An iPhone is an incredibly versatile piece of technology that can be used in many novel ways to support everyday life. Perhaps one of the most surprising uses of an iPhone is as an aid to the bedtime routine with babies and small children.
With the appropriate app, an iPhone can be converted to an interactive storybook, a lullaby machine, a mobile or even a tutor on how to brush your teeth effectively. So let’s look at what SellCell.com have put together in this top 5 rundown list:
1. Interactive storybooks
Interactive storybooks allow your child to interact with fairytales and other classic stories. A good example is ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ by Ayers Animation which features a host of activities including musical animations (discovered by tapping a relevant part of the main illustration), songs and games. Interactive storybooks often come with an optional ‘read to me’ or ‘read by myself’ setting, supporting the gradual development of reading skills in young children. A browse through the app store reveals a wide variety of choices with most of the classic childhood stories present.
2. Digital lullabies
There are several apps available which play a variety of classic lullabies to help a baby get to sleep. ‘Lullabies +’ by Red Hammer Software is one of the best examples with a timer function that allows the music to be gently faded out after a pre-set time. Using an iPhone to provide soothing music has obvious advantages over trying to sing to your child – not least that it’s usually in tune!
3. Digital mobiles
In at number 3 in SellCell’s list of iPhone apps for babies and children, is Digital Mobiles. Many parents buy wind-up mobiles for their child’s cot. Unfortunately, these mobiles do not play for very long and require rewinding every few minutes. An iPhone placed at the end of the cot (or suspended above) is a significant improvement as it can be left to play indefinitely and can provide the visual (via colourful graphics) and auditory (via well selected lullabies) stimulus of a more traditional mobile. ‘Sleepy Sounds’ by OwenTech is an excellent example of a mobile and features timer functions along with ability to select lullabies, white noise or nature sounds.
4. Teeth brushing tutorials
Brushing teeth is a key part of the bedtime ritual for most children. Parents who are keen to encourage good brushing habits (and also make teeth brushing fun) would do well to investigate the multitude of apps that provide tutorials for children on how to brush effectively, musical accompaniment and timers. ‘Aqua Fresh Brushtime’ by GlaxoSmithKline PLC is an excellent example which allows your child to earn virtual money each time they brush. The money can then be exchanged for various costumes with which they can decorate a dancing avatar.
5. YouTube enhanced bedtime stories
For children that enjoy reading factual books at bedtime, YouTube provides a way of enhancing and enriching literary content. For example, a book about space can be brought to life by showing a brief video clip of the first moon landing. A book about the oceans can be enlivened by showing footage from wildlife documentaries about sharks. Most of the video clips on YouTube are of no longer than ten minutes duration (often much shorter), making them ideal for the attention span of young children.