A Madeira family recently created an app, inspired by their 7-year old daughter (who was 4 when the app was conceived), that Apple featured on its App Store homepage.
The Alexanders were inspired to create the interactive story, "Kalley's Machine Plus Cats
," during a job switch, in which Jon, the father, shifted from working as a freelance designer—which allowed him to stay at home much of his work time—to a full-time position that required him to be gone during the day.
Jon and his wife Carrie explained to the then-four-year-old Kalley that the new job would help the family make money to buy food and other necessities. Kalley responded by drawing a picture of a machine that made food so Jon "wouldn't have to go away to work anymore."
"We're really impacted by the power of story, so we want to tell a story we need to hear," Jon says. "We want to really care about the things we care about, instead of all the things we seem to spend a lot of time on."
Jon and Carrie thought designing the app would be a great outlet for creativity as a family.
"[Kalley's Machine is] a story about togetherness, about priorities," Jon says. "It's very subtly about togetherness and priorities, because it's mostly a story about machines and cats, because we thought that's what the kids would like."
The family released "Kalley's Machine Plus Cats" through their new app development platform, RocketWagon
, which they intend to continue using for future app ideas.
"When you have kids and you start watching all the movies with them that they're watching, you start thinking about what those movies are saying," Jon says. "It makes you think as a parent, 'Well, what kind of stories do I want my kids to hear?'"
"Kalley's Machine" is available on iPhone and iPad.