Free apps to make mom’s life a little easier
Published: April 28, 2022
By: Tanni Haas, Ph.D.
Mother’s Day, May 8, is the perfect opportunity to take care of yourself and other moms that you know. There are a lot of apps out there dedicated to making a mom’s life a little bit easier, whether you’re looking for ideas on what to serve for dinner or kid-friendly travel advice. Here’s a list of some of the very best mom apps. They’re all free so download an app — or three!
Allrecipes Dinner Spinner: available at Amazon Apps; Apple Appstore; Google Play
We’ve all been in this situation many times: It’s 5 p.m., dinnertime, you’ve got to make a meal for the family but all that comes to mind is the same things you always make. Maybe it’s time to try the Allrecipes Dinner Spinner to find user-generated and reviewed recipes from millions of other home cooks. You can even search by keyword, key ingredients that you want to include or exclude, special dietary needs and cooking time. You can also see which ingredients are on sale in local stores, and watch more than 1,000 step-by-step cooking videos with easy-to-follow instructions.
Artkive: available at Apple Appstore; Google Play
Like in most households, I imagine, my kid’s artwork is anywhere you look and don’t look: on the living room walls, in my bedroom and stashed away in various cabinets and drawers. But there’s an alternative: Artkive is an app for storing, sharing, and printing your child’s artwork. You can search uploaded images by which of your kids created the piece, what grade they were in, and when it was made. You can also make high-quality, actual books to give as gifts to family and friends, and turn images into keepsake items like t-shirts, mugs and cell phone covers.
Cozi Family Organizer: available at Amazon Appstore; Apple Appstore; Google Play
As the name implies, Cozi Family Organizer is an organizer. It has a shared calendar where you can track everyone’s schedules both individually and as a group, and a shared shopping list where you can see when items are added to the list or purchased by other family members in real-time. You can also use the app to send automated daily or weekly agenda emails to other family members, create specialized to-do lists, such as emergency supplies or vacation packaging, and organize receipts in one place that’s accessible to everybody.
Find My Kids: available at Amazon Appstore; Apple Appstore; Google Play
One of the most stressful experiences is not knowing where your kids are at any given moment. Nowadays, almost all kids have cell phones, which helps minimize stress. Find My Kids, a GPS-based location app, lets you track your kids quickly and easily. Once registered, each family member appears as a unique icon on a navigational map so you know exactly where your kids are at all times. The app sends out automatic alerts when your kids arrive at school or go home, and monitors their cell phone battery levels letting you when they’re low so you can send out reminders to charge the phones.
Scholly: available at Amazon App; Apple Appstore; Google Play
The time might be around the corner or far off into the future but when it does arrive we’re all going to need it: money for college. Wouldn’t it be nice if at least some of that money comes from scholarships that you won’t have to pay back? Developed by a former Drexel University student who amassed $1.3 million in scholarship funds, Scholly is a database with more than 20,000 scholarship opportunities across the U.S. that is continuously expanded and updated. You can look at each scholarship to learn more about eligibility requirements, the application process, important deadlines and the amount of money offered.
Squat or Not: available at Apple Appstore; Google Play
When traveling with kids, especially toddlers, there are few things more frustrating than not being able to find a public restroom when you need one. Squat or Not is a location-based app that lets you find bathrooms in your location. The app contains a user-generated list of more than 100,000 public restrooms throughout the U.S. You can get the travel time to the nearest bathroom and search by specific features like changing tables or handicap accessible. You are also encouraged to post pictures and rate the restrooms as either “Sit” (good) or “Squat” (not good) to help other app users.
Trekaroo Family Travel: available at Apple Appstore
I can’t count how many times on vacation with my 15-year-old son he shouted in frustration: “Another museum?!” It doesn’t have to be that way. Trekaroo Family Travel, known informally as the TripAdvisor for kid-friendly travel, is an app that includes user-generated reviews of activities, hotels and restaurants that kids will enjoy throughout the U.S. and Canada. The app includes a price slider that makes it easy to find things to do that are either low-cost or free and offers suggestions for kid-friendly day trips.
7 Minute Workout: available at Apple Appstore; Google Play
Let’s be honest, no matter how enjoyable it is, parenting is also exhausting. Physically exhausting. While it can be difficult to find time to work out, we all have seven minutes a day to spare. Wahoo 7 Minute Workout is one of the most popular short-interval fitness apps available. The routine is divided into 12 high-intensity exercises that last for 30 seconds, with 10-second rest intervals. The exercises train your chest, abs, arms and legs through bodyweight training, push-ups, sit-ups and squats. You don’t need any equipment so you can do the exercises wherever and whenever.
Tanni Haas, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Department of Communication Arts, Sciences & Disorders at the City University of New York – Brooklyn College.