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Apart of Me

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Apart of Me App Poster Image
Wonderful, gentle support for working through loss.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn to work through difficult thoughts and feelings around the loss of a loved one or someone's long-term illness. They'll work on relaxation activities, acceptance, and finding peace. They'll hear stories from other kids who have had similar experiences and learn traditions around loss from different cultures. Kids will also work on emotional literacy and learn how to recognize, accept, and deal with their feelings.

Ease of Play

Clear instructions help kids know how to navigate the game.

Violence

Themes of death and loss.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some brief mentions of adults being drunk.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Apart of Me is an interactive game that guides kids who are dealing with loss of a loved one or their long-term illness through a process of grief. Digital components interact with real-world activities in an effort to teach kids healthy coping skills and to work through their pain of loss. Kids are asked to construct narratives offline and share minimal information about their personal experiences, though the game always gives the option to use made-up names and any information provided remains private. There are also stories in which other kids share their own experiences with loss and resilience. Because of those shared stories and the patience required to work through the quests, it's probably best for older kids, but younger kids could also benefit from it with guidance. Apart of Me has British-accented narration and sometimes references life in England, but non-British, English-speaking kids should have no problem following along. One area of the game offers a list of links to websites for outside organizations that help kids work through grief. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

Upon starting APART OF ME, kids meet their guide who introduces them to the island. There are then quests to complete, areas to explore, island friends to meet, and resources to collect. Four main themes underlie the activities: acceptance, peace, wisdom, and connection. On the island kids complete feelings assessments, learn relaxation breathing techniques, read advice, and learn about others' experiences. Other quests that kids can do on- or offscreen guide encourage kids through to gently visit their own experience (e.g., write about happy memories they have with the loved one) and learning to find and construct resources that will help them build resilience.

Is it any good?

The island's calming, game-like setting offers kids a wonderfully accessible format for working through difficult life experiences. Apart of Me does a great job of mixing gaming themes -- quests, exploring a magical island -- with experiences that are all too real. The gentle approach allows kids to go through the game and complete activities at their own pace and when they feel ready. With the four main themes of acceptance, peace, wisdom, and connection, Apart of Me offers kids a holistic, complete approach to working through grief. The recordings of kids and teens talking about their own experiences are very powerful and offer models for how kids can deal with loss. There's also a really nice balance between online and offline activities. In the app itself, kids work on game exploration and gather information such as relaxation tips, worldly advice for dealing with grief, or details from other kids who have lost a loved one. Prompts also encourage kids to take concrete steps in their real lives such as writing, taking deep breaths, or talking with family and friends. Kids are able to work at their own pace and can always decide to not complete any activity. With its accessible and appealing format, and its great ideas for supporting kids who are experiencing grief, Apart of Me can be a powerful tool for helping kids heal.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Apart of Me's challenge activities, but let kids take the lead. If kids want to, you can complete them together. Or, if they prefer to explore their feelings alone sometimes, give them the necessary space.

  • Going through the challenges may be difficult for kids. Make sure they always know that you are available for emotional support.

  • Look into some of the outside resources included in the app. Kids may benefit from additional help including support groups or counseling.

App details

For kids who love feelings and mental health

Our editors recommend

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