In today’s digital age, parents often find themselves handing their child a device to keep them entertained or occupied (or sometimes just to get 5 minutes to themselves!). While technology can provide children with a fun and accessible way of learning and enjoying their free time, it inevitably comes with risk. Before handing over that phone or iPad, there are steps you can take to ensure your young person is not exposed to content that is inappropriate for their age.
We know kids love YouTube, and it can be handy for educational songs and learning resources for parents. If you do let children in your care watch YouTube, try setting up YouTube Kids instead for a child friendly version of YouTube that aims to keep children viewing content that is appropriate for their age. If they want to use YouTube, make sure that the appropriate settings are in place. We have covered both YouTube and YouTube Kids in the ‘Social Media’ section of this app. Check it out for more information and advice.
BBC iPlayer Kids
iPlayer Kids is a child-friendly version of BBC iPlayer and is free to download – you can even download the videos to watch offline!
Adults can set up different accounts for children within the app and are asked for their age to make sure appropriate shows are featured for them. They’re even able to choose their own character.
iPlayer has a PEGI rating of 3+ (for more information on age ratings, check out that section in ‘Gaming‘), so you can let children on the app to watch Number blocks, Otis Boogie Beebie, Twirlywoos, and many more without worrying they’ll accidentally be exposed to unsuitable content. What’s better – there are no in app purchases or advertisements.
Azoomee is a subscription app (£4.99 per month). You can get a free trial week to explore the app yourself and try it out.
A parent or carers’ e-mail address and a password are needed when creating the account. We advise not letting children in your care know this password. You will also have to set up a family pin.
You are then prompted to ‘personalise your child’s experience’ with their name and age. The child will be asked to choose their own Oomee character.
Children can click on their Oomee to get access to their profile which includes videos, stories, games, and the ability to create their own drawings!
Like Azoomee, Jellies is a subscription app (£4.49 per month), but you can get a free trial month to explore the app yourself and try it out. To cancel your subscription, visit the relevant app store for your device.
There are two modes within the app: parents and kids. In parents mode, you select the videos you want to add to the playlist for children in your care. To access parents mode, click the lock at the top-right of the screen. You will be asked to answer a sum to get access.
The categories are split up into Featured (by age group) and topics such as Dancing, Pets in Costumes, Skateboarding, and many, many more.
Hopster: Kids TV & Learning
Hopster is a safe and ad-free children’s TV app. The app provides ad-free TV shows such as Cloudbabies, Fireman, and Ben and Holly as well as educational games and music. Hopster is available on a phone, tablet, or smart TV and it can be used offline. The app is kidSAFE and COPPA certified and won the KidScreen award for ‘Kids Only Streaming Service’ in 2016, 2018, and 2020.
This app is aimed at preschool aged children. It costs £4.99 per month, and a 7-day free trial is available. There is the option to cancel online at any time.