Monday 6 March 2017

Keeping the kids occupied in restaurants

Having a meal in a restaurant when you have kids is a big deal. It's not as easy as it used to be.. kids are not so patient at waiting to order of for their food to arrive. They're hungry now and they don't want to get 'bored' sitting in their seat for 10 minutes ;)

As we're 4 years into this parenting game, we have planned for this and will rarely go to a restaurant that doesn't have a kids area, it just isn't worth it! However, sometimes you get fed up of going to the same place or have a spontaneous trip out that isn't so kid friendly and you have to think of plan b.

I know a lot of people or even parents themselves turn their nose up at gadgets, iPads of phones at the table to occupy the children, but sometimes it is needed. I'm an advocate of trying all other options first, but sometimes when they're tired & sleepy, it's the only thing that will work. 

We have recently come across Ebookadabra and have been putting it to the test. Ebookadabra offers 100's of children's books in one app. It is is a “one-stop” solution for children’s reading designed for kids between the ages of 3 and 7. It offers 100's of books from leading publishers such as Disney and Harper collins that children can read themselves. It also 'rewards' the kids for reading by winning fun activities such as games or stickers when they finish a book. 

As well as this, it has other features such as...

- The ability for parents to record themselves reading the stories for their children,
- A safe and secure messaging system that allows a child to talk to their parents about the progress they are making in app, (I'm personally not sure why you'd need the messaging system, I would rather Sienna just tell me in person where she's at with it but I guess if have older children that stay away or something it may be useful?!)
- A visual search engine designed for kids that lets the use visual search terms to explore the library,
- The ability to save stories to your in-app library so you can enjoy them on the go,
- 100's of books for less than the price of a book a month (it is £5.99 per month along with a 30 day free trial)

Importing the books is really easy and Sienna is able to do this herself. She loves how the ones she has imported go to 'My room' and they are there for her to choose again. She loves the variety they have and the fact she can search via character to see what she wants to read.

Sienna is only just starting to learn to read so I have generally been reading the books to her, but she is recognising words more easily. I also love that the games help with the learning such as spelling, it's a great starting point to match the letters up. Aria has also just started loving books and although she's only one and can't get the most of out of the app, she loves listening to me read as a distraction.

We've really been enjoying this app, it's so handy to have a 'library' in my hand bag and is perfect for travelling or on the go, you don't have to lug around lots of different story books (which we normally do!) as a lot of popular ones are on this app.

I feel like it's 'learning screen time' so I don't feel as guilty about letting Sienna play on it if we're out and about and it definitely does the trick of keeping her occupied.

*In collaboration with Ebookadabra but all thoughts are honest and my own.


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