it on more than your baby.

7. Potty seat (just in case!)– With a couple who are toilet trained, you can never be too certain where the bathrooms are on the road. Or, if you child will decide they need to go as soon as you hit the longest stretch of road without toilets.

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Even More Helpful Resources!

Activities for the Car Trip! ūüé≤ūüé≤- Ideas for your entertainment during the drive!

Entertain My Tribe– A great website to look for places to stop along the way (parks, family friendly cafes, lolly shops, etc). Make sure to stretch those legs!

Counting Cows: Road Trip Game from Kid Bucket List

Road Trip Games and Activites from Kid Magazine

5 Apps For Toddlers from Kylie Purtell

Music for the Trip! ūüé∂ ūüé∂- Suggestions and Places to find Music

Little Rockers Radio

Music for Kids from Bokkie Kids

Silver Balloon, songs with your child’s name- Suggestion from Coffee with Katie

Kinderling Radio has a live radio online and an app- Suggestion from Artsplorers

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Snacks for the Car/Recipes That Travel Well! ūüćĹūüćĹ- Yum! (In no particular order..)
(These ideas are either eskie/cooler friendly or travel friendly)

Simple Bliss Balls from How She Does It

Raspberry and Coconut Energy Bites from My Fussy Eater

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Raspberry and Coconut Energy Bites; Photo Credit: My Fussy Eater

Carrot Cake Bliss Balls from Energetic Mama

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Carrot Cake Bliss Balls; Photo Credit: Energetic Mama

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes from Kidgredients

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Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes; Photo Credit: Kidgredients

Banana Almond Butter Mini Muffins from Because Food is Love

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Banana Almond Butter Mini Muffins; Photo Credit: Because Food is Love

Peanut Butter and Nutella Muffins from Kid Magazine

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Peanut Butter and Nutella Muffins; Photo Credit: Kid Magazine

Healthy Lemon Zucchini Muffins from Because Food is Love

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Healthy Lemon Zucchini Muffins; Photo Credit: Because Food is Love

Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookies from My Fussy Eater

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Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookies; Photo Credit: My Fussy Eater

Carrot Cake Cookies from My Fussy Eater

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Carrot Cake Cookies; Photo Credit: My Fussy Eater

Rice Bubble Slice from Play With Food

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Rice Bubble Slice; Photo Credit: Play With Food

BLW Oatcakes from Baby-Led Blog

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BLW Oatcakes; Photo Credit: Baby-Led Blog

Apple Pikelets from Kid Magazine

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Apple Pikelets; Photo Credit: Kid Magazine

Cheesy Mountain Bread Chips from Kid Magazine

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Cheesy Mountain Bread Chips; Photo Credit: Kid Magazine

Chocolate Quinoa Granola Bars from My Fussy Eater

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Chocolate Quinoa Granola Bars; Photo Credit: My Fussy Eater

My Perfect Granola Bar from More Than Just Carrots

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My Perfect Granola Bars; Photo Credit: More Than Just Carrots

No Bake Vegan Brownies with a Twist from Planting Goodness

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No-Bake Vegan Brownies with a Twist; Photo Credit: Planting Goodness

Healthy Travel Snacks For Babies from Love From Mim

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Helpful Road Trip Resources and Tips!ūüėČūüėČ

Ikea Essentials for a Road Trip from The WorldAnd

5 Tips for a Better Family Road Trip from Tell Me Baby

5 Road Trip Essentials: What to Pack in Your Boot from Kid Bucket List

Road Tripping with Kids: A Lesson in Planning from The Togetherish

 

Advice From Fellow Travellers:

“I love the app “Elmo loves you” for my 2 year old. It doesn’t require data so it’s great in the car and there’s a heap of activities within it. Get the free demo version first to see what your child thinks.

Worried about relinquishing your phone? Put it into airplane mode so your toddler can’t make calls or post your selfies on Facebook!” from¬†Mel- Anyday Adventures

“I use my dehydrator to make snacks for road trips. That way it’s nothing sticky and will keep. My Instagram has pictures of my dehydrator creations” from Carlie Maree @mscarliemaree on Instagram

“Portioned bags of air popped popcorn, ‘scroggin mix’ of nuts and dried fruit, portioned bags of chopped carrot, celery, cheese sticks and rice crackers all make good snacks for the road” from How She Does It

“We need our portable DVD players. They keep everyone quiet for a good hour. You also need scheduled breaks. So find the best parks or kid friendly cafes or towns with lolly shops. Map those out before you go.” from Entertain My Tribe

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Road Trip Quick Click:

What To Bring in the Car (With Kids)

Easily Accessible

In the Glove Box

In a Bag/Container in the Car

Activities for the Car Trip

Music for the Trip

Recipes That Travel Well

Helpful Road Trip Resources and Tips

Advice from Fellow Travellers

Great Apps for Baby Development

Mummy Confession: When I was a new mum especially, I was always curious to keep up with what skills my baby was developing. I often felt the need to see their progress and keep track of their milestones.

Disclosure: This post is not sponsored by any of the following companies or apps and is purely my honest opinion. This post contains affiliate links.

Now, hear me out, not every baby develops the same skills at the same time. Just like every child isn’t the same height, weight, or build, development varies from baby to baby. But, I like the reassurance of seeing how my child was coming along with milestones, as any mum would. I also like seeing what sort of activities help in their age group as well.

There are three great Apps that help mum to keep up with skills and developmental milestones that coincide with the age of their baby, toddler, and child. Below, I have outlined a few that have come in handy for me as a mother.

Many baby websites offer newsletters as well to help keep track of baby’s development and various things to expect as they grow. Some of these are ¬†listed here with my¬†Pregnancy and Parenting Communities¬†¬†post.

The Wonder Weeks

The Wonder Weeks app has some great information on development and fussy periods

Each baby has times where they seem to be more sleepless, fussy, and all around grouchy, and I have found a lot of the time, it is because they are going through developmental leaps. The Wonder Weeks app is based on a book written about this. It allows you to enter your baby’s due date and it predicts when these “leaps” occur. So much is happening in their little world that you can’t see, and this helps me to be aware of what my baby could possibly be working on, or trying to figure out. As stated in the app, though, every baby isn’t doing everything listed by those time frames, but it is a great guide as you look out for things they are achieving!

You can also set up an alert to let you know when baby is entering a fussy stage, so maybe you will be that one step ahead, being prepared.

Download Wonder Weeks here:
Australia
United States
United Kindgom

Kidfolio

So many places to keep track of various baby things!

Do you like writing down what your bubs is up to?  Keep track of medications, immunisations, feedings, diaper changes, sleep, teeth, and more. Digitally store tons of developmental and growth information as well as photos and videos. Keep track of one child or more, and a daily bit of information on their age group.

If you want to have is information saved for a hard copy scrapbook later, get this app. It is so helpful when you feel like there is no time to write anything down. Plus, there are great communities online to ask your parenting and baby questions (and Baby Bump, their sister app, has one as well).

Download Kidfolio here:

Australia
United States
United Kingdom

 

Kinedu

Kinedu is a great resource for developmental activities!

I just got this one, but I’m already impressed! This one offers an evaluation of baby’s skills and development and helps with some activities to develop their skills.

It has videos that show how to do certain activities with your baby to aid development, and has in-app purchases for further things. It also offers articles on baby’s development. You can opt in for various categories to receive information and activities for children through the age of two. There is so much I haven’t seen yet, so I will need to check it out more before I can write about it, but I was impressed already in the short time I’ve had it!

Download Kinedu here:
Australia
United States
United Kingdom

I hope these come in handy like they have with me!

What apps have you found to be useful as a parent, or helpful for baby’s first years or after?

Fun (And FREE) Activities With Kids At Home

Mummy Confession: I’m not rich. So sometimes, I use things around the house to keep my kids entertained.

For this post, I have collaborated with fellow Mummy-Blogger Nicola from MummytoDex.com . Feel free to check out her Blog and the great things she has going there from Baby Food Recipes to Everyday Life Posts.

Here are 10 activities to keep babies and toddlers entertained with things you can find around the house! Free and fun! You can get as creative or simple as you wish with these Рthe sky is the limit!
Some of these activities require close monitoring, so please keep an eye on the little ones at all times when using any of these following suggestions! Some materials pose a suffocation or drowning hazard if left unattended.
(Water safety: even shallow water poses a drowning risk, so NEVER leave babies or children alone around water, no matter how little it may be!)

1. Drum circle
What you need: Some wooden or plastic spatulas, Pots and pans

What to do: Set up a circle using your pots, pans and bowls and place baby in the middle with a spatula. He will love banging on the different shaped objects and hearing the different noises that they make. Encourage him by holding your own spatula and tapping the different dishes.

fun, pots and pans, activity, baby play, toddler play, spatulas, drum circle
Photo Credit: http://mummytodex.com

2. Messy play
What you need: A plastic tablecloth (to protect your floor), A variety of cooked food, A bath ready and waiting for the aftermath

What to do: Cook a few bits of spaghetti and some kala chana and pour it all over the floor to let baby have at it.
I have to admit, most of it was consumed, hence why I used food as opposed to anything else. There are so many recipes on Pinterest for baby safe gloop and paint. The world is your oyster when it comes to messy play. Have the bath ready and waiting and then let babe enjoy a long soak afterwards.

fun, messy play, baby play, toddler play, activity
Photo Credit: http://mummytodex.com

3. Tummy Time Water Play
What you need: An oven dish, Plastic ducks, Some water

What to do: Pour a small amount of water into the oven dish and place some ducks in it. Place baby on his tummy and let him splash the water and move the ducks. Endless hours of entertainment for a baby who hasn’t yet learned to crawl.

baby play, water play, activity, tummy time
Photo Credit: http://mummytodex.com

4. Treasure baskets
What you need: An old washing up bowl, Any bits and pieces from around the house that baby loves

What to do: I bought a washing up bowl for 50p and started collecting stuff in it that Baby took a shine to such as a large yellow sponge, a whisk, measuring spoons and a plastic spatula. Whenever I need to keep him preoccupied for a few minutes, I bring the treasure basket out and let him have a play with the bits and bobs while I get my jobs done. This helps me massively when I’m trying to stop him crawling into the kitchen!

5. Wallet Play
What you need: Wallet & business cards or used iTunes cards, anything not too important in card form. (You can also do some pictures of the people they know or of objects they love. Laminate those if you want them to last.)

What to do: Give them the cards and the wallet. Let them practise motor skills by putting cards in and out.
I take a wallet everywhere with me, and this always offers some distraction at least for a little while. If you don’t want to use an old wallet, they’re cheap enough to buy, or you can order blank plastic cards online or cut up cardstock if you don’t wish to use old cards.

activities, baby play, kids play, toddler play, entertainment for kids, wallet
Just an old wallet and a couple cards. The more cards though, the better!

6. Tea Party/Picnic
What you need: Cups of any sort, pretend or real beverages, pretend or real food, pretend or real (or toy) guests, blanket/towel/sheet

What to do: On top of material (blanket/towel/sheet), arrange cups in either a hap-hazard order or even practise etiquette and manners. This can be educational or just downright fun! Use silly voices and give yourselves outrageous names. Pretend play is fun! Everyone loves a good High Tea! Host your own with or without costumes, real treats, guests, and superb conversations. For added bonus, send out an invite or create your own invitations for guests.

picnic, tea party, teddy bear, black and white, activity, play, toddler play
Some TimTams for an Aussie tea time!

7. Fort Building
What you need: Sheets, Blankets, Towels and pillows. Support such as a cot, air dryer, or table. Couches or cushions also work well for this activity.

What to do: Using support, cover with materials you have. Create fort. For added bonus, host a tea party, watch a movie, tell stories, or read a book together inside. Forts are always fun!

**Just watch here for toppling things and you’ll be alright. My kids like to pretend my laundry is their fort every time I hang it up.**
fort, toddler play, movie night, activity

8. Object Sorting
What you need: Any objects, big or small. I went with pegs (clothespins), and two or more containers.

What to do: Honestly, this one is just for the fact that kids love to move things from one place to another. Without fail, I find them digging through my clothespegs and sorting them, so I just gave them two different containers to sort. They are usually in a basket, and I provided them with an empty wipes container that they love to stick the pegs through the hole. This helps to develop hand-eye coordination I’m sure, and the kids just love moving things (as I’m sure you find with their toys, too). For more complexity, find coloured containers and have them sort according to colour, shape, or size!
pegs, basket, toddler play, baby play, activity

9. Scavenger Hunt
What you need: Coloured containers, or colours on a piece of paper, and your house.

What to do: Colour on a piece of paper if you don’t have coloured containers, and have the children look around the house for anything of that colour. If you have containers, have them put them inside. You can specify to various categories, like “your toys that are this colour,” “objects in this room with these colours,” or just have fun with it. Alternatively, go outside and find things of various colours, too. Pinterest has hundreds of ideas for various scavenger hunts, so check these ones out!

10. Colouring-in-a-Box
What you need: Box big enough for child to fit in, crayons/markers/colouring utensils, stickers and other craft items are optional

What to do: Place child in box with colouring utensils. Let them go crazy! Obviously, you need to watch and ensure the box doesn’t topple, or that your munchkin doesn’t eat the crayons, but this can be a decently calming activity.
This is such a great idea I read a long time ago, and my kids absolutely love it! Mum loves that it keeps the colouring tools contained and off the walls. (Side not: make sure the box isn’t near the walls…) I instituted a “crayons stay in the big box” rule when we had a really big box they used. No complaints from my child, just lots of creativity and fun! Afterwards, you can just recycle the box, or even better, use it as a fort or cut it up and make a cool house! So many uses, and kids love boxes!

fun, boxes, kids, activities, free activities
What did I tell you? Kids love boxes!

I hope these ideas can lend some help to you mamas out there whether you are looking for something to distract for that moment, or something fun and educational. Add your twist of creativity! Have fun with your children and remember, sometimes the best toys are right under our noses.

Amanda is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
Small fees may be earned if you use the affiliate links provided on this Blog to purchase products from affiliated sites. This is a way I can earn a little extra back, so I thankfully encourage you to use the links provided ūüôā

Fun, activities for kids, activities for kids at home, fun activities for kids at home

Screen Time

Mummy Confession: My kids get way too much screen time most days.

It wasn’t always this way. As a first time mum, my oldest didn’t interact with much technology until after a good year and a bit. We didn’t need TV, tablets, phones and whatever other gadgets are out there. She was content to play with blocks and cars. Let me tell you though, that all went out the window when my second was born.¬†Desperate for some semblance of assistance during the day, I turned to technology.Screen time, tablet, technology, what, app

Yes, I’m that horrible parent that lets screen time do the babysitting on occasion. My only excuse is that otherwise, my children would be crying while dangling off my leg while I try to get a shower or have some sort of sustenance. Sometimes, I need a safe way to accomplish the dishwashing, laundry, or other household cleaning. Nowadays it doesn’t help with that as much, but it lets me tend to another child until he falls asleep, undistracted.

I know, I know, there are other ways to distract them more organically, but usually I have exhausted all other methods before I give in, or I just need a quick solution. In all the years, have found my children tend to like some apps better than others, and for those of you who are just as bad a parent as I am, let me recommend some for your sanity. They are listed in accordance with the popularity with my children.

App, apps, kids apps, screen time, tablet

App, apps, kids apps, screen time, tablet
Some of the activities with Wheels on Bus

Wheels on Bus– an app that goes with the song, quite obviously. There is a free version and paid version, and after using the free version, I shelled out the big bucks (ok, not much at all) for the HD version, which includes all activities. It has colouring, car racing, puzzles, math problems, and sings the song, in addition to many other activities. Well worth the small price paid!

App, apps, kids apps, screen time, tablet
Many different activities with Wheels on Bus
Customisable!

Interactive Alphabet– an app that teaches, you guessed it, the alphabet! This one is very customisable in so many ways! You can do uppercase, lowercase, or a combination. ¬†It even has an edit mode where you can add words/people for your child to see under the letters, too! You can record it being read, too, and they can trace the letters! It’s one of my personal favourites, as I had each relative record their name!

App, apps, kids apps, screen time, tablet
Typing mode and song mode
App, apps, kids apps, screen time, tablet
Tracing letters or words with Interactive Alphabet
App, apps, kids apps, screen time, tablet
Starfall (free version) has limited activities

Starfall– I have the free version of this educational app, but you can get the even better paid version by subscription. I’ve been told it updates with that version, and all areas of the app are open, not just select parts. This one has my preschooler sounding out letters! It has all sorts of educational games not limited to maths, shapes, colours, letters, and songs. (This one isn’t available in the US, sorry)

App, apps, kids apps, screen time, tablet
Purchase the paid version for full access to the app
App, apps, kids apps, screen time, tablet
IView for kids offers ABC shows for kids in full episodes

ABC IView and Kids Play– both free, IView has ABC kids shows on, available to filter for the mums who dislike certain shows, and you can set a timer for it as well! The Play app is based on the IView shows and is interactive. (Neither are available in the US store, sorry)

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Parents can turn certain shows off, or set a timer
App, apps, kids apps, screen time, tablet
Kids Play allows interaction with characters from IView Kids shows
App, apps, kids apps, screen time, tablet
Animal Muddle is a fun app to create funny-looking creatures

Animal Muddle– this app mixes up animal parts and creates different looking creatures. It doesn’t keep the kids too long, but it is a hit with them. They have the option to change scenery, pick animals specifically, or randomly select a mix of creatures. This one is pretty good for littler ones who just randomly tap the screen.

App, apps, kids apps, screen time, tablet
Change the scenery, change the animal parts
App, apps, kids apps, screen time, tablet
Palace Pets

Palace Pets– Disney app with the various pets for the various Princesses. Firstly, you choose your pet, followed by a story. You then go to the salon where you can style and groom them. Lastly, you see them paired with the Princess again, and you can save the photo of your pet. It’s fairly straightforward and great for children who love dress ups and Disney princesses (and their animal friends)!

There are many more, I know, so please share your favourites (and your child’s)! And don’t forget, whenever your child is using the various devices, so check out this Handy Case Selection to protect your device!