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Technology has the power to unlock learning for kids of all ages and stages. And sometimes exploring and learning on a device first is less intimidating than trying out new skills with real people.

We love these apps that help kids with communication, organization and even social-awareness skills.

1. Peppy Pals Sammy Helps Out


Ages 3+

Though this social-emotional skill builder is designed for young kids, older kids who struggle with social situations and empathy also might find it helpful. Best used with a parent or teacher, this app provides built-in discussion questions to help guide kids so they can take their learning offscreen.

2. Kid in Story Book Maker

Ages 4+

By creating social stories, kids can work with expectations and practice before events actually happen. The special features are particularly helpful for kids who may need to see themselves encountering situations, such as a visit to the dentist, in storybook form before encountering them in real life.

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3. Calm Counter - Social Story and Anger Management Tool

Ages 4+

This ingenious app helps kids with special needs, social challenges, anxiety, or anger issues learn self-awareness as they begin to identify when they "need a break" and practice calming down.

4. FTVS HD - First Then Visual Schedule HD

Ages 5+

With its simple, multisensory interface, this app has great potential for use with kids with developmental or learning disabilities, anxiety or attention issues, and language, hearing, or processing difficulties.

5. Proloquo2Go


Ages 5+

This extraordinary communication aid is great for kids who have basic to severe speech challenges. Kids can learn how to effectively convey wants, needs, feelings, opinions, social manners, and more.

6. Social Detective

Ages 6+

Through video and a comprehensive, step-by-step process, kids can learn about expected vs. unexpected behaviors in a variety of everyday situations. Because the videos include real kids and the app offers practical tips, users will be able to identify with and apply what they learn.

7. Flummoxvision - Watch Flummox and Friends on your iPad

Ages 8+

For kids who like a little humor, this series of videos and questions offers a unique approach to learning about social skills. When used with an adult or with a group of kids who can interact around the content, the learning potential will expand and have even more impact.

8. The Social Express II

Ages 8+

This excellent animated app boosts kids' social-awareness skills. Kids can learn to identify how their peers are feeling, develop coping strategies, recognize the importance of eye contact, and learn a host of core social skills needed to function in daily life.

9. Popplet

Ages 13+

This mind-mapping tool is especially helpful for kids who have problems with organization and visual memory. Kids can insert words, images, and their own drawings and then connect to other related Popplets to create an interactive outline of related ideas.

Originally posted on Common Sense Media.

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There is no denying that every baby is born with their very own personality and now you're really starting to see that emerge! Whether your buddy is silly or more serious, we bet you are loving this time of really getting to know each other.

At this point, you're probably feeling like your baby changes by the minute, and watching this transformation is so much fun. But let's face it: Their increasing mobility and newfound independence can throw a mama for a major loop. Just when you start to feel like you've mastered this new mom thing, your baby goes and changes the game.

As you also know by now, life isn't slowing down very much. Some mamas prefer diving right back into their "former life" as soon as possible after their baby's arrival; others are only starting to dip their toes back into those waters. You do you, mama!

Either way, adding these products to your personal and parenting toolkits can make these transitions so much easier (and more enjoyable, too!).

For soothing baby bottoms: The Honest Company diaper rash cream

Honest diaper cream

As the food your baby eats changes, so too may their dirty diapers. If that's causing some irritation, you'll want to stock up on some fast-acting diaper rash cream.

$9.99

For baby-proofing: Safety 1st childproofing essentials kit

Safety First

With mobility in your near future, now is the time to give your house a safety once-over. We're still waiting for an explanation as to why babies gravitate straight to household hazards, but prepare yourself before they find those eye-level outlets.

$5.99

When baby has something to say: ‘Baby Signs’ board book

Baby signs

Long before you can have conversations, baby sign language can give your baby an effective way to communicate their needs. Our favorite starter signs are 'milk,' 'more' and 'all done.'

$10.99

A friend for peekaboo: Bright Starts belly laugh puppy

Bright Starts

Between the ages of 4 and 7 months, babies generally develop their sense of object permanence, which means they understand that something isn't gone forever when it's out of sight. This also means they're in on the joke during a fun game of peekaboo!

$12.59

For introducing new flavors: Plum Organics stage 2 baby food

Plum Organics

As you continue to add more options to your baby's diet, some organic, pre-made pouches are both convenient and delicious. (For your baby, at least—although we'll say some of the flavors aren't that bad.)

$4.89

For at-home date night: Scrabble board game

Scrabble

Mix up your at-home entertainment options with a 2-person board game. For stakes, have the loser take out the diaper trash for a week!

$16.19

For wine night: Threshold stainless steel wine glasses

Threshold

Long-stem, breakable wine glasses and babies just don't mix—but if you're planning an at-home date night or hosting a few friends, these durable glasses are a fantastic option.

$6.99

For jeans you love now: Universal Thread high-waist jeans

Universal Thread

It's a fact: Pregnancy and motherhood change our bodies in ways beyond what a scale measures. There is something incredibly empowering about embracing your body for exactly how it is today by finding a pair of jeans you feel comfortable in now.

$19.99

For a home refresh: Project 62 shag rug

Project 62

When you have a baby with crawling in the horizon, it's a good time for a plush, comfortable rug to spruce up the living room. It will see a lot of playtime in the future, so go for something large in size.

$199.99

For healthy snacks on hand: (re)zip reusable lunch bags

rezip bags

Keeping up with your baby can work up quite the appetite, so it helps to keep some options on hand that are healthy for both you and the environment. Cut up some veggies at the beginning of the week and stash them in these reusable bags for easy, eco-friendly meal prep.

$19.99

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

Expectant parents do not need to be told to move beyond Jennifer and Jason. Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

Here are our picks for the 100 best surprising + unusual baby names now.


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