A couple of months ago I got to meet up with the people from Jangle and find out about the app that they have been developing in conjunction with Experian (the credit search people). It’s all about teaching money management to children which I think is such a vital skill to learn and one that is necessary right through life. We got to try out the app and provide some feedback that they are going to build into the app to make it even bigger. The Jangle app is now available to download free for iPad from the App Store and I’d recommend giving it a go if you have children from about 6 or 7 plus. Post Christmas with the new year looming seems like a good time to be thinking about educating your children for life over the coming year. The app lets children save for the things they want to buy through their pocket-money and by doing jobs around the house or garden to earn more (this could be the year you can put your feet up). The app is very visual and easy to use
The feedback that we provided will be used to enhance the app and a new improved version will be released in February 2016, but I’m looking forward to April when the android version will be released because I’ll be able to put it on H’s new tablet then so he can use it.
H has been reading Gluper the Alien by Martin Dade. Gulpur is an alien who lives on the planet Poona, where they speak English (there’s a story as to why) and are a bit more technologically advanced than ourselves. Gluper is a bit of a whizz when it comes electronics and programming, but a bit of a mix up leads to him coming on a trip to earth. This is an illustrated chapter book which is ideal for those who are fairly new to chapter book reading or those who just like some pictures to ease things along. There are lots of plays on words and we had to explain some of them to H, but we find that a great way of developing his vocabulary. I’d suggest reading this for the first time either as a bedtime book to read together or at a time when you’re around to explain words if need be, say on a long journey or similar.
I’m all for looking for ways of reducing our impact on the environment so I was really interested to try out the SmartCup from Frank Green. This is one for anyone who regularly has a cup of coffee to go. First of all it’s a good cup. It has a spill resistant lid with a push button to open and close the drinking hole. This is easily operated with one hand which is perfect if you like to drink walking along or when you are driving to work. With its double walled thermo plastic outer layer it keeps your drink hot longer. It’s nice to hold too as it is has a non-slip grip and fits nicely in your hand or your cup holder. Being dishwasher safe always helps so you can just pop it in with the dinner plates in the evening. Good also to know that it is recyclable at the end of its life.
The other clever thing about the SmartCup is the microchip it contains. This lets you pay for your coffee with CaféPay. If your cafe is signed up to this you can access discounts and loyalty schemes too and it means you can hold all that loyalty info in one place, which is a bit of a relief.
H and screens are a problem combination when it comes to keeping everything clean. Any technology that he uses regularly soon gets filthy and we have to clean it. Over recent weeks we have been trying out WHOOSH! Screen Shine to clean up the mess. It worked wonders when H was set to clean the laptop screen. It was truly disgusting before he started, but it was really simple to make it clean with the bottle and microfibre cloth combined. It did a nice job without damaging the screen and has seemed to provide some ongoing protection against mucky fingerprints. We like that it comes in a handy resealable bag, so it’s easy to keep the cloth and spray together and carry them around if need be.
The Zodiac Legacy is a exciting book which draws you in almost immediately. The Zodiac Legacy is a new series aimed at 8 – 12 year-old age range, but I found myself happy to read it too. The involvement of Stan Lee from Marvel is quite a recommendation too. Steven is a 14-year-old Chinese-American boy on a school trip to China. His class is touring a museum , but there is something odd about it. Steven notices that the young tour guide all of a sudden starts talking rubbish during the tour and then she disappears off through a door. Steven decides to follow and the story quickly gathers pace from there. There are some great line drawn illustrations which pop up every few pages through the book. Recommended reading.