Tag Archives: Kai Lan

Bubble Guppies – Reviewed

Bubble Guppies TitleI never considered that I would ever write an actual review of a television show, or even post about one (if you ignore my occasional Doctor Who or the rare Smallville posts).  However, Bug’s latest favorite I feel really deserves the attention, because even for me, it’s an entertaining 30 minutes, so much so that we’re wearing out the DVR lately with watching them over and over again!  In the days where cartoons like Dora, Diego and Kai Lan have basically copied the same formula that proved successful for shows like Blue’s Clues, where the characters on the show “interact” with the viewers, occasionally sing some rather forgettable songs, and ask questions with a noticeable, sometimes creepy pause giving the viewer time to “answer”, there is finally a fresh face in the field, that gives a new feel to the educational cartoon aimed at preschoolers and younger.

Nickelodeon (Nick Jr) has managed to catch lightning in a bottle once again with their latest series, Bubble Guppies.  Just like their normal fair, Bubble Guppies come in half-hour episodes, but offers a fun, energetic half-hour that teaches kids about specific real-world topics such as colors, visiting a doctor, and the workings of a restaurant; while incorporating upbeat and catchy songs, humor, and really a sense of energy with the characters upbeat personalities.

Bubble Guppies charactersThe series offers a sharp, fresh look with its CG-animation and character designs.  Each character’s design is simple, but distinct, making it easy for a child to have his or her favorite character.  The wonderful cast of characters includes Bubble Guppies Gil, Molly, Nonny (my favorite), Deema, Oona, and Goby, you have Bubby Puppy, and their teacher Mr. Grouper, along with many additional characters that fill out their underwater world.

Some of the things I really enjoy is that with each episodes specific subject, you get to see some different approaches or views from the different characters, along with upbeat, catchy songs specific for that episode, and that really aren’t a drain to listen too.  Along with that, there are a few reoccurring songs for each episode, but even those are fairly quick and are still upbeat and catchy.  I’ve found myself singing these, or version of these songs to Bug for different reasons, even just to see her dance around.  This show has easily become something the two of us can have fun with; in fact I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Bug fall in love with a show quicker.  Plus I had my son this weekend and introduced him to the show while getting him to sit with his little sister, and after just one episode, he was already going around singing the theme song.

Bubble Guppies is definitely a great new show, and it’s one of those that you can sit and watch with your preschooler (or younger).  There are plenty of topics; real world topics, something I like, and fortunately (extremely fortunate if you ask me) the songs are catchy and upbeat, not even the theme song has started to wear on me yet (I’ll admit I’m humming it while writing this sentence even) and I’ve already lost count of how many times we’ve listened to it already.  And yes, we have to listen to it ever time!  The only downfall I can give the show right now is that there have only been 8 episodes to this point.  Hopefully new ones will be coming sooner rather than later.  Oh, and if you haven’t seen it, and want to check it out, I looked and they’re available on iTunes too!  Trust me, it worth checking out if you have a small one running around.

Oh and by the way; Bubble Guppies airs weekdays at 11am (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon

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Filed under Geekasms, Reviews

10 Must Download Apps for New Verizon iPhone Parents

If you’re one of the tons of people that will be grabbing the new Verizon-ized iPhone, there’s a good chance you’re new to the vast world of iOS and her apps.  If you’re a parent, after you grab your choice of social media apps (check me out on Facebook and Twitter if you want) you might be interested in some of these must have apps.

In no way to I consider this a “Top” type list for apps for parents, but am highlighting a few that I feel deserve a look at.  If you come across one you think is worth mentioning, or have your own personal favorite, please leave your comment below so all the masses can check it out too.

1. Camera+

download-1One of the many perks of having, well, nearly any new phone these days is that it comes with a camera.  People love the ability to grab quick pictures of something cute their kids do, or a sweet pose as they nap.  Sure you have the native camera app, but Camera+ gives your camera a steroid injection with all the advantages and none of the nasty side affects.  Giving you a wide variety of filters, frames, and affects to apply to your pictures, along with sharing options to your social media pages and email, Camera+ is a bragging parents dream.

2. Screen Time

screen-time-app-for-dads-jpg_thumbDeveloped by a dad with 3 young boys, Screen Time is a time tracking app with the goal of encouraging kids to spend less time watching TV and playing video/computer games.  It allows you, as the parent, to set daily limits on the amount of time allotted for TV, while also providing kids the chance to earn more TV time as a reward.

3. Peekaboo Wild

peekaboo wildThe “sequel” to the original “sanity savior” for myself the first time I had my son in a waiting room with me.  Although you won’t go wrong with any of the Peekaboo apps from Night & Day Studios, Peekaboo Wild, with its upbeat music, wonderful artwork and selection of “wild” animals makes it my favorite of the 3, and has been a staple and a standard app on my iPhone since before my Bug was 1.  For infants and Toddlers, this app will save you headaches in the end!

4. Zoo Train

zoo trainZoo Train is one of these special apps that I feel not only set the standard for what all children’s apps should be, but also highlights a developer that will need to be watched for more greatness.  Zoon Train is relatively new, and already hits a homerun.  From bright, sharp, amazing graphics, to interactive and challenging tasks for toddlers on up to preschoolers, Zoo Train is one of those special apps, that can grow with your child and be one of those special apps that they’ll be asking to play.

5. Netflix

netflixThis one might be slightly more selective, but if you’re a Netflix subscriber, you need to have this app!  Not only does it allow to you manage your Instant Queue, but it allows you to stream TV and movies directly from your phone.  A great life saver if you’re stuck in traffic and have an impatient child in the back seat.  Its those times that I’m thankful to be hearing Kai Lan!

6. omBooks

ombooksInteractive books are a big market in the App Store, but if you’re looking for the cream of the crop, with some of the most classic of all children’s book, look no further then Oceanhouse Media.  The have the market cornered with Dr. Seuss, The Berenstain Bears, Little Critter and more.  Fun to sit there and read with your child, or simply give it to them and let them watch the book read to them, omBook is another one of those must haves.

7. Mom Maps

mom-mapsMom Maps can help you as a parent, find fun, kid-friendly location.  A user-created directory of all child friendly places and points of interest in your location.  Currently the database contains 26,000 locations from 27 metro areas, and is constantly being updated.  When you’re on the go, what’s better then to have a kid-friendly travel guide?

8. Chore Bank

chore-bankChore Bank is the best way to keep track of your child’s allowance, completion of chores, and spending money. It is your own personal ‘Bank of Dad’.  I’ve just now started playing with it, but felt it was worth putting on this list because it fits perfectly with what I was looking for in terms of chores for the kids, and I’m sure I’m not the only one that would be interested in it.

9. ABC Song Piano

abc pianoTeaching your child the ABCs is as much a staple of parenthood as changing diapers.  So what better way, then to incorporate the ABC song in with an interactive piano/music app?  I started enjoying Kiboomu’s apps when they released their first app, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Piano, and have since grown to respect the women behind Kiboomu, along with considering them friends within the parenting and blogging community.  With new apps on the horizon, why not start off with singing your ABCs?

10. Angry Birds Seasons

angry-birds-valentinesOf course, all parents need something for themselves to help maintain sanity, and what better then the ever growing and ever popular Angry Birds?  However, everyone knows about Angry Birds, but not all are aware of what you could call its sequel, Angry Birds Seasons.  What started off as just a Halloween specific app, soon added a Holiday Season level, and is getting ready to be updated with a Valentine’s Day level.  It’s a nice extra spin on the Angry Birds, and who can deny a pig dressed as Cupid?


Filed under iPhone Apps, Reviews