Furry Friend App
I'm basically an expert on children. Okay, maaaaaybe I'm overselling myself. BUT as a nanny I've spent hundreds of hours with children, and in that time I've learned a lot. AND I have had moms call me "The Baby Whisperer." What I'm trying to say is: When it comes to kids, I know my shit. The greatest thing to ever happen to childcare is the iPad. Seriously. The iPhone is pretty great too, but the iPad is better. It's bigger, and therefore easier for younger (AKA less dextrous) kids to use. Plus a big screen always beats a smaller screen, right? It's pretty great to be able to hand a kid an iPad and know they can use it (proving just how intuitive iDevices are) and entertain themselves for at least an hour. Older kids have tons of apps to choose from, but it's hard to find a universally popular app for the smaller set. It sounds impossible, but I have found the app that delights all children, boys and girls, ages 1-5. Meet my Furry Friend.
His name is Lenord (but the app is called Furry Friend, just to help you find it in the app store). Basically it's a puppet (and a good looking one. He could probably pass for a Muppet) that uses different props to act out scenes, and interacts with the user through their finger taps. If you rub your finger across Lenord's stomach (tickling him), he'll start laughing. If you tap the middle of his face, he'll recoil as if you poked him. Want to give him a drink? Tap the drink photo at the bottom of the screen and he'll slurp on a straw. You can even make him fall asleep and then tap him to wake him up with a start. Here's a video to show Lenord in action:
My personal favorite is when he eats a sandwich. I probably enjoy as much, if not more than, the kids. And the way he just throws things over his shoulder when he's done with them? Genius. Sure, this app is awesome and the people who made it are awesome (It's from an indie company! They made it in a garage!), but the best thing about Furry Friend is the reaction you get out of kids when they play with it. They squeal and laugh. Their eyes go wide. THEY LOSE THEIR SHIT.
I initially got the free version of the Furry Friend app, but after seeing how kids went cuckoo crazy for it I bought the full version, which cost all of 99 cents. 99 CENTS. For what you get, that is such a steal, I can't even tell you. For the entertainment, keeping a kid occupied, blowing their little mind benefits, Furry Friend is worth ten times that.
Furry Friend App: $0.99