Let’s be clear: I’m fully aware that this is more for me than for Holden at this point. But I see all the adorable Elf on the Shelf Pins on Pinterest and it looks like so much fun.
Holden loves to read, so we busted out the book last night. She sat still for the entire thing and was able to point out Santa Claus and the Elf by the end. Then I introduced her to our elf, who we named Elfis (I went with that because she’s currently obsessed with that horrible Ylvis video. Thanks, Nanny!).
She actually seemed to understand that she wasn’t to touch Elfis. She waved to him and blew him a kiss goodnight; so sweet.
So it definitely feels like cheating a little to call this a “Pinterest win” when literally all I did was buy this auto oil drip pan from Walmart (for $11.97)…
… and Command strip it to the wall, but whatever. I mean, I actually had to go into Walmart, which is pretty much the worst. But I did find the super-cute letter magnets there (for 97 cents) so that was a bonus.
Most of the boards I’ve seen on Pinterest were hung vertically, but with Holdy being so little (and having a tendency to pull on stuff), we decided to mount it horizontally. We put it in front of the fireplace because, well, it was the only adequate amount of “wall space” we had, and we never use the fireplace anyway because the glass gets too hot for baby hands.
Holden’s clearly not spelling yet, but she does have fun moving the magnets around (and, let’s be honest, throwing them, putting them in her mouth, etc.)
The only thing I found was that I prefer to put the iPhone/iPod in upside down to avoid the plastic cover for the home button. There’s a protector screen to keep your baby from getting out of apps, but that also means mom and dad can’t get out of the app either.
So what are Holdy’s favorite apps for the iPhone/iPod? These are Holdy’s choices:
We started using the Baby Silencer app to calm Holdy in the car because she hattttttttttted car rides so much. It’s basically like those psychedelic screensavers from the nineties, set to music. The graphics on the screen respond to touch, so the baby can interact with the colors and sound.
Overall, the app totally lives up to its name. Holden loved it as an infant, and she still loves it today. Plus she can interact with it even more now that she’s a toddler.
The Elmo Calls app is so fun. It’s like FaceTiming with Elmo! There are audio calls, video calls and even voicemails. The Sunny Day Sampler Call pack comes with your $.99 purchase of the app and includes nine calls.
You can also download free “Special Visits” calls (like for car trips and visits to the library) and calls for holidays. You can also purchase special packs for bedtime, going potty, going to school, etc.
We started using Elmo Calls when Holden was about six months old. Seeing her face light up when she sees Elmo on the screen is priceless, so $.99 for this awesome app is totally worth it.
The Peekaboo Barn app is Holden’s current favorite. In this adorable app, a bouncing barn houses various farm animals. Your baby opens the door to see who’s inside and learns the animals’ names and the sounds they make.
I started with Peekaboo Barn Lite, which is free and includes three animals (pig, rooster and cow). Now that Holden is a bit older, I bit the bullet and paid the $1.99 for the full version, which includes like 10 (?) animals, plus a cute final animation where all the animals are sleeping. The fact that the app will keep her occupied for like seven glorious, silent minutes pays for that $1.99 several times over.
Peekaboo Barn was designed by artists and educators. It has been a top 20 educational game on the iTunes store nearly every day since its launch and was named one of the top 50 iPhone apps for kids by Babble in 2010 and 2011. We love Peekaboo Barn!
So those are our old standbys when it comes to iPhone apps. What can I say? Holdy loves her some apps.
Holdy loves her handmade fleece Easter bunny, which is perfect for her to gum on. Did I make it? Of course not. I bought it at Growing Up Green, a local, mama-run company that carries safe, natural products. And yes, she ships!