We select the best apps for parents to help focus on children’s emotional wellbeing.
It is proven that primary school age is the critical period for mental health and social function. There is a huge emphasis on a child’s academic development, but parents often neglect the fact that emotional development and mental well being is equally important. It has been witnessed that children who lack in emotional development face problems in learning and other areas of development too. Thus, children must learn to understand their emotions and how to cope with different feelings and calm down themselves. The more kids understand themselves the more they can empathize with others and develop healthy relationships and positive outlook towards life.
Thanks to the smartphones and, of course, app developers, there are apps now that help kids to identify with their emotions and give them coping tools. For instance, apps like Stop, Breathe & Think Kids, Mind Yeti, and Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame focus on mindfulness training of children. Mindfulness training encourages self-regulation and self-control by giving children the calmness and emotional stability needed to reflect on a situation before reacting to it.
Then an app like Me: A Kid’s Diary by Tinybop can help kids explore their feelings through gently guided questions, whereas Three Good Things – A Happiness Journal app encourages kids to focus on three good things every day and make a note of them. Apps like Powerme and Super Stretch Yoga HD help kids understand the connection between their mind and body. These apps can help kids learn that they can overcome the feeling of anxiety or any other negative emotion by involving in a physical activity. Let’s quickly go through all these apps in detail.
- 8 Apps for parents to help focus on Children’s Emotional Wellbeing
- 1. STOP, BREATHE & THINK KIDS (Age 5- 10)
- 2. BREATHE, THINK, DO WITH SESAME By Sesame Street (Age 3 -5)
- 3. MIND YETI By Committee for Children (Age 5+)
- 4. ZEN STUDIO MEDITATION FOR KIDS By Edoki Academy (Age 3+)
- 5. THREE GOOD THINGS A HAPPINESS JOURNAL By Asher Dale (Age 8+)
- 6. ME: A KID’S DIARY By Tinybop Inc. (Age 7+)
- 7. POWERME By Charlotte Webster (Age 6-8)
- This is a scientifically proven fact that when you feel stressed, anxious or upset involve yourself in some physical activity to release negative emotions and feel better. And that’s what exactly the Powerme app does for kids. The app empowers kids to use their bodies, helping them feel better and cope with their emotions.
- 8. SUPER STRETCH YOGA HD By The Adventures of Super Stretch, LLC (Age 4+)
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8 Apps for parents to help focus on Children’s Emotional Wellbeing
1. STOP, BREATHE & THINK KIDS (Age 5- 10)
Stop, Breathe & Think Kids app offers children an easy and fun way to connect with and process emotions.
Meditation is not just for adults, kids also need mindful tools to calm down themselves. Designed specifically for kids ages 5-10, Stop, Breathe & Think Kids app recommends mindful ‘missions’ to kids based on their emotional check-in. Through 2-10 minute mindful and breathing exercises (such as counting breaths, shake it up, and five finger breathing, to name a few) that target feelings of anxiety, sadness, fear and other common emotions, the app helps children vent their feelings in positive ways that nurture overall mental health. Cute and cuddly cartoon animals that join children on their mindful missions and rewards at the end of each mission keep them engaged and entertained. On the other hand, the app helps parents understand their kids’ emotions so that they can guide them about how to cope with different feelings and respond in different situations.
2. BREATHE, THINK, DO WITH SESAME By Sesame Street (Age 3 -5)
Help kids (ages 3-5) learn the concept of calming down through breathing.
Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame app puts five different frustrating situations in front of kids and help them learn the “Breathe, Think, Do” method to tackle those situations.
In each challenge, kids first help the monster friend (facing a frustrating situation) to calm down by taking long, deep breaths. And when the monster is calm, kids are asked to tap the thought bubbles, which reveals three possible strategies that can solve the monster’s problem. Kids are then asked to choose one of those three strategies – which they think can help the monster. After that, they are presented with an animated video where they watch the monster applying that strategy, solving the problem and, finally, feeling happy.
Why parents should install this app?
Kids will learn to take long, deep belly breaths to calm down, think of a few strategies to handle the problem, and then trying them out. The app will help kids develop resilience as they try to solve everyday problems they can relate to on their own. Furthermore, ‘parents’ section includes a lot of useful tips and strategies backed by research, which parents can use to help their children through day-to-day challenges.
3. MIND YETI By Committee for Children (Age 5+)
Guided mindfulness sessions to help kids calm down, focus their attention, connect better with the world around them, and get ready for whatever’s next.
Created by the non-profit Committee for Children, the world leader in research-based social-emotional education, Mind Yeti mindfulness sessions are specifically designed to meet the various developmental needs of children. The audio/video sessions are short, use approachable language, cartoon characters and simple metaphors to explain the abstract concept of mindfulness meditation in a way kids can understand. For instance: Lots of kids struggle with teamwork. Keeping that in mind, the Mind Yeti session called Whale Talk helps kids to prepare for teamwork by tuning in to an under-the-sea discussion. This is the easiest way for parents to talk about the power of teamwork and help kids learn to work better with others.
4. ZEN STUDIO MEDITATION FOR KIDS By Edoki Academy (Age 3+)
An app that helps children find serenity through creation.
Based on the principles of art therapy, the app called Zen Studio (meditation for kids) encourages children to finger paint their way to better focus and patience. The app allows children to produce an endless number of creations using a grid of triangles as a canvas. Children can express their moods more accurately through colour choice, and the best part about this app is that each stroke of the paint brush is accompanied by calming music. The soothing melodious soundtrack that plays as children finger paint the canvas help them to focus on the activity at hand and make them feel calm at the same time.
5. THREE GOOD THINGS A HAPPINESS JOURNAL By Asher Dale (Age 8+)
Record three positive experiences every day to become happier!
There’s no denying that if you write at least three good things that happen to you every day, you’d develop a more positive and happier outlook towards life.
Created by a teenager, Three Good Things – A Happiness Journal app is all about developing the habit of reflecting on three positive events each day—no matter how inconsequential—training your mind to notice the good things in life instead of allowing it to focus on the negative. So, why not to develop this positive habit at the early age? Well, parents can download this app for their personal use as well as for the use of their children (who can type simple sentences). The app would help everyone develop a good habit of noticing and journaling three positive things every day and be grateful for what they have and develop a positive attitude.
6. ME: A KID’S DIARY By Tinybop Inc. (Age 7+)
Me: A Kid’s Diary is a creative storytelling app that gives kids hundreds of fun, inspiring prompts to help them express how they see themselves and the people and things around them.
Kids can create avatars to represent their family and friends (and even pets) and use a variety of fun mediums, from audio clips to doodles and photos to describe the emotional and physical worlds they perceive. Whatever kids like or feel, they can turn it into something creative, colourful, and animated with the help of this app and share their creative world with friends and family.
Paired with parental guidance, the app creates a safe space of free expression for children to understand their feelings and world around them. Essentially, the app helps kids develop their emotional intelligence, which is key to fighting the tendency toward bullying and anxiety.
7. POWERME By Charlotte Webster (Age 6-8)
Powerme app helps kids identify with their emotions and gives them a short 30-second video coping mechanism using either physical activity, mediation, poses and imagery stories specific to how they are feeling and where they are. All of these aids can help kids feel better no matter what emotion is becoming overwhelming for them at that time.
Must say that all the 30-second video activities are cleverly devised to be fun and engaging—with so many powerful benefits. Not only do they help kids cope with emotions, but also help boost self-confidence, energy levels, and improve cognitive brain function.
The app also emails ‘emotions report’ to parents every week, informing them how their kids have been using Powerme. Parents get to know ‘how was the last week for their kids on the emotional front’. Parents can then talk to their kids about different emotions and guide them about how to deal with ups and downs in life. This exercise will not only help kids now, but will have a long-term effect in how they form their behaviours as they get older – after all, a happier child leads to a happier adult.
8. SUPER STRETCH YOGA HD By The Adventures of Super Stretch, LLC (Age 4+)
Super Stretch Yoga HD app’s mission is to bring health, mindfulness and play to children through yoga fitness.
In Super Stretch Yoga HD app, kids join the blanket-caped kid superhero named Super Stretch who helps them learn the importance of relaxation and breathing through 12 yoga poses. Each pose starts with an animated animal that represents the name or the essence of the pose, then moves on to a short live video showing kids attempting the pose while superhero Super Stretch explains it. For example, Super Stretch explains one of the 12 yoga poses as, “RAINBOW – the butterfly – is a queen of change. She started as a crawling caterpillar and now she is a flying work of art. It is time for us to fly – make little antennas with your fingers and flap your legs like wings. This exercise is really good for your hips and knees”.
Kids can choose to do one of the poses, or do all of them in rotation. Between each pose, kids are encouraged to take a moment to breathe deeply. And the best part about this app is that it is designed to be non-competitive. In each pose, kids don’t need to pretend to be perfect. Just ask your kids to try the pose and focus on the breath.