This might surprise some people seeing as my job is all centred around technology, but my girls haven’t used tablets, with the exception of when we go on long journeys and I download a few programmes to help keep them entertained in the car. I guess this has been a conscious decision, but not one that I’ve given much thought to. They’ve never asked for it, I’ve never felt the need to give it to them other than in the car and that’s been it.
But recently with Alice turning 6 years old, I have started to wonder if I’m in some holding her back. It’s inevitable that technology is going to play a big part in her life as she gets older. They use computers at school already and I know when she goes to the juniors next year that will increase.
Questions I’ve been asking myself is do I need to prepare her? Is she going to be behind her friends? Is it going to hold back her learning? I find it hard being a school mum at times to know what the right path is to take.
With all this whirling around my mind we decided that we would start to introduce a tablet for Alice to use, so that she knows her way around one, how to use it and also to see if there are Apps that could enhance her education, because as parents that’s what we always want.
I was recently contacted by SKY and asked if we would like to review their SKY Kids App and I thought this would be a good starting point for us. We’re SKY customers and it’s a brand that I trust, they have good controls you can put in place on the TV and I hoped this would be the same on the App.
Alice couldn’t wait to start looking at it and was keen to see what it had for her. We started by setting up her profile, which was fun for her, she could choose a buddy that would help her when using the App.
I also set one up for Holly and what I was really pleased to see was that because of her age, there was an option for me to select it to only show her programmes that were suitable for under 5 year olds.
With Alice all set up ready to go, she decided to explore the games section first. Because Alice is able to read, this definitely made the navigating around it a lot easier for her and she was able to read the instructions on how to play the game.
There are several games to choose from and Alice started with Paw Patrol.
You have to collect the penguins and avoid things too as you go down the mountain. Alice loved it!
Once she had collected all the penguins, it then had quizzes for her to do. There were different size penguins lined up in a sequence and she had to work out the next sequence and then the next 2 sequences and so on. It was good to see there was an educational side to the game. Alice was learning without even realising it and having fun. Which is the best way.
Alice got very excited when she got something right!
Once she had completed Paw Patrol, Alice was keen to try another game. This time she choose Art Studio, which had different levels of difficulty.
It has different options to do within the art studio and Alice decided she wanted to colour in this little chap! She quickly worked out how to change from using different tools and colours to get what she wanted. It was very intuitive to use.
You can save it too, so they don’t feel like its been deleted or a waste of time to do it.
We then explored the different channels they had available for you to watch programmes. Alice works really hard at school and also at home. She is a little girl that is always wanting to do her homework and more. But I do feel that she also needs to take time to relax and recharge the batteries. Having some quiet time snuggled up watching TV is something that we encourage, but not something that we’ve ever thought to use a tablet for.
There are lots of channels available for you to watch and it means that there is something for everyone.
Alice choose Nick Jr first and spotted Nelle the Princess Night and couldn’t wait to start watching it.
You can also download the programme, which means that you can watch it when you’re not connected to the wifi.
Alice then looked on the Disney Junior Channel to see what they had available to watch and was excited to see Vampirina was on there. This is one of the girls favourites.
It was really lovely to see Alice relaxed and enjoying herself. Giving her a little bit more independence, which as a parent I find hard, but I know it’s the right thing to do.
There is a grown ups section, which ask for your SKY password to access and here you can set up time limits, their profiles and permissions.
Other Great Things To Know…
- The content is updated every month
- You can have up to 10 profiles to give each child a personalised profile and is tailored for their age
- It’s also available on Mobile
- Over 5000 episodes on demand
- 17 channels
- Educational games and quizzes, currently only available on tablets, coming soon to mobile.
I’ve been really impressed with the SKY Kids App and seeing Alice use to it and how it can aid her learning, as well as give her some much needed time to relax. I can see it having a place in our life. With anything in life it is in moderation.
It will also be brilliant for car journeys as the channels available are brilliant for both the girls and maybe I might even be able to get 5 minutes peace in the car from now on.
Disclosure: I’m working on a paid partnership with SKY Kids but all words, opinions and content are entirely my own.