I feel like I’ve been on my phone a lot lately. I’ve been connected with a group of girlfriends and it’s great to have that constant contact to help navigate through the madness. It’s obvious the kids would like the same. What is the best way to arrange digital play-dates for them and allow them to be more social?
Here are a few options for digital play-dates.
- Messenger Kids – Messenger Kids is a free video calling and messaging app for smartphones and tablets*. Parents control the contact list, and kids control the fun. Keep in touch with close friends and family with fun-filled features like filters and stickers.
- House Party – Houseparty is a social networking service that enables group video chatting through mobile and desktop apps. Users receive a notification when friends are online and available to group video chat. On average, users spend approximately 51 minutes a day on the app in a group or one-on-one chats. I have found my kids lose interest after 5-10 minutes. The nice thing is people can easily leave and join the conversation without much disruption.
- Minecraft – Kids love Minecraft and it’s a great game that in my view is digital LEGO. Kids can connect and play off the same server so their players will be seen by all the other players. Note: A player’s game version must be the same as the server version to play on that server, whether it’s LAN or hosted online. You can see your game version number at the bottom of your main menu.
- Roblox – Roblox is a massively multiplayer online video game and game creation system that allows users to design their own games and play a wide variety of different types of games created by other users. Keep in mind, although kids can find their friends, there are other people playing at the same time and everyone can interact together.
As our guest author, Craig Knippenberg wrote: “Three to four 45-minute blocks [of screen time] are easier on the brain than one long binge round.” We need to let the children embrace the digital age to help everyone keep their sanity.