There’s a lot to consider before introducing your child to a new app. While there are some gems in the app stores, (have you heard of Jellies?), too many kids video apps don’t provide enough value for children. Some even go so far as to try to sell things to your child or put their safety at risk.
To help fellow parents choose the right apps for their families, we made a list of what we think are the Top 10 questions to ask before downloading a new kids video app. These questions will help you make sure your children are getting the most out of their screen time.
- Is the app actually meant for children? Surprisingly, not all “kids apps” are appropriate for kids. You’ll want to do some investigating before handing the device over to your children.
- Is the app appropriate for my child’s age? Just because the app is meant for kids doesn’t mean it’s right for YOUR child. Lots of kids apps contain content that’s too mature for younger children, while others might be too young for your older child’s curious mind.
- Will the app protect my child’s privacy? Kids apps have to comply with COPPA, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, but not all do.
- Does the app just want to make money off my child? Be wary of kids apps that contain ads, in-app purchases, and content that promotes consumerism. That app might be free to download, only to focus on getting your child to buy something later on.
- Do the videos inside the app have educational value? The most popular videos on apps like YouTube focus more on selling toys and getting subscribers rather than providing value for children.
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- How will this app encourage my child’s creativity and imagination? The best kids video apps introduce children to new cultures, activities, and ways to look at the world. We built Jellies to help parents unleash their little explorers.
- Will this app get my child up and moving? Overuse of technology may be the culprit for childhood obesity. Jellies videos, for example, not only get kids interested in new sports and activities. Some of them even prompt your child to dance or march along to music!
- Are the videos in this app good for my child’s self-esteem? A lot of the child celebrity videos in popular apps teach children to value external measures of self-worth like subscribers and likes. The videos in Jellies inspire kids to try new things and overcome obstacles.
- How long and how often will I let my child interact with this app? Setting screen time rules for your family is a big step toward maintaining your child’s healthy relationship with technology.
- Is this app safe for my child? Unfortunately, scary surprises like the Momo Challenge are very real in today’s popular kids apps. It’s important to make sure all new apps take your child’s safety seriously. Jellies, for example, uses actual people (not algorithms!) to review every single second of every single video in the app.
We hope these questions provide the context you need to ensure your child’s well-being when navigating the app stores. Click on the links above for more information about each question. Also, check out the Jellies blog for loads more tips and resources for parents about children and technology.