5 Free Apps to Stop Back-to-School Stress
Every year summer comes to a crashing halt when the school year begins. The lazy summer mornings turn into school morning routines, and timing is everything. This year, try some tested tricks to get your kids moving, and even a couple for the parents too. After all, who couldn’t use some free help in the morning?
Want to wake up to the sound of a rooster? How about a gentle waterfall? Chances are, there is probably an app for that! Go check your app store for a fun new morning wake up call. There are plenty of free apps available for iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone that will get your morning off to a good start. It will make getting out of bed a lot more fun and will keep you motivated. And if you are an avid bacon lover, be sure to check out Oscar Mayer’s Wake Up and Smell the Bacon app. They will send you a special dongle in the mail that you plug into the headphone jack of your iPhone, and the app will wake you up with the magical smell and sound of bacon sizzling. I haven’t personally tried this one out since I don’t have an iPhone, but it does sound like fun...
Add Some Tunes
Do your kids need some motivation in the morning? Try a morning playlist! Pick some energetic songs that will be sure to let them hit the ground dancing. You can even help them line up what needs to be done in the morning with certain songs. For example, put on BOOTS by The Laurie Berkner Band for when it’s time to put your shoes on to head out the door. You can make a playlist right on YouTube for free, or use a streaming app such as Spotify. Spotify will let you make free playlists on your laptop, but if you want to use the mobile app you either have to upgrade to the premium version, or use one of their premade kids’ playlists.
While Android phones have handy widgets that make it easy to get the weather and news on your home screen, the iPhone can be little less friendly before your morning cup of coffee. If you are looking for an easy way to check in on things, try the new app called Morning. The app gives you nine different panels to choose from such as weather, stocks, news, and a to-do list. See what is ahead of you for the whole day right in one place. This app is only available in iTunes.
Oral B and Disney have partnered to make a free app called Disney Magic Timer to help with brushing teeth. Two minutes of brushing can feel like forever, so start this app and your kids will love watching the Disney pictures unfold right before their eyes. They can earn badges and stars along the way, and when you buy a new toothbrush or toothpaste, you can scan the label to unlock even more. So don’t forget to brush before you head out the door!
For the Parents: Take a Course
Feel like your kids are having all the fun at school? Sign up for a free course for yourself and learn something new! There are a bunch of free apps out there with courses ranging from managing debt to retirement planning to learning Hebrew to fixing the kitchen sink. Learn WordPress and SEO, or learn about green screen photography and take awesome photos of your kids this fall. The possibilities are endless, and did I mention free? Udemy is one of these apps. Download one of their courses on your smartphone or tablet and take it everywhere you go. You can fit in learning at the doctor’s office or while waiting for an oil change. You can also try Coursera or My Open Courses for more options.
Now you’ll just need to wait until Starbucks releases the new version of their app, allowing you to place your coffee order right from your smartphone and then pick it up in the store...