Google advises that parents should balance between protecting their children, while still allowing them to play and learn online. Picture: Marta Wave/ Pexels
Google advises that parents should balance between protecting their children, while still allowing them to play and learn online. Picture: Marta Wave/ Pexels

It’s the last stretch of the school holidays - some fun, useful tools to keep the little ones busy

By Vuyolwethu Fundam Time of article published Apr 28, 2021

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Technology company Google has made available fun and useful tools on the Google Families suite (www.families.google.com/) to help parents ensure their children keep busy while staying safe online during these school holidays.

Google advises that parents should balance between protecting their children, while still allowing them to play and learn online.

Family Link (www.families.google.com/familylink/), a tool in the suite, ensures that your child is safe while using the internet.

The app allows you to set parental controls and age limits to filter the content your child sees, and can also be used to limit screen time – encouraging safe and healthy internet behaviour.

To streamline and simplify your children's holidays, while keeping them safe, Google provides four ways:

Get creative

If you don’t have an artistic bone in your body, YouTube Kids has your back! Look out for tutorials on child-friendly DIY art projects, spend time with them watching their favourite creative shows, or explore new ways together to spark their imagination. It’s free, simple to use, and full of family-friendly videos.

YouTube Kids, for those concerned about internet exposure, is a separate YouTube experience designed especially for children, that parents can control. The app utilises a variety of methods to ensure videos are family-friendly, so you can feel confident that they’re exploring in a safer environment.

If your child is keen on digitally creating artwork, the emoji kitchen (https://emoji.kitchen/) is a great place to start.

Explore with your children – safely

In addition to the options to explore content on YouTube Kids, you can find exhibitions that cater to your children’s interests on Google Arts & Culture.

Play family games, together

What is a holiday without playtime? Use Google Assistant to play a game of commands with siblings or friends, or play classic games like PAC-MAN on Google Doodle.

You can also tap into Google Families by using a Family Group so that everyone can share in the entertainment – together.

Learn and manage family activities

Teenagers might prefer something more challenging, like learning to code, making intricate digital art, or honing their story writing skills.

All of these activities can be managed by creating (and inviting family members to join) a Family Group, with parents holding the reins in terms of their ability to control a host of interactions.

You can easily manage the entire family’s holiday activities through shared Google Calendars, accessing a shared Google Play Family Library of apps, TV shows, books, and games, all while monitoring what they’re seeing when they surf the Net thanks to Family Link.

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