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One Big appy Family

App Selection Criteria:


Questions to Ask

Purpose of app

What does the app do? Educational/ Entertainment?
Learning potential

What can kids learn?
Level of interactivity

Engaging with a great learning approach?

Who is the intended audience?
Recommended by others

What do the reviews say?

Does it capture user information?
Exposure to advertising

Content, placement, frequency
Parental Controls

Available in the app?

Free or fee based?
Quality of text

Grammatically correct, free of typos?
Quality of graphics and images

Visually appealing & age appropriate
Quality of audio

Easy to understend?

Does It crash or frequently require updates?

Recommended Apps:

App's Logo

Available Apps Price
App's logo Animal Sounds
App logo Calgary Public Library
Grow a Reader App

App's logo Felt Board
Apple & Android
App's logo Hugless Douglas
Apple & Android
App's logo Moo Baa La La La
Apple & Android
App's logo Mother Goose on the Loose:
Software Smoothie
App's logo My Talking Pet
Apple & Android
App's logo Sago Mini Doodlecast

Using Apps with Your Young Child

  • Digital devices are an increasing part of the lives of many young children. Children observe adults' frequent engagement with digital devices and emulate this behavior.
  • Experts warn about the perils of screen time for children less than 2 years of age. The Canadian Pediatric Society discourages screen-based activities for children under 2 and suggests limiting screen time to less than 1 to 2 hours per day for children 3 and up.
  • As caregivers, we need to make careful judgments about using apps meant for children.
  • We need to start by acknowledging how compelling digital devices are to children. Limiting access and participating with your child are important practices to develop.

When choosing appropriate apps for your child consider the Three C's:

  • 1. Context: The purpose of the activity, and what happens before, during and after your child uses the app. Screen time should lead to interaction, not replace interaction.
  • 2. Content: The theme and activities in the app should be appropriate for the age of the child. Ask yourself: Is this app child- controlled? Is the activity one I would want my child to imitate? Does the app promote questions, playful re-enactments, joy?
  • 3. Child: Children need a variety of active, sensory and language experiences to maximize their brain development.
    Ask yourself: Does my child spend more time with media technology than other activities? Is s/he getting enough time for pretend and active play? Do I provide clear boundaries for screen time so that my child is not becoming dependent on devices?

Further Information:

  • Please visit the following websites for information on how you can educate your child and yourself about the appropriate use of digital technology.
  • OPL Website: Provides links to a number of resources that help educate children and parents about online safety.
  • 2learn.ca Education Society: Early Learning in a Digital World is a Canadian site that supports parents in understanding the effective and appropriate use of technology, including safely navigating through the online landscape with your children.
  • Commonsense Media: Common Sense Media is dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology.