Have you been out and about with your toddler and one of THOSE things happened? You know what I’m talking about. A tantrum. One of those tantrums that you thought would never happen to you before you had kids. Or even when you had a small baby. My bundle of sleeping contentment couldn’t grow into that…I’d like to think I am getting better at spotting the prelude to a paroxysm. I can spot the symptoms and do my best to go with a prevention rather than a cure.
My daughter and I fly a lot. A plane is the last place I want to be dealing with an outburst. Books, crayons and toys only go so far and Layne gets restless. So my in-case-of-emergency-break-glass solution to this are the great apps made by the folk at Duck Duck Moose. I balk at paying for any apps, but what price do you put on in-flight harmony? Priceless. Well, these are only AUD$1.29 from iTunes. We own all five. And you have always got this magic solution with you.
The apps are loosely based on nursery rhymes: Wheels on the Bus; Old MacDonald; Itsy Bitsy Spider and Baa Baa Black Sheep. The fifth one is called fish school. It does counting, the alphabet, colours and matching. The others have scenes that play out to the song and you interact. My favourite is swiping to make the wheels on the bus go round (and round).
The repetition of the songs and the sounds can get to you after a while, but the games can be played with little or no volume. For variety, you can record yourselves singing the song, use another language or a variety of instrumentals.
I am conscious that any screen time counts towards the 2 hours a day recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. I prefer these games to television because Layne is engaged with them and doing something (albeit only with her fingers), rather than sitting passively like a statue watching a DVD.