iDiary for Kids

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
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Excellent journal-writing tool for creative kids.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn journaling and storytelling skills, as well as how to self-reflect on their day and life using the written word, drawing, photos, and more. The app also suggests similar words if a kid spells a word incorrectly, giving some limited spelling help. The most inspiring lesson from iDiary for Kids happens when kids reflect back on many journal entries over a period of time to see how they've grown in writing skills, as well as in life. iDiary for Kids is a great tool to set today's tech-savvy kids on the enriching path of lifelong journaling.

Ease of Play

Extremely intuitive. Most kids who have had any exposure at all to typing or drawing on a touchscreen and uploading images will need no direction at all. Because most kids are familiar with the concepts of a paper journal, scrapbook and address book, the ease of use found here is an excellent introduction to mobile apps for kids who are new to them.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language

There's no filter for language, so kids can enter any word or phrase (or image) that they choose.

Consumerism

The developer's name, Tipitap, is placed on many pages of this app, and at least one page has an ad for another app from Tipitap that takes users to the App Store if touched.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that iDiary for Kids is a top-notch first experience in journaling for kids ages 5 to 13 to express themselves; make a photo, drawing, and text scrapbook of their day; and create their first address book. There's some guidance for how to password protect and back up the diaries, but as far as what kids may or may not want to share with others via email, or what may be considered inappropriate words or images to share will have to come from parents and teachers because that's not offered here.

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What's it about?

The world of journaling leaps into the 21st century with this innovative app. Kids who want to practice writing and recording the events of their day will love this tool, and so will kids who don't necessarily like to write but can use photos, drawings, stickers, and more to tell their personal tales in a variety of ways. More than one diary can be created and password-protected on this app. The directory of contacts for family and friends is a nice bonus, too.

Is it any good?

IDIARY FOR KIDS provides a perfect format for today's tech-minded kid to create and keep a memorable, unique summer vacation journal and for teachers to encourage kids to journal daily in class when school begins. Younger kids can combine the stickers and hand sketching for creative pictures of their day, while older kids can write, draw, add photos, and email entries. Parent or teacher involvement for setting guidelines in privacy, safety, and appropriate sharing may be necessary. On the downside: The odd music is an unnecessary distraction that can be avoided; there's a three-page per day maximum entry; and parents should be sure to read backing-up instructions to avoid any data loss.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Help your kid register his or her diary -- and register one for yourself, too. The app supports multiple diaries.

  • Set aside daily writing time for your kids.

  • Make sure your kid's diary is backed up regularly. If not synched regularly with iTunes, there's the risk of losing all of these pieces of your kid's story.

App details

For kids who love storytelling and creativity

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