This post is brought to you by Moms With Apps and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.
Let’s be honest. Kids always want more apps but it’s not always easy to know which ones are the most age appropriate and educational, let alone which ones don’t tempt them with in-app purchases! Instead of guessing, let Moms With Apps help especially if you’re thinking about giving a mobile device as a holiday gift and want to preload it with great content. Moms with Apps can help you make sure you’re choosing fun, secure, high-quality apps that little ones will love especially since apps can be a great holiday gift idea for children of all ages. They’re inexpensive, don’t take up space, and avoid yet another trip to the crowded mall.
Here are 5 tips for choosing apps for children this holiday season.
Choose an App They’ll Love
There’s a fine line between fun and educational and it’s often helpful to know what you and your child want from an app before downloading. Consider the following:
- Will the app be too hard to navigate based on your child’s age?
- What do your kids want to learn or what skills should they be practicing? Should they be working on letters, math, or problem-solving skills?
- What interests your child? Build upon their interests to grab their attention. Moms with Apps helps parents search for trustworthy apps in a variety of different subject areas, including science, math, reading and critical thinking.
Give the Gift of a Social Experience
Children may seem isolated when they’re staring at a screen but did you know that apps can teach kids how to be social? In a recent survey of more than 450 parents, 96% of parents believe that apps are beneficial to their child’s development.
Apps that provide good social experiences often are:
- Engaging for the recipient
- Safe. With a carefully selected app, children can interact with people online in a safe and fun way.
Keep Privacy in Mind
Have you ever wondered how much information is being farmed about your child through apps? You’re not alone. App privacy is a huge concern for many parents and there’s a good reason why. 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!
Many apps that are created with your children’s privacy in mind but you just need to know where to look. Moms With Apps only features developers who are committed to high standards for protecting kids’ privacy and disclose their policies in a clear and concise way.
Avoid the Gift that Keeps on Giving
In-app purchases can be a family’s financial downfall. In just short amount of time it’s so easy for kids to tap their way to huge charges from mobile devices within apps without us knowing. Free apps often hook children with extra purchases to get extra features or to get to other levels in the game so make sure you read all about the app to understand whether “upgrades” are necessary to access certain aspects of the game. Then try out the app to experience it for yourself to know if there could still be any unpleasant surprises.
Choose an App that Works Anywhere
Has your child ever been frustrated by an app that works at home but not when you’re out? Consider what the app needs to work. Does it need:
- Battery power?
- Refined fine motor skills?
- Internet access? Think about whether the app will function in “airplane mode” when you’re on the road or in the air and without Wi-Fi? Moms With Apps allows parents to search for apps that function in without an Internet connection, among other requirements.
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!
Join me and Moms with Apps for a Twitter Party!
- When: Tomorrow– Wednesday, December 3 at 12 p.m. ET
- What: A discussion on how to select apps for kids based on Moms With Apps’ a survey of more than 450 parents who were asked about selecting apps for kids. We’ll be sharing their findings with you during this party!
- Who: Host include: @TheMotherhood, @TheMotherhood25, @CooperMunroe, and @EmilyMcKhann. I’m serving as a co-host (@TechSavvyMama) along with @jessicamcfadd, @WellConnectdMom, @techmama, @melissanorthway, @littletechgirl, @daddymojo, @MamaDweeb
- Where: Follow the #MomsWithApps hashtag to track the conversation.
- RSVP: 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.