Do your kids love screens? Mine do, but I'm not weighing in on the relative merits and challenges of screen time. I've done that before. What I am doing is pointing you towards tablet-based apps designed to aid children's wellbeing.
If they're watching screens they may as well being doing something beneficial, right?
Here are five great apps recommended by psychologists.
1. Superstars Strengths for Kids. AU$4.99.
Focus on the Go is a series of family-based games designed to help kids practise understanding and communicating their feelings and developing skills to calm down in challenging situations. There's a family check up to see how the family is tracking and further resources, tips and videos aimed at building resilience. It's available on both iOS and Android devices and can be used on both tablets and phones. Developed by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the Nathanson Family Reslience Centre.
3. Smiling Mind. Free.
This is one of my favourites. Pitched as 'Meditation for Young People' (aged seven onwards) it's fun, it's easy and it's Australian. It's not just for kids either. I use it on train trips when I need a bit of 'calm down' time. This is ideal for kids, teenagers and young adults who have a tendency to get wound up and anxious. Get it on iOS and Android.
4. Breathe Think Do with Sesame. Free,
So much fun for the little kids! Brought to you by Sesame.org, this is for the under fives. It teaches kids Sesame's research-based 'Breathe, Think, Do' approach to solving problems and dealing with tricky situations. Like all things Sesame Street it's engaging, accessible and high quality. Available for iOS and Android.
One for the older kids, aged 12+, Recharge is a six week program focused on improving mood, energy and well being by putting in place good sleep/wake patterns. I'm a BIG fan of good sleep habits for health and well being and the research tells us that good sleep equals better mood, better energy levels and better resilience when challenges arise. iOS only.