Manage ScreenTime with Ash and Ollie

by Jennifer Donovan

Jennifer D. and her son Kyle were given a code to try out the app, and we received other promotional consideration for passing on this info.

screentime

My goal is a parent is to help my children learn to make good choices. I’ve done it with my teen daughter in regards to the books she reads and the media she watches. I’ve tried to teach both of them to be kind and respectful. Time management is a big deal no matter what age. My daughter has to manage her time so that she is able to keep up with her homework, her clubs, church activities and still have time for friends and family.

My nine-year-old son isn’t overly scheduled. He usually plays one sport at a time and is able to get his homework done each day. The problem is that if he is given a choice about how to spend his time, he’s going to choose games. Whether they are on a handheld device, the computer or a phone or tablet, if unchecked, he would literally spend all of his waking hours looking at a screen.

no screens

I don’t have much of a problem with it. He does enjoy other things like reading and drawing, but unless I take away the option of the computer, he does not see them as an option.

The Adventures of Ash and Ollie: ScreenTime, is the first release in a series of enhanced eBooks, games and shows entitled “The Adventures of Ash and Ollie,” charting the adventures of two mischievous brothers. Ash & Ollie just want to play (on their tablets and game players), and it’s up to their parents to set some rules and help them understand that the world isn’t just one big screen.

ScreenTime explores that ubiquitous phenomenon of the modern parenting world — the use of electronic devices by children.  Kids are clamoring for the digital interface, at younger and younger ages and with a seemingly unquenchable thirst. Parents, conflicted themselves over their own increasing addiction to these devices, are often at odds on how to deal with this issue.

This is a story book app that also includes a rocket ship game. My 9 1/2 year old son liked the game. He said it’s an easy version of a very popular flappy feathered friend app.

ash and ollie

He is really not the target audience for this app and did find it to be too young. I’d say that it would be great for 3 to 6 year old kids. The story book was really cute. The artwork is incredible and the voices are not annoying. What I loved about it is that the boys in the story share their own experiences with their family rules on screentime, and even if they don’t think that it’s fair, they know that focusing on other things is important too.

When kids hear this message from cute Ash and Ollie instead of just having their parents tell them over and over again to get off the screens, I think it’s more effective.

Even though my too-old seen-it-all son felt like it was too babyish for him, thirty minutes after watching it he asked if he should go and see if the little kids across the street wanted to play outside. Coincidence? I think not!

 

Buy it

Ash and Ollie: ScreenTime is available at Google Play for android and for the ipad and iphone at the itunes store for $2.99.



Email Author    |    Website About Jennifer Donovan

Jennifer Donovan has been a part of the 5 Minutes for Mom team since 2007. She writes product reviews, covers events, and manages the 5 Minutes for Books weekly column and website. She lives in Houston and blogs at Snapshot about life with her family.

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