Paper Purrls

There are often children in the Night & Day Studios office, whether playing with toys, testing our apps, reading books, or touring for a field trip. It’s always fun to have kids around as they keep us thinking young ourselves. Hazel, our founder’s daughter, is the child we see around most often. She is eight years old, stunningly smart, and really great at making up games. We always love it when she comes over after school because we get an excuse to step away from the desk and play with toys for a while and still call it work.

Recently, our Creative Director, Brianne, brought a book into the office that taught basic origami skills, and I spent an afternoon hour with Hazel folding paper. She chose to make cat faces and we made them in a variety of sizes, colors, and patterns. For those who have never tried, origami is a great way to spend time with the little ones in your life; it teaches patience and creativity with all the cost of a sheet of paper.

As we folded, laughed and talked, I was reminded of one of my favorite children’s books, Sadake and Thousand Paper Cranes, a story too sad to recount here. Nonetheless, I left playtime thinking about the power of literature to transform a simple experience into a reflection on hope and loss, friendship and love. A little piece of paper can go a long way.

Music Monday: Autumn Edition

The yards, streets, and sidewalks are littered with leaves, the smell of woodsmoke is in the air, and darkness is leaning in early of late so it must be Autumn. This week's playlist is a celebration of the season -- listen along with us!

 

The Wee Halloween Bundle Is Here!

We are thrilled that our Wee Halloween bundle pack is available now at the iTunes store. Get three of our favorite spooky apps at nearly 50% off. One of our favorite apps in the collection is Peekaboo Trick or Treat.

Created in collaboration with the great Ed Emberley, Peekaboo Trick or Treat celebrates the ghoulish spectacles of our favorite holiday with silly and not-so-scary characters.

 

The best part about this app is the way it introduces young children to the fun of the season, and helps them overcome any potential fears that might come from seeing scary creatures in the windows of stores and homes this time of year. Our werewolf does a silly dance, the ghost wears sneakers, and our witch rides a broom fueled by bright stars.

It might go without saying that we love Ed Emberley’s illustrations here at Night & Day Studios, but his perspective is particularly delightful in Peekaboo Trick or Treat. Like all of the apps in our Peekaboo series, Peekaboo Trick or Treat is a fun way to teach cause and effect and letter and word recognition in a playful setting, all while dancing along with friendly bats and silly spiders. This is a great way to introduce your little one to the spirit of Halloween.

Music Monday: Haunted Hits

We love the transition into Fall, and Halloween is one of our favorite traditions. This week's playlist is a celebration of ghostly tunes guaranteed to get you in a spooky state of mind.

 

Music Monday: Feel the Love

Those of us who work here at Night & Day Studios come from all over the nation -- from the North East coastal region and the hills of the South East to the Southwestern desert and California's sprawling cities. We all came to Oregon for the same reason: we love it here. We are pretty accustomed to seeing our state in the news, typically for our fondness of birds and granola, rivers and trails. But lately that's changed, and we've been in media for reasons we hoped we'd never see.

Whatever happens though, there are some things that will never change: we believe kindness is the best answer to any question, that people are generally good, and that love is our greatest endeavor. This week's playlist is a celebration of different types of love from romantic love to the love we have for our pets, 

Condolences

Please join Night & Day Studios in our support of the family members, friends, and loved ones of today's victims of the Umpqua College shooting in our home state of Oregon. While our thoughts, prayers, and donations may be a small comfort, we hope they are, in fact, some small comfort. We also invite you to join each of us in making a loving gesture to someone you care about today, even if it's just sending a text, because there is real power in compassion.

Ask Away

Staff writer Chris Wrenn

A collection of teachers from all across the nation have worked together to make this week National Ask a Stupid Question Week. As a teacher myself, I understand this movement, because often those questions that seem too silly to say aloud in a classroom are in fact quite useful in a number of ways. Questions open a dialogue, which is far better for student learning than are lectures, and they force students to articulate their ideas aloud rather than allowing them to live as fleeting shadows in their minds. I always tell my students: If you have a question, someone else is likely wondering the same thing; it doesn't mean that you are too dim to understand, but that I didn't explain the concept as well as I could have.

I learned the power of questions when I was in undergraduate school; the instructor I took for Early American Literature did not lecture, he only asked questions about the readings. I took away more from that class than almost any other. 

So this week, encourage your kids to be inquisitive and brave in their questions. And please send questions to us; we love hearing from people who use our apps, and from those who are interested in the kind of work that we create. It's okay if it's a stupid question.


Music Monday: Game Time

We love games here at Night & Day Studios, and this week's playlist is a celebration of some that we played as kids. The image here is of the original Monopoly pieces from the 1930s, and while many of them have changed in different iterations of the game, we still love these early avatars. 

Let's be friends on Spotify; you can find us at nightanddaystudios. 

Thank You Friends

We are quite proud that the website Teachers with Apps featured our BabyLit: Jungle Book Hide and Seek. If you are not familiar with their work, allow us to recommend a visit; Teachers with Apps consistently provides thoughtful reviews and curates the crowded app market with a unique, instructional perspective. It's an honor to be chosen by teachers, and the review has us close to blushing. From the site:

"This is an extraordinary intro to classic literature, and how the English language is used as well as teaching attention and attention to detail. These are both critical areas for readers to discriminate salient features when looking at an object/future word. An absolutely in depth parents and teachers section will introduce the characters and the story line, and this is one app that playing it before introducing it to children is a bonus. 

I use their apps daily and can’t recommend them enough. The graphics and narration are tight, and their love for children’s self discovery is ever evolving."

It might go without saying that we at Night & Day Studios love and respect teachers, but still it should be said (in fact some of us are teachers ourselves!). Thank you Teachers with  Apps, and thank you to all the grownups and kids who help us make lovely learning experiences for the people you love. 

Music Monday: Teachers

This week's playlist is inspired by teachers we've loved. Every song shares the name of an instructor who inspired one of us here at Night & Day Studios - we love all of you!

We love friends, so please follow us on Spotify!


Kid Made Modern Fallout

Staff writer Chris Wrenn

Last week I mentioned that I created a pair of tee shirts from the Kid Made Modern book, but in doing so I clumsily spilled dye on the carpet. Luckily I purchased an 8 pack of shirts and used the extras to soak up the soap and vinegar from the carpet. I ended up with these strange shirts, and in all truth, I really like them and will wear them under sweaters this fall. 

It's a good reminder about the joy of crafting -- even mistakes can take us down interesting roads that we would have never thought to take. When I wear these crazy shirts I'm reminded that sometimes misdirection is a good way to go.

Music Monday: Months and Seasons

It's mid-month in September and summer is starting to sigh. The leaves are losing some of their brightness, the mornings are waking later, and already some chimneys spill smoke at night. Whenever we sense the seasons change, we think of the year and how we spend the months. This week's playlist is a stroll through the calendar. What is your favorite month, and what takes you back in your mind?

Let's be friends! We're at nightanddaystudios on Spotify.

Kipling Meets BabyLit Meets Night & Day Studios

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People are rediscovering the BabyLit Jungle Book Hide & Seek app and we couldn't be happier because it's one of our favorite things. This week the app was featured in the iTunes store and has since been rising up the charts. Thank you friends!

For those who may not have yet downloaded the app, it combines literature, beautiful design, and integrated game play. We are proud of the work our team did, the gorgeous designs of Alison Oliver, and the collaboration with BabyLit, whom we love. We hope you'll share in the search.

Kid Made Modern Comes To Life

Staff writer Chris Wrenn

This week I took it on myself to make a craft from the Kid Made Modern book we keep in our office. I chose the Iced Tee project, and (warning to grown-ups!) I spent several hours scrubbing dye out of the carpet in the office once all was said and done. I figured that because I basically have the motor skills of a child it was a natural choice for me to make something from a book for kids. I had a great time and when I wore one of the shirts yesterday I got loads of compliments. 

I started with green dye, a plain v-neck shirt, rubber gloves, a stick, some chairs, and an aluminum pan. 

The bottom of the shirt rested in the dye for five minutes, then the middle for three, and the top for two more minutes up to the sleeves. Next I rinsed the shirts out in the bathroom sink of our office, which likely caused some user error. I came to see that the joy of these kinds of projects is in the mistakes; the things I did badly are some of my favorite parts of the shirts. I made two, and here are the final results along with the starting point.

I can tell you this: I will wear these green shirts and they were worth every minute of scrubbing the office floors. Thank you for the great idea, Kid Made Modern!

Music Monday: Literature Edition

Staff writer Chris Wrenn

This week's playlist is inspired by our love of the BabyLit Jungle Book Hide & Seek app; when people ask me about my job, this is the app I show them because I love the combination of beautiful design, educational opportunities, and fun game play. It never fails to impress. Thinking of Kipling, the songs we chose for today all reference a literary work. Can you name them all?

We'd love to meet you around Spotify; we love new music and sharing with friends: @nightanddaystudios.

A First Person View of Peekaboo Farm Day

Staff writer Chris Wrenn

This week I spent a day with my nephew; he is fifteen months old and my favorite piece of the world. He has wavy blonde hair and eyes that are too blue to believe; I love the little guy. We went to the zoo (he loved the gazelles and bobcats), and later we read books together, played with puzzles, and shared snacks.

In the evening, when he began to get a bit fussy his mother pulled up Peekaboo Barn Farm Day; he is a bit young for the games so he needs help, but he loves the app. 

When I joined the Night & Day Studios' team, Peekaboo Barn Farm Day was just being finished. I thought the app was cool on the whole, but miking the cow grossed me out. I didn't like it all, but when I was with my nephew it was by far his favorite part of the farm. He giggled and pointed and played, so I've come around to the cow. I still think it's a bit weird, but it makes my friend happy and that is all I need.

Music Monday: Say My Name

This week we are playing the name game, all songs with names in the title (staff writer Chris Wrenn hid his cat's name in the list). Tell us your favorite song that names a name on our Facebook page. 

Let's make nice on Spotify -- we're @nightanddaystudios.