For Teachers

For Parents

Best Social Media Apps for Kids [2018]

Children from middle childhood onwards are very keen to use social media to stay in touch with their friends. Set the social media profile up with your child, so that you and they understand about the privacy settings.

So it's important to talk with your kids about how to use social media wisely. Kids understand that you respect their privacy but want to make sure they're safe. 

In 2018, amongst 9-16 year olds who go online (most of them), 73% have a profile on a social network, and 79% visited a social networking site in the last week (Childwise Monitor Special Report).

Yet the thing is, as your kids get older then sooner or later they’re going to try it out anyway and at some point it’s inevitable they’ll be interacting with others online. So would it not be best to allow your kids to use some form of introductory social media, under your supervision, so that they are better prepared when they finally come of age? Permitting your child to engage in social networking will arm them with the knowledge they will need in their teenage years to keep them safe.
 
That’s where social media apps for children come in and downloaded to your smartphone you can retain an element of control over their interactions, and keep tabs on anything that seems untoward.
 
Here is the list of the best social media apps for your children to keep them safe online.
Edmodo is a full-featured social learning platform designed to connect and collaborate within the educational environment. It is a social media network which is not only perfect for teachers and students but also to parents or guardians to use to share information in school. It collaborates and connect, share content and get access homework, school notices and grades.
 
Edmodo provides an educational social networking platform for schools, where teachers provide students with an access code they can use to access Edmodo to collaborate on academic projects.
 
Combining the curriculum with learning how to interact on social media, this app is great for kids for two very important reasons.
Club Penguin app teaches kids on how to behave and communicate effectively and respectfully in a safe online community.
 
Disney’s Club Penguin app is as family friendly as you would expect a Disney app to be –providing a virtual realm where kids visit different ‘islands’, filled with games and chat rooms to interact with their friends. 
 
Club Penguin encourages players to give the online "coins" they earn in games to charity, and teaches about good citizenship. Earning and saving coins can encourage kids to practice saving and planning toward a goal, and adopting cute colors and types of puffles also is a lightly educational exercise in collecting and categorizing. 
 
Games require critical thinking skills, such as anticipating what other players will do. Some even help kids acquire basic math computation skills, as well as provide practice in identifying patterns and cracking codes. A potent mix of fun and Internet safety makes this one of the "stickiest" virtual worlds for youngsters. The app doesn't feature all the same content as the Club Penguin website, but it still can help kids learn about playing safely and responsibly in an online community.
 
The app features parental controls that include time limits for usage and a ‘safe chat’ mode, where children select from preformatted messages rather than freely typing. Parents can also report inappropriate language used if the free chat option is used instead. All things considered, a great app for getting kids used to social media.
Kids can learn some basic concepts about photography and exercise some creativity with Instagram. The service is designed to be an inherently social one, so teens using Instagram will learn some of the ins and outs (and perhaps ups and downs) of social networking. They'll have to make decisions about the kind of network they want to build and exercise judgment when they're communicating with others. Instagram isn't a deep learning experience, but it lets teens express themselves through photos as they build their social networks.
 
Technically, in their terms of service Instagram state that their app is restricted for use by people aged thirteen and over, though no proof of age is required so this is a restriction that is easily bypassed.
 
This does however give you a bargaining tool if your child is 12 and under, as you can allow them permission to use it as long as the account is in your name. If you do choose to let your child use Instagram then this is best, as it will allow you to supervise their use and review the accounts they follow.
 
As it is essentially based around taking and editing photos, Instagram can be an exceptional creative outlet for children, allowing their artistic flair to flourish. There are children who took the their Instagram experience to the next level and became kid influencers. Those young influencers promote leading brands, in most cases, by reviewing their product on the kid’s eye level. Many of them enjoy a great success, just like the “orthodox” review sites

 

PopJam is a creativity/social media app where kids (including kids under 13) can post content and connect with other users. Kids can create and post drawings, use stickers, animations, and images (so long as they're not identifiable in the images), take quizzes, play games, and more. It's been called "Instagram for kids" because kids can have followers who view and comment on their posts, and they can follow and comment on other users' posted content.
 
The app uses moderators and limits posts to the hours of 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. The app’s parents’ portal is robust, and the site also offers tips for keeping kids safe online.
 
ChatFOSS is a kid’s app that combines the functionality of messenger, snapchat and Instagram, where users can instantly share messages, photos and videos with their friends. ChatFOSS has been specifically designed by parents, teachers and children to be a place for children to use social media without the risks that come with free-to-use apps.
 
ChatFOSS encourages one-to-one communication, carries no advertising on it and does not allow strangers to search for or contact your children.
 
In the ChatFOSS app, you can only make friends with other children if you both choose to invite each other, which requires knowing your friend’s ChatFOSS ID and vice-versa. This provides a unique level of safety in that it stops people searching for others that they don’t know and making inappropriate friend requests. 
 
Parents also receive a notification every time their child makes a new friend, ensuring you know exactly who your child is talking to.

GeckoLife is a social network for families or small groups with privacy features designed with kids' safety in mind.Kids can learn how to use social media safely and wisely working alongside a parent. Though GeckoLife was not designed specifically with educational intent, parents can use it to model good social-networking manners and help kids develop smart social-networking skills in a safe environment. It'd be great to see a few videos or tutorials in the app to reinforce digital citizenship to kids. Overall, GeckoLife gives kids a safe platform to develop social media skills.

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