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Originally Posted July 12, 2013 - Updated, October 9, 2015

I often feel like the "odd man out" when it comes to my views on the current state of childhood play. Despite covering the latest and greatest in tech toys and apps here on The Rock Father, I'm not keen on making them a big part of our daily lives. I've touched on that before, and sure, I like to know about the "cutting edge," but here's the reality: As plugged-in as they are, the current crop of kids are largely missing out. They're missing out on using their minds - experiencing new worlds through imaginative play and interacting with the real world. What happened to playing dress up and creating adventures in your own neighborhood? A lot of kids aren't getting those experiences, and I think it's because some grownups have forgotten about their own experiences, and now they need a reminder.

Published in James' Journal

This is one of those situations where I get very conflicted. On the surface, there's a start-up company looking to crowdfund a project that they believe in. The intentions seem good, the product solid, and the market is there. Underneath, the problem is that I don't particularly like the product, it'll be obsolete quick, and I wish that the market wasn't there. TEK RECON, which launched it's Kickstarter this week, is being touted as "The First Real-Life Video Game," and was called a combination of "Nerf and Halo" by CNET. It's guns. It's kids. It's tech. So many problems...

For someone that doesn't have an iPad or tablet, I sure do cover a lot of App-related stuff here on The Rock Father. Why? Because so many of you are rockin' those digital devices with your little ones! If you're an iPad user and are looking for a cool last-minute Mother's Day Gift, the folks at Storypanda have a neat idea: You can make a custom digital storybook with their Apps for FREE through Sunday night. Regularly priced at $1.99 & $2.99, six of their book Apps have been marked to $0. When they hit me with the info on it tonight, they said it was "So Easy a Cat Can Do It." Check out the video below to see how Storypanda works...

Published in Books, Mags, Comics

DisneyJr Mag App IconDisney Publishing Worldwide hit The Rock Father with some exciting news for tech-savvy kids and the parents who let them use their iPads: Disney Junior magazine now has an enhanced digital edition for the iPad and iPad Mini, available now on the Apple Newsstand. Building upon the success of the Disney Junior programming (88 million viewers worldwide) Disney Junior magazine has been available in-print alongside Disney Princess, Disney·Pixar Cars, Disney Fairies, Phineas & Ferb, and Marvel Super Heroes. Now, as the first digital mag from Disney, young readers can experience the content in new, interactive ways.

Published in Books, Mags, Comics

EARTH DAY was yesterday... an occasion we marked here at Rock Father HQ by purchasing a portable greenhouse to hold our seedlings as we ready things for a new season of gardening. While a "day" is fine to learn about and celebrate the Earth, the National Wildlife Federation encourages kids and families to do so every day... and their iOS Apps are a fun way for kids to learn. To celebrate Earth Week, NWF has made two of their popular RANGER RICK Apps available at a 60% Discount through April 29th. Check out the details below...

This week, LED ZEPPELIN: SOUND AND FURY, a digital book by noted photographer Neal Preston, arrived exclusively on the iBookstore for the iPad. To celebrate it's release, the folks at Rhino Entertainment have teamed with The Rock Father to provide readers with a chance to win a limited-edition 8x10 print, signed by photographer/author Neal Preston himself. Details on this incredible new digital book can be found below, along with your chance to enter this special giveaway!

Published in Contests and Giveaways
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