In this book app, brothers Ash and Ollie really like playing on their tablets and video game players. But their parents have taught them the importance of balancing screen time with other forms of play. In addition to the book, the app houses a side-scrolling, rocket racer game and a photo album for taking pictures of what you like to do when not playing on screens.
A Storybook in Rhyme
This adorable book is spoken in rhyming verse. And it isn't forced -- rather it is very clever. The brothers explain that there are rules about screens. In their family, they have no screens during the week unless it's during a long car ride. And on weekends, the limit is 30 minutes, but only if chores are done. The little boys explain that they aren't allowed to eat during screen time.
Each page has fun, hidden animations. Finding them earns you bonus stars in the separate rocket racer game. This game has a separate timer at the beginning, letting you set how long the game lasts. The navigation is a little challenging, but kids get better with practice as they use their finger to direct Ash and Ollie's ship to fly over stars.
The Adventures of Ash & Ollie: ScreenTime is fun to read because the kids are adorable, the narration is spot-on, the hidden hotspots are fun to find, the words highlight as read, and the rhyming verse is well done. By having your kids read this story about how another family imposes rules around screen times, it just might make it easier for you to do the same. We have found that kids are more accepting of rules when they see others doing the same thing.
Kids will be exposed to occasional advertising via a pop-ups on the screen suggesting other apps that are a part of the Fingerprint network. This marketing to kids continues whenever the prominent Fingerprint icon is tapped -- kids then see all the books in the network. Although they can't buy these books (the purchasing is behind a parental gate), Fingerprint is still marketing to the kids by showing them enticing colorful images and videos of other apps available for purchase. These days, standard practice for kids' apps is to put all of this kind of marketing behind a parental gate. We hope that Fingerprint makes a change soon.
Reading The Adventures of Ash & Ollie: ScreenTime is a great way to start a discussion about why limits on screen time are important and why play should be balanced to include lots of different activities.
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