Tag Archives: Zombies Run

Apps for Bonding with Your Kids

By Tracey Dowdy

I recently read an article on Psychology Today that stressed the importance of bonding with our children and the impact that bond has on all future relationships, both romantic and platonic. I don’t think that comes as a surprise to any parent or caregiver.

Beginning in infancy, nurturing that relationship is critically important.  As our children get older and our lives get more complex, it may become more of a challenge to find ways to bond with your children as schedules get busier and common ground can be harder to find. Laying a foundation while they’re young will make it much easier to stay connected once those often challenging teen years hit.

These apps can help you connect with your kids during those critical early years.


bellabeatStart bonding before you even see your child face to face. Bellabeat allows you to listen to your unborn baby’s heartbeat and then share it with others. The app is a “motherhood connected community” but the unique features make it easy to share the experience with your partner. Use the calendar to track milestones, weight gain, and new developments. There’s even a fun “kick counter”.

the device retails for $129 but the app is free.
Platform: iOS, Android


meegeniusSome of my most precious memories of connecting with my daughters are when we would get lost in a story together. We read together every night before bed when they were little and reading is still how we each fall asleep most nights. MeeGenius is a vast library of over 800 books your child can read aloud with you. Enjoy classics from Dr. Seuss and Sesame Street, as well as books specially created for the app. You and your child can read along with the storyteller online, offline or on-the-go. There’s a new free book every day and five free books to begin.

Cost: the app is free but the monthly subscription is $4.99
Platform: iOS, Android, Windows


kindomaKindoma is another reading app but it is designed to help kids read with a partner remotely. It’s ideal for parents who have been deployed, travel a lot, or even grandparents in another city. Both users must download the app and have an account, but once created, it’s easy to use. One individual calls the other from within the app and both can see the book and each other as well as point to things on the page, turn pages and otherwise interact.

Cost: the app is free and comes with a small selection of classics; additional books are available as in-app purchases.
Platform: iOS


knoalaKnoala invites you to “bond with your child over games and crafts that foster motor, cognitive, sensory, social, emotional, and self-care skills.” With thousands of activities created by physical and occupational therapists, age appropriate activities are specifically curated to develop emotional, sensory and language skills designed to bring you and your child together. Dance, sing, go on a treasure hunt, but most of all, have fun connecting with your kids.

Cost: Free
Platform: iOS

Family Fitness Apps

zumba-danceStaying active together can be a great way to bond. If you’re runners, Zombies, Run! ($4: iOS, Android Windows) is a great app that combines running with self-preservation, which I have always found to be a great motivator! If your family is looking to be a little more Zen-like, an app like Pocket Yoga ($3; iOS, Android, Windows) can help even beginners of all ages learn basic yoga poses and improve fitness levels. If you’re more the dancing kind of family, Zumba Dance! ($5: iOS, Android, Windows) lets you try a variety of styles including Bollywood, hip hop, and salsa.  The app’s motion tracker helps you perfect those killer moves, so you can break them out at the next family wedding and really bond with your kids!

The common thread in all these apps is simple – spending time together. Even more valuable than a list of suggestions is an actual conversation. Sit down with your kids to find out what their interests are and, whether it’s fire trucks or fireflies, find a way to connect. The possibilities are endless.

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Toronto, ON. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances and researches on subjects from family and education to pop culture and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.

Apps to Get Your Kids Up and Moving

By Tracey Dowdy

‘Tis the season for comfort food, holiday treats and decreased physical activity for kids and adults alike. Here in the northeast, we’ve already seen snow and the cold temperatures will be a fact of life for the next several months. That makes it challenging to meet the 60 minutes of physical activity recommended by the CDC for kids ages 6-17.

Fortunately, there’s a fitness center in the palm of your hand, so there’s no need to hunker down and go dormant until we hear from Punxsutawney Phil.  Here are some of my top picks for apps to get kids of all ages up off the couch and moving:

Iron Kids

iron-kidsDeveloped by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Iron Kids helps kids “safely build strength, balance, and fitness; prepare to excel in sport; and keep playing by preventing injury.” The app includes videos to help kids develop their upper and lower body and core, as well as tips on strength training. Workouts can be customized to season, sport, and skill level.

Platform: iPhone, iPad
Cost: $3.99

NFL Play 60

nfl-play-60Developed by the NFL and the American Heart Association, this endless runner game challenges kids to run, jump, turn, and move holding their phone or tablet while the onscreen character mimics their actions. Kids collect rewards two ways: coins that can be used toward the purchase of NFL gear, and AHA hearts that make them invincible!

Platform: iOS, Android
Cost: free

I Am Love: Kids’ Yoga Journey

kids-yogaverseThis app (Kids Yogaverse: I Am Love on iTunes) won the U.S. Surgeon General’s Healthy Apps Challenge for Kids Fitness. The app has a quick Yoga Flow of 13 simple positions for kids with clear instructions and beautiful illustrations. Designed to empower kids and help them feel good about their bodies, each pose is modeled by a child and incorporates elements of visual, audio and tactile learning.

Platform: iOS, Android
Cost: $3.99

Move Like Me

move-like-meSuitable for younger kids, Move Like Me incorporates memory and movement skill development in one app. Users choose a character then mirror the characters’ movements such as hopping, clapping, marching, swaying or dancing. For each round, the character adds a movement that the user must remember and repeat in sequence – think “Simon” for your body. You can play in single player mode or pass back and forth to play with your child.

Platform: iOS
Cost: $1.99

Zombies, Run!

zombies-runZombies, Run isn’t for little kids, but teens will enjoy running for supplies – and their lives – with this fun and interactive app. Users upload their own music, map out their route and the app customizes a story about getting supplies and avoiding the undead to accompany your run. At different intervals the app will announce zombies are near and the sound of their heavy breathing becomes part of the fun to keep you motivated and moving. Even if you’re on a treadmill, you can input a route and enjoy the fun of avoiding virtual zombies.

Platform: iOS, Android
Cost: $3.99

The Walk

the-walkIf you’re not a runner but have ever wanted to live out The Proclaimers song I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles), have I got an app for you! Based on the premise that a bomb has gone off in London, The Walk challenges you to walk 500 miles – the length of the U.K. – to deliver a package, encountering all sorts of adventures along the way. Designed to be accomplished over a period of 3 months, it may be the most fun you’ve ever had with your pedometer!

Platform: iOS, Android
Cost: $2.99

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Toronto, ON. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances and researches on subjects from family and education to pop culture and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.