Thanks to my friends at Fanatee for partnering with me on this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own, as always.
A few days ago I deleted Candy Crush on my phone. It was such a colossal time suck and I found myself being more and more drawn to it any time my kids were acting out. The cycle went like this: they started to get wound up and a bit out of control, and I would reach for my phone so I could take a little “time out” from life and try to make that darn candy bomb. My lack of attention toward them caused them to act out even more. Total vicious cycle.
And so, in a brief moment of clarity, I deleted it off my phone. Honestly, I was rather proud of myself for doing it. I felt like I traded in something that provided momentary mindless entertainment for me for something my kids would appreciate, which is seeing their mom without her fact behind her phone all the time.
And then this happened earlier today:
Sorry for the gritty photo, but I was in the dark. Hopefully you can see my toddler in the picture. She sleeping on my legs. She REFUSED to sleep any other way for her nap other than on my body. This hasn’t happened in at least 10 months, or so. Very out of character. But she’s been sick, and for some reason, being with her mommy made her feel good enough to fall asleep, so I sucked it up and sat quietly on the floor of her room.
But now my “go to” game app was gone! Should I re-install?? No! But perhaps I could find something that was fun to play and actually felt productive in some way. I mean, I was really and truly stuck on that floor. I at least wanted to find something fun to do while I was there!
I downloaded Letroca. Have you heard of it? First and foremost, it’s FREE (very important detail, in my opinion!). It already has passed 500,000 downloads on androids, iPhones and iPads, and was selected in Latin America by Apple as one of the best apps of 2013. The objective of the game is to find the largest word you can with the letters provided, and once you have found that word, to then see just how many words you can build with those letters in the amount of time you have.
I really like that this is a game that requires you to do a little thinking. Honestly, I need some stimulation that sharpens my thinking skills. Watching Frozen for the 76th time isn’t really helping me with my pursuit of clear thinking (though it is helping me, “Let It Go!!!!”). For me, personally, Letroca is a great replacement for Candy Crush, because I’m replacing a game that sort of made me feel mentally mushy with a game that is making me feel a bit more “tuned in” and sharp.
I also like that if you are not feeling on your A-game, you can opt for the half mode, which is where you just attempt to find half of the possible words from a pile of letters in a set amount of time. And if you aren’t digging the whole “timed” aspect of the game, just play in zen mode, where you can take as long as you want to find all the possible words.
I personally prefer the classic mode, although being new to the game, I have yet to find more than half the words in my allotted time. That’s ok…nowhere to go from here but up, right?
I also like that each game is only 2 1/2 minutes, and at least in my opinion, it is easier to put away than Candy Crush was. I feel like I accomplished something after doing just one puzzle, and I can walk away from the game for a while, rather than telling my kids, “Just a minute!”.
Letroca is a lot of fun, but it isn’t mind-numbing, and that means that I won’t be reaching for it when those tough parenting moments happen. And that’s a good thing. Instead, I’ll be reaching for it during those unexpected quiet moments like the one I had today with Layah. She gets her mommy, I get a little brain workout. Everybody wins. 🙂
If you have kids who are readers at home, they might also really enjoy Letroca. It’s a fun way to teach vocabulary! It’s also great for language learning, as it is offered in Portuguese, English and Spanish, fyi.