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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

In the digital age, parents constantly worry about their children being exposed to violent or inappropriate material through the internet or video games. But parents shouldn’t fear all of the technology available to their kids. In fact, there are a number of apps and games that can be educational as well as fun. These are some of the best ways to connect your kids to all that the digital world has to offer.

Mobile Apps
Transform your smart phone or tablet into a canvas, a television or your child’s favorite book with a number of amazing apps. The PBS Parents Play & Learn app has dozens of games that allow you to turn everyday activities like grocery shopping or driving in the car into a learning experience. Practice math and literacy skills while making ordinary days exciting. The Crayola DigiTools™ app turns your iPad into an art studio and lets your child create masterpieces using digital paintbrushes and other tools, mess-free.

Video Games
The XBOX 360 isn’t a distraction from schoolwork. With the Kinect sensor, children can enjoy an interactive learning experience while staying active at the same time. Games like Kinect Nat Geo TV let kids explore the world in a uniquely immersive way through programming from Nat Geo WILD. The Kinect Sesame Street TV game brings beloved characters like Big Bird and Elmo to life like never before. Children can interact with Sesame Street through games, music and videos that help them to learn while playing.

There is more TV programming specifically designed for children today than ever. Providers like AT&T U-Verse and DIRECTV offer 24-hour kid’s channels with programming for all ages. PBS Kids Sprout is a network with shows and content made just for preschoolers. It even has interactive online content to help your kids get even more out of the shows they love. It’s also easier than ever to set and customize parental controls on your family’s TV. You can even manage the settings away from home on your mobile devices in some cases, to ensure your kids are enjoying the TV safely.

All of the technology and information available now can be overwhelming and a bit frightening. Don’t let that prevent you from teaching your kids to use technology safely and responsibly. These fun and educational tools can help to make the most out of your child’s screen time. They will enjoy it so much they won’t even realize they’re learning at the same time.

AUTHOR: Adrian Rawlings

BIO: Adrian Rawlings is a technology and parenting blogger.  Look to him for the scoop on education, parenting, tech reviews, how-to’s, and more.