If you’re silently judging other parents for being on their phones at the playground, take another look: Their kid is fully dressed (in an outfit that actually matches), eating a healthy snack, and ready to leave when they’re told it’s time. You already know there are no parenting secrets on Snapchat or kid insights on Instagram. But, there are a bunch of useful smartphone chores apps to keep track of everything in your family’s life. It’s like a digital family chore chart: your kids will remember to do their chores. You’ll remember to pack their lunch. And everything will be great from now on — as long as nobody forgets their phone.
READ MORE: The Fatherly Guide to Chores
Picniic is your family’s all-in-one, let’s-get-our-shit-together chores app. You can access shared calendars, grocery lists, to-do lists, meal planners, insurance info, emergency contacts, events, and family members’ current GPS locations all in one place. It’s what the FBI would be if that “F” stood for “Family.”
If your kid is demanding chicken nuggets for the third day in a row, you might need some help with meal planning — from them. LaLa lets parents and kids decide what goes into their tummies as a team. It gives a list of healthy options for kids to add to their digital lunchbox and feed a digital monster avatar. More complicated than saying, “If you don’t eat your meat, you won’t get any pudding,” but more effective.
It’s hard watching your kid take their first steps, especially when they’re out the door. With GeoZilla parents can keep track of their kids’ route to and from school — or to friends’ houses (so you can see that detour to 7-Eleven). You can also send them reminders based on their location. Like “bring me home a Slurpee” as they’re leaving.
Free (iOS) (Android)
If you’ve ever felt the panic of being in an unknown part of town and realizing your kid is in bad need of a diaper change, Winnie can help. It won’t change the diaper (technology hasn’t come that far). Instead, it’s Google Maps, but for kid stuff. Pull up your location and pins will start dropping for nearby playgrounds, kid-friendly restaurants, hands-on museums, and the life-saving changing table bathroom.
If your kid has their own iPad you can’t expect them to go back to a lo-tech sticker chart. ChoreMonster gamifies (read: makes fun) all those things you’d wish they’d do on their own. Assign point values to your kids’ chores and let them earn rewards by doing them. Once they’ve put in work, they can redeem those points for digital and IRL prizes. Like more chores!
Free (iOS) (Android) (Kindle) (Windows)
Cloud Baby Monitor
Track your baby like you track the waiver wire in your fantasy football league. Download the app to your iPad, iPhone, Apple TV or Apple Watch. Leave one with your kid and keep one with you. If there’s any crying when you tune to channel Baby (it’s way past ESPN3), you can remotely play a lullaby from the device, or give them the final score of Thursday Night Football.
A picture says a thousand words. And with Homey, those words are “this is the chore you’re supposed to be doing right now.” Snap a photo of your kid’s unmade bed and send it to them with a deadline, and then they can send a photo back once it’s taken care of.
Free (iOS) (Android)
There’s nothing like forgetting your kid and her friends at soccer practice to make you feel like the worst dad in the world. With GoKid, you can keep track of which parents in the carpool are driving where, when, and which kids. It can’t take care of the “how” for you, but it’ll at least make scheduling it a little easier.