Children online – Games, apps & mental health

In this post we will explore some of the most popular games and apps that children are accessing at the moment. I have three children and we are all at home together while schools are remote learning and I am mostly working from home.

I like to think I am quite clued up with what the kids are in to. My children cover a broad range of ages and interests. I have a 17 year old boy at college, a 13 year old boy in secondary school and a 9 year old girl at primary school.

Like many they have technology time to play games as well as their technology time for home learning. I have always been a stickler for age ratings on films and games (I know, I'm the killjoy mum!) and we also have an app for internet time.

I can't recommend it enough. It's called Sky Broadband Buddy, I'm sure most internet providers will have their own versions. You can control all devices/users with the tap of your phone! It's very user friendly, you set up profiles for everyone, wake ups/bedtimes, time limits etc. You can even select individual apps to pause/block or check history.

Anyway, on to the games, apps and more.

National Online Safety

This week the primary school helpfully sent over mental health resources and it included a poster from National Online Safety, on online use. I had never heard of them before but I loved the style and content of the poster, so thought I would take a look at what else they do. They also have a Facebook page which you can follow for regular updates.

I was very happy to see parent guides to all of the modern games the kids are playing, along side older ones too. They are user friendly and some also have illustrations and photos of actual game play or examples. I have liked them on my Facebook to stay updated.

I also liked that they include mental health, online grooming and tech addiction kind of posts. This kind of thing is so important, especially now, when the schools are remote learning. I will include a few examples below but for many more please do check out their website/Facebook via the links in blue (above) or clicking on the pictures. To enlarge the pictures ZOOM in.

They also recommend some games and apps for certain ages. Here is an example.

Check them out.

Useful Guides

Internet Matters has a comprehensive website and advice tailored by age, on how to best protect and talk to children and establish positive behaviours. They have several guides including the following:

  • Parents guide to apps
  • Parents guide to technology
  • Downloading & viruses guide
  • Social media advice hub
  • Gaming advice hub
  • Digital resilience toolkit

And perhaps one of the most important ones, Cyberbullying Conversations Starters. One in five 13-18 year olds say that have experienced cyber bullying and it can reach children any time, anywhere with mobile phones.