According to lately conducted researches many children last year have received a new sort of gift. Still wondering what kind of one? For sure – electronic! It’s truly not something absolutely new on the horizon, nevertheless, increase of its popularity is significant, and demand on digital gifts keeps growing day by day.Electronics gifts, no doubts, have all the necessary features of the gifts itself, and kids do like them, because they’re usually related to their favorite books or cartoons, or stories they adore. So the question is – are parents really prepared for the holidays this year?
Everything has its good, and bad side, and electronic gifts aren’t going to change this simple rule. The good thing is – electronic gifts are really powerful educational tool.It may help your kids to find their love for literature, math, science and other skills. On the other hand, lots of apps which are labeled “free”, are frequently trying to make money by selling virtual items while your kid is playing the game, or could contain links to another related apps that require payment.So the challenge for parents is not just to pick the app their children will be happy with, but also to choose the right app.
Well, as an app developer and analyst I can give you these tips, which I hope,can help to make your decision:
1. Pick the games that are appropriate for your child.
The first thing to look at – is app’s rating. It’s pretty obvious, yet rating itself is only a suggestion to parents, because nobody knows your child better then you do. Not all 3-year-olds are created equal, so different apps will appeal to different children at different times. Ask yourself, is this the thing your child is capable of following right now? If it is, would be nice of you to give it a try. Download the app, see if it really does what it says it should.Touch screen technology is pretty easy for young children to use – it’s intuitive. In case of educational app or pre-readers, make sure there are audio cues and not just words on the screen.
2. A really good app combines entertainment with education.
When kids are entertained, they learn in no time. Kids usually reject educational apps, which are too boring, or use too narrow approach. On the other hand -entertainment is good, because could keep your child occupied when you need it.There’re many examples of such apps from good ‘ol “Temple run” -https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.imangi.templerun To “Kids balloon pop”- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=se.appfamily.balloonpopfree Or one of “Bunny run” games, such as: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.stargirlgames.google.bunnyrun or https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.iceberg.eu.No matter if app is focused on teaching math or reading, what is really important,child should have opportunity to play and to do something new, otherwise learning process won’t be successful. The purpose of game is not only teach something, but encourage kids to like studying itself!
3. Play with your child!
Research indicates that kids learn faster and better when parents join in the fun –this is true not only for digital products! As it was said before, take an active part by choosing an app for your kid, and try it yourself, to see if it’s able to hold your child’s attention. And don’t forget it’s always fun to play with your child, you will share game and interests with your kid, besides that it‘s a decent way to build a good and strong relationship.
4. Encourage other forms of entertainment & learning.
This is more about setting soft limits for your child, then digital entertainment. A balanced media diet is almost same as food diet; variety is healthier. Kids – are kids, you don’t have to encourage them to play, and it’s vice versa with learning. Besides that it’s also good to think about the number of hours your child is spending with gadgets,TV, PC. Screens shouldn’t stand between spending time with family, friends, and pets.One possible rule is that there is no TV, or gaming, until homework is done. The same rules apply to “fresh” gadgets, unless the device really helps to study, which is happening more and more these days.
And the last, but not least: Review ratings and reviews – other parents may have left a good advice for you in there, and I encourage you to do the same, if app has proved itself useful or enjoyable for your kids.
This article has been contributed by Roman Wyhowski