These days everywhere we go, we hear the buzzing and beeping sounds of mobile devices. Children use them in public transport, in parks, at home and even at schools. How to use the technology to our advantage so that the time spent by our kids on the tablet/mobile will be both entertaining and educating for them? The answer is – children’s applications. Applications for kids are getting more and more popular as lots of them help combine fun with a possibility of gaining knowledge. Moreover, they are appropriate for children of all ages – you can find applications for toddlers, preschoolers etc.
What are the reasons for the raising popularity of children apps? And most importantly, what is the opinion of parents on them??
A handful of facts
Apps appeared in our lives in 2008 when the App Store was opened. Originally they were intended for general productivity and information retrieval e.g. email, calendar, weather information. However, due to their popularity and public demand, the scope of applications has been broadened, targeting different users, for example children.
According to various studies, 10% of kids aged 0-1 start using apps. When it comes to older children, this percentage is much higher: 39% of kids aged 2-4 and over a half of children aged 5-8 use mobile applications. Even though the majority of children aged 12 or less use applications for entertainment, over half of them (57%) use mobile devices for educational purposes. Therefore, you have plenty applications for children at your disposal, which are aiming at developing several skills. Secondly, mobile applications are available on many devices: smartphones, tablets etc., so their portability enables children to spend quality time in almost every location.
Furthermore, are educational apps for kids really educational or is it just a sales pitch? The studies leave no doubt about several benefits of application: educational apps increase the vocabulary of 3-year old kids by 17% and by 27% for 5-year old.
Finally, what is the parents’ view on children’s apps? 77% of them believe that mobile technology helps learn and enhance creativity. Parent Survey conducted by Moms with Apps states that over 96% of parents agree apps for children are beneficial, many of them pointing out the educational and developmental benefits that children derive from them. According to PBS Kids Parent Survey, 68 % of parents purchase or plan to purchase apps for their children. What do they pay attention to when purchasing them? Top three factors are:
– characters their kids are familiar with
Possible threats of kids apps
The world of mobile applications isn’t that flawless according to their opponents. Among the drawbacks of kids apps, they point out the privacy concerns. According to the report from the U.S Federal Trade Commission some apps stores and developers store personal information, for example contact details, internet data. Moreover, a number of kids applications inserts an option for in-app purchases, which could pose a threat to a child as well. Finally, some experts state that kids already spend too much time in front of TV/tablets and they consider apps as one of another time-consuming product for children in the digital world.
Used wisely, kids applications are a great alternative to conventional games and modes of learning as they promote reading, build up vocabulary and help develop math and memory skills through fun.
Thanks for reading and see you next week!
Magdalena| Appetite For Education
P.S. If you are interested in more information on applications or you are looking for one for your child, subscribe to our newsletter to read more interesting articles in the future!