OK Play - Learning Activities

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
OK Play - Learning Activities App Poster Image
Quality activities for enriching parent-child interactions.

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

Educational Value

Offscreen and in-app activities focus on social emotional learning. Kids can learn about expressing and regulating emotions, being kind, taking different perspectives, and more. Other themes include creative expression, movement, and following directions. Parents can also learn about best practices for supporting their kids' socio-emotional and cognitive development.

Ease of Play

There's a lot of material to look through, but it's mostly well organized.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

App is a free download but access is subscription based. References to at least one name brand product (LEGO).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that OK Play - Learning Activities is a subscription-based service that provides parents with suggestions for activities to do together with their young kids. This is not an app for kids to use on their own. Though there's a mix of themes, most activities focus on nurturing socio-emotional skills such as kindness, emotional regulation, or resolving conflicts. Many activities involve taking photos or video of your kids. There are several links to third-party apps -- such as Snapchat, Instagram, iMessages, and Facebook -- where users can share completed activity packs. Parents can read about each activity, including ideas for learning extensions, and the child development research based foundation for the activity. To use OK Play - Learning Activities, parents need to provide an email address, their kid's nickname and date of birth, and sign up for a subscription. 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?

Parents provide their email address and choose a subscription model to create an account and access OKAY PLAY - LEARNING ACTIVITIES. Once in, parents find a handful of activity suggestions that change daily. Activities usually involve a cognitive, social, or emotional learning theme, and often require parents to take photos or video of their kids. For example, kids may be invited to make faces showing a variety of emotions, learn calming breathing techniques, or play dress up. At any time, browse all activities by overall learning theme (such as My Emotions Now or Spreading Kindness), Types of Play (such as Winding Down or Staying Active), featured character, or broad curriculum area (social, emotional, or cognitive). Save the finished product in the Memories section, or share it through a variety of third-party apps. Parents can read detailed descriptions and extended play suggestions for every activity as well as general parenting advice columns.

Is it any good?

These well thought out, research-based activity suggestions provide parents with great ideas to create meaningful and enriching interactions with their young kids. OK Play - Learning Activities hits most of the gold standards for high-quality screen time with little ones. Rather than simply watch things happen, kids are active players as they use the suggestions to guide them to move, experiment, think, create, and explore in activities on the screen and off. And, rather than having screen time be alone time for kids, OK Play - Learning Activities has parents use the app to facilitate interaction. Activities also highlight social and emotional learning, which is nice departure from the ABC- and 123-focused apps that are so common for this age range. There are a few minor downsides that parents might want to be aware of. A pop-up usage tracker that tells parents how many activities they've accomplished feels like encouragement to stay connected as long as possible. And, there are direct links to third-party apps and sharing options without a parent gate. Though parents are supposed to be the ones navigating through the app, kids may get their hands on the screen at times too. Overall though, OK Play - Learning Activities is an excellent example of how screens can enhance interactions and support learning.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the activities they do together with OK Play - Learning Activities. Which kinds of activities do you like best? Which do you like the least? Why? 

  • Read the background information and help kids get the most out each activity. 

  • Encourage kids to use what they've learned about emotional regulation when they're experience strong feelings. Remind them of the breathing techniques they learned, or help them name what they're feeling.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Skills: Creativity: imagination
    Emotional Development: empathy, identifying emotions, labeling feelings, persevering, perspective taking, self-awareness
    Communication: friendship building, listening
    Health & Fitness: movement
  • Price: Free to try
  • Pricing structure: Free to try (two-week free trial available, then $9.99/mo.; $59.99/year)
  • Release date: September 5, 2020
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 122.50 MB
  • Publisher: OkCo Inc.
  • Version: 1.0.4
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 12.2 or later; Android 6.0 and up
  • Last updated: December 7, 2020

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