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How to Make Your Kids’ Screentime Count

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When we have to think about work and chores and everything that needs to get done, it’s so easy to hand our little ones a phone or a tablet to keep them entertained. But do we know what our kids are watching?

A study conducted by Lingokids to earn more about the screen habits of kids aged 2 to 8 found that only 50% of parents are very involved in checking how their children are spending their screentime. Moreover, a third of the parents surveyed were worried that their children were already addicted to screens. Screens are everywhere these days, though, and it’s near impossible to keep our children away from them. So is there a way to make their screentime count without us having to look over their shoulder all the time?

Learning apps are a way of letting our kids have their screentime while consuming content that won’t harm them. The award-winning Lingokids app, for example, is interactive so that kids don’t simply stare at the screen like zombies, but sing along, move along and play along. They join a character called Baby Bot on a series of learning adventures, meeting a cast of adorable characters along the way. There’s Billy, a bird who is a talented inventor. There’s Elliot, a confident, fearless panda. There’s Lisa, the energetic explorer, and there’s Cowy with her infectious creative energy.

Lingokids gives kids aged two to eight a head start for big school by cultivating a love of learning through what they call Playlearning™. Together with leading educational publisher Oxford University Press and a team of experts in education and child development, they’ve designed more than 1,200 activities, including games, videos and songs, and more structured activities like story time. These activities will help our kids achieve over 600 learning objectives in subjects such as reading and literacy, math and science, engineering and technology, and arts and music. Activities like stretching, yoga, dancing and physical workouts help our little ones develop their strength, balance and motor skills too. They have so much fun that they don’t even know that they’re learning in the process!

The focus isn’t just on cognitive development and academic learning, though. Our kids also learn practical, age-appropriate life skills like getting dressed and doing chores, as well as emotional and social skills, from self-expression and mindfulness to communication, sharing and collaboration. And to help ensure that they’ll truly become well-rounded members of society, all of these activities are ultimately built upon the principles of citizenship, community building and taking care of the environment.

Ultimately, as our children learn more skills, they build more confidence, which in turn is just the motivation they need to level up their learning even more.

Along with the app, the Lingokids universe includes singalong playlists on Spotify, podcasts and YouTube videos, with new and original content every month. In a world where even preschool children are bombarded daily with commercials, a great feature of Lingokids is that there are no ads. The app is also kidSAFE+ COPPA certified to protect our children’s personal information and give us control over their online presence. And with the app’s Parent’s Area, we can monitor their progress, schedule practice reminders, and have conversations and share parenting tips with other grownups.

So what does it all cost? There’s a Lingokids Basic version with limited access to the app. This is free and a good way to sample what the app is all about. We prefer the Lingokids Plus subscription, though, because it gives us unlimited access to all of the Lingokids content, with an offline mode for when there’s no access to wi-fi. With this plan, we can also create multiple profiles so that each of our kids has their own profile. And it’s only $14.99 a month in the US! (Prices vary by country.)

One of our favorite gifts for the young kids in our family and circle of friends is a Lingokids gift card. There are subscription options for a month, three months, six months and one year, and they come with generous discounts. The parents love these gifts too!