Making screen time worthwhile

Navigating the app store or google play can be a daunting thing. There are so many apps and it’s not always easy to work out which apps will be good for your kids. Today we’re sharing our tips on how to pick educational apps for kids that will feed their brains.

In addition, these tips also address some of the broader concerns we all have about screen time. As the first generation of digital parents it can seem as if we and our kids are constantly connected. We worry about how much time our kids spend on social media, playing apps and games, watching movies and television. We ask ourselves, how much is too much? 

While we’ve all read the articles revealing how  the tech field’s top players limit their kids screen time , we’re conscious that the solution isn’t just to turn all the devices off. But what can we do then? 

Our tips on how to pick educational apps that are brain food for kids answer these questions and more. Let them help you navigate the minefield of screen time and make good technology choices for you and your family. 

Top Tip No. 1 : Pick educational apps that put kids in charge

Research shows that  kids learn best when they are in control . Pick apps and games that put them in the driver seat. 

 Not all educational apps for kids give children agency. To spot the ones that do, look for apps that let kids make decisions and give them lots of choices. Privilege interactive apps where kids have to navigate situations themselves and come up with their own solutions. 

Top Tip No. 2 : Pick open-ended educational apps

The best learning tools encourage kids to explore and discover at their own speed. 

 Prefer apps that let kids take the time they need to work out what works rather than apps that impose time limits and a success or failure set up. 

 Don’t be fooled, open-ended doesn’t mean there’s no clear and defined learning objective. It means there are different ways to get there!

Top Tip No. 3 : Encourage creative screen-time

Screen time is here to stay. We can limit it and  there’s good evidence to support setting limits . However, making it off limits all together has been shown to have a negative effect. The answer? Make screen time a creative rather than a passive experience!

 Looking at social media, videos and pictures are all passive screen activities. Picking educational apps that are interactive, open-ended and give children control as discussed above is a good way to make screen time active. 

 To go one step further and pick games that encourage creative screen time, choose games that encourage kids to learn something new through curiosity and discovery. Learning new things encourages brain activity and activates memory. 

 Even better, play these brain food educational apps for kids with them! Have a discussion about strategies, what you’re learning and encountering in the app. Place the screen time within the context of your everyday lives and learning. 

  Playing with your kids turns what might be a solitary activity into something social. The same can be said for having kids play an app in a group. Confronting their own way of thinking and ideas with others encourages creativity and awareness that there’s always more than one way of doing things. 

To find out how our app,  Inside the Human Body , fills these criteria check out our app pages. Inside the Human Body is a fully interactive open-ended game that puts kids in the driver seat as they navigate the human body. 

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