I was compensated for time spent reviewing this app but all opinions are my own.
I often hear from parents that all their kids want to do is play Wii, Minecraft, Xbox, or stare at the tiny screen of mobile devices to play their new favorite app and we all know that there’s a whole world out there beyond the screen. It can be hard to balance screen time especially with so much fabulous educational content available for preschoolers on mobile devices and on the web. One one hand, we want to give them a leg up by exposing them to apps that help reinforce what they’re learning in school, through books that we read together, and by being citizens of the world but on the other, we want them to step away from the screen. With 72% percent of children age 8 using mobile device for some type of media activity such as playing games, watching videos, or using apps* and the average child spending more time with media platforms than they do in school (screens are the leading activity for children/teenagers other than sleeping),** this is a conversation that we need to have with our kids sooner than later to become screen smart.
One of the best ways to talk to kids is through teachable moments and the new The Adventures of Ash & Ollie: Screentime (available for iOS and Android for $2.99) serves as a great way to begin the conversation about screens and what makes sense for your family. Developed by yummico and Fingerprint , this interactive ebook helps families navigate the complex world of screen time balance and limits and is a great conversation starter for parents of kids ages 3-8.
About the App
Ash & Ollie just want to play (on their tablets and game players), and it’s up to their parents to set some rules and help them understand that the world isn’t just one big screen. ScreenTime explores that ubiquitous phenomenon of the modern parenting world — the use of electronic devices by children. Kids are clamoring for the digital interface, at younger and younger ages and with a seemingly unquenchable thirst. Parents, conflicted themselves over their own increasing addiction to these devices, are often at odds on how to deal with this issue.
Yes, it is a bit ironic that The Adventures of Ash & Ollie: Screentime is an app that requires the use of a screen to get kids and parents talking about screen time but I’ve always been in favor of using high interest items for learning. One thing I love about Ash & Ollie is that it helps kids think about what they enjoy doing when they don’t have access to screens. The app draws kids into a world that features the two mischievous brothers in a beautifully animated storybook where the characters are excited about playing games on Daddy’s phone and on the computer but explore ideas like how much screen time is too much and the rules around screens.
Since young children want to talk about Ash & Ollie’s adventures, or misadventures, the app helps families start a conversation around screen time as kids look for hidden bonus objects, including computers, tablets for kids to discover as they learn, play the Rocket Racer game to collect the bonus items found in the storybook for extra points, and enjoy the Photo Booth feature that records how kids are spending time off the screen.
The Adventures of Ash & Ollie: Screentime serves as a great conversation starter for families around the topic of screen time. It is available for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets on Fingerprint Play for $2.99.
*Source: Commonsense Media
** Source: American Academy of Pediatrics