The best parental control software is fun, free kids apps you CAN approve

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Learning Opportunities

(4 - 5)
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Learning Opportunities

DescriptionDoes this App require any of the following thought & reason skills: Logic, strategy, problem-solving, thinking critically and analytically? Is there any new information a child can learn in any of the following academic areas: Reading, writing, listening, speaking -in English or other languages - math, science, social studies, or art? Is the child asked to speak, write, draw or move as part of the learning process?
Things to consider: How does it affect your child.
What is the level of sophistication in the learning opportunities? How many opportunities are there? What is the intended age group for this app?


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Creativity

(5 - 5)
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Creativity

DescriptionCreativity expression is NOT measured by how “creative” the App is, but rather, how often the child is encouraged to develop novel solutions, make new creations, or innovate.
Active expression is the engine of creativity.
If it's a structured game, then, are there multiple alternate outcomes possible? The answer to this question is important. The greater the amount of possible scenarios, the greater the creative expression options for the child.


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Positive role model

(3 - 5)
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Positive role model

DescriptionChildren learn by observing. What behaviors are they learning in this App? Consider the varied relationships and/or game objectives they encounter. What is the quality of the interactions and objectives. Does your child pick up positive behaviors from role models in this App?
Does it cast positive behaviors in a cool, attractive light? Or is it a poor influence on children’s perception of getting along well with others. Do characters speak poorly to or about one another?


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Assertiveness-aggression-violence

(5 - 9)
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Assertiveness-aggression-violence

DescriptionNot all aggression is “bad.” Standing up for a cause, sticking up for others, defending ourselves – these are all “good” things that require a certain amount of healthy assertiveness. But they are done so in a socially acceptable manner, without hurting others.
Does this app teach children how to be strong and self-assured, while encouraging them to treat others with respect and dignity? Or is modeling violence? If so, how violent and extreme? And how realistic? The more realistic, the greater the negative influence on young children’s behavior.


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Social behavior

(3 - 5)
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Social behavior

DescriptionAre proactive attitudes encouraged, such as: teamwork, cooperation, embracing of differences, tolerance, respect, responsibility, and meeting challenges together? Are socially responsible behaviors modeled?
Or, is negative social behavior being promoted? Do characters treat others with insensitivity, rudeness, intolerance and deception?


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Empathy

(5 - 5)
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Empathy

DescriptionEmpathy is an essential part of a child’s socialization process. Are there chances for the child to put herself in someone else’s position and relate to their feelings?
Things to consider: age, sophistication of feeling, scope and frequency of experiences.


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Active Vs Passive

(4 - 5)
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Active Vs Passive

DescriptionOverall, is this a “lean forward or lean backward” experience. “Lean forward” means the child is an engaged, active participant – with or without physical activity. “Lean backward” means the child is a passive recipient of the entertainment (ie. couch potato.)
If this is an active experience, then how much activity is there? Are there opportunities to practice fine and gross motor skills? How active is the child? How much influence does your child have on the experience?


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Competition Vs Collaboration

(2 - 5)
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Competition Vs Collaboration

DescriptionParents know what’s best for their offspring. Both ends of the spectrum can be good for kids. Some kids need more competitive edge, and sometimes a video game or App can give it to them. Other kids need more reaching out skills. Sometimes collaborating with another person through the digital sphere can give it to them.

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Promoting tolerance

(4 - 5)
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Promoting tolerance

DescriptionDo you notice any associations between negative traits & a particular group? Or does this app challenge cultural myths, and educate children about diversity and differences.
Does it type caste characters, such as the ditzy blond, or the weakling genius. The more stereotypes, stigmas and type casting, the lower the score is. Other common examples are skinny, beautiful girls are the most popular, and the smart successful short chubby freckled boys are socially awkward.


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Sexuality

(3 - 5)
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Sexuality

DescriptionAre there obvious or subtle notes of sexuality in this app?
Are there any elements that seem likely to trigger a child’s sexual behavior? Does this app promote the use of sexuality for gain? Any sexual innuendo? Are characters dressed provocatively so as to idolize body features? Are body features used for gain?
Things to consider: Rating should consider how blunt the messaging is, as well as how frequent.
Also, consider the age group intended.


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Profanity

(3 - 5)
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Profanity

DescriptionAre there any elements that seem likely to trigger a child’s sexual behavior? Does this app promote the use of sexuality for gain? Any sexual innuendo? Are characters dressed provocatively so as to idolize body features? Are body features used for gain?
Things to consider: Rating should consider how blunt the messaging is, as well as how frequent.
Also, consider the age group intended.

Language doesn’t always have to be profane to be inappropriate. It’s important to consider the age level this App is intended for when classifying whether or not the language and slang used in this App is appropriate to age level.
Things to consider: Look for the type of verbiage used and how often it appears in the app.


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Safety threat

(3 - 5)
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Safety threat

DescriptionDoes it inspire or promote imitation of this dangerous behavior? Is there any action performed by professionals that is portrayed as easy to imitate by non-professionals? Is there an appeal to take risks that can be hazardous in real life and end in an accident?
Things to consider: The age group intended. How extreme is the behavior? How daring and realistic – and dangerous – are the acts?


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Identifying Geo Location

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Identifying Geo Location

DescriptionMany apps & games require children to identify their real-world geographic location before playing. Once the app your child is using reveals this information, anyone who knows how to hack a computer can find out where your child is. This poses a potential risk to your child's safety.
There are many people out there who know how to use this information to prey upon children. Filter out games and apps that require GEO location simply by clicking NO on this option.


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Live interaction with others

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Live interaction with others

DescriptionLive interaction with others is a popular feature in many games and apps. This presents a potential threat to your child’s safety because there is no way of knowing with whom your child is really interacting online. They can be exposed to foul language and poor attitudes & beliefs. Worse, they run the risk of interacting with adults posing as children, which opens the door to a whole new level of risk.
If you don't want your child interacting with others online, then click NO on this option. It will filter out games and apps allowing for such opportunities.


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