Growing up in the late 80s and early 90s, the idea of ‘screen time’ was not nearly the hot-button topic that it is today. This was largely due to the fact that aside from regular Saturday morning cartoons and playing the occasional game of Reader Rabbit on our Commodore 64 computer, there simply weren’t a lot of reasons to spend copious amounts of time in front of a screen.
That changed slightly the Christmas that my brother and I got our first gaming system….an original Nintendo. We played Mario Brothers, Duck Hunt, and Blades of Steel until our fingers ached, our eyes dried out, and the arguing over whose turn it was next got so heated that it warranted a parent intervention. ‘Screen time’ rules were quickly implemented, though rarely needed due to the relatively minute role of screens in our lives.
Fast forward 20-plus years, and now I am a parent raising very tiny humans in a world where screens are as common as stuffies. A world where brain researchers say “no screens before the age of two”, yet a world which requires children to be technologically savvy at increasingly younger ages. I have found myself in situations with people who have very strong opinions on either side of the great digital debate, and for a while I grappled with what my own parenting beliefs were in this area. I found myself looking over my shoulder if I gave my daughter a digital device to occupy her for a few minutes while in line at the grocery store or waiting at the doctor’s office. I felt judged by some people, and understood by others. I felt torn between protecting my daughter’s continuously multiplying neurons, and teaching her how to use a device that could potentially aid her in her cognitive development by promoting early literacy skills.
My neuroses over whether to allow my toddler access to a digital device eased itself after a conversation with my mom where she reminded me of one of her famous sayings, which promotes “all things in balance”. It was the perfect reminder that digital devices and small children do not need to be an “all or nothing” experience. It reminded me that I can find apps that cater to my daughter’s young age group (the 0-5 cohort). Apps that are as educational as they are entertaining. Apps that are so user-friendly that a two-year-old can operate it on their own so that (dare I say) a parent can take a hot minute to get a few other things done around the house.
All of these positive factors are exactly what I found when I was introduced to the KidloLand app. This app, specifically developed for children aged 0-5, boasts over 500 nursery rhymes, songs, phonics-related activities, and educational games for children to engage in.
Admittedly, at first I was skeptical handing my Ipad over to my two-year-old. But then I watched in amazement as she navigated the app on her own; choosing her own nursery rhymes, dragging puzzle pieces to complete various pictures, and playing games that were geared towards her level of learning.
The wide variety of songs, games, and activities available to the app user is seemingly endless, the graphics are bright and engaging, and the app is educational to boot so this mama has no screen time guilt. I believe that other children my daughter’s age would love this app as much as she does, and I believe that other parents would be comfortable with their children using this app as a part of their own children’s designated screen time.
The only downfall that I have found with the app so far is that my daughter loves it so much that she wants to play it all day. Alas, this mama has adopted her own mama’s belief of “all things in balance”.
For more information on the KidloLand check out their website.
You can download the app the following ways (there are both free and fee-based options):
I was given a subscription to KidloLand in exchange for an honest review of the product. All opinions are my own.