News-O-Matic: Reading for Kids

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
News-O-Matic: Reading for Kids App Poster Image
Fun, interactive way for kids to learn about current events.

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about a range of newsworthy topics, as well as create their own meaning and consider their own opinions around the content.

Ease of Play

Overall easy for kids to navigate, but side menu bar has icons with labels that are very small and may be hard for kids to read.

Violence & Scariness

While content is designed to be age-appropriate, some kids may still be sad about or scared by the news.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Just as with news for adults, some content may reference brands, media (e.g., movie reviews), and other topics that could influence kids' desire to buy. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that News-O-Matic: Reading for Kids is an interactive, subscription-based news reader for kids ages 7–13. Stories are written by experts, and a child psychologist reviews the articles. Parents can select an appropriate age range for their child to adjust the reading level of the content, but kids may also opt to have the stories read aloud. Kids can submit questions and drawings that may be included in the News Room section of the site along with their username. 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 10 and 13-year-old Written bySWHighlander April 18, 2020

Half games

Good news broken down by age appropriateness. Unfortunately it has games on it too, so my son just uses it for extra screen time. Not acceptable, Mr. Developers...
Adult Written byGillanB May 3, 2013

Thanks News-O-Matic!!!

My daughter loves this app! She can't wait to get home to read it. I'm so happy because now she is reading everyday.
Kid, 11 years old January 9, 2016

News-O-Matic

News-O-Matic is a really educational news app that you can use to learn about the world. You can write something to the editor, draw pictures for everyone to se... Continue reading

What's it about?

The front page of NEWS-O-MATIC: READING FOR KIDS displays colorful pictures representing the five top stories of the day and a news ticker with additional tidbits related to current events. The news includes a range of topics, including politics, sports, history, animals, weather, social media, movie reviews, and science. Kids can also scroll to access previous news cycles. When they click through on an article, they'll find a long-format piece or a collection of longer pieces around the theme, a video, a slideshow, a poll, a map, and some games. There's also a place to submit questions and comments and an art board to draw images inspired by the content. Kids can submit these for inclusion in the News Room, where the editor responds to questions and comments.

Kids can assemble a jigsaw puzzle with a picture from the story or try to guess the mystery word (in a game similar to hangman, but assembling a robot instead). The third game, a timeline activity, wasn't working at the time of review. Kids can save articles in their profile to read later. They can also search for news stories around a specific topic. 

Is it any good?

This kid-friendly news reader is a great way to engage kids with current events and media literacy. News-O-Matic: Reading for Kids is colorful and fun, and includes a great range of topics to appeal to a wide variety of interests. The additional activities help kids connect with what they've read, and the options to write letters to the editor or to take a poll give them an opportunity to voice their own opinions. There are the occasional rough patches -- a game not working or an awkwardly worded quiz question -- but overall this is a fantastic experience for kids. Parents should take advantage of the generous free trials (ranging from a week to a month, depending on subscription level) to determine if this is a good fit for their family in terms of content and interests. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the importance of reading the news and staying aware of current events using apps like News-O-Matic: Reading for Kids. What are some examples of things that you might want to know about?

  • Talk about what to do if the news is scary or upsetting. What are things you can do to feel better?

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love news and learning about the world

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

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