Tech hacks for parents
Here's what to download when you need help managing chores, buying groceries to match recipes and keeping children away from danger
OurHome offers a way to organise your family, get chores done, set goals and offer rewards for completed work. The app gamifies tasks and notifies you on upcoming ones. It lets you set the goals, rewards and points that each task carries. The built-in calendar makes sure that everyone is on the same page and is synchronised across all devices. There is no cap on the number of devices. OurHome also features a shared grocery list that everyone can contribute to.
Sygic Family Locator
Sygic Family Locator can tell you the real-time location of your family members on an interactive map. You can also create safe and unsafe zones with automatic notification when a child enters or exits a zone. The built-in SOS function will help your child let you know when they are in trouble with the exact location. You can also check out location history of family members to see where they have been in the last seven days. The basic app is free and they have a premium subscription model with more features that starts from R5,000 a year.
Common Sense Media
Is that TV show your kids are watching appropriate for them? With Common Sense Media there is no second guessing. It has an extensive database of TV shows, movies, games, books, apps and websites that you can cross reference to see if it is okay for your kids. The service is available both on the Web and as an Android app. The basic service is free, but if you spring for Plus, Common Sense will even suggest age appropriate media for your kids.
Picniic is an all-encompassing family organiser that has an activity channel, shared calendar, to-do list, locator, shopping list, meal planner, event tracker, recipe book and files and photo vault. It’s an amazing app. However, it doesn’t have a rewards system like OurHome. It does have connectivity with calendar apps such as Google calendar, list apps such as Evernote and you can add it to Alexa, Google Home or Siri. It is a $99 subscription per year, if you want to use the locator, meal planner and events service.
We all want to protect our kids from the horrors of the Internet. However, denying them access to social media might be more detrimental. Snooping on their phone is a solution, but if you feel uncomfortable doing it, VISR offers a sort of middle ground. It uses an algorithm that only snoops and reports back when there is a perceived danger. The app can detect if your kids are being bullied, groomed or are thinking of self-harm. This, while ignoring everything else.
Collecting all your kids’ artwork, awards, pictures and events can stack up and be very difficult to organise. At the same time, collating all of these to share with grandparents and relatives can be a pain. Keepy is a service that organises your memories and even lets you record audio to go with pictures, so the stories behind them never fade or get lost. You can also invite and add family members who can view these memories either on phone or the web. The basic service is free, but if you are like me and you do click a lot of pictures and save a lot of memories, you might want to spring for the premium service with unlimited storage which will cost you around R3,500 a year.
Paprika recipe manager
If you want to be more organised with your recipes, planning and buying, Paprika Recipe Manager can help. The app can retrieve and store any recipe you want from any webpage, just paste the link and the app will extract images, ingredients and method. You can plan your meals for a month and then use their smart grocery list that is divided in sections to buy everything you need. The app can also automatically scale recipes depending on the number of people. Not to mention, convert ingredients between metric and imperial measurements automatically. It’s a paid app, but worth it.
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