10 Questions to Ask Before Installing That New Kids Video App

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 
  5. 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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  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.