Post image for Two Menlo Park couples develop iPhone app – Cakewalk – to help parents make the most of playtime

What do you get when Menlo Park nextdoor neighbors with young kids are a designer, an editor, a software engineer, and a business guy? An iPhone app for parents and kids, of course!

University Drive neighbors Krista and Dan Skehan and Marijane and Brian Leonard have developed Cakewalk, an iPhone app now available in the App Store.

Their mission is to help parents make the most of playtime. Full of quick ideas for simple fun, the Cakewalk app filters activities by the age of your child, whether you’re inside or out, and whether you want a craft. Or you can swipe through all the activities to see what strikes your fancy, whether it be to fill a few minutes or a whole afternoon.

“There are plenty of apps out there for entertaining children,” says Marijane. “But most of them involve just handing over your device. The goal for Cakewalk is to help parents play with their children because the reality is that this can be hard. Once a parent’s must-do’s (work, meals, baths, laundry, etc.) are covered, sometimes there is very little energy or creativity left for play.

Adds Krista: “We felt there was a void in the app market for a way to quickly source ideas for easy activities that do not require a trip to the store. Our hope is that parents can get a bit of inspiration from the app and then focus on having fun with their children.”

The ideas for the app came to Krista when she was trying to solve the playtime problem in her own life. She and Dan talked about it with the Leonards one afternoon while their kids played together. The group realized that together they had all the skills to make it happen. Soon the four were meeting in the Skehan’s backyard every Wednesday night after the kids were in bed (within earshot of all the little voices, naturally

The Skehans and Leonards have lived next door to each other for two years. Krista (the designer) is the owner and creative director at Menlo Park branding studio Personify. Her husband, Dan (the business guy), is Personify’s account director. Marijane (the editor) is a professional freelance writer and copy editor. Her husband, Brian (the engineer), is the chief architect and technical co-founder of TaskRabbit, a San Francisco-based company that creates an online and mobile marketplace connecting neighbors to get things done.

“I think we clicked as a group because we are parents in the same boat,” says  Marijane. “We work hard, but we also want to play hard with our kids. Our kids are close in age…and we have complementary professional skills. Each of us brought something to the table to make Cakewalk happen.”

Photo by Scott Loftesness

{ Be the first to comment }

Menlo Park resident launches website to serve as discussion forum for local development projects

Thumbnail image for Menlo Park resident launches website to serve as discussion forum for local development projects

Menlo Park resident Dana Hendrickson sent InMenlo an email last week: “Spurred by the controversey surrounding the Stanford Project and uncivilized posturing in the local media, I have created an online forum where residents can share credible information and productively discuss the MP Specific Plan, the Stanford Project, and the effort to change both.” He […]

Click to read more →

Poppies salute Earth Day here on the Peninsula

Thumbnail image for Poppies salute Earth Day here on the Peninsula

Menlo Park photographer Frances Freyberg captured these poppies on a training run along Skyline last weekend. We think this native plant, which adds a cheery note to many local gardens, is the perfect vehicle for commemorating  Earth Day on its 45th anniversary. According the the Cal Gov website, Earth Day was conceived in 1969 by Sen. […]

Click to read more →

M-A Big Bear Run takes place on Sunday, May 4 – fundraiser for school athletics

Thumbnail image for M-A Big Bear Run takes place on Sunday, May  4 – fundraiser for school athletics

The 9th annual  Big Bear Run is set for Sunday, May 4. Proceeds from the race support Menlo-Atherton High School’s 50-plus sports teams. Professionally timed, the 5K run begins at the M-A gym lot on Ringwood and weaves through flat Lindenwood, ending with a track finish on Coach Parks Field. Medals are awarded for all […]

Click to read more →

Fit Kids Foundation co-hosts Children’s Champions event at Stanford Stadium

Thumbnail image for Fit Kids Foundation co-hosts Children’s Champions event at Stanford Stadium

It was just about three years ago that Atherton resident Ashley Riley founded the Fit Kids Foundation, so we thought the time was right to get an update about the organization’s programs. She told us that they’re now offering after school fitness programs free of charge to kids who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to participate […]

Click to read more →

Filoli flowers celebrate spring time on the Peninsula

Thumbnail image for Filoli flowers celebrate spring time on the Peninsula

During this Passover and Easter season, we at InMenlo celebrate the warmer and longer days of Spring with a selection of photos taken by InMenlo photographers Scott Loftesness (top and bottom) and Frances Freyberg (tulips right and below) at Filoli. New flowers will be in bloom next month when the historic property’s annual flower show […]

Click to read more →

Classic car auto show at M-A today through 2:00 pm – and it’s free!

Thumbnail image for Classic car auto show at M-A today through 2:00 pm – and it’s free!

We stopped by the Menlo-Atherton High School campus this morning where the America’s Pastime Car Show is running today through 2:00 pm. Admission is free. A fundraiser for the school’s baseball team (the frosh-soph team is pictured below), there’s a raffle and BBQ lunch as well as the chance to see some great classic automobiles, hot […]

Click to read more →

M-A baseball coach Mike Amoroso gets his players involved in America’s Pastime car show

Thumbnail image for M-A baseball coach Mike Amoroso gets his players involved in America’s Pastime car show

Mike Amoroso has been the Varsity baseball coach at Menlo-Atherton High School since 2007, but we were on campus to visit with him about classic cars, not classic swings. That’s because the 8th annual America’s Pastime Car Show, which benefits the baseball team, will be held this Saturday, April 19th, from 8:00 am to 2:00 […]

Click to read more →

Cafe Zoë in Menlo Park is site of emergency response drill with CERT teams fanning out to surrounding neighborhood and other areas

Thumbnail image for Cafe Zoë in Menlo Park is site of emergency response drill with CERT teams fanning out to surrounding neighborhood and other areas

It had an ominous name – the Silver Dragon VIII Emergency Exercise – but its purpose may keep local residents safer in the future. The drill, staged at Cafe Zoë in the Willows neighborhood of Menlo Park this morning, tested the ability of public agencies and volunteers to provide emergency assistance in the event of a major […]

Click to read more →

Danny Goldberg uses sound therapy to guide people into deep meditative state

Thumbnail image for Danny Goldberg uses sound therapy to guide people into deep meditative state

Want to take a guided hike in the the hills above Menlo Park? Or maybe you’re interested in taking some art classes, whether it be in a studio or outdoors. Or enter a deep meditative state through sound healing therapy. All — and more — are offerings of Danny Goldberg, whom we’d come to talk to on a […]

Click to read more →

Canopy and the community celebrate the planting of 1,000 new trees with ceremony at Willow Oaks School

Thumbnail image for Canopy and the community celebrate the planting of 1,000 new trees with ceremony at Willow Oaks School

As part of its Healthy Trees, Healthy Kids! initiative, Canopy engaged a corps of volunteers to plant its 1,000 tree last Saturday at Willow Oaks School in Menlo Park. Launched in 2011, the Canopy initiative partnered with local school districts to plant 1,000 drought tolerant shade and fruit trees on school campuses while supplementing classroom environmental […]

Click to read more →