Developing Mobile Apps for Kids

In the publishing industry, children’s authors have the delicate task of appealing to kids who prefer stories that frighten them as well as to parents with serious misgivings about frightening their kids.  As it goes with children’s books, so it goes with mobile apps.  Of course, the fear factor doesn’t come into play where mobile apps are concerned, but according to a recent study conducted by the Ruckus Media Group, selling parents on the merits of mobile apps that their kids will actually enjoy using is no mean feat.

First, the numbers:  60% of children read or listen to stories on touch devices; 60% of children use mobile apps more than four times a week, and 24% do so every day; 71% of those apps are downloaded by parents, and 29% by the children themselves.

Taken together, the numbers tell an interesting story.  The 29% of children who do their own downloading tend to favor mobile apps with pure entertainment value:  games, videos, stories, etc.  To create an app that appeals to kids, then, developers will need to incorporate entertainment if they want it to do well.  On the other hand, the parents who download apps for their kids have a different agenda.  Bearing in mind that a full 58% of parents feel guilt when their kids use mobile apps at all, what those parents want are apps that include problem-solving, creativity, and focus on a specific subject area or a specific skill.  A whopping 83% of parents insist that the apps their kids use be interactive as well, so it’s up to developers to come up with apps that are active, engaging, and educational, rather than purely passively entertaining.

So if you’re planning on developing a mobile app for kids, in order for it to appeal to the broadest possible demographic you’re going to want to incorporate educational interactivity into something that’s also fun and entertaining.  And if you need any help getting started, give us a call!

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