Apps

30 creative activities for kids that you can do at home

Time for some fun📱

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Being a parent with young kids can be tough and overwhelming, especially at a time like this when kids can’t go to school. Coming up with ideas to not only entertain them but also to keep them engaged and curious is a challenge so Apple’s team of educators wants to help.

Here is a set of 30 fun, constructive, and creative activities for younger kids (4-8+) to do with the built-in features of iPad and iPhone. These activities are age appropriate and your kiddo can work on them independently. They can also be tailored even for those who are young at heart.

1. Personify something

Take a photo of an everyday object at home or outside, and draw on it using Markup to transform it into a character.

Get started: Open your photo, tap Edit, then tap the three dots in the top-right to use Markup.

2. Capture a time-lapse video

Set up your iPad to capture a time-lapse video while you build a fort, make your favorite snack, clean up your toys, or watch an ice cube melt.

Get started: Choose Time-Lapse mode in your Camera app. Tap the Record button to start recording; tap it again when you’re done.

3. Make coloring sheets

Take a few fun photos, then change them to black and white to create your own coloring sheets. Use Markup to add color.

Get started: Open each photo, tap Edit, and apply one of the black-and-white filters. Go further by creating a book using a template in the Pages app.

4. Picture your name

Take a photo of each letter of your name by finding them in books or signs. Put them together to spell out your name in a colorful collage.

Get started: Crop the letters in the Photos app, then add each photo to a Keynote file in the right order.

5. Go on a photo walk

Pick a color or letter of the day and take photos of things that are that color or start with that letter. Then put them together in a collage or video. Try to make a rainbow or complete the alphabet!

Get started: Add the photos of each color or letter to a slide in the Keynote app. Or add each photo to Clips and record your voice saying the colors or letters.

6. See color in slo-mo

Record a video in slow-motion of drops of food coloring falling in water. Do primary colors first, then mix them together to create secondary colors.

Get started: Choose Slo-mo mode in your Camera app, then record.

7. Emojify your mood

Draw a circle, then add silly eyes, a happy face, or eyebrows that show the mood you’re in. You can also add shapes and images, then share it with your friends!

Get started: Add the images to a Keynote slide, then tap 
 the plus sign to use the drawing tools. Or use shapes to get started, then decorate with emoji.

8. Storyboard your daily routine

Take a photo of something that represents each of your regular activities. Combine the photos and add a title, time, and checkbox for each activity. Mark it up daily!

Get started: In the Keynote app, tap the plus sign to use the drawing tools. Draw your emoji, then add shapes or images to decorate your picture.

9. Calendar together

Download this fun template to identify the days, months, seasons, weather, temperature—and even your mood!

Get started: Open the document using the Keynote app. Copy the labels and paste them to the right spot on the calendar.

10. Find shapes in nature

Take a photo outdoors, then use Markup to trace all the shapes you can find in the photo.

Get started: Open your photo, tap Edit, then tap the three dots in the top-right to use Markup.

11. Make a simple book

Think of an imaginary story. Take photos or videos acting out different parts. Create a book with each photo or video scene, along with story captions. Then decorate it with drawings, shapes, or emoji images.

Get started: Add your photos and videos to a book template using the Pages app.

12. Tell a story with shapes

Add a variety of shapes from the Shapes menu to a blank page, and rearrange them to create a story. Try rearranging the same shapes to create three different stories.

Get started: In the Pages app, tap the plus sign in the top-right to open the Shapes menu. Drag the shapes to rearrange them.

13. Record news interviews

Have fun recording yourself asking and answering questions. Use different sounds and voices, becoming an alien giving the weather in outer space or a squirrel covering nut collections outdoors.

Get started: Use the Audio Recorder in the GarageBand app.

14. Create a comic strip

Take a picture of yourself and each of your favorite toys
as the characters. Combine the photos in a video, transform them using the comic book filter, and record yourself telling a story.

Get started: Touch and hold the Record button in the Clips app to import each character’s photo from Photos. Tap each clip to use the comic book filter effect.

15. Concentration

Write phrases or sentences using only emoji or shapes with a friend or sibling. Share your clues with each other and take turns solving them.

Get started: Open a document in the Pages app and tap the globe in the bottom-left of the keyboard to see the emoji. Tap the person icon in the top-right to collaborate with a friend.

16. Go back in time

Find an old photo. Re-create the scene, take a picture, then use a black-and-white filter to make it look like it was from the past.

Get started: Open your photo, tap Edit, then tap the three circles at the bottom to use filters.

17. Write a love letter to the planet

Take, find, or draw a picture of your favorite place. Add text boxes or a voice recording of why you love it and how you’ll take care of it.

Get started: Add your photo to the Pages or Keynote app. Tap the plus sign to choose Record Audio, or choose Shapes and add a text box.

18. Make skip counting fun

Record yourself skip counting by 2s, 5s, or 10s. Use the fun voice effects to give yourself a monster or robot voice.

Get started: Use the Audio Recorder in the GarageBand app.

19. Make patterns

Add a series of two or three shapes to a blank page to create a pattern. Repeat the pattern with a new set of shapes, then practice identifying and tracing each shape.

Get started: In the Pages app, tap the plus sign to use the Shapes menu to add shapes. Drag the shapes to arrange them in a pattern. Tap the plus sign again to use the drawing tool to trace on top of the shapes.

20. Go on a scavenger hunt

Use this template to create your own scavenger hunt by replacing the items in each square with different shapes or images.

Get started: Open the template in the Keynote app. Tap the plus sign in the top-right to open the Shapes menu, and replace the items in each box with shapes of your choice. You can also replace them with emoji.

21. Leaning tower of pillows

Build a tower of pillows, and record a slo-mo video of the tower tumbling to the ground.

Get started: Choose Slo-mo mode in your Camera app, then record.

22. Strike a pose, twice

Have a family member take a pano photo with you in the first frame. Run to the end so you appear in the photo twice.

Get started: Start on the left side of the camera frame, then run behind the photographer to pop into the frame from the right side.

23. Send flowers

Use shapes to make a bouquet of flowers. Add some text, and send it as a postcard to someone special.

Get started: Tap the plus sign in the top-right of the Keynote app to open the Shapes menu. Export as an image to share.

24. Have a laugh

Ask Siri to tell you a joke.

Get started: Say “Hey Siri, tell me a joke” into your iPad.

25. Reach for the stars

Lay on the ground, and looking up, take burst photos of a family member jumping and reaching for the stars. The upward angle will make it look like they’re touching the sky.

Get started: Touch and hold the shutter button to take a burst of multiple photos. Tap Edit to select the frame when the person jumping is highest in the air.

26. Become an artist

Take a photo of yourself or your favorite toy. Trace the lines on top of the photo, then delete the photo to reveal your work of art.

Get started: Add your photo to a blank slide in Keynote. Tap the plus sign to use the drawing tool for tracing on top of your photo. Save it as an image when you’re done.

27. Put things in order

Take a picture of each step of an everyday activity, like washing your hands: turn on the water, soap your hands, scrub, rinse, and dry. Put the photos in order to create a sequence. You just learned your first coding concept!

Get started: Add your photos to the Keynote or Clips app, and sort them in the correct order. In Clips, you can make a short movie that includes music, titles, and stickers.

28. Get your questions answered

Have a question? Like, why is the sky blue? Or, how much does an elephant weigh? Let Siri find the answer.

Get started: Say “Hey Siri” into your iPad.

29. Use your voice

Use Voice Memos to create an audio message to share a funny joke with a friend, send an invitation for a virtual play date, or just say hi!

Get started: Record a message in the Voice Memos app, then share it using Messages or Mail.

30. Personalize a portrait

Take a self-portrait and use Markup to draw on it and let your personality shine. Do you have a cape or wings? Maybe a unicorn horn? Green highlights in your hair?

Get started: Open your photo, tap Edit, then tap the three dots in the top-right to use Markup.

SEE ALSO: 9 gifts to enhance your kid’s multiple intelligence

Apps

5 Memoji-inspired outfit ideas: His and Hers

Play dress up virtually with the public beta preview of iOS 15

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Unveiled at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote are new customization options coming to Memoji on iMessage, including a much-awaited feature: outfit selection.

In 2019, Apple rolled out the most significant Memoji customization update. That year, users were able to apply makeup, change hair color, wear piercings and jewelry, and pick from different styles of headwear and glasses. The only thing missing was being able to choose clothing.

If you have the public beta of iOS 15 installed, you can now virtually play dress up and plan outfits for those trips you’ve been dreaming of and activities you’ve been deprived of after a year of quarantine.

#1 Romantic date night 

Who doesn’t like dressing up for a romantic date that will take you from a dinner at a restaurant to a cocktail or two at a speakeasy? Changing out of pajamas can do wonders to your mood.

His: a crisp long sleeved button down and his favorite hat

Hers: a flirty dress and statement earrings

#2 Stroll at the botanical garden

Has your apartment turned into a mini greenhouse with all the indoor plants you’ve adopted? Driving to the nearest botanical garden will either make you feel zen and content, or convince you that your plant collection is insufficient.

His: a breezy shirt and a pair of sunglasses

Hers: a colorful sundress and a top bun

Safari adventure

If there’s anything we learned about ourselves this past year, it’s that we all desire to be out in nature from time to time. A safari trip might not be realistic right now, but no one’s stopping you from imagining one.

His: a two pocket utility shirt and a cowboy hat

Hers: a loose tunic and a fedora

Sunny weekend at the beach

No summer is complete without a beach trip; and no beach trip is complete without some refreshing piña coladas, swimsuits that show off your summer bod, and copious amounts of sunscreen.

His: a linen top and a pair of polarized sunglasses

Hers: a long coverup, a pair of pearl earrings, and a straw hat 

Hike in the fall

Not a beach person? Maybe the mountains and autumn foliage are more your jam. Just make sure to stay warm from top to toe without sacrificing style and comfort.

His: a cable knit sweater and a fisherman’s hat

Hers: a turtleneck sweater and a beanie

BONUS: Big business convention

There’s never a bad time to get a good blazer or a pantsuit. You might not be able to wear them out to trade shows yet, but looking your best for Zoom meetings is always appropriate.

His: an olive green knit blazer, a black oxford shirt, and a skinny tie

Hers: a beige blazer, a pair of cat-eye glasses, and a pair of gold earrings

Apart from more than 40 different outfits, multicolored headwear, and new options for glasses, iOS 15 offers nine new Memoji stickers that include a shaka, a hand wave, a light bulb moment, and more.

iOS 15 will be available this fall as a free software update. If you’re interested in trying new Memoji outfits now, you can sign up for the public beta here: https://beta.apple.com/sp/betaprogram/

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Google is making its masked emoji happier

Update rolls out soon

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Whenever an emoji update rolls out, it often brings an opportunity to update our zeitgeist of how the world has changed overtime. For example, last year focused on the coronavirus pandemic, bringing about new ways to depict ourselves with masks on. This year, the zeitgeist is shifting once again. And Google is updating some of its emojis to reflect that.

Announced through their blog, Google is making some of its emojis more inclusive and positive. However, despite how it sounds, the update doesn’t involve quite a major revision compared to how they added different skin colors in the past.

Instead, Google is making a few emojis more interpretable in other countries. For example, the company’s formerly American pie has been changed to reflect a more universal pie that other countries can easily see. Another example is removing the invisible woman supposedly wearing the bikini emoji. Instead of a busty bikini, the emoji now lays flat, making it more inclusive for other body types. Some food emojis have also been made more delectable.

Finally (and most importantly), Google is removing the sense of foreboding from its masked emoji. Instead of a face that’s clearly sick, the new emoji now has a more neutral (and possibly even happy) face. Now that the world is healing from the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, Google is focusing on a world where mask-wearing remains a sign of kindness and care towards others.

Google is rolling out the updates starting with Android 12. However, it is also rolling the new emojis out to older phones that can support emojis.

SEE ALSO: Google’s Emoji Kitchen will mash-up your favorite emojis

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Google launches feature to delete last 15 minutes of search history

Starting with iOS app

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Let’s face it: our search histories can hide the filthiest of stuff. Sometimes, we get a little bit curious about certain things, whip up Google, indulge for 15 minutes, and end up with a less-than-savory search history. It can get tedious to delete your search history over and over. To help with that, Google is launching a new feature to delete the last 15 minutes of your search history.

First announced during I/O 2021, the feature has already started rolling out to the Google’s iOS app. The settings menu now has a convenient button to delete the last 15 minutes instantly. Meanwhile, the company’s bread and butter, Android, will receive the feature later this year.

Desktop users might have a longer time to wait for the feature, though. Currently, desktop Googlers can set their devices to automatically delete their history every 3, 18, or 36 months. Of course, they can also manually nuke their history whenever they want.

Of course, the immediate, top-of-mind use for the feature is to erase quick NSFW searches. However, the feature will also come in handy for super-extra-curious minds who are determined to search for every dubious term they find online. It can also work for those who borrow their phones from others for quick searches.

SEE ALSO: Google discontinuing Android Jellybean soon

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