Family Games & Technology

Kids think parents have too much screen time

CATHERINE RODIE As parents grapple with questions such as "is my child having too much screen time?" and "should my child own their own smart phone?" experts are warning that we are becoming a generation of hypocrites.


6 apps to make travelling with kids easier

Exploring the world with kids made easy.

Karen Andews Travelling with your kids can be a stressful time but it can be made a whole lot easier with these six essential apps.


Why we should not be looking at pictures of dead children

A Palestinian carries a wounded boy in the emergency room of Shifa hospital in Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip, Sunday, July 20, 2014.

KERRI SACKVILLE The online world can be a confronting and distressing place especially when images that should be kept off social media find their way into our newsfeed.

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Smartwatch companies take aim at kids

Is the humble watch no longer enough for kids?

Selina Wang With smartwatches drawing lukewarm interest from most consumers, some technology companies are trying a fresh approach: market them to kids.

Why it's okay to brag about your kids

Mother and Daughter

SARAH MACDONALD Life with a child is a triumph of hope and a tonne of struggle. Celebrate while you can.


Should books be replaced with digital versions?

What is lost when you have no pages to turn.

Alison Bradshaw What would our children really be losing if we replaced all books with digital versions in schools and the library became a thing of the past?

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Google attempts to attract girls to computer science with jewellery

Google attempts to attract girls to computer science with jewellery.

CATHERINE RODIE Google have launched a new program aimed at getting girls interested in computer science but there is one problem.


Technology to blame for kids' poor spelling?

What impact is texting having on spelling?

CATHERINE RODIE Could texting and auto-correct be having an impact on the way children write and spell?

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Has social media blurred the lines between parents and friends?

How much of your life should your kids and their friends see online?

KERRI SACKVILLE - ESSENTIAL KIDS With all this 'friending' and 'following' has social media eroded the traditional boundaries between the generations, and does this undermine our ability to parent?

'LittleBigPlanet 3': Imagining new possibilities in co-op gaming


Anna Washenko The current trend in multiplayer games is to focus on online experiences, but sometimes you just want to crash on the couch with your favorite people for some co-op play.

Rip-roaring app to teach kids about nutrition

Toilet humour helping kids with nutrition.

RACHEL CLUN Getting children interested in nutrition can be tricky, but thanks to a new Fart Code app kids will be begging you to learn more before every meal.

7 ways to get your life organised

Let these apps help you organise your life.

Karen Andrews If you always feel like you are struggling to keep on top of all you have to get done in a day here are several apps that will make your life that little bit easier.


Are smartphones really robbing us of life-altering moments?

'Look Up' is a spoken word video written, performed and directed by Gary Turk.

AMBER ROBINSON This spoken word video piece about the moments we miss while using our smartphones delivers a powerful message but is it really as bad as we are led to believe?



A GPS watch to track kids


COSIMA MARRINER Anxious parents are using technology to monitor every movement their children make, hoping to keep them safe while giving them a semblance of independence, but for a child to develop a sense of independence they need to feel trusted and for their parents to have confidence in them.

Boys and gaming: finding the balance


MAGGIE DENT Sometimes, enforcing balance might make you feel like you’re being a mean parent. But it's important we try to get the balance of gaming and real-life right.


Is posting bath time pictures ruining your child's future?

What is the future impact of the pictures you post?

JAMIE KRUG There has been so much put out in the world lately about how the future will look for our children, now growing up in the age of Instagram, Snapchat, YikYak, and Tinder.


Apple offering refunds for in app purchases made by kids


LIVIA GAMBLE Have you ever had your bank account unknowingly drained by your child? No Problem. Apple is now offering refunds to customers on in app purchases.



Microsoft rewards 5-year-old boy for finding Xbox security flaw

Kristoffer Von Hassel: The world's youngest white-hat hacker?

Brett Molina A five-year-old boy has helped Microsoft discover a security flaw on its Xbox One game console.


Best apps based on board games

Board games for kids on tablets

Karen Andrews Here are some of your favourite board games that have been transformed into apps.


Kids need to experience being bored


Dave O'Neil By using a smart device as a tool to keep the kids quiet we are "spawning a generation of children with dulled brains and negligible social skills." Children should get bored and they should learn how to deal with their boredom, writes Dave O'Neil.


Parents urged not to post photos of their children online


RACHEL BROWNE Proud parents could be unwittingly putting their children at risk by posting images and information online which give away personal details such as where they go to school and which parks they frequent.


Mobile devices causing parents to ignore their kids


LIVIA GAMBLE While a lot of focus has been on the effects of the “digital playground” on children, a new study found the use of smart phones are causing parents to ignore their kids.


Kindergarten kids can learn to code and here is why they should

Play-i's founders want to teach children to control technology by learning to program from an early age.

Matthew Hall Coding and computer science is a fundamental skill that should be taught to children as young as five, according to a start-up team developing programmable toy robots for kids.


5 new apps for primary school kids

Best of the new apps reviewed

Karen Andrews We review five of the best new apps for primary school aged kids.



Student ordered to pay teacher $105,000 for defamation on Twitter

Christine Mickle

Michaela Whitbourn A NSW school teacher has made legal history with the first Twitter defamation battle to proceed to a full trial in Australia.


More children searching the web unsupervised


LIVIA GAMBLE A new survey finds Australian children are surfing the web and streaming online content without adult supervision.



A video game to help children manage emotions


Emily Bazelon The release of a new tablet game called IF has been designed to help children manage their emotions, cope with stress and conflict, even deal with bullies.


Watch how technology from our past confuses modern kids

rotary phone

KATIE CARLIN We hope you’re not already feeling particularly old today because these modern-day kids’ reactions to a phone we all used to use will take you there.

Why you shouldn't stalk your kids online

How much do you need to know about what your kids are doing online?

Emily Bazelon An American academic argues that parents need to loosen the reins when it comes to their kids' online lives.



Parents not as uncool online as previously thought


Nick Abrahams As a parent if you don't know your planking from your owling, then today is the day to get up to speed with all things internet.


Why you need to know about the 'Geocaching' craze

Geocaching is a global treasure hunt your kids will love.

BIANCA WORDLEY If you have school-aged kids and haven’t heard of geocaching then this post is for you. It’s one of our family’s favourite hobbies. I mean, who doesn’t love searching for treasure?

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Google Doodle competition for kids comes with interactive twist

google winner

Samantha Murphy Kelly Google is once again encouraging kids to submit a logo design for its Doodle 4 Google contest, but this year the selected winner will see their work animated and interactive on the homepage.


Walking and texting a health hazard?

Close up of young woman using smart phone.

Rachel Clun We know that texting while driving is bad, but a study has found that texting while walking can also be hazardous.


How this image is meant to help keep your child safe online

The possible reality behind those emoticons your child is receiving online.

Staff writers A new ad campaign aimed at keeping kids safe online is using images of human faces distorted into giant Emojis to ask parents a very important question.


New app allows parents to 'Ghost Call' their kids into submission

Ghost Call DX claims to change your child's 'consciousness'.

KERRI SACKVILLE - ESSENTIAL KIDS Nagging your children into submission can be a thing of the past thanks to a new app that claims to make children listen.

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I screen, you screen: the rise of children using technology

Screen play.

Rachel Browne Spending hours on a computer is not all bad for children.


FiLIP Smartwatch helps parents track their child's location


Eva Recinos For parents thinking about getting their child a cell phone for safety, the FiLIP smartwatch and phone hybrid may stave off that need for a few years.


All kids want is an appy Christmas

There is little educational value in apps that glorify violence, gambling, or one type of physical perfection to aspire to.

Joanne Orlando iPads again top kids' wish list, but juggling technology in the home is an issue for parents.

This 'Misunderstood' teenager in Christmas Apple ad will make you cry

Your teen might just surprise you this Christmas.

Katie Carlin For all those parents who complain their teenager spends too much time on their smart phone they might just be creating the most thoughtful Christmas present for the whole family you have ever seen.


Review: Nintendo 2DS

Nintendo 2DS

Surprises always go down a treat with kids especially when it is a Nintendo 2DS. As I handed the gift to my daughter I knew it was going to be what my husband likes to call “a family favourite”.

Nintendo 3DS review

Nintendo 3DS

AMBER ROBINSON When my son first put a Nintendo 3DS on his Santa list I had no idea what it meant. We have a gaming console at home, but as he explained, "you can take a 3DS with you".

Game teaches risks of personal data exposure

A screengrab of the Data Dealer game.

Sim Sim Wissgott Sexual orientation, private debt, medical records, even your favourite ice cream flavour: do you know much of this personal information is out there and available for sale?


Experts warn of app's hidden dangers

Kik Messenger

Cosima Marriner Police have described it as ''the No.1 social media problem involving teenagers'', but most parents would barely have heard of messaging app Kik before last week.


Teacher proves point on social media

social media dangers

Melody McCabe If you haven't seen this picture on your Facebook feed yet, it is only a matter of time.

Protecting your child from disturbing Youtube content

Children love watching their favourite shows on YouTube but precautions need to be taken.

Josefa Pete New research reveals that children on YouTube are three clicks away from landing on disturbing adult content and while supervision is good there are other steps you can take to protect children from seeing this content.


The 9 best iPad apps for your kids

Apps for kids

Kyle Russell We've rounded up the best apps for keeping your kids engaged while providing valuable educational or creative content.


Technology no substitute for reading time: Mem Fox

Mem Fox., Australian Childrens author at book Launch at Pages and More book shop in Glenelg South Australia. Mem is worried about children being left to entertain

LUCY BATTERSBY Leading children's author Mem Fox finds it ''heartbreaking'' to see small children left alone with smartphones and tablets to entertain themselves.

Paediatricians call for limits on kids' screen time

Kids need more time away from screens ...

Genevra Pittman Families should make a "media use plan" and set clear rules about TV, cell phones and other devices.


Screen time link to insomnia in young children


Kate Hagan Time spent in front of screens affecting sleep of children as young as two, research shows.

Lock down Facebook privacy

Facebook security

Ashley Feinberg How you can lock down your Facebook privacy settings now that old posts are searchable.

Babysitting your children with apps

Are kids and tablets really as bad a mix as we think?

Kasey Edwards Here's why you should't feel so guilty about it.


Canadian family lives like it's 1986

Canadian family calls time on modern technology and embraces the eighties.

AAP A Canadian family is going viral with a novel idea. It has banned all technology that was made after 1986 as a way to get the young children to play outside more.

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How to get the most out of apps for kids

Balanced approach:

Dr Kate Highfield breaks down the confusion over screen time and the best types of apps for children to play on tablet and mobile devices.

Fears for generation online taken too far?

Why social media isn't as bad for kids as we think ...

Francesca Newby Every era has its own moral panic, and there’s no doubt in many minds that the peril stalking today’s children comes cloaked in the garb of social media but is it deserving of its bad reputation?


Disney Infinity

Disney Infinity

Staff writers A new interactive game hit our shelves yesterday and if you are a fan of the many colourful Disney and Pixar characters you will be just as excited as us to get your hands on one.

Teens tap out an online cry for help

Hannah Smith.

Nina Funell Teenagers are anonymously posting cruel remarks about themselves on social media.


Net safety campaign ditches scare tactics

Children and technology

LUCY BATTERSBY Australian children will be spared the usual advertising scare tactics to protect them from online bullying and identity theft, when a new internet safety campaign hits their inboxes and Facebook newsfeeds from this week.


Message sent to vulnerable girls online

Fragile self-esteem of teen girls made worse on Facebook ...

Cosima Marriner Where once a teenage girl would scrutinise herself in her bedroom mirror wondering if she was pretty, now she only has to post a selfie online and the whole world will tell her. Social media the mirror that talks back, US academics say.

Apps for kids gets own category

Bonus with latest update ...

Katrina Whelen Apple introduces a Kids category to the App Store that will make parents' lives that little bit easier - the only thing we need now is a ban on in-app purchases.

Baby bombardment

Are you guilty of oversharenting?


Sandy Smith Parents who share too much information on social media could be risking their child's safety as well as alienating their friends.

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