Monday, January 9, 2017

Kids and Technology: KidloLand App

Love it or hate it, one thing is for sure: technology is here to stay. The way I've always dealt with technology and screen time is with a little bit of balance and knowing that there's a time and place for everything. Technology has a TON of advantages and with an IT nerd for a husband, fact is- our kids are around technology and will be for the unforeseen future.

We aren't super strict with screen time rules in our house- there are days that we all watch more TV or are on our Ipads more than others. Some days, especially a lazy Sunday- the girls will play games or watch movies, or worse- watch kids YouTube- you know the videos mamas- surprise eggs-for a few hours. But then, there are some days that the Ipads or screens are put up and aren't given a second thought. See? Balance!

With that, there is a balance of apps/games and what they watch as well. Some apps and videos are purely for entertainment purposes- I'm looking at you surprise egg videos- but one of the several advantages that technology has to offer us, are all the amazing educational apps that are now available. I believe a mixture of learning opportunities available to kiddos, in a variety of formats is important. So, I also believe that technology definitely has its place in education. One app in particular that I've recently discovered is KidloLand. With over 1,000 nursery rhymes, songs, stories and games it's just the thing that Saidey (3 years) loves to play. It's eye catching, rhythmic and colorful and there are so many things to choose from! It's also super easy to navigate and Saidey was able to move around with ease once I showed her where everything was. Even my oldest, Sophia, was into playing the games! I definitely recommend this app for your preschooler- and Saidey gives it a TWO THUMBS UP! =)

Here are just a few ways we manage technology in our home

1) Preview any games/apps 

Whenever we purchase an app/game, I always play with it first. I do this for a few reasons, the first being so that I can make sure it's appropriate and kid friendly- you just never know! The second reason is so that I can help the girls if they get stuck on something- I'll know my way around the app/game

2.) Ask first

We have a rule that if they would like screen time, that they ask first. My kiddos do really great with this. Usually, if they ask, I have no problem with them having some time on the Ipad- but if I do say no, I try to offer an alternative activity or at least tell them when they can have it next.

3.) Screen time last

This is a great rule of thumb- the girls know that if they ask for the Ipad, I usually will ask, "Have you done X yet?" If the answer is no, they know that they need to complete X before they get screen time. For example, usually in the mornings, we allow screen time for Sophia IF she is dressed and her teeth and hair are brushed. If those things are crossed off and we have time, she is allowed 10-15 minutes of screen time before we leave for the day.

4.) Engage in other play

A lot of times for us, screen time increases when I'm busy doing other stuff. There goes my idea of not using screens as a babysitter ;) There are days when I feel like they've had A LOT of extra screen time and I've been busy cleaning or doing laundry or whatever else needs to be done, that I will sort wave the flag and declare us ALL to do something together- usually a game or an art project. I've found that while I don't think they need entertained by me 24/7, screen time goes down considerably when I'm engaged in an activity with them or at least get them started in an activity.

Saidey LOVED the alphabet tracing!! 

Tell me, how do you manage screen time at your home? What educational apps do you love! Please share below! 

**This is a sponsored post, meaning that I was given a product in exchange for me to  review the product. Although this is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.