Morning Activities is designed for busy parents who want their children to start the day with a positive tone and a minimum of fuss. It combines a list of morning tasks with a visual timer that reminds children to stay on track without nagging or yelling at them. It is a valuable tool that helps foster independence in children, and is appropriate for ages 5 and up.
Morning Activities was developed by Kids Smart Zone for IOS devices (iPad/iPhone/iPod), and soon will be available for Android devices. The app is free to download with basic content; customizable options (changing the order of activities, adding new activities, and changing time settings) are available through in-app purchases. These options greatly expand its usefulness across a wide variety of home situations.
Morning Activities is set up in a simple, logical manner. On the opening screen, the large red button says "Start Activity." Other buttons allow you to change settings (once you have made the in-app purchase), upload an image of your child, and share your experiences with others. The goal is to create a supportive environment in which children complete the steps needed to get themselves ready on their own, including:
- wake up and make your bed
- brush teeth/wash hands
- get dressed
- brush hair
- eat breakfast
- pack lunch
- pack school bag/backpack
- put shoes on
Once each task is complete, the parent clicks the "Next" button. Reward stars are earned if the child completes the activity before the time expires. When enough stars are collected, the child gets a certificate of achievement. There are optional links to Facebook and Twitter that allow users to share their experiences with others through social media. Since Morning Activities is designed for use by parents, no parental controls are necessary.
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While there are other chore apps in the App Store (My Job Chart, Chore Monster, Chore Pad), Morning Activities is the only one dedicated to this particular time of day. It’s not surprising that the inspiration for this app came from a group of parents, who decided that there must be a better way. They chose to focus on shaping correct behavior, establishing a routine, and using positive reinforcement (stars, certificates), and the result was Morning Activities.
The visual timer is a clever addition, because it provides real time feedback for children, who are often oblivious to the passage of time. For those parents who are unfamiliar with a visual timer, it shows how much time has elapsed using a colorful bar- the longer the elapsed time, the bigger the bar. Children will enjoy the "Beat the Clock" aspect of Morning Activities, and parents will appreciate seeing their children learn responsibility.
Morning Activities is availabe for download via the iTunes App Store- iOS Universal ... and soon to android devices!
RRP - Free
Addtional features availabe via in-app-purchase
At the time of this review, Morning Activities does not include ads. There are in-app purchases available for additional functionality as well as links to social media (as described above).
Review by Julie Peterson, a speech/language pathologist (SLP) currently working in a school setting, serving children with special needs ages 6 to 14. With so many choices available to parents, my goal is to share accurate information about the apps I review, so that you can make smart choices for your children.
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Disclosure: This review was move up the waiting list priority-services. All opinions expressed are purely that of the author.