This post is brought to you by Moms with Apps.
Can you believe that Christmas will be here in a little over 2 weeks? I can't! It's amazing how quickly this year has gone. Have you started your shopping yet? I am happy to say that I have. My kids are now at the age that instead of a long list of toys they ask for things more my speed… new video games, clothes, and new gadgets. What? Did you think that I meant cheaper gifts? No. LOL!
Chances are the kids in your household will be getting some new gadgets for Christmas as well. Tablets and smartphones are always very popular gifts. That means that you will spend part of Christmas day helping your kids find mom-approved apps for their new devices. Below are a few tips to getting that done without pulling out your hair with worry.
4 Tips to Choosing Great Apps for Your Kid's Devices
Start By Enabling Parental Controls: While some devices like the Kindle Fire line, or the Samsung Galaxy Tab for Kids may come ready to be passed on to your kids right away, other devices may need some preparation. To make sure that your kids don't come across inappropriate content install a parental control app that will block out everything except age-appropriate information.
Give the Gift of a Social Experience: While we don't want out kids on social media before their time, it is true that apps can teach kids how to be social. A recent survey of more than 450 parents shows that 96% of parents believe that apps are beneficial to their child’s development. The key is to look for an app that’s age-appropriate and engaging for the recipient. With a carefully selected app, children can interact with people online in a safe and fun way. Consider apps that allow them to interact with only an approved list of friends and relatives.
Pick with Privacy in Mind: App privacy is a huge concern for parents. 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! Use Moms with Apps to search for and install apps that are safe for your kids and do not collect personal information. 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.
Keep Your Kids From Making In-app Purchases: How many of us have discovered that our children have made purchases within an app without our knowledge? This can easily be prevented. On my kid's devices I set up each with their own Google account for that device. They do not use it for email. I use it only when it's time to install apps. This way I don't end up with a long list of games that I do not play in my own Google Play account. However, I DO NOT connect any form of payment to this account. Additionally, in the Google Play store settings I turn on content filtering to show only those apps safe for my kid's maturity.
The below shows my own device. For my kids to set it to low maturity.
And Google now allows you to turn on the ability to require authentication for all purchases made through the Google Play on the device. This means that your child will not be able to make a purchase without knowing the password for your Google account.
Using these simple tips you can help your child learn responsible gadget use!
Join us TODAY for the #MomsWithApps Twitter Party
What: 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 withkids. 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/
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