Were you one of the lucky ones that scored a tablet for you and your kids on Black Friday? Now I bet you are totally ready to fill it full of educational and entertaining apps. Stuff to keep the kids busy over the winter break (while being at least partially educational).
Below are 4 important tips to keep in mind before downloading apps. I am also suggesting a few of my favorite apps for kids. Then, you will want to read so you can learn how to win one of five $50 VISA cards on Twitter!
This post is brought to you by The Motherhood and Moms With Apps. All opinions are my own.”
4 important tips to remember when buying apps for kids
- Choose an App that will Top their Gift List
We all know kids learn best when they are having fun. So what is it your child loves? On the Moms With Apps site, you search for apps by subject (including “general entertainment”). Then, you can browse and find an app that has engaging graphics and maybe with characters your child already loves.
I personally love searching for different apps for each of my kids. Lizzie is in 2nd grade and David Kindergarten (they each have old smartphones that only connect to wi-fi.) Filtering apps by age/grade level helps me make sure I find something that will keep their attention.
- Pick with Privacy in Mind Did you know a Federal Trade Commission report released earlier this year says close to 60 percent of apps designed for children collect and share personal information — and only 11 percent tell you they are actually doing it? Um, NO THANK YOU. That is why Moms with Apps is incredibly necessary. Every single app they put in their database has been screened for privacy concerns and you can see what kind of information the app collects (or refuses to collect). Be safe!
- Avoid the Gift that Keeps on Giving
I wish I was kidding. But one time, my child actually successfully purchased $200 worth of “coins” for her game. I ended up calling iTunes and getting a refund. In the process I had to sit through a guided tutorial about how to disconnect my credit card from my iTunes account or keep a pre-loaded gift card on there each month.
Do not make my mistake! Only download apps that do not allow in-app purchasing!
- Choose an App that Works in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
You know what is the worst? (well, the next worst, cause a $200 iTunes bill is the worst). When my child says from the backseat as we leave the house, “my game doesn’t work without internet mommy!” – just as we are leaving for a long car ride. So as you search Moms With Apps, look for this logo in the left sidebar:
This little icon means “your child will be able to play to their heart’s content, the entire way home, not just at home.”
Now that you know what to look for, here are some apps that meet all those criteria (and ones my kids will all love!)
(Click the links to view screenshots and tons of information about the apps on the Moms With Apps site)
- Monty’s Quest 2 – perfect for learning multiplication facts. Doesn’t require internet, no in-app purchasing, and no connecting to social media!
- Veggie Tales – Very Merry Larry Christmas – my kids adore Veggie Tales! It DOES connect to social media, but only behind a parent gate – works without internet!
- Fraggle Friends Forever – Works without internet, no ads, and no in app purchasing. It has a story and fun educational games.
TWITTER PARTY – WIN STUFF!!
#MomsWithApps Twitter Party Details
With more than one million apps to choose from, it can be hard to find the trustworthy apps that you know upfront your kids will learn from and enjoy. That’s where Moms With Apps comes in! Moms with Apps gives parents the power to choose the best apps for their kids. Their site features more than 285 developers and 885 apps that maintain high standards for protecting kids’ privacy, and allows you to filter by criteria like whether the app has advertising or works without an internet connection. It’s now easy to know what’s inside every app before you hit download!
Moms With Apps conducted a survey of more than 450 parents to get their thoughts on selecting apps with kids. We’ll be sharing their findings with you during this party!
When: Wednesday, December 3 at 12 p.m. ET
Where: We’ll be on Twitter – follow the #MomsWithApps hashtag to track the conversation. You can see the details and RSVP via this Vite: http://vite.io/themotherhood
Prizes: We will be giving away five prizes during this Twitter party to randomly selected participants who answer the trivia questions correctly. Each prize includes a $50 Visa Gift card. Prizes limited to U.S. participants only.
Hosts: @TheMotherhood, @TheMotherhood25, @CooperMunroe, @EmilyMcKhann
Co-hosts: @techsavvymama, @jessicamcfadd, @WellConnectdMom, @techmama, @melissanorthway, @littletechgirl, @daddymojo, @MamaDweeb <—-that’s me!!
See you then! And good luck with all your shopping!