Choosing Apps For Your Children

Increasing numbers of parents are giving their children electronic gifts, including cell phones and tablets. The good thing about this is that, when used correctly, electronics can help support development in children as well as skills in literacy, science, math, and other valuable life skills. Of course, these benefits depend largely upon parents choosing the best apps. To make this easier, here are some helpful guidelines for choosing apps for your children:

  • Does it combine entertainment and education? Children learn best when they are actively engaged. Look for educational apps that teach skills through the use of familiar characters and challenging, but not frustratingly difficult game play. When you find the right combination, your child will want to learn. What more could you ask for?

  • Does it fit your child’s developmental level? Not all children are the same. They are individuals who grown and learn at different rates. Before choosing an app, consider what you know about your child. Will he or she be interested in the storyline or skill? Will he or she be able to follow it easily? Does the game offer visual and audio help to help with reading difficulties?

  • Will it allow you and your child to play together? Kids learn best when parents are engaged. Look for apps that will allow you to spend time playing and exploring with your child and play. Don’t be shy about taking turns and sharing your success together.

  • Does it come from a reliable source? Give preference to trusted, well-established brands that are famous for providing educational materials. Then thoroughly investigate the app to ensure that the characters, their behavior, and their language are acceptable for the values you are instilling in your child. Be on the lookout as well for violence or other potentially frightening elements that may upset your child.

  • Is the app trying to sell something? Many free children’s apps try to make money by selling your child special game items for real money. Many times, these sales are subtle but rely on increasing your child’s frustration by creating a need for these special virtual items. To avoid this problem, stay away from apps that have members-only special areas or content. There are many great children’s apps that do not rely on sales.

While providing your children with electronics and appropriate educational apps is a wonderful idea, it is important to limit how much time your child spends in his or her electronic world. Healthy growth and development depends upon a richly varied set of experiences, many of which cannot be gained from electronic media alone. Set strict limits on the amount of time your child can engage in media, whether it is television viewing, computer time, or smart phone use. Encourage your child to spend the remainder of his or her time in creative play, outdoor activities, reading, and spending time with friends and family. After all, life cannot be completely lived in the virtual world. Even if you are online nursing schools, like my sister. In order to prepare your child to function as an adult, you must present him or her with the full range of life experiences.

Adeline G. is a writer that loves technology.