YouTube is one of the most popular websites in the world. It has content on nearly every conceivable topic / thing in the world, be it sports, fitness, entertainment, politics or just random videos of people’s pets being cute.
While there’s a huge amount of content on YouTube that’s suitable for adults only, there’s also a lot of content that is suitable for kids. Last year, YouTube launched ‘YouTube for Kids’, an app that’s got YouTube videos that are suitable only for kids.
In today’s world, devices with screens on them are a ubiquitous part of our daily lives. Most of the things we do require us using a device with a screen on it. Kids, being kids, are drawn to shiny and interesting-looking gadgets like iPads, smartphones and TVs and once they develop a habit of using these devices, it is almost impossible for them to abstain from using them. But excessive use of such gadgets has many ill-effects on kids’ health and psychology. Here are three of the main ones-
Failing. Not failed!
We are failing everyday and that is how a startup is different. It is a daily struggle to not be part of the ‘90% who failed’.
I started in 2012 and it has been quite a journey till Roo Kids Chat App. Always a right time to look back and revisit the lessons learnt. For the journey is not over yet.
Get Set, Go – The First Few Months in 2012
Gungroo was build with the vision of a safe & secure messaging for kids. That is how we started and that is what we are today. But somewhere along the way …
Private Family Network
The product started as a private network for families where an admin could allow kids logins to be created (without an email) and family members joining using their email address.
Priya Sengupta is a professional writer & a travel enthusiast who loves exploring new places and pen down the experience. She reviews kids apps and has strong opinions about what a kids app should be like. She wrote up about Roo Kids.
Roo Kids has been marketed as a safe and fun IM (instant messaging app) for kids. What WhatsApp is for adults, Roo Kids is for kids. The app comes with some safety features that allow parents to have control over the interaction. The app is targeted towards kids between the ages of 6 and 12 years. As more parents are looking to provide their kids with a digital exposure from the beginning years, app like Roo Kids is gaining ground.
Kids are meant to chat, share pictures (already on the phone) and send doodles to friends. The app does not facilitate direct camera access but kids can always click a picture from the device’s own gallery and use the picture in the Roo Kids chat box. Other parental controls include setting curfew hours when the life chat is disabled (when it’s time for study or sleep), notification when a contact/group is added and bad word filter (replacing bad words with ****). The messaging/chatting is carried over an SSL server, meaning that there would be no third party intrusion.
Other reviews like on Common Sense Media rates Roo Kids attaches a 4/5 rating to the app.
What can go wrong?
Digital technology has been growing and thus no surprise that kids aren’t quite immune to it. Too much of anything is bad. The only question with Roo Kid is whether it’s just another way to integrate technology into our lifestyle or whether Roo Kids really does some good for kids. True that the app does provide an educational platform with puzzles, games drawing tools and other features. However, it also goes wrong in several facets. The banned word feature for instance is only active only if the concerned work is followed by an exclamation/punctuation. Secondly, parents can set the curfew hours but it doesn’t stop a kid from writing messages, drawing or use the app otherwise. Just the life chat feature is turned off.
Some work is still needed. But, this is an awesome start!
I always knew that I would write about this child someday. And I guess that time is – now! As a trainer I had to prepare my children for their school sports day and he was one of the 400 kindergarteners. What was special about him was he never did any of the things I taught! No, he was not naughty, or a bully or an attention seeker. He was a very shy child. He took his time to learn new things. He would just smile all through the classes, all through the week, all through the month and not once do a single step I taught. You must wonder if I ever got frustrated. Frankly no! I guess for two reasons. One being his to-die-for-shy-smile, and second reason being his ‘responsiveness’. He would respond to my questions about random things such as color of objects, spellings of difficult words and always gave me a ‘thumbs-up’ as a feedback for my classes
I would speak to him before and after class, almost begging him every time to do just a little step to make his teacher happy. He would smile at me knowingly and yet never dance on cue. I had sort of resigned to the fact that he will be my only child not performing that day. The final day did arrive. The show started, the music was on and all the children merrily hopped and danced. Then came the most difficult part of the dance where they had to crawl with their tummies facing upward. To my shock and happy surprise he got down on his four and did a little jig. I almost cried. I knew he did it for me because he was looking at me and smiling at that time. I went back to him after the dance and told him how happy I was to see him participate. He just smiled at me.
Later his teacher and his parents told me that his grades had improved and he showed more physical activity at play since my classes had begun. That was the best feedback I ever got since I started teaching. He will always be a very special child to me. I guess because of his unceasing smiles, and his attempt at doing something difficult. He taught me about the power of setting expectations. As a teacher I had requested him to do something and he tried his best to do so. The power of setting expectations goes a long way in teaching children new skills, getting them to rid their unwanted habits and understanding the equation you share with them.
A year later I went back to that school; most of the kindergarteners had forgotten me, but he remembered my name, he remembered me. As usual he smiled shyly back at me.
Watching television series is as interesting as watching movies or reading comic books. Children’s television series are more entertaining, dramatic and lot more into learning program.
Here is the list of the top 10 children’s animated and comedy television series of all time:
1. SpongeBob SquarePants
SpongeBob SquarePants is an American animated television series, created by Marine Biolgist and animator Stephen Hillenburg. It’s very popular series with lots of adventure, focused on an energetic sea sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea.
2. Adventure Time
Adventure Time is an American animated television series created by Pendleton Ward for Cartoon Network. It’s rated the most successful series for Cartoon Network. A boy named Finn and his magical dog set out to become righteous adventurers in the Land of Ooo. An awesome series to watch.
3. Power Rangers
Power Rangers is a long-running American entertainment and merchandising franchise build around a live action children’s television series featuring teams of costumed heroes. The powerful rangers superheroes wear color-coded skin tight spandex battle suits and helmets with opaque visors. Go Go Powers Rangers!! It’s a great kids show.
4. Sesame Street
Sesame Street is a children’s television series and is known for its educational content, and creativity communicated through the use of Jim Henson’s Muppet. The show capture millions of children’s attention and turns out to be most popular educational television program.
5. Good Luck Charlie
Good Luck Charlie is an American television sitcom, created by Phil Baker and Drew Vaupen. The whole series focuses on a Denver family and The Duncans, as they try to adjust to the births of their fourth and fifth children. Full of laughs and entertainment.
6. The Legend of Korra
The Legend of Korra is an American animated television series and the series is set in a fictional universe where some people can manipulate, or “bend”, the elements of water, earth, fire, or air. Only one person “the Avatar’ can bend all four elements and can maintain the balance in the world. A great must watch!!
7. Ben 10
Ben 10 is an American media franchise created by Man of Action, received wide critical acclaim and won three Emmy Awards. The franchise is about a boy who acquires a watch-like alien device called the Omnitrix that allows him to turn into alien creatures. With his powerful weapon, he fight against the evil and crime.
8. Thomas and Friends
Thomas and Friends is a children’s television series about the engines and other characters working on the railways of the Island of Sodor. The series is based on The Railway Series books written by the Rev.W.Awdry.
9. Phineas and Ferb
Phineas and Ferb is an American animated comedy-musical television series. The series follows Phineas Flynn and his English stepbrother on Summer vacation. Every day, the boys embark on some grand new project which annoys their controlling sister, who frequently tries to reveal their shenanigans to their mother and father. The series follows a standard plot system and usually leaves their sister very frustrated.
10. Avatar: The Last Airbender
Avatar: The Last Airbender is an American animated television series created and produced by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko. The series follows the adventures of protagonist twelve-year-old Aang and his friends, who must bring peace and unity to the world by ending the Fire Lord’s war against the other three nations.
With the growth of Comic books (and Graphics novels) industry and a successful Comic Convention held in Bangalore, this art form is garnering more interest by the day.
In keeping with the theme, I would like to share my favorite movies based on characters from comic books, stories told often in comic books or adapted as comic books.
This list not strictly a list of ‘Comic Book Based Movies’, but in coming days, this theme will dominate Bollywood and we will have some true movie adaptions.
Here is the list of the top 5 comic-book based Bollywood cartoon movies for kids:
1. Chhota Bheem
2. Bal Ganesha
4. Little Krishna
5. Return Of Hanuman
See this post Top 10 Indian (Bollywood) Movies For Kids, this post Top 5 Animated Movies of 2012 for Kids, this post Top 10 Indian Animated Movies and this post Top 10 Bollywood (Indian) Musical Movies for Kids.
We love to be around kids, but at times we wonder how to entertain them. Or, at times we are not even sure what to do when we spend time with them.
I would love to share some of the exciting things that you can do with your toddler and have a fun time with them.
Here is the list of the top 10 games to play with toddlers:
1. Sing And Clap
Time to hold their hands and clap together. Let your kid sing along and this will also help them to learn the language fast. You can sit face to face and clap happily.
2. Magic Of Sound
Toddlers enjoy listening to different kinds of sound. You can play toddler rhymes, videos or use musical toys to improve their listening skills. You can repeat the words along with the kids.
Dancing is a very good physical exercise for toddlers. Your kids need at least 2-3 hours of physical activities every day. This will keep your baby healthy and strengthen the muscles and bones. Play favorite song and dance or marching to music so that your kids follow the same.
4. Hide and Seek
Your toddler will love to play hide and seek and they will find it very interesting too. You can play simple things like hiding under blankets or covering the face with towels. You can surprise your toddler with variations of this activity.
5. Building Blocks
Kids love this game. Let them start with simple and easy ones so that they will get confident and get more interested. You can show them the steps to build and ask them build on their own. This helps to increase concentration power and creativity.
6. Catch Me
Catch me if you can! Make them to run behind you or you run behind them, pretending as if you are trying your best to catch them.
7. Drawing Activities
Just give them pen, paper and you will be amazed to see what they draw. Encourage them and appreciate their work. You can teach them basic and simple shapes. Try Gungroo’s sketching app, My Sketch Roo.
8. Count And Compare
9. Water Play
Kids enjoy playing with water. You can set up water play activities in bathtub, spraying water in garden, funnels, etc. You can really have a good time with them. Make sure you never leave them unattended near water.
10. Soft Toys
Soft toys are toddler’s best friends. Play together with their toys, pretending toys have come alive and are speaking, dancing, singing.
Due to an excellent audience response, comic-book based movies are being made more often.
It’s real fun to watch the great comic superheros come to life in a theatre. Here is a list of some of the best comic book-based movies of all time.
Here is my list of the top 10 comic book based movies of all time:
1. Iron Man 3 (2013)
2. Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)
3. Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy (2005-2012)
4. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
5. Superman: The Movie (1978)
6. 300 (2007)
7. X2: X-Men United (2003)
8. Batman (1989)
9. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
10. He-Man (1987)