When the little people were young, in the days of 3 under 2, the run up to bedtime had the potential to be the worst time of the day. There was a balance, a tipping point, if I missed it, it was all ok. When I wasn’t so organised, we became too familiar with the witching hour. Now the children are older, there’s a different tipping point. Our new witching hour is the time between getting home from school to do homework, and dinner. Keeping three children occupied as energy levels dip, aiming to avoid tantrums and arguments. Recently, we’ve been lucky. We’ve been invited to repel the witching hour with Sky Kids.We downloaded the Sky Kids app onto the family tablet, it’s free for existing Sky account holders and, like most things in Play Store on Android, simple to add as an app. It’s also easy to set up to use, and instantly appeals with on-demand episodes of favourite shows as well as quizzes and games to play. I’ll be honest, it’s been a lifesaver. We’re still balancing Mr J going back to work with my work schedule. There are more than a few occasions when I’ll still be doing calls when Mr J gets back to make a family meal. And of course this will collide spectacularly with tempers fraying and bickering stirring under the surface.
Fortunately the kids love the Sky Kids app. Probably because it’s at their finger tips, there’s no channel surfing to groans of there not being anything on. The Sky Kids app has the benefit of being tailored to your child, streaming age appropriate content. What’s great about this is that there’s been more than a few trips down memory lane for the boys.
Of course, there’s favourite shows for the boys including Lego and Horrible Henry. With eleven channels to choose from, including Nickelodeon, CBBC, Disney and Cartoon Network, children really are spoilt for choice. What makes this great is finding them watching programmes like Octonauts. They were such fans when they were younger, but they have these ideas that they’re too old now. So it absolutely melts my heart when I find them reliving favourite shows because it’s just the two of them.It’s obvious the Sky Kids app has been designed for child appeal. User friendly and intuitive the boys just dot around the app finding something to keep them entertained. With the ability to create up to 10 unique profiles, the children now bicker over which Sky buddy is going to keep them company when they’re allowed time on the app.
Whilst there are over 5000 episodes available on demand, which are updated every month, there’s also lots of other functionality. For times without wi-fi there’s the ability to download episodes for 30 days. We’re travelling from South Wales to Gatwick at the end of the month so will definitely be utilising this feature.
The personal profile offers control for the children whilst giving parental reassurance that content is age-appropriate. There’s also other parental controls, allowing assurance that there’s not too much time being spent on the app through functionality including time limits. I do find this great, as like the children, I’m the worst at letting time escape. As the children have been enjoying testing out the Sky Kids app, taking their responsibilities seriously, they’ve also been more compliant than usual. As well as respecting time-limits, they’ve also been happy to explore the whole of the app. The app also has a treasure trove of games and quizzes to play. This means when I’m having a moment of bad parenting, I tell them I’m happy for them to play on the games section rather than watch cartoons.
And honestly, there’s a whole load of games I wouldn’t mind having some time playing. When catching glimpses of the boys playing, all limbs overlapping, with laughter on tap, there’s been a few moments of me being able to think I’m finally getting a grip on this parenting thing.
Disclosure: We were invited to test the Sky Kids app by Mumsnet and have been compensated for our time. All views and opinions contained are our own.