For new parents, the amount of technology that’s out there to entertain and educate your children can be intimidating. With often limited space on our smart phone or tablet, we don’t want to waste our time or money downloading, then deleting apps that just didn’t work out. Here’s my most helpful tips to choose the right app for your kid:
- Search wisely: When you enter your app store there’s a search tab. Use it but be specific; indicate an interest and an age group. For example, rather than search “kids apps,”I would search for “Shapes for Toddlers.” You’re more likely to stumble upon a well-reviewed app that meets your interests and those of your child.
- Check the reviews: I don’t just check the rating, which is 0-5, zero being terrible, five being great. I also check the amount of times the app has been rated. Generally speaking, I’m looking for something that has at least 1,000 reviews and is rated 4 or higher. I also like to select “See all” to read why people may have given it a bad review.
- Check the information: When you scroll down past the reviews there’s a section called “Information.” There’s a lot there that means nothing to me, but what I pay attention to is the compatibility (if it works on the device I’m using) and the age rating. Even though your search criteria may have been specific, you could stumble upon an app that’s not age appropriate for your child.
- Ask your friends: This tip is usually intuitive but just a friendly reminder, your mom friends are an excellent resource when it comes to things like this. Don’t be shy, as most parents allow their children to have some screen time. Ask them what their kids like best and what has proven to be the most educational. Sometimes there are diamonds in the rough that you may not have otherwise tried.
My kids are wild about the counting apps, the shapes puzzles and the Elmo Calls app. This is the app I use most often while waiting for the doctor or the dentist. These tools in technology can piggyback our efforts at home to teach basic concepts. It also teaches them how to use technology which is a necessary skill as they enter elementary school. Here’s hoping you and your child find your new favorite app!