A military kid is no stranger to long periods of time away from friends and family and my children are no exception.
My oldest is barely 10-years old but has already lived in three countries, four states, and five houses. She has never had a Christmas with extended family and has said goodbye to more friends than I can count. My younger two children are quickly falling into the same pattern: we move and they miss friends… badly.
When we first started this military adventure with kids, there weren’t a lot of options to stay connected with those who were far away. Phone calls were expensive, the postal system took a long time, Skype was slow or constantly frozen, and email was so impersonal.
Thankfully, a lot has changed in the past ten years.
One of the best additions to the digital world of correspondence is Messenger Kids. This app is designed for kids ages 6 to 12 to have fun video chatting and messaging with friends and family in a parent-supervised environment. This is particularly enjoyable for kids and family members during the holidays.
Parents manage the contact list and control the app experience; kids control the fun.
I typically do not let my children have access to apps. Before COVID, we didn’t even have a working iPad in our house. As a mom, there weren’t enough apps that I was comfortable letting my children use. However, the Messenger Kids app is different. As social distancing has become the norm, we needed a safe and reliable way to talk to family and friends, both near and far. The best part is that I manage who they are talking to.
Messenger Kids truly is made for kids and controlled by parents.
My kids are given the gift of freedom to explore, connect and learn through play with their friends and loved ones in a space made just for them. Now my 10-year old can talk to her cousins in Colorado, Nevada, and Missouri, my 7-year old can chat with friends in Texas, and my 5-year old is able to communicate with his favorite person, his grandpa, with ease.
As a parent, I am given peace of mind. I have the ability to manage every aspect of Messenger Kids so that I am comfortable with my children using it. I can manage the contact list, set “off times” for the app to manage screen time, report or block contacts, and review all activity through the app dashboard. I can also create groups so that my children can easily access kids from their classes, sports teams, or family members.
As we continue through the holiday season, Messenger Kids will be our go-to for communication.
My military children had to move again this summer, saying bye to dear friends; our family is still far away, thanks to COVID. The 2020 holiday season won’t look the same as years past. But Messenger Kids is here to bring the holiday cheer. My kids can connect with friends and family during a socially-distanced holiday season.
This is a great time to try out Messenger Kids as they are bringing back their virtual Santa experience on December 15th!
Think of this as a direct link to the North Pole for your kids! As the parent, you can communicate to your child as Santa via the Santa chat thread. All your messages will arrive from the big guy himself! Kids can also send a thank you message after the holidays, an old-fashioned tradition that should make its way back.
This is a fun way for kids to still experience the magic of Santa while social distancing. They may not be able to visit him in person, but Messenger Kids is bringing the experience to them. Click here to learn how your child can talk to Santa through the app!
Parents can find the link directly through the Parent Dashboard – it’ll show up as “Santa Experience” under the “Controls” tab. Look for other fun features like holiday messages to send to your kids plus AR effects, stickers, and frames for your child to explore with the camera.