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Wednesday, January 05, 2011

How to Create a Chrome Fun Zone for Kids

I don't have kids yet, but my nephews (ages: 8, 7, 5, and 3) are all into online games. When I'm around, we mostly play on my iPhone (if you think four kids can't play together at once, think again), but since they are all using Chrome at home, I decided to make their lives easier (and their parents) and create a fun, easy, and somewhat safe zone for them to play in.

What is really great about Chrome's new web store, is that after you set up your kids' start page, they can simply take over from there. Even at a very young age, they may just click on whatever they like. Children more so than adults, have the sensibility to remember and grasp eye candy icons.

The first thing that you want to do is to check the games out yourself. Lots of the games that are in the app store are just a link with no information about the age appropriateness of the content, they might contain ads and/or irrelevant information on the page. But there are also some wonderful apps that will create a magical place for children.


Here are some safe apps to recommend and you won't need to sign up for in order to play:

& are both paid apps. When a child opens them he/she will know exactly what to do, the apps are colorful and very safe to use. And for the amount of $1.99, I'd say you bought some quiet time for an hour at least :)

Anything from Sesame Street is cool. I downloaded a few games and all of them opened full colorful screens that helps children stay focused on the game's activities.


Another awesome game is Poppit, a puzzle game where popping balloons has never been so much fun.

Emma is a series of an adventure games where kids can explore more screens after they find the differences in each scene.

On the educational side I prefer these three apps:

I wrote about MeeGenius! before, they just seem to know what kids need and like. I love all of their applications, web, iPhone or iPad, everything is so customized to kids' needs. Kudos to them.

Just a playful way to learn the A, B, C.
Carrotsticks is an online multiplayer game that improves math skills for 1st-5th graders as they practice and compete with peers around the world, or just practice by themselves.

By the time you finish setting up your new Chrome app page you will notice it might be missing some critical tools though like:
  1. The ability to drag & drop icons around the page
  2. Folders creation so your work items don't blend with your kids' playground.
Something to think about Google..

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posted by Orli Yakuel at 2:13 PM 3 comments

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