Appy Chat & Giveaway
Developer: Weiner Family Studios
The only App you will want the kids playing at the dinner table.
Great app for kids and the whole family during the holidays.
Sometimes parents need a creative push to get the ideas flowing. “A Family Matters” has provided that push for thousands of families and we hope it can do the same for yours. Sure you know how to talk with your children, but every now and then a new idea for engaging them can be fun and even enlightening.
We recommend using it for 5-15 minutes and alternating whose turn it is to answer a question or play an activity. This seems to get the best results. Wait for a table at a restaurant is our favorite time to use it, but car trips and holidays with the grandparents come in a close second.
- Category: Games
- Updated: 09 September 2010
- Version: 1.30
- Languages: English, Italian, Spanish
- Seller: Scott Weiner
- Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1.3 or later.
When did you decide to develop this app?
I was at a restaurant with my family and the service was slow and my children were getting restless so my wife gave them an iPod to keep them busy. It hit me that we were out as a family but we weren’t really together, the kids were buried in their games. Later I relayed my concerns to my wife that while I love technology I didn’t like the idea that it was getting between us. I said I wished mobile devices could be used to bring us together. In her typical brilliant way she told me to quit complaining and solve the problem. So I did. WIth the help of my entire family we built an application designed to enhance family communication wherever they are.
When did you first release this app?
The first release was in 2009. Since then we have added thousand activities and questions and many more modules so now we have activities for all types of places like the doctors office or even while waiting in line at Disney World.
How long did it take you to develop this app?
The original version took about three months. This included a learning curve for iOS development.
What is your favorite feature?
Originally my favorite feature was that the app presents you ideas to talk with your kids that are venue driven. So for instance if you were in a restaurant it may ask you to go around the table and have everyone say what they would name the restaurant if it was theirs and then have the family vote on who had the best idea, or if you were in a doctors office with your nervous preschooler it may ask her why she thinks healthy people go to the doctor and then you could talk to her about it. Some of the questions are silly and some are suprisingly enlightening. So that was my favorite feature until one day a therapist emailed me to thank me telling me that it had helped him breakthrough to some of his mildly autistic students by creating interesting communication opportunities. Since then many parents and therapists have told me similar stories. So my favorite feature now is that it is more than just fun, it helps. Other fun features include the ability to keep a journal of what your kids say or even create your own activities or mark your favorites for easy access later. There are a lot so that is helpful.
What skills were you hoping to help the end user to develop? (eg fine motor, reasoning, education – maths, reading, social)?
Definitely communication. My main focus was originally on parents. At the end of a long day sitting at the table with the kids I would try to ask them “how was your day?” but usually got answers like “fine…” So sometimes you are too tired to ask interesting questions and often they are too tired to provide interesting answers. Everyone means well but life is busy. What I found was the kids liked asking each other questions and even turning the tables on me. Having your seven year old ask you what makes someone a hero is much more interesting dinner conversation. There is also a social aspect that is fantastic. Many grandparents have told me that around the holidays they used it to break the ice with grandchildren they haven’t seen in years. They found it a fun way to get close. I love that.
What age range would this app most suit?
All ages. In the app we provide a parents guide with suggested usage for learning or play. Since there are questions to read there should be at least someone old enough to read the activities and questions and explain them. From our experience it seems to work for most ages.
Are any new updates coming soon?
I don’t know how soon as we have several apps in the works and the kids are in school (we work on this as a family on vacations, etc). However the modules we are working on currently are a preschool-focused module, a module for children of military families, a pets module.
Anything else we should know?
Early on we had the app positioned as an Entertainment app and set it for free for a few days. We got swamped with kids downloading it thinking it was a game like “the sims”. I really wish they had read the description because we ended up getting a lot of bad ratings from that. So if any parents like the app as much as we do please leave us a review. It motivates us to add even more! Also, please send us any feedback, suggestions or wishes as we always want to improve and help families.