Archive for April, 2016

Developing Apps for Kids Conference 2016


Announcing Our 3rd

Developing Apps for Kids Conference 


When: June 15, 2016

Where:  San Francisco, CA

At the Courtyard San Francisco Downtown Marriott, 299 2nd Street, San Francisco, CA 94105. Conference is from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM (PDT)

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What is it?  

This conference is for anyone working in the children’s app space. It is the go-to event for app developers, designers, illustrators, marketers, toy companies, funders, and other professionals who are working in kid tech media. The conference brings together industry leaders, top reviewers, and visionaries to offer advice on the business of kids’ apps.

“I was blown away by the conference!” Charine Gey Van Pittius, CEO, Ace Edutainment Apps, Inc.

“At the Developing Apps for Kids Conference, there are always lively discussions and opportunities to connect with the people shaping technology for kids.” Caroline Hu Flexer, Co-Founder and CEO, Duck Duck Moose.


 CLICK HERE to purchase tickets

This is a limited ticket event.


Click here to see the AGENDA.


Tech with Kids invites speakers based on their expertise to contribute to the panels. The 24 speakers are:

“Developing Apps with Kids is one the best planned, informationally dense conferences in the kids and educational app sector. Focusing on the business of apps, this all-panel conference ensures that there are no “sales pitches masquerading as talks”, resulting in genuinely useful information being disclosed. Participants (and audience) are top notch, and again possibly due to the all-panel nature, Tech with Kids has attracted speakers that you simply don’t get access to at other events.” Barry O’Neill, Chairman & CEO, StoryToys.

The Panels: 

  1. Strategies for Making Money in the Kids’ App Space

It’s tricky to make money developing kids’ apps because most of the lucrative advertising models aren’t appropriate. Our panel of seasoned experts has successfully built businesses selling kids’ apps. And they are willing to share their insights on how to craft a business. They will talk about their experiences in using the various monetary models, including subscription, paid, free-to-try, and others. Is it worth it to port your app to Apple TV? How can you approach various international marketplaces? They will also talk about securing outside investment, partnering with others (including creating apps for popular big brands), and lessons they have learned along the way. Panelists are:

  1. In the Store and Beyond: Marketing and Discovery Tips

An app store feature is a great thing for marketing and discoverability. But let’s face it, very few apps get that coveted placement. Find out how to best position your app in the app stores. How can you market your app to get the most exposure for the least amount of money? This panel will share strategies that work, from Google Play insights to grassroots campaigns using social media to bigger budget campaigns using professional PR. Sago Mini is expanding its marketing of app characters into the toy market. Panelists will also share best practices on how to use media, bloggers, and other helpful programs. Speakers are:

  1. The Importance of Play in Kids Apps

What is the secret sauce that makes an app fun to play? Panelists will talk about how to create apps that engage kids and keep them coming back. How does age appropriateness come into play? Why is play so important? They will also share ways to put kids in charge so that they have ownership over the apps they play. How important is a sandbox mode or an area of open play? What do kids learn from play? Speakers are:

  1.  Designing Learning Apps: Consumer vs. School

Is it possible to design a children’s learning app that works in both the consumer and school markets? This panel will discuss what it means for an app to be truly educational? What do developers need to do differently if they are targeting kids at home versus kids at school? Is it best to start in the consumer market? How do you break into the school market? Confirmed panelists include:

  1. Women in Tech: Driving Success in Mobile Apps

This panel showcases successful women app developers who are willing to share some of their killer app strategies. The panel will look at product development, branding, app launches, and balancing long-term business objectives with short-term needs. These CEOs will share their experiences in building a robust kids’ app business, where tackling sales fluctuations with cutting edge innovation is just part of their daily workload. From creating apps for Highlights Magazine to developing a series of apps for Crayola to building their own brand based on “Grandma” and “Grandpa,” these women have rocketed to the top of the charts in the app stores.  CEO Ariella Lehrer will even give us a peek into developing for Project Tango. Panelists include:

  1. Diversity 2.0

At last year’s conference, the panel on Diversity in Kids’ Apps sparked an international interest in this topic. This year, Diversity in Apps, an initiative launched to address the issue of diversity and children’s app, will be sharing their new guidelines and DIG (Diverse and Inclusive Growth) Tool Kit that they are developing in partnership with the Joan Ganz Cooney Center.  Using some of the criteria from that framework, panelists will discuss how they build apps that incorporate best practices. The panel will also discuss what it means to create gender-neutral apps. Panelists are:

The format: 

The format is panel discussions with audience questions and comments encouraged at the end of each panel

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2015 Conf-Networking Session2

The event will also provide many opportunities for networking, including a separate session at the end of the day.




2015-06-07 12.48.41-enhancedDuring the complimentary lunch, participants can  demo their apps for the attendees and speakers.

Attendees are encouraged to bring business cards and other materials to place on a “Sharing Table.”


Several attendees of past conferences have shared with Tech with Kids that new deals arose out of contacts made at this conference.

Food Provided: Tech with Kids will provide all attendees with a complimentary lunch.

No Sponsors: While hosted by Tech with Kids, this event is funded solely by admission costs. We do not offer sponsorships that allow companies to speak, rather we invite speakers who we believe will deliver the best insights on a particular topic. This event is not affiliated with Apple, although it is happening during the same week that Apple holds its WWDC and is within walking distance of Moscone Convention Center.

Photographs and Videotaping: By attending our conference, you are consenting to have yourself filmed by the event planners. No videotaping of the panels by attendees is allowed. The host reserves the right to videotape participants for use in publicity, advertising, and marketing.

Cancellation Policy: Since this is a limited ticket event, if you need to cancel your ticket, you must do so before June 9, 2016. There will be no refunds after that date.

How to Turn Sibling Rivalry into Sibling Bonding

April 6, 2016

by Jinny Gudmundsen, Editor of Tech with Kids

My sister is my best friend. But it wasn’t always that way. Growing up, we had our share of fights, misunderstandings, and hurt feelings. In high school, we hated each other. It wasn’t until we were in college and beyond that we were able to forge our unbreakable bond of sisterly love.

When I had my own kids, I was determined not to repeat the pattern of my youth. My two sons are five years apart. When my younger son was born, I told my older son that he was the luckiest kid in the world because he had a brother.

Instill Respect

I explained that friends would come and go, but that his brother would be his best friend for life. Because his brother was going to have such an important role in his life, I told my son that he needed to protect that friendship and to never do anything that would hurt his brother. I repeated this same philosophy to my younger son when he was old enough to understand. To my delight, my sons internalized this idea. They never — I mean never — fought. They never hit each other. They always comforted each other and talked out disagreements. They teased, but in joyful ways, without chipping away at each other’s self-esteem. And boy, did they laugh!
Ted age 8-Peter age 3
They started out best of friends, and now, decades later, are the same. Maybe we were just lucky. But maybe, instilling this idea of why it is important to be best friends with your sibling works.

Play Games

Co-op Gaming listOne of the other ways I encouraged good relations with my sons was through playing games. We played board games (from Winnie the Pooh to Connect 4 to Stratego to Monopoly and Risk, to name a few), card games, treasure hunts in the backyard, and video games.

One of the great things about having a sibling is that you always have someone to play with. Games provide shared experiences, and let kids learn about winning and losing. We discovered that games were a great way to foster sibling bonds.

Nowadays, one of the easiest ways to play games is using apps. There are no small pieces to lose, and they are easy to take with you when traveling. Here are some great ones for two players (and more):

Explore Multiplayer Apps

Best Multiplayer iPad App for Young Children: Match Blitz

mzl.qwylmyck.175x175-75This matching game (for ages 3-8) is unusual, because it can be played with up to four players. Presented on an inviting green nature background, brightly colored objects are sprinkled over the surface.  Grab your kid and fire up your iPad for a fast-paced game of matching shapes — one you can play together!

Link: Our Full Review

Best Fast-Paced Multiplayer Game for Families: Marble Mixer

mzl.qakdwvmb.175x175-75Offering three different games for up to 4 players, this app lets kids shoot and flick virtual marbles onto target boards, into outer space vortexes, or popped into a monster’s mouth. Known as a “huddle game” since the players all crowd around one device, <b>Marble Mixer</b> is a great game to play when your kids are getting antsy.

Link: Our Full Review

Best Multiplayer App for Puzzle Lovers: Take it Easy

icon175x175With multiple modes, this puzzle game is all about placing hexagonal pieces on a board in such a manner as to make continuous colored lines. The more you play, the easier it is to see the lines forming; and the app offers periodic tips on how to play better. These puzzles require players to use math as well as logic.

Link: Our Full Review

Best Game for a Room-Full of Multi-Generational People: Heads Up!

icon175x175A variation of Charades where the group acts out words, trying to help the designated player figure out what is on the screen of the smartphone or tablet that is being held up over his or her head. The secret sauce for this cooperative game is that the app covertly films the group who is acting out the words, and then lets the whole crowd review the silliness by watching the film.

Link: Our Full Review 

Best Multiplayer App for Board Game Aficionados: Ticket to Ride

mzm.alikiqvz.175x175-75The popular board game gets a digital face-lift as families vie for railway domination of the map of the United States. Up to five players on the same device can crisscross the United States, claiming possible railroad routes in hopes of building a rail line empire. If a friend or family member isn’t around, they can be brought into the game via the online component (but we don’t recommend letting kids use this to play with strangers!)

Link: Our Full Review

For other multiplayer app suggestions, check out our rec list called: Best Multiplayer Apps for Kids by clicking here. There are six additional apps on that list, and you can find purchase links to all of the apps discussed here from that list.

Here’s to sibling bonding and family gaming via apps!