If you’re a parent, you probably had a mini heart attack when you saw the title of this post. You must’ve gone: Oh my God, what sort of technological crap are they trying to shove down my kids’ throat this time? We get it, you don’t want your kid to be attached to a screen all the time, be that screen big and placed on a stand, or small and held in their palms. But what if there was a way to benefit from recent technological advances both for kids and their parents? These Barcelona startups are not just pro-kids, they’re also pro-parents, and they’re transforming the relationship between families and the digital world.
The creators of myABCKit have noticed that parents tend to feel guilty about letting their kids play on their tablets for too long – after all, a tablet is just another electric babysitter come to replace the TV – so they built an app that helps kids learn while they play in a meaningful way. The app is based on education methodologies that have been proven to help children learn to read and write in their mother language more proficiently, so they are less likely to have trouble at school later on. Kids get to choose the exercises that they like the most, and each exercise is adapted to the child’s own pace. “If I’m going to give my kid a chocolate, I’d like to give him one that is organic, good quality, and just generally good for him,” says Karina Ibarra, CEO of myABCKit about the app being the best possible choice for parents if they don’t want to take the tablets away from their kids. They recommend a consistent and balanced approach: 10-15 minutes is the ideal amount of time that kids should spend using the app every day for an efficient learning process and a fun experience.
As ‘the internet’s best free parental control app’, Qustodio is claiming to be no less than the best digital security guard for your child. With it, you can supervise your kids’ online activity, get information on how they use devices and the internet, set healthy limits and filter content that you don’t want your child to see or interact with. Plus, there’s a panic button that your child can use to call for help in an emergency, and you can also locate your little one with the help of their device’s location tracking. Whether you’ll become an annoying stalker of a parent that doesn’t allow their child an inch of privacy, or whether you manage to resist the urge to take advantage of the software and track their every move is up to you. In any case, a handy tool like Qustodio – which has a free version, by the way! – could save you a lot of time and conflict, and help you protect and monitor your child in a hassle-free way.
AftersCool is a platform created by two mothers and entrepreneurs, where families can browse among a wide range of extracurricular activities and camps to find the one that best fits their kids’ interests. From music classes to language courses, clay building workshops and theatre groups, AftersCool’s database in full of fun, diverse activities that your kids will enjoy – and that will fit their schedule. Doing a search on their website can save parents a lot of headaches, especially during the summer school holidays, when kids’ energy levels are super high and there is nothing to occupy their attention. Best of all, AftersCool makes the booking and payment processes very easy and quick, as you can do everything online, and you can even share your thoughts or read reviews written by other moms and dads. Then, all you have to do is sit back and relax and enjoy knowing that your kids are in good hands!
Agoopa is a sharing platform for parents – for the benefit of their kids. It’s like all the kiddie Facebook groups and all the gossipy moms from the playground centralized in one place that you can easily access from your mobile. By downloading the Agoopa app, parents can connect to professionals of the sector: they can buy and sell new and second-hand products, discover activities for families, find service providers and, perhaps most importantly, learn from each other. If you need a place to get your little one’s hair cut, or you’re looking for a baby massage therapist, or you just want to get rid of your toddlers almost completely new, outgrown clothes, Agoopa is a good place to start.
If you’re looking for activities to do together as a family, or trips that you can go on with your kids, look no further. YouMeKids is a superb website where you can find tons of recommendations for things to do with children all over Catalonia. Go on a hike in the mountains, visit caves, have a picnic, set out for a forest excursion… Whatever floats your boat. They also have recommendations for cultural programs, tips on travelling with kids, and lots of other useful info for families living in or visiting Catalonia. Who said you couldn’t do anything exciting once you have kids?
Tap Tap Tales is just what it sounds like: a series of cute apps full of mini games and interactive stories for kids as little as two to eight years old. There are so many violent and dark games out there, there has to be an alternative that is approved by parents who are more conscious of their child’s development and their use of digital devices. With the games created by Tap Tap Tales, kids get to encounter their favorite cartoon characters, from the Care Bears to the Smurfs and Hello Kitty, and tap their way through activities that were developed by skilled teachers and educators to improve children’s mental abilities and their learning skills while having fun. No advertisements, no accidental purchases, and full parental control: because the child’s security comes first. And they get to play just like the big kids!