No matter how much we try, screen time is something that is becoming more and more a part of our children’s lives. Many people don’t like screen time and there are all sorts of studies that would back them up – however, in real life, it is quite hard to get away with not allowing it. iPads and tablets are not only used at home but they are also now used in schools.
We have both an iPad and an Amazon Fire HD at home. For me, it’s about finding the appropriate apps to use and to not let them be on it for too long. I have just imposed a post 6pm screen time ban – but if they spend time watching it whilst I am busy cooking dinner, then that is a benefit to all of us!
One app that we have downloaded onto the Amazon Fire is Hopster.
At Hopster, entertainment and education go hand in hand. Our content helps develop little ones’ literacy, numeracy and encourage exploring the world around them. Kids’ learning is at the heart of everything we do. We make screen time a win/win for parents and children.
The main thing that I love about Hopster, is that it is developed for a specific age range – ages 2-6. This is the age when you are introducing your children to screen time and to have something safe and educational is a real selling point. I am happy knowing that both Oscar and Zach can happily spend time on this without it rotting their brains. Don’t get me wrong, Zach still LOVES to watch random children playing random things on YouTube, but when I decide that he’s had enough of that, I send him to the way of Hopster!
But why is it so good for the kids?
Well, it has a number of different focuses – shows, games, books, music and learning. The navigation is super easy for them, simply sliding across to choose which option they want.
There are a number of shows for them to watch, like Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom, Postman Pat and Monster Math Squad. To know that they can watch these shows (and many more) without any adverts or without them stumbling upon something else that isn’t ideal for them, keeps my mind at peace. I know that I don’t have to constantly keep an eye on what they are doing on it.
There is a create section in which you can do some on screen painting and a grow section where you can make it rain and make the sun come out and watch the plant grow.
The games really focus on developing their literacy, numeracy, and creativity. You’ll find things like shape matching, counting, and phonics, which is great for those EYFS pupils.
And then there is a music one that Oscar particularly loves as it’s an on screen keyboard that he gets to make music with. And I like it because it uses the solfage technique to introduce kids to the concept of pitch and the relationships between notes in the diatonic scale!
There are a number of ebooks, videobooks and audiobooks on Hopster, along with a collection of nursery rhymes, learning songs and lullabies suitable for all the ages. Again, I far prefer them having access to this than finding alternatives on YouTube. Although of course, the constant requests for Michael Jackson’s Bad, and that ruddy Baby Shark song do sometimes get given into!
One of the many things that I love about Hopster, is that they have a head of learning, Lelia Ingram, who has over 15 years of experience in teaching, across Early Years, Key Stage 1 and 2 and as an Assistant Headteacher. I really feel like this app has been put together in such a professional way, using the best people, and I feel safe in the knowledge that they know what the children need. Especially as Oscar has access to it. Zach never had a tablet at his age but he loves playing on it and it makes me happy to know that these have been especially designed for his young mind, and that anything he does do on there, is developing his little brain rather than rotting it.
Overall, I am super impressed with Hopster. There is so much to do and there seems to be new developments with it all the time. New books being added, new games to be played. The voiceover is super clear and the instructions easy to understand. It is perfect for both of my boys who are at very different ages! It is both iOS and Android compatible and the subscription price starts as little as £3.67 per month (paid annually). And if you aren’t yet converted, you can register for a 7 day free trial to test it out yourself! Go have a look at https://www.hopster.tv/.
We were given a complimentary annual subscription for the purpose of this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.