By: Samuel M. Chinwe Following the advocacy and vision of…
sShould my kid have access to apps? Will their brains rot and decompose in front of my eyes? I never had apps and I survived. It’s true, if you’re a parent these days you likely never had access to an app. Computers yes, but apps no. And while it might seem that apps can be addicting in many cases, they are also educational, fun, and most of all, a part of our everyday, technological fabric. Children of all ages need to learn how to use them as they will likely be using them for work at some time in the distant future.
If you’re a parent and have experience on road-trips, this category is a life-saver! Apps can do and be a lot of things, but game apps keep kids tuned in, engaged, and out of your hair while heading down the highway. And one of the best at doing just that is Love You to Bits. Kids enter the world of Kosmo, a space explorer, but a novice who needs help searching for his girlfriend’s robot components which have been littered throughout space and desperately need locating.
Visiting planets, racking up robot parts, there are a host of cool puzzles and the visuals are “out of this world” (get it?). This a guaranteed win-win for any age group, not to be missed.
While Love You to Bits is certainly kid-friendly, this next app is reserved for kids 10 and over. We all love to be scared, right? Once you step inside The Room Three prepare yourself for some real nightmares. Available in Android and iOS, The Room Three propels the player into a dungeon with only a note from a shadowy Craftsman providing a clue. The objective – get out or else …
The app is chalk full of exploration, puzzle-solving, and odd twists and turns. The best part is kid’s brains are really engaged here, trying to problem solve and take the game to other levels. It’s a win-win for kids and parents alike.
Video Streaming Apps
A classic and one that surely will never go out of style (although these days, anything is possible), is YouTube Kids. Video streaming is firmly ingrained in kid’s culture, enabling children of all ages to access their favorite shows on demand. Everything from Peppa Pig, Little Baby Bum, Teletubbies, Pocoyo, LEGO, Talking Tom, Ruca, Masha and Bear, and a host of others are constantly available with new programming nearly daily.
If you’re feeling a bit more “educational,” PBS Kids Video is an excellent video streaming app option. PBS has been churning out amazing content over the years, entertaining but also very educational in their approach. Classics such as Wild Kratts, Curious George, Cyberchase, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Arthur, The Electric Company, WordGirl, Zoom, Barney & Friends, are all in stock and ready for viewing. A great addition, through and through.
These days kids are bombarded with options. But at the core of any kid, no matter their age, is an imagination. One of the best entertainment apps out there, Plotagon, gives kids the unique opportunity to create animated stories complete with a range of music, characters and effects. Users select the different scenes they would like to develop, share the result on the community forum board, and then solicit feedback. Critiques will arrive which provides an additional twist – how will your kid respond to criticism. Super fun, super engaging, Plotagon is a super choice.
My Talking Pet is just how it sounds – your own pet, talking! That’s right, users choose a photo from their gallery, record a message into the microphone, and in an instant, your own pet is talking back to you. Sound simplistic? Well, it is, intended for kids in the 6 to 8 range, but the entertainment value is through the roof. Improved animation now allows for a 3D function and you can even send and receive text messages from your pets. Up the ante and get into memes and this app entertains for hours on end.
Easily one of the more important items in this post, take note as keeping kids safe in the digital world is paramount. If you’re entrusting your kid with a smart phone, then take advantage of the technology available to keep them safe.
Kaspersky SafeKids (available on Android and iOS) is a leading cybersecurity firm that now offers one of the best all-in-one controlling and tracking tools for your kid’s phone. Once installed, you can control which apps are installed, the websites they have access to, plus the amount of time they spend on said site. If you’ve limited phone use to say 2 hours on a Sunday, you can turn the phone off remotely via your own personal pin.
TrueMotion Family Safe Driving (available on Android and iOS) is a teenage parent’s best friend. One of the more stressful coming of age times for any parent is when their kid finally learns to drive.
This app will allow you to track their driving, see their current location, and analyze step by step how they arrived and at what speed. We know, if you’re a teen reading this you’re probably thinking, “what could be worse!” But Mom and Dad have a right and obligation to know you’re operating that giant piece of steel responsibly.
We hope this post has been both fun and informative. Knowing what types of apps do what and how they fit into your kids’ lives is vital. The world of apps is just taking off and we’re only at the beginning. By this time next year, the new content and features will be otherworldly, we guarantee it!