With the media-savviness of children these days and the ever-multiplying games, apps, films, TV shows that they are exposed to, it’s hard to keep track of what all this media content is about, let alone whether they are age-appropriate and generally OK for young minds.
is a site dedicated to helping families and educators understand the media our children are being exposed to – movies, games, apps, TV shows, books, websites, music – and provides age ratings and reviews for all these. It doesn’t have the most eye-catching website design and the reviewed content is largely US-based but here are the reasons why I like it:
1. It’s all about sanity, not censorship.
I like that they’ve made this part of their mission: having a healthy approach to media and technology. It’s all about being using and consuming digital media wisely and steering our children away from what’s not appropriate to their development as individuals.
2. Ratings scales cover all the essentials.
The essentials, to me, being: age-appropriateness, learning potential, engagement, content themes that can influence young minds (positive message, role models, language, violence and scariness, sex, consumerism).
3. Reviews are holistic: parents AND kids can have their say.
Some of the media is reviewed by both parents and kids which provides great perspective. But it also provides a point of view on what parents need to know and what kids can learn or what families can talk about based on the movie, app, game, etc.
4. It educates families on how to deal with digital (& other media).
There is a portion targeted at educators which families can access that provides information on digital citizenship or other parent concerns like screen time or how media affects body and gender image, cyberbullying or internet safety – all according to age group. The blog offers general info like “celebrities who won’t wreck your kid’s or teen’s body image” or “essential apps guide” and the like.
5. Easy access to unbiased ratings and reviews.
Since we are a movie theater-going and apps-downloading family, I like that I can have easy access to reviews and ratings that are not provided by institutions or paid individuals but are done by (assumedly) conscientious people instead. It gives a better understanding beyond the usual censorship board-awarded PG 13 rating.
Written by Marite Irvine