When you want to buy a book for your kid, you might get a recommendation, flip through it, or look up the author online. Choosing an app is a lot trickier: Sure, you can watch a demo video and read iTunes reviews, but there’s no way to get the full experience until you’ve already paid for and downloaded it.
- Little-kid content with no scary, violent, or sexy stuff
- Big buttons to tap
- Simple graphics
- Visual cues and read-to-me instructions
- Limited in-app purchases. To make your life easier, it’s best to avoid apps with lots of opportunities to buy more content or items within the game.
- The ability for kids to play independently (but it’s good to play with them anyway!)
- Subjects they love already and new topics to stretch interests
- Cool experiences that can’t be had offscreen
- Characters that resist stereotypes (female farmers, male nurses)
- A variety of colors (not just Barbie pink or “boy” blue)
- Subjects that appeal to most kids (instead of dolls and cars, dinosaurs, space, and weather, for example)
- An easy start, without any sign-up
- No advertising, or very limited, kid-friendly commercials
- Safe social features. If there are any options to communicate with others (pretty rare in preschool apps), make sure it’s open to approved family and friends only.
- Reviews that share specific strengths of the app
- Unbiased expert endorsements
- Hand-picked recommendations from objective sources such as Common Sense Media
Read more: www.cnn.com