How to Evaluate Games and Apps for Kids

by Christa Hines on May 28, 2015

Raise your hand if you’re like me and have a youngster who loves to play video games. Although screen time is pretty limited in our household that hasn’t dimmed my son’s interest in gaming. Gaming has become increasingly social. Even if kids don’t play the games together, they talk to each other about the games they like.

Needless to say, my son is constantly asking me to download new apps. But he is starting to figure out that the “but all my friends play it” argument isn’t a strong sell for me. I’m a research kind of gal and I prefer to make my own decisions about what games are right for my kids. I’m betting you have a similar attitude.

In this video, I share a few ways I evaluate games to help me decide which ones I’ll agree to download.

 

Quick tips for evaluating games and apps:

Read the review on the app’s website.

Check out Common Sense Media.org, LearningWorksforKids.com and GamerDad.com for independent reviews.

Talk to other parents.

Download, play and review the game yourself.

Play the game with your child to monitor any red flags that can come up.

How do you decide which games are right for your kids? Share your favorite tips in the comments below.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sue LeBreton May 28, 2015 at 2:09 am

Love the video approach you used here. Much great advice. My husband is a big Clash of Clan player- thankfully my son is not yet interested-but one positive has been he has his niece and nephew as part of his clan- they live across the country, and are high school & university ages- but what a great bonding experience. I am NOT a fan generally of games- but I too love Minecraft and Little Big Planet for the creativity. When my son wants a new game- he is 13 – he needs to bring me research about it-and usually that involves me encouraging him to find more sources so he understands why I say yes/no. This is an endless topic for parents! Well done.

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CMHines4 May 28, 2015 at 11:22 am

I’ll have to check out Little Big Planet, Sue. I love that you are having your son take a critical approach to games. I’m starting to do the same thing with mine. Thanks for taking time to watch my video. This was a new approach for me and it was fun to put together!

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