More than Bears

In advance of today’s release of the movies, Bears, Disney launched a neat, free augmented reality app.

The content is all nature-themed. (Nice Earth Month tie-in.) Kids can catch salmon like a brown bear or have adventures like a sea turtle. Very cool.

Plus, there’s no in-app purchasing.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/disneynature-explore/id690215614?mt=8

More Lego

If you think The Lego Movie was big, get ready for more blocks.

Beyond the Brick: A Lego Brickumentary is scheduled to debut Sunday night at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. There must be more to Lego than meets the eye: it’s a documentary hosted by Actor Jason Bateman.

Yellow shirts road show

Has your child outgrown his crib? Does your preschooler need a more grown-up room or your tween a new space? Submit your video to IKEA. Five traveling employees will IKEA-ize the house of lucky winners. Check out the link below.

Upcoming deadlines for submissions:
Charlotte – April 25
Baltimore/DC – May 2
Philly submissions – May 5 to June 6
New York City submissions – June 2 to July 6

https://www.youtube.com/user/IKEAUSA/featured

Add an app

What comes after the Nick App? The Nick Jr. App, of course.

Preschoolers and their parents will find full-length on-demand episodes and curriculum-based content from Dora, Bubble Guppies, PAW Patrol, Diego, and other favorites.

The app rolls out now for the iPad, with additional platforms coming soon.

A surprising turnaround

I was shocked to read that Dr. Dmitri Christakis of the University of Washington, who has historically been a strong voice against “screen time before the age of two,” is re-thinking his position.

Speaking in a commentary in JAMA Pediatrics, Christakis concluded that “while many of you wait for us to build an evidence base before this technology too is supplanted by some new one, I believe that judicious use of interactive media is acceptable for children younger than the age of 2 years.”

That is already happening, of course. But what threw me is that we don’t have data to change the guideline for “no screen time before two.”

Here’s my concern:

If a two-year old is playing on the iPad, will he spend less time building with blocks? drawing with chalk on the sidewalk?

Time for the app play has to come from somewhere, so I wonder, what will he lose to add the tech?

Recall madness

First it was IKEA children’s bed canopies: recalled due to strangulation hazard.

Then it was Grumpy Cat. The plush by Ganz was a choking hazard.

Now Vera Bradley’s bear rattles and stuffed bunnies are being recalled.

It might be April, but that’s pure March Madness.

Creepy or amazing?

On a recent visit to Disney World, our techie son and his family seemed to enjoy the convenience of the MagicBand. The bands, which have radio frequency identification chips, electronically link information on the bracelets to a database.

As “Snowdon-NSA”conversations still swirl around my DC-Metro neighborhood, some parents find it amazing that Disney servers “magically” can locate them in a crowded restaurant. Other parents are “creeped out” when Disney “cast members” greet a birthday child by name while walking down Main Street.

The ride and reservation system of wearable tech is sure to be critiqued as parents begin planning vacation planning.