How much awareness do you have when it comes to apps for children and the rise of apps for pre-schoolers? Wait, apps for pre-schoolers? Developers are taking this idea and running with it. I believe that it is important for children’s ministry leaders to not only know what movies children are watching and what books children are reading, but also to know what apps children are using!
Have you seen the free email app for young children that is called Maily? It is an app that helps teach young children how to email and develop good email habits. It is currently getting used by more than 9,000 kids and counting. Parents can download the app and choose all of the email contacts that their child can receive emails from, then give their child the ability to email those people. The app includes fun backgrounds, as well as fun features such as colorful markers and pencils that kids can use to write their own messages.
What do I think about this app when it comes to children’s ministry? While many of our kids are growing up surrounded by technology (many children own their own iPod’s or cell phones from a young age), it is not completely beneficial to give them even more interaction with technology. If you want to teach them how to use email, this is a very safe way to do it. But how many 4 year-olds need to know how to email? In fact, using email instead of personal conversation can even affect how they develop socially. When they reach an age that they need to use email, they can learn how to easily. Is this a cool app for kids who might want to draw something and send it to their grandparents (as shown in the photo above)? Sure, but it’s helpfulness does not extend very far past that. I know some parents might disagree, but this app, regardless of how cool it looks, does not have enough advantages to make it worthwhile for children.
Want to share any thoughts? Feel free to comment below and share your feedback as well.