Good Morning Björn! We can’t wait to hear about your new adventures!
Tell us about your new company?
I’ve joined a team in the mental health space, that now makes an app called Enjo. We’re a team of psychologists, researchers, engineers, and parents that all have a common goal of helping people through the use of technology. Everyone deserves support, and we think we can help a little with that.
How did the idea for Enjo come about?
The team had previously made another product in Sweden which they ran a scientific study on. It showed that if you used the app for two weeks, your stress levels went down 24% and your mental wellbeing went up 10%. Not bad for an app! So when I joined we started making a new English product that was based on this research, but now specifically tailored for parents. I’m a parent to two daughters myself, and of course worked a lot with parents through my time at Toca Boca too. And through this, Enjo was born.
Tell us about Enjo (which is awesome!!)
Enjo is an app that offers instant emotional support for parents. As all parents know, it is the most wonderful thing you’ll even experience. But at times, it can also be really hard. Especially becoming a parent can be a very hard transition for many, and there’s a lot of feelings of guilt and loneliness. We think we can help a little by helping parents to get a little sparkle of mindfulness in an otherwise busy day. We’ll ask specific questions around what you are grateful for, or what you appreciate in your partner. Things that you know and feel, but that sometimes get overlooked. We call this making mindful reflections. And by doing that, we can also help support you if you’re feeling down. 84% of users say that they get help from Enjo.
For now, we are very focused on making the best possible app to support parents. But looking further out, there are of course other groups in the world that would benefit from a little extra boost too. We’ll have to see what we could do there.
Any advice for this developing apps?
Try to really understand your users deeply. If it is kids app, ask less and watch more. Just see how they interact with your app and if they genuinely enjoy it or not. If it is for adults, talk to them and try to understand how your app might fit into their daily lives. The answers are almost always there somewhere, but often slightly hidden.
Any advice for parents?
It’s okay to think that parenting is hard. It’s okay to feel like you’re not doing enough. Everyone feels like that from time to time. But don’t go through things alone. Ask friends and family for help and support, and for the times where they aren’t available – something like Enjo could be an option. It’s hard enough as it is to be a parent, so please don’t beat yourself up about it.
Managing Your Child’s Screen Time Usage During the Holidays
With the fast arrival of the holiday season comes every kid’s favorite time of the year and every parent’s most dreaded time of the year: winter break from school. The kids are home for a few weeks and will likely choose to occupy their time by playing on their devices. Whether those devices are gaming consoles, mobile phones or tablets, they are likely to be played for hours on end. This can be a pain point for many families during this time of the year.
Many parents find it difficult to manage their child’s screen time while also finding creative ways to encourage their child(ren) to spend time together as a family. As daunting of an issue as managing screen time can seem to be, there are a few ways to make the process smoother for the whole family
Having The Important Conversations
The most important step in managing screen usage is setting established rules that both you and your child can mutually agree upon. By allowing them to be an active participant in the rule setting process, they will be more likely to want to follow them. The holiday break can be a great time to have this conversation with your child and explain to them why it is important to their mental and physical health to take breaks from their devices.
While you’re on the subject of setting healthy digital habits, it’s also important to talk to your child about avoiding the dangers of the Internet. Important topics to cover include: cyberbullying, exposure to inappropriate material, online predators and keeping personal information private. Many of these issues can be avoided by setting up parental controls that help you as a parent to monitor their online activity, and also by choosing an antivirus software that will keep your family safe online. It’s never too early to have these types of conversations with your child and this time of year can be a great time to have them as winter break approaches and more internet-connected devices are gifted.
The best way to get your kids to step away from their devices is to offer distracting options which will place their attention elsewhere. Opt for creative solutions and alternatives that the whole family can participate in. There are many options, especially during the holiday season. Here are a few we suggest based on the age of your child(ren).
With this age group, it is particularly important to limit screen time as their small little brains still have a lot of growing to do. The holiday season can be a particularly magical time for the young ones. With all of the excitement, it won’t be hard to find alternative family activities that you can incorporate even the youngest ones in. Suggestions include:
Visiting Santa at your local mall
Taking a walk to see the lights in your neighborhood
Picking out a book at the library
With this age group, they are just in the introductory phase to technology. They will likely start to ask for internet-connected devices, video games, and movies. Because the subject matter of many of these video games and movies can be harmful to them, it’s important to educate yourself as a parent on the rating systems used and knowing if your child is ready for content of a certain nature or not.
Baking cookies together
Building a snowman or going sledding
Making a holiday-themed craft together
This age group is one of the most active screen users between tablets, video games, and even smartphones. It’s extremely important that you have the important conversations about internet security with children of this group. Monitoring their online activity with parental controls may be seen as invasive by some parents, but it can be an effective tool for keeping your child safe online. When screens are away, the family can play! There are many activities for this age group to partake in during the holiday season, for example:
Participating in a giveback program
Going to a local holiday festival
Making a homemade present for a family member
Parents of teenagers often complain about the struggle of finding the proper balance between gaining respect from their teen and managing the limitation of screen time. A recent study found a correlation between high screen usage amongst teens and increased rates of depression. This reminds us how important it is to have open lines of communication with our teens, as many parents can be unaware of the situations their child is facing online. This could include cyberbullying, technology addiction and even distancing themselves from normal social settings. Remind your teenager of the importance of family during the holiday season by encouraging them to partake in activities that you will both enjoy such as:
Volunteering at your local charity
Hosting a family board game night
Taking them shopping
We hope that these alternative suggestions will give you inspiration for creative ways to manage your child’s screen usage. If this topic still seems to cause a great deal of stress and arguments in your house, consider leaning on other resources to determine if this may be a deeper issue of technology addiction.
Scott and his team of community advocates work to share industry research, helpful tips, and cybersecurity defense strategies. Their efforts are directed towards helping Internet users keep their information private.
Cubelets Discovery Set by Modular Robotics is a great way to integrate fun, learning, STEAM, STEM learning along with coding and more! As a parent, when getting my kids things I try to think of not only the educational value of the item but I also like to think about usability. I tested Cubelets Discovery Set with my boys – and took a step back after opening the box to see what they would create. One of the best parts of Cubelets Discovery Set is that they are modular making putting them together even for the smaller of hands (preschool) easy using cause and effect. If I place the blocks this way they will work. One of my favorite new enhancements is the Bluetooth Hat which means we can customize our creation, without having to worry about where to place the Bluetooth block. Cubelets are designed for builders ages 4+. Read our original review.
What we love…
Cubelets Discovery Set is a fun, affordable modular robot which teaches cause and effect, coding, STEM and STEAM
What we’d love to see…
option for an extra Bluetooth hat (I was most afraid of losing this one)!
ubelets do more which makes them a tool that grows with your child!
Using the Cubelets Discovery Set, both my boys were able to build their first robot in less than five minutes after installing the Cubelets app on our iPad. Using the app, you can remotely control the robot and look at different robot building options using a fun new feature called Personality Swap which changes the behavior of a Cubelet with the touch of a button. As a mom, personality swap was great especially for my preschooler who built his creation and didn’t want to have to change it after building it. Cubelets snap together using magnets, which means no tough connectors. The blocks work collaboratively to do different actions and really encouraged my kids to explore and build a variety of different creations. My preschooler actually asked if we could make robots longer than the 25 minutes I allotted because he was having so much fun! That is a huge win in my book!
We loved the Cubelets Discovery Set overall, especially compared to the original set that we tried. My kids also made some Lego creations which we snapped on the Lego adapter and then brought power to! With my older son, I sat back and watched him create. He made a few fun creations and when they didn’t do exactly what he originally wanted them to, we tried moving around the blocks to show how each block had a cause and effect.
Cubelets Discovery Set can be used with or without a screen. Users learn programming and troubleshooting just by figuring out how to put the Cubelets together. Once they have made a creation you can open the app and start having more fun! The app uses Blockly or C with Cubelets within the app – which means that they are practicing a great skill that ties in STEM and STEAM. Last year, we tested Cubelets and did a robotics requirement with our local Cub Scout pack, seeing the engagement from the Cub Scouts was so fun especially when they were learning. Having your robot move, turn on it’s headlight and drive was so much fun and really satisfying.
In terms of enhancements, I wish that there were two Bluetooth “hats” included. When I played with Cubelets with both my boys – I was careful to make sure we didn’t misplace it. We loved Cubelets and it’s a gift I’m going to give over the holidays!
Overall, Cubelets Discovery Set is a fun addition to our technology tool suite. Seeing my kids engage with the robots and learn real world skills like coding, cause and effect and most of all fun was a great way to engage and spend time with them. Cubelets Discovery Set is a great addition for kids from age 4 and up – plus as they get bigger Cubelets do more which makes them a tool that grows with your child! It makes coding for kids and learning fun!
NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.
Nampa Farm by Nampa Design is a cute farm themed app which includes eight mini games, creative play and most of all fun! The app requires no reading or speech and allows kids to get creative while playing. The app is designed by Nampa Design based in Sweden. Be sure to check out our other Nampa Design app reviews too including Nampa Holiday and Nampa Party.
What we love…
illustrations and fun mini games
What we’d love to see…
planting veggies, a tractor driving game
Nampa Farm is a delightful app aimed at toddlers, preschool and kindergarteners packed with fun! The mini games are engaging and encourage kids to tap, touch and explore all in a safe environment.
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The Nampa Farm eight mini games include:
1) Fixing farm vehicles (including putting wheels on and making sure they are oiled so they are not squeaky)
2) Giving the sheep a makeover complete with shaving or blow drying more fur on, bows, and the ability to dye the sheep your favorite color
3) Decorating the farm house complete with paint and shapes using a brush, stamper or narrower brush
4) Planting magic flowers from flower seeds and seeing what will grow after you water it. My son enjoyed mixing the various seeds in the pot
5) Playing the chicken piano by tapping on the chickens while they squack, crow or make other funny noises – you can either have background music on or off.
6) Decorating horses in the stable with paint, a saddle and bridle and even dying their mane. Tap on the brush to see the fun designs you can make – my son loved the braids!
7) Build a scarecrow complete with a themed head which ranges from vegetable, a farm bucket, balloon and more! Then you put on a hat, and a shirt, apron a all while your fun Nampa friends have carrots while they watch. You can also decorate your items on the scarecrow as while while decorating
8) It’s time to groove to the disco – this is a signature of Nampa games and truthfully one of my four year old’s favorite parts. You can make the lights flash colors, dance along and listen to fun music!
I loved the illustrations and fun games in Nampa Farm – somehow my son always started using the Disco first and last while playing the various mini games in between. I liked that Nampa Farm was quick or longer to play which made it perfect for those in between moments when I just needed a quick break and it was educational. Having grown up in New England with chickens I personally enjoyed the zany chickens as well as the tractor.
In terms of enhancements, I would love to see a drive the tractor game beyond just decorating it and fixing the squeaky wheels. It might also be fun to plant some vegetables on the farm beyond the flowers. One of my kids favorite things about going to a farm after seeing the animals is to check out the great vegetables that they have. They also love to water things!
Nampa Farm requires no wi-fi to play, no third party advertising or in-app purchases.
Overall, Nampa Farm is a delightful app aimed at toddlers, preschool and kindergarteners packed with fun! The mini games are engaging and encourage kids to tap, touch and explore all in a safe environment. It’s always fun for me to see the different ways that my kids interact with apps or play with them in ways I might not have expected such as always playing the Disco at the start and end of each time playing with an app.
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