How to close kids apps and improve performance of your iPhone and iPadDo your iPad apps keep crashing? Is your iPhone really slow to respond? Are your favorite apps not doing what they’re supposed to? If you’re like me, you have lots of fancy apps (especially interactive kids’ apps) that do really cool things. But if you have too many open at the same time, the performance of your iPhone or iPad may suffer.

Here’s how to make your iPhone or iPad run more quickly and smoothly:

  1. Double press your Home button, the one that looks like a little indented belly button that the kids love to press.
  2. All of your open apps will slide up from the bottom of the screen. Slide them to the left to view all the apps that are open.
  3. Tap and hold the app you’d like to close. All of the open apps will start to wriggle. Tap the red circles to close them one by one. They won’t disappear from your device. They’ll just shut down.
  4. To close the slider at the bottom of the screen, press the bellybutton Home button once more.
  5. Then reopen the app that wasn’t working well for you. It should be fine now.

If that doesn’t work, try powering down your iPhone or iPad all together. To do that, press and hold down the button that’s along the outer edge of the device, next to the headphone jack (opposite side of the bellybutton). You’ll see a screen that says “slide to to power off.” To turn it back on, just press the button again.

Hope this is helpful! With all the high-res images and hidden interactions in our kids’ app storybook All Fixed Up, I know this helps improve the experience quite a bit.

Oh! And here’s how to make that cute stuffed owl that’s on my iPhone.

 

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One way to explore other cultures throughout history is by examining how they lived. In what kind of structure did they live and work? Many cultures have made their homes with mud brick. It’s easy to recreate an approximation of these homes or design your own (as we did) using small mud bricks. Here’s what we did.

Gather these things:

  • clay dirt
  • water
  • a base like a paper plate or cardboard
  • skinny sticks
  • straw or grass clippings
  • other embellishments, herbs, leaves, etc…

I found some nice clay dirt at the local dirt BMX bike ramps in my neighborhood. I just walked in with a large bucket and walked out with dirt. (Don’t worry, I didn’t make any potholes.)

Mix some small pieces of straw in with your mud. The straw helps hold everything together when the bricks are formed.

You can use ice cube trays with removable-able inserts, but I used a silicone mini-brownie pan as a mold for my bricks.

Fill a bowl with about 4 cups of dirt and 1/4 cup of straw (you can use dried grass clippings or little twigs). Add water until you get a nice mud, like thick pancake batter.

Spray your mold with non-stick spray. Pat the mud down into your mold or lightly tap it on a hard surface to compact it and remove any air bubbles.

Pop the mud into your oven at 350 for at least a half an hour. Honestly, I forgot about mine and left it in there for quite a while and it was fine. Just check it and when it’s dry, pull it out.

Pop the bricks out of the mold and play with them a little until you find a design you love. Then de-construct your house and thin your extra mud to make a mortar.

Lay the bricks like, well, bricks. I used a sturdy paper plate as a base. Add mortar to the sides and top and firmly press them together. I added some thin sticks between the walls and roof as support in mine. The kids did not.

Embellish your house with leaves, fresh herbs, or sticks!

When you’re finished, go place it in your garden. Maybe watch how long it lasts in the weather and continue the conversation about how you could improve your structure. Keep an eye on it to see who moves in … a fairy perhaps?

Photos by Wendy Kwasny, 2013.

About Wendy Kwasny, Contributing Blogger

Wendy Kwasny is a mom to two kids, a fine artist with 15+ years experience, and an advocate of attachment parenting, hands on learning, equality for all, arts and sciences in schools, organic gardening, and free play. Follow Wendy on Twitter @bendystar and all of us @RedPiggyPress.

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All Fixed Up for iPhone Releases in the App Store!

March 14, 2013

It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for (that is, if you don’t own an iPad). All Fixed Up, Red Piggy Press’ first interactive kids’ app, was approved and released in the iTunes App Store today. Search for “Red Piggy Press” in the App Store or download the children’s book for iPhone here. The iPhone version [...]

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We’re Reading at The New Children’s Museum!

February 12, 2013

Join the creators of ALL FIXED UP for a truly interactive storytelling experience! It’s almost time for Reading Day at The New Children’s Museum in San Diego, CA! On March 2, the ninth annual Read Across America day and Dr. Seuss’ birthday, Tracy Hopcus Jordan and I are proud to be featured readers in the [...]

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How to Give an iPad App as a Gift

February 11, 2013

Need a thoughtful and inexpensive gift right away? Select all your favorite kids’ apps for iPad — like All Fixed Up — and send them as Valentine’s Day, birthday, or just-because presents to your favorite families. Here’s how: Go to the App Store on your iPhone or open iTunes on your desktop Search for “All [...]

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How to Make Chocolate Heart and Mustache Lollipops

February 6, 2013

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, so I thought I’d show you how to make those chocolate heart and mustache lollipops I made for the All Fixed Up pre-release party. In the book app, you can add kisses and hearts (here’s a picture of hearts) to soothe feelings and help Daddy get dressed by twirling a mustache, [...]

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The Stars of All Fixed Up: Orange and Pink Owls Who Say Hoo!

January 25, 2013

As I was testing the All Fixed Up book app, I noticed that children of different ages attach to different elements of the story. My 5-year-old nephew refers to the interactive book app as “the bicycle book” (you can “ride” a bicycle through town). A 4-year-old called it “the kissing book” (which can sound strange [...]

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Red Piggy Press’ First Children’s App Storybook Is Accepted into the App Store

January 22, 2013

January 22, 2013 San Diego, CA  Red Piggy Press announced today that their first interactive kids’ app, All Fixed Up, was accepted by the iTunes App Store yesterday, on the first submission. It’s now available for public download. “We’re so relieved,” says CEO and Founder Shelly Bowen. “We know the content is solid, and we [...]

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Shh … All Fixed Up Kids’ App Sneak Peek

January 4, 2013

We are so close to submitting our app, All Fixed Up, to the App Store! (Which mean’s you’ll be able to download your own.) Here’s a short video of what’s to come: If you’re unable to view the video above, click the image below to watch it at YouTube:

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Chinese New Year Paper Bag Dragon Puppets!

December 27, 2012

Did you know 2012 is the year of the dragon? And … I’m a dragon. So naturally I decided to have the kids make their own dragon puppets as the Chinese New Year comes to a close in February. I kept the concept and the materials simple. We used: brown paper lunch sacks green yarn crayons [...]

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