Maily: Your Kids' First Email App Poster Image

Maily: Your Kids' First Email



Kids can get creative with messages as parents monitor.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn the basics of emailing, an important digital literacy and communication skill. Maily allows kids to be creative and communicate using age-appropriate tools including images, photos, drawings, and handwritten text. Sending and receiving emails gives kids an opportunity to practice reading and writing and express themselves in multiple ways. With parent input, kids can learn about safe online habits and behavior. Maily: Your Kids' First Email gives young kids a fun introduction to online communication in a safe and age-appropriate way.

Ease of play

The interface kids use to compose emails is simple, with large, image-based buttons accessible to young kids. Before kids can begin sending emails, parents must set up kids' accounts and add contacts for them. This process can be somewhat clunky, and it takes a little time.

Violence & scariness

Parents approve contacts, but once approved, contacts can email any text to kids. Parents need to adjust their settings to screen incoming emails before kids can retrieve them.

Sexy stuff

Parents approve contacts, but once approved, contacts can email any text to kids. Parents need to adjust their settings to screen incoming emails before kids can retrieve them.


Parents approve contacts, but once approved, contacts can email any text to kids. Parents need to adjust their settings to screen incoming emails before kids can retrieve them.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Parents approve contacts, but once approved, contacts can email any text to kids. Parents need to adjust their settings to screen incoming emails before kids can retrieve them.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Maily: Your Kids' First Email offers young kids a secure, parent-monitored interface for sending and receiving emails. Parents set up kids' accounts, add contacts, and -- if they adjust their settings accordingly -- screen all activity. The simple canvas for composing includes age-appropriate tools like stamps, paintbrushes, and stationery. Approved contacts can reply using kid-friendly themes from Maily's web-based inbox. The app currently supports only one child per device.

What's it about?

Once parents set up MAILY: YOUR KIDS' FIRST EMAIL, kids can access the app's simple interface for composing messages. A creation toolbar at the bottom of the screen lets kids choose stationery, add stamps, take a photo with the device's camera, and use the paintbrush, pencil, and eraser tools. The speech bubble button on the top left takes kids to their inbox. After they finish creating an email, kids tap the envelope button on the top right to choose a contact (listed with nickname and profile pic) and send their message.

Is it any good?


The strength of Maily: Your Kids' First Email lies in its kid-friendly design and safety features. It gives young kids a protected space to learn about and experiment with what is now a commonplace form of communication. The image-based navigation and interface makes emailing understandable to pre-readers and early readers. Kids can practice writing, reading, and creativity as they send and receive messages. And parents can use Maily as a way to introduce kids to online behavior and ethics.

We anticipate Maily to improve with future updates. As it is now, the set up process is somewhat clunky, and the default settings are not the safest option. Parents will need to manually select the option to screen all email. Also, parents can only set up an account for one kid; the workaround is to set up multiple parent accounts (one for each kid) and log out and back in to switch. Finally, it would be nice if kids could include video, audio, or animations in their messages. For parents interested in an age-appropriate and safe online communication tool for young kids, Maily fits the bill.

Families can talk about...

  • Help kids understand online safety with parallels to real-world safety lessons they already know, such as being cautious of strangers.

  • Encourage kids to use the pencil tool to write messages. They will love the drawing tools and stickers, but Maily can also help with writing skills.

  • Adjust your settings to screen kids' incoming mail.

App details

Subjects:Language & Reading: reading, writing
Skills:Tech Skills: digital creation, using and applying technology
Creativity: imagination, making new creations
Communication: multiple forms of expression
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:August 6, 2012
Size:39.90 MB
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.3 or later

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 8 years old February 3, 2013


What other families should know
Great messages
Safety and privacy concerns
Adult Written byguidance girl February 8, 2013

Now email is elementary.

This seems to be a great gateway to email for my six year old daughter. She is able to keep in touch with family members who live far away and email her friends. I LOVE that there are no ads or spam to worry about because it's not an actual email account. It's also wonderful that they have several tools with which the sender can create art so it's not just a text based medium. My daughter can also take photos with her ipad and include them in her email. I wish the app was available for phones as well so her ipad-less friends could have maily also. My one complaint is that if a parent uses their email address to create an account, that same parent is not able to receive email from the child (because the account is already connected to the child). I had to create a secondary email address to allow my daughter to email me. Not a huge problem but annoying none the less. I took a look at some of the other email platforms marketed towards children and this was the only one that didn't require the user to use a web browser to access the account. I was also turned off by all of the commercialism tied into the other email options. It was just too much. I also thought the other options were aimed at the tween/teen crowd. At six years old I still to filter most of the media to which my daughter is exposed. She doesn't need to take a quiz to find out if "her favorite boy is crushing on her." Ick. Over all this is an EXCELLENT product and I have recommended it to many of my daughter's friend's parents. I am grateful that this product has been so thoughtfully created and is FREE!


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