Our world is becoming more digital – and so is our kids’ everyday lives. Apps have long been a part of it. But the app jungle is wild and full of dangers! We will show you what dangers you should be aware of.
These days smartphones like apps are just something we cannot do without. For communication, for sports and oh, what will the weather be like tomorrow?
Our world is becoming more and more digital – and so is our everyday life. However, kids apps are not just for distraction.
The digital world simply fascinates kids. And as they get older, having a sense of social belonging becomes increasingly important. What kids see and experience in apps has an influence on their thinking, their feelings, their attitudes, wishes and needs. That’s why apps for kids must also be suitable for kids. There are endless options and the app jungle is wild. There are many possibilities which apps offer to kids to support them in their development but the rights of our youngest are actually also neglected in them.
By kid-friendly, we mean apps that are tailored directly to the needs of kids and take their developmental stage and media skills into account. This sounds obvious but it is unfortunately not alway the case.
All this is still far too common in products that were actually designed for kids. The needs of kids, not the interests of manufacturers, should be the primary focus. It is time to take responsibility!
To ensure that products are kid-friendly, guiding principles are needed. To achieve this, the organization D4CR – Designing for kids’s Rights – has formulated principles on how products for kids should be designed according to ethical principles in order to protect kids and their rights.
The more data apps collect, the less anonymous kids are. A kid-friendly app should offer a protected space that doesn’t harm a kid’s anonymity. The best way to protect data is not to collect it in the first place!
Equally important is what content is shown. An app for kids should consist exclusively of content appropriate for kids – this also includes advertising. If these criteria are met, apps can be considered protected spaces where kids can move freely and safely.
Many apps are available free of charge. But what sounds tempting usually turns out to be something quite different. Either the quality suffers or the app is financed by advertising. Although exceptions confirm the rule, they are too rare. Advertising is annoying, distracting and impairs usage. It would be really stupid for your kid to be pulled out of the middle of an exciting mission by advertising, wouldn’t it?
Apart from that, it is not entirely unproblematic to confront kids with ads. They are very impressionable because they are just discovering the world. They also often can’t distinguish between actual content and purchase animations in the app. This is how the upgrade button lures them to unlock the next level! Without even noticing that money has just flowed here with a click. That can become expensive quickly! It also leads to unpleasant surprises and feelings of guilt.
Age, culture, language and abilities influence how and whether we understand information. Therefore, apps for kids need to ensure that all relevant messages and information that matter to kids can be understood by them.
It is precisely this understanding that apps for kids should ensure they are doing. With age-appropriate language, understandable thought processes and steps, and consideration of developmental abilities.
Apps for kids should promote the individual development of each kid and provide space for learning and growth. To do this, kids’s needs must be the primary focus. And who better to educate them about these than the kids themselves?
Their ideas, wishes and fantasies are important! And that’s what apps for kids should stand for. Depending on the type of app, experts on kids’s needs should be involved in the development process. Especially with learning apps, the involvement of teachers is important and should be identifiable.
Kids are active, curious and creative and should have the opportunity to develop these skills! This is how they can find out about their identity, place and value in the world. Therefore, apps for kids should only inspire with their content instead of teaching set opinions or views.
Kids need space to set, develop, and change their own boundaries as their understanding of the world continues to grow. To achieve that, breaks are important. Tricks and measures to maximize screen time were yesterday! Instead, providers of apps suitable for kids should promote a conscious and sustainable-healthy use of digital media.
It sounds difficult to find apps that are suitable for kids? Unfortunately it is! Find out more here:
Aumio is an app for kids that combines learning with kid’s play. With playful exercises and mindful stories, Aumio helps kids grow up in a healthy, confident and less stressed way. This is ensured by more than 20 hours of kid-friendly listening experience.
Together with the space creature Aumio, kids explore their own cosmos of feelings, dive into relaxing imaginary worlds and go on fun yoga journeys. Once a new mission is mastered, there are exciting badges and coins as a reward!
Aumio consists exclusively of kid-friendly content and protects kids’s privacy. Therefore, the Aumio app can be used without an account, without providing an email address or a user account.
Aumio is free of advertising! The communicative focus is on the journey through the inner cosmos.
As a kid-friendly app, Aumio pays attention to understandable thought processes and steps as well as the readability of the content – even if your kid can’t read yet.