The Adventures of Ash & Ollie: ScreenTime is an iOS and Android app with a digital book and game that helps parents introduce the idea of screentime limits and rules to preschool-age children. The story introduces kids to the characters of Ash and Ollie, brothers who love playing games and watching shows on the TV, tablet, computer, smartphone, and video game console. But their parents set rules about when and for how long the boys can use these devices. For example, homework and chores must be done first, and on the weekends, the boys only get 30 minutes of screentime.
As kids read the book, which is narrated by Ash and Ollie, they can tap on the screen to see animations and hear sound effects. Sometimes kids will tap on a bonus item that will score them extra points in the app's Rocket Racer game. The object of the game is to score as many points as you can by racing the rocket through the sky to hit stars and falling bonus items. Hitting the dark clouds will slow down your rocket.
The app also includes a photo album feature so that kids can take photos of things they like to do when not playing on a screen.
With so many young kids playing on mobile devices, some parents may be concerned that their children are spending too much time on these devices. Through the story in this app, kids see what screentime limits look like and might even have fun creating their own Screentime Rules chart like the characters in the story. The animated book is engaging, and kids who like playing games on mobile devices will enjoy the skill-and-action challenge of the game in this app.
The app is for ages 3-6 and does contain a section for purchasing additional apps. This section is only accessible if an adult enters in a three-digit code, which is provided. If a child enters the code, he will be taken to the app store.
It might seem ironic that a parent would use a screen to teach a child about screentime, but you've got to reach kids where they are. If your child is really into apps, he or she might respond better to the lesson through playing this app than through another means.
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