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My Son, The Techie: Basti’s Favorite Apps

August 6, 2011

There are so many parenting blogs and articles online that go by the way of “organic parenting” as I call it. You know, the no-tv-wooden-toys-only kind.

Well, this blog isn’t one of them. Not by a mile.

Sure I also dabbled with thoughts of not exposing Basti to technology early in life. But how could I? I have an internet love affair. Literally, a love affair with the internet and all things tech.

I have been online for as long as I can remember internet being available in this country. I started with a measly 14.4kbps modem tied up to my Pentium PC, and had a dedicated phone line installed so I could avail of the unlimited log-in time of my then-internet service provider. There was a certain comfort to hearing the modem dial-up, hiss, pop and whistle until that unmistakeable moment of connection.

I met lots of friends from my IRC days. I became an op of some channels, attended EBs, the works. Some of them are still my friends to this very day. I even found a way to incorporate my internet addiction into my college thesis. It was titled, “Internet Relay Chat: Defining A Sub-Culture.” I was lauded for introducing new research techniques to the Psychology Department (read: Yahoo! search) and no one could understand what I was talking about because my professor or any of the members of the panel of peers even had an email address. I got an A.

My switch from PC to Mac brought my addiction to a whole new level. It was around the same time DSL residential lines became available, and I was brought into the world of e-groups, chat and user forums. I was fiercely active in the Philippine Macintosh Users Group or PhilMUG, even getting on the board of directors. Yes, there is such a thing.

The internet became my lifeline when I lived in China. Inspite of The Great Firewall, it connected me to my family, friends and the outside world (thank you proxy servers). When I got back, it seemed like no time passed at all.

Going through baby blues, Twitter became my shrink, Facebook, my connection to the outside world and my blog, my sanctuary. Dr. Google was helpful for times of extreme paranoia, and through my blog, found like-minded mothers who share the same passions as I do.

Basti spent a good portion of his days as a newborn worn in a sling while I was in front of my Mac. Now at close to 1.5 years old, he likes to play with my keyboard and mouse (I got him his own so he doesn’t accidentally send a gibberish email to my boss), and he can unlock my iPhone and play music. He can also take Hipstamatic pictures, sometimes much better than I do.

Now that I have an iPad (droool), Basti’s got a ton of stuff to play with. In case you are in the same boat as I am, here are a few of Basti’s favorite apps and activities. If you have any of your favorites to share, please do!

1. The Wheels On The Bus

“The Wheels On The Bus” is high up on Gymboree’s most-requested songs, with its interactive lyrics and fun melody. This app is Basti’s ultimate favorite and I had to get it right away when OC Mom In Manila used it to keep him still while we had our nails done. It features interactive elements, the music in several languages and a record feature so you can have your baby listen to your own voice singing “The Wheels On The Bus” as they play the game. The bubbles go pop pop pop, the people jump up and down, birds hop and sing, dogs bark, at the touch of your child’s poke-poke-poke. So cute! Available for both iPhone and iPad.

2. Phone4kids

Why is it that no matter how many toy phones you buy, they always want the real thing? Basti loved using the call and text messaging functions of my phone that someone actually wanted to be textmates. This app builds on that curiosity and creates similar environments and other fun stuff without accidental calls to your client or boss.

It’s got a phone with the matching tones:

It’s also got a compass, fake SMS center, a function for learning letters, and a drawing palette. If you make the in-app purchase, you’ll also get a few more fun things for your kid to enjoy. The free version though, is more than enough to keep your toddler occupied. Available for both iPhone and iPad, though the app on the iPad makes it look like a giant phone. Hehe.

3. Toy Story Read-Along Interactive Book

Toy Story is Basti’s favorite Pixar film. This interactive book is so jampacked with features, I can’t believe it’s free!

You can choose between the built-in read-along feature (with the original voices from the movie) or you can record your voice! Some of the pages also transform into coloring sheets. I wanna get the others too, but they’re not free. I have to stop myself from purchasing all these apps.

4. I Hear Ewe

We Filipinos love this: “Baby what’s the sound of the dog? Of the cat? Of the alligator? Of the hedgehog?” Well here’s the perfect animal sound learning app.

Sound and image recognition, with another page for transportation sounds like car, firetruck and ambulance.

5. Any Piano app. We use this one.

We’re not married to it. Anything that generates the piano sound is good enough for Basti. I don’t think he’s going to play a Concerto soon. Unless I turn into Tiger Mother tomorrow.

6. My Drawing Book and My Coloring Book

These are free apps, but have in-app purchases for extra tools and drawing sheets.

The free version is enough for Basti while he's still getting a grip on his fine motor skills. Cute, kid-friendly interface and they're not skimpy with the color selection, even at the free version.


I have to give a special shout-out to Frances and Vince Sales, who allowed me to get their extra Dodo case for my iPad. It makes my tablet look like a Moleskine.

Photo courtesy of

Love it!!! Thanks guys!!



18 Comments leave one →
  1. August 6, 2011 3:27 pm

    Wow! 1 week old pa lang si IPAD2 and you have so much stuff na!!! we have the piano and that toystory book also. but puro free apps lang kami. hehe

    • Eliza permalink
      August 6, 2011 3:36 pm

      The others kasi were in my iPhone na, eh compatible also with the iPad. Free apps din lang ako save for a few. At least the apps aren’t expensive if you really want some no?

  2. Geegee permalink
    August 6, 2011 3:48 pm

    Painter’s Wife, I love reading your blogs! Yun lang! 🙂

    • Eliza permalink
      August 6, 2011 4:09 pm

      Nakakatawa ka!!!! 😀

      • August 7, 2011 8:35 am

        ako rin, i love reading your blog!! 😀

      • Eliza permalink
        August 7, 2011 8:18 pm

        Wushuuu. i know you just love me. Hahaha!

  3. August 6, 2011 5:05 pm

    I loooove your Dodocase! 🙂

    We also have that piano, and the coloring apps! 🙂 Of course my almost 8-y.o. boy has more complicated games and apps already and I am clueless with all of them — the dad is the spoiler!!! :<

    • Eliza permalink
      August 7, 2011 1:57 am

      I expect to buy more as he grows up pero baka hologram na ang uso by the time Basti is 8 years old!! Haha!

  4. August 6, 2011 10:14 pm

    Y loves the Wheels on the Bus (well, actually ako din naaliw at first)! Thanks for recommending that App! 🙂 Must check the other apps 🙂

    • Eliza permalink
      August 7, 2011 1:57 am

      I want to buy rin the Old McDonald, by the same software group! 🙂

  5. August 7, 2011 1:23 am

    Glad you love your Dodo =D We’ll buy another one na lang when we finally decide whether to buy an iPad 2 or not!

    Thanks for this list! Ma-download nga para kay Vito (even if he’s too young for them!)

    • Eliza permalink
      August 7, 2011 1:59 am

      Vito can handle The Wheels On The Bus na for sure!! Go! He’ll love it!! I shoulda shown him last Friday. (Then maybe he would’ve let me carry him no?)

  6. August 7, 2011 10:32 am

    i am droooooling over your dodo case!!!

    thanks for the list of apps, i’ll definitely look for the wheels on the bus, as it’s raoul’s favorite song! =) yep, my kids are techies too! and how can they not be, when their parents are die hard apple gadget fans! heheheh.

    • Eliza permalink
      August 7, 2011 8:18 pm

      hey Pat! Hey everyone this is my ultra-cool web designer yo!! 🙂

      Order the case online Pat!! 🙂 And yes, Raoul will love WotB!!

  7. August 7, 2011 6:00 pm

    OMG! Elai! I’ve been online for so long din! Ever since BB days! The first email I sent out was in Ateneo…because my friends were from there (was still in highschool I think)! So…apir. hahahhaha!

    • Eliza permalink
      August 8, 2011 12:29 am

      BB!! Green letters on black screen!! High-tech na high-tech na yun before!! Haha!

  8. August 13, 2011 1:39 am

    Thanks for this! Downloaded quite a few na!

    • Eliza permalink
      August 13, 2011 1:48 am

      Welcome Benz! Maybe next time I’ll feature apps for mommies, hehe.

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