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Appy Monday: No more nagging! This app could seriously change your life!

Ever found yourself pleading with your child to do something (get up/get dressed/tidy up/go to toilet?) If that sounds like you (and indeed that seems to be more for most of the day) then the Quick Kids app could seriously change your life.

Quick Kids is the brainchild of North London mumpreneur Laura Gray. Laura is a North East London mum to Ethan (7) and Evie (11 months).  After watching an episode of The Apprentice last summer about app development Laura started thinking that perhaps she could develop one.  So during one of her many night-time feeds she started to think about parenting challenges and whether there could be ‘an app for that’ – whatever ‘that’ might be?!

Laura realised that one of the big problems she, like many other parents face, is that she was spending a lot of time cajoling her older child to get things done, (time which could have been spent breastfeeding etc). "One of the difficulties we faced when Evie was born was that I needed to devote lots of attention to her, therefore reducing the amount of attention that I could give my son (then 6 years old).  I really felt that he should be able to do simple tasks such as getting ready for bed and brushing his teeth independently without my constant cajoling, therefore freeing me up to change nappies, breastfeed, fold washing etc.  What I found though was that unless I stood over him, nagging, moaning (and eventually shouting) nothing would get done!" Talking to other parents, Laura realised that her problem was not unique.  

Example screen from Quick Kids site

Laura started developing Quick Kids, an app that would encourage children to get everyday tasks done in a timely fashion that would be fun and challenging. This app challenges children to ‘beat the clock’; if they succeed a star is automatically added to a reward chart.  "I knew from my own experience that reward charts work well, so Quick Kids has a star chart that is linked to an interactive countdown timer."

The app is very simple to set up- simply enter the names of your children, set up the star chart,  and add a photo from a photo library or the camera.  For each task, you decide how many minutes to put on the timer. Your child then presses start and then rushes off to complete their tasks desperate to come back and press stop before the clock counts down to zero so that they earn a star! The app says it is suitable for children 4+ but it probably work for younger children too. Laura reports that the app has received many really positive reviews from parents so far, with many reporting that it has really helped with day-to-day battles, making chores fun. It is versatile to use for short chores such as dressing, to longer tasks such as homework.

What we loved: The app is very simple to use and your child can easily start the timer, rush off to complete the task and then stop it. There's a fun countdown and an explosion of fireworks for completing the task on time. We tried it out today for a room tidy and I've never seen my oldest clear up so quickly.

What we didn't: It was difficult to edit the size of the star chart which you choose when you set up the name of the child.  I ended up deleting the profile and starting again. But really we think this is such a fab idea we wish it could do more- such as put in headings for different tasks, and enable a scoreboard or leaderboard to track how fast the same task is completed on different days.

Vital stats:

Cost: Free
Compatible with: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

Juliet Landau-Pope declutter coach 19 March 2012 at 10:25 said...

Sounds like a great way to motivate younger children to help tidy up. I'll certainly mention it to decluttering clients who find themselves overwhelmed by messy playrooms.

A Maid In Heaven - North London Cleaners 19 April 2012 at 11:30 said...

What a really great idea. A tidy de cluttered house would definitely make our lives easier when cleaning family homes. I will recommend this app to all the families and mums we clean for!

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