Weekly family rail, with summer-fun tips, a review of “Shrek Forever After” and more.
Tip of the Week
Packed with features like e-mail, calendars, task lists and access to a wide variety of informational and entertaining mobile apps, a smartphone can serve as your all-in-one source for summer fun. Close to one in five U.S. adult mobile phone subscribers uses a smartphone, according to a Forrester survey conducted near the end of 2009, but are they taking advantage of all the perks? Here are some ideas for how you can stay organized, connected and entertained this summer during your vacation:
- Explore new places with a GPS-enabled smartphone. Map a route that hits key attractions and gets you to your hotel without getting lost. Not sure where to stop next? You can search a local guide and get turn-by-turn directions. You can also take GPS beyond the car with outdoor mapping apps that help you navigate hikes and walks.
- Don't risk losing small pieces of paper when you can store everything on your smartphone. Use the memo pad to save packing lists, important hotel information and confirmation numbers.
- Avoid hearing "are we there yet?" on your next road trip by loading your smartphone with music, videos and games for the kids before you go.
- Pack light by making the most of all the features your smartphone has to offer. Why carry a camera and media player when most smartphones have both built in?
Family Screening Room
“Shrek Forever After”
Rated: PG (for mild action, some rude humor and brief language)
Length: 93 minutes
Synopsis: The lovable ogre Shrek returns in his fourth film, which parallels “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
Violence/scary rating: 2
Sexual-content rating: 1.5
Profanity rating: 1.5
Drugs/alcohol rating: 2
Family Time rating: 2. This is like the other “Shrek” films – good for all but the youngest.
(Ratings are judged on a five-point scale, with 5 being “bad for kids” and 1 being “fine for kids.”)
“The Birthday Pet,” by Ellen Javernick (author), Kevin O'Malley (illustrator)
Synopsis: "It was Danny’s birthday and his folks said he could get any kind of animal he wanted for a pet. Danny thought it over before he went to bed. ‘All I really want is a turtle,’ he said." But instead, his family gets him a dog, a kitten, a rat, and a bird. Danny shakes his head after each gift is offered until he finally receives the present he’s wished for all along. Accompanying each amusing stanza are Kevin O’Malley’s cheerful illustration using design markers and colored pencil.
Did You Know
The American Academy of Pediatrics recently said children as young as 1 may take swimming lessons. Previously the group said lessons shouldn’t begin until age 4.
GateHouse News Service