Toddler Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Toddler RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Sims 4 Update Adds Toddlers to the Mix Thu, 12 Jan 2017 09:45:27 -0500 Will Dowell

Released over two years ago, The Sims 4 has entertained the minds of countless gamers everywhere. And now is the perfect time to dive back in with the new toddler update.

Experience your parental fantasies as you take care of your very own toddler. Teach him or her new skills through flash cards, build your very own dance party, or just have the little one by your side as you go throughout your Sim's day. 

The Sims 4 originally felt empty at launch, lacking content that previous entries contained. Now with the combination of free updates and expansion packs, The Sims 4 feels more complete than ever. With the Vampires Game Pack coming out on January 24th and the toddler update out today, you have much to experience in The Sims 4. Hopefully EA continues this trend in providing continuous support to games like The Sims 4 while creating new content. 

Stay tuned for more EA and Sims news.

Kickin' It Old School With Your Kids: Guide to The Perfect Retro Consoles for your Growing Gamer Mon, 30 Dec 2013 12:25:50 -0500 Marco.Bishop

So, now you have kids. Time for video games is slipping away from you minute by minute, day by day. What if I told you it didn't have to be that way? Because it doesn't! You can turn around and get your fill of nostalgia 'til green mushrooms are falling out of your ears and spend some quality time with your kids. What's that? Is that you yelling to me "HOW!?"? 

The media and society at large push the latest and greatest consoles down your throat. It doesn't mean that you need to buy those! A little bit of old school for the generation of gamers-to-be is both exciting and easy for toddlers. With more and more games lacking local Co-Op, nothing makes my three year old happer then holding a controller just like daddy, with two simple buttons on an old NES controller. 

I have broken down some classic systems into age groups with my top five games, to resurrect some old memories for you and to create new ones with your kids. 

Atari 2600: Age 18 months - 4 years old

With a easy to use joystick and only one button to worry about your toddler can easily navigate these older games and do pretty well (for a kid!). All while you have to chance to revisit some of the classics that will make you appeciate that PS4 or Xbox One even more:

  1. Pacman
  2. Pong 
  3. Frogger
  4. Space Invaders
  5. Galaga 

NES: Age 3-5 years old

Ah, the original D-Pad controller that revolutionized video gaming for generations to come. Armed with that and it's two buttons, it is no wonder why this classic and first to many gamers, myself included, would be the perfect fir for young toddlers and those wishing to save the Princess just like they used too. So pull out that light gun and get zapping!

  1. Super Mario Bros 
  2. Duck Hunt 
  3. Guerrilla War
  4. Super Mario Bros 3
  5. Gyromite

Sega Genesis: Age 4-6 years old

We've graduated to three buttons! Let's pull out some of the classics here and help your toddler put on those bright red sneakers, because all of us with kids know that colors are what helps things go fast. Sit down and enjoy some good old Sega titles and drool over what we use to play:

  1. Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  2. Power Rangers the Movie
  3. Altered Beast
  4.  Ghouls n' Ghosts
  5. Great Waldo Search

SNES: Age 4-6 years old

Four whole buttons! Not that you will ever use all four... but it looks nice. Time to hop on Yoshi and start eating random things. Disclaimer: I am not responsable if your kids try and fit the eggs out of the fridge in their mouth, though I would love to see a picture when that happens. 

  1. Super Mario Bros
  2. Yoshi's Island
  3. Kirby All-Star
  4. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to The Past
  5. Tetris & Dr. Mario

Nitendo 64: Age 5-8 years old

Ah, we all remember swinging Bowser around in circles, but the more open world concepts that came with the N64 is sure to be a winner for your kids. I am sure even younger kids would enjoy running around in circles and exploring the worlds. Meanwhile, you get to look cool and show them all the secrets you remember and crush them in some classic Kart action, before you pwn them in some Goldeneye. 

  1. Mario Kart 64
  2. Super Mario 64
  3. Pokemon Snap
  4. Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
  5. Golden Eye 007

Playstation: Age 6-10 years old

Time to bring out the big guns. Your kids'll be asking for your help on the harder games that you spent hours trying to figure out and remember because it is forever burnt into your memory. Then take them on in some classic Tekken action and wind down with some nonsensical Ape Escape craziness. 

  1. Metal Gear Solid
  2. Final Fantasy 7
  3. Tekken 3
  4. Soul Reaver
  5. Ape Escape

That's my personal breakdown, but your kids may be ready for more sooner.

What classic titles would you love to play with your kids?

All the images used are stock images, even the one with kids. Especially the ones with kids. Mine are filled with much greater awesome sauce. 

"What the Heck is a Nabi?" A Nabi Jr. Review Tue, 24 Dec 2013 08:08:19 -0500 Marco.Bishop

I am sure you have seen the comericals; it seems tablets are slowly moving toward children, and why the heck not? I won't lie: my two- and three-year-olds love to play around on my Galaxy Tab. But the sad truth of this? I get tired of having PB&J smeared on it. So, around my son's third birthday, I started to search the Interwebs for the best bang for my buck. 

The issue was that there are so many of them to choose from. I started to, of course, look at the big names -- InnoTab and the LeapPad. I bounced around those two for a good bit, adding up costs and comparing features. That's when I found the Nabi Jr. 

I have started to see commercials on the various channels my children force me to watch because, you know, I own a 55" LED TV so that they can enjoy their shows. After three months, I'm increasingly impressed with that little Nabi Jr., and my Galaxy Tab is food and spit (and scratch, and crack, and itty-bitty, teeny-tiny fingerprint) free.

Let's start by stacking up the competition side-by-side:

InnoTab 3S:

  • Price: $99
  • CPU: 360-MHZ
  • Display: 5 inches
  • Resolution: 480 x 272
  • Tilting Camera 2mp
  • Battery Pack
  • Wifi
  • 20 Apps
  • 4GB Internal Memory
  • SD Card Support: Yes (MicroSD)

LeapPad Ultra:

  • Price: $140
  • CPU: 800-MHz 
  • Display: 7 inches
  • Resolution: 1,024 x 600
  • Front and Back Camera 2mp
  • Built-In Battery
  • Wifi
  • 11 Apps
  • 8GB Internal Memory
  • SD Card Support: No

Nabi Jr 16GB (there's also an older 4GB model):

  • Price: $140
  • CPU: NVIDIA Tegra 3 Quad Core @ 1.0GHz
  • Display: 5 inches
  • Resolution: 800×480
  • Tilting Camera 2mp
  • Built-In Battery
  • Wifi
  • 30+ Apps
  • 16GB Internal Memory
  • SD Card Support: Yes (MicroSD)

The biggest selling point for me was the crushing difference in specs (more for my satisfaction than theirs, I admit).  The resolution is about the same between the three. The ability to load his movies on to an SD Card and let him watch, as it and the InnoTab both use Andriod while LeapPad uses a propitery OS, is a huge plus. 

How does it hold up?

This is chief among concerns that any parent or gift-giver will have: Nabi Jr. versus the wrath of a toddler. The verdict? Amazingly well! It has been knocked off, thrown, suffered the fate of a peanut butter & jelly sacrifice and a merciless 2-year-old sister. It is still ticking. The Nabi Jr. comes outfitted with cushy, an effective bumper that serve as a durable case. The large bumper protects the delicate electronic bits inside, and the ports outside, from the attacking PB&J horde.

The interface is seamless and simple enough that my wee ones take less time navigating, and more time getting to the good stuff. I was surprised at how well they handled it and how quickly my boy figured out how to take pictures. Ever wondered how your little one sees things? Judging from his stock of photos, a toddler's world is pretty interesting.

The Daddy/Mommy mode is easy to use and I like the ability to load and monitor what and how the kiddos are exploring the device.

The company is developing neat accessories for the kids' device. I like the KINABIs -- little squares that you can use to customize the back of the Nabi Jr. My son is proud of his name and football on the back of his orange and white wonder. 

The one thing that annoyed me at first was the proprietary port to charge the device. Then I found out it is designed in a way to be used with future accessories, like a karaoke-capable peripheral. I would definitely recommend the Nabi brand to folks interested in buying their kids tablets. They have different models for different age groups, so be assured that my kiddos will be getting another when they outgrow this one. 

All in all, if you are scrambling for a last-minute Christmas tablet or one for an upcoming special day, I recommend taking a look at Nabi. You won't be  disappointed.The Nabi Jr. will grow with your kid and provide a positive learning experience. 

Life-Saving Apps for New Parents Fri, 26 Apr 2013 13:02:05 -0400 Imayen Etim

"Work smarter, not harder"

You know how it goes: no matter how tired you are, you make sure there are plenty of bottles made and ready for morning. Diapers and blankets are strategically placed around the house for easy access and less work. A place for everything, and everything in its place, especially when you're towing a floppy-necked newborn. Your phone or tablet's app store can be your greatest ally in your quest for efficiency.

Labor and Contraction Timer

Android; $0.99
iOS; $1.99

So, for this one, you don't need to have a kid yet. But soon! Maybe... Wait, is that a contraction? Or is it just gas? Hint: if you can put on your makeup before you head to the hospital, it ain't a contraction. Ask me how I know. This easy-to-use contraction stopwatch stores recent (possible) contraction, so you (or your significant other) can focus on OHMYGODTHISHURTSSOBAD

Baby Timer

Android; $1.99
iOS; $4.99

With my first, I didn't really need this. It would have been great, yes, but I didn't need it. Before my second, I think I mocked this app -- totally went in on it. We were so freakin' cocky until we brought our newborn home and our lives collapsed into pure bedlam. Baby Timer tracks everything in your fast-paced life: time from baby's last diaper change, when its time to eat, nap times. Everything. 

White Noise Baby

Android; Free
iOS; $0.99

White noise is like a horse tranquilizer for mini-humans. They're totally powerless to resist the sounds of gentle ocean waves, or babbling brooks, or even that obnoxious television static. After all, they were submerged in liquid for nine months, not hearing much but muffled talking and, well, the liquid. Its like going back home for them. Most swings have white noises pre-installed and so do many cuddle-time toys. But when the bassinet shakes in the middle of the night, and your precious little stinker lets out a not-yet-eardrum-perforating scream (um, weak lungs ftw?), grab your phone, but on some white noise, and go the hell back to sleep. Its 4 in the morning. No one needs to be up at 4 in the morning.

My Baby Today

Android; Free
iOS; Free

I couldn't live without this one, as an overly worried new parent. Stupid hormones. Ugh. Anyway, this one customizes its offerings to the age of your child or children, only offering information you can use. With a tiny one, you don't care about two years down the line -- you care about making it through the day. My Baby Today links to tons of articles about illnesses ("Why is this kid's scalp, like, peeling off?" Cradle cap, my friend.) and physical development. Check out handy development charts, suggestions on how to encourage certain skills, even what and how much they should be eating and napping. 

Best Smartphone Games and Apps for Infants and Toddlers Fri, 26 Apr 2013 11:35:32 -0400 Imayen Etim

"Infants and toddlers? Imayen, isn't that too young?"

In a word: No.

We're not talking Grand Theft Auto, here. Or even Skylanders, really. The more innovative among us have created the most mind-blowingly simple games and apps to stimulate even the youngest minds.

If you're more selfish, maybe -- just maybe -- they'll help you sneak in a coveted bathroom break without feeling like you're re-enacting a scene from The Shining. Heeere's Johnny!

Not that I've ever... *ahem*

Toddler Lock 

Android; Free

We totally underestimated how tech-savvy babies could be. I promise you -- I think they coming out of the womb with a penchant for unlocking phones. This was the first child-related app I downloaded, and its use has lasted through two kids. Activating the app immediately puts your phone in airplane mode. No calls in, no calls out. When your wee one taps the screen, bright shapes pop up accompanied by high-pitched (but quiet) tones that kids love. Thy can drag their fingers across the screen to doddle. They'll love the stimulating contrasting colors, and you'll love not hearing your kid whispering in the corner because he called your father-in-law.


Android; Free
iOS; $0.99

Freakin' bubbles. This one isn't just for the kids. Everyone likes bubbles. If you don't, you might be dead inside. The app is pretty much like Toddler Lock, just with pop-able bubbles. With kiddos, even the smallest change can amount to a whole new experience.

Baby Sign and Learn

Android; Free Lite Version, $2.99 for full versions
iOS; Free Lite Version, $2.99 for full versions

The most frustrating thing about younger babies is that they can't freaking communicate. So they cry. And they cry. And they cry some more. But just because they can't verbally communicate, that doesn't mean that they can't pick up some non-verbals and make the day a heck of a lot easier for everyone. Encourage their vocabulary through sign languate. This app features babies signing words appropriate for this age range. Start with the free Lite version, and hit up one of the many paid expansions if you like the progress you and your child are making.

Parent's Flash Cards

Android; Free Colors card pack, $0.99 for each additional card pack
iOS; Free Colors and Shapes card packs, $0.99 for each additional card pack

Flash cards suck. The information is useful, of course, but handsy, grabby, gotta-do-what-momma's-doing kids wreck them after the first couple of uses.Parent's Magazine offers a whole series of mobile-based flash cards that won't end up bent, or lost, or in the kids' toy box, or outside by the car (that number 16 card went seriously rouge). Younger kids can learn numbers, letters, colors, and shapes. Older kids can focus on addition, subtraction, and division.

Toddler Cars

Android; Free
iOS; Free

My toddlers love cars. They love anything with wheels, really. Trollies, trains, dump trucks --you name it, we have 'em. Toddler Cars features animations of common vehicles -- motorcycles, airplanes, firetrucks, and so on -- with their cool sounds.