A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
SPOTIFY KIDS is an app-based streaming music and audio service designed for kids that includes songs across a variety of musical genres. Access to the app is free for three months with a trial or included free for those who have a paid subscription to Spotify's Premium Family plan.
To set up the app, users will first need to input the child's name and date of birth (optional) and connect the family Spotify account. Kids personalize their profile with their name and an avatar. Several avatars can be created for different children in the same household. Based on a kid's age, you can choose whether you would like them to have access to content for older kids age 5-12 or content for younger children 0-6. There are playlists of music to choose from that include colorful, large icons with big photos and brief text. Based on the age group, there are generic playlists like Lullabies, Dance, Top Hits, School of Rock, Dance Party, Movie Hits, and many more. There are also playlists from popular movies and television shows and networks such as Disney Hits, Lego Movies, Sesame Street, and SpongeBob SquarePants. Individual artists like Justin Bieber, Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, Ariana Grande, The Wiggles, Pinkfong, JoJo Siwa, and Blippi have their own categories. An audiobook category includes access to 30+ Dr. Seuss books, Captain Underpants, The Secret Garden, Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, and Disney songs and storybooks featuring The Lion King, Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, and others.
The search feature provides access to lots of other songs and artists. Kids can type in songs or artists to look for, and even use the microphone on the keyboard for voice-to-text features. Songs can be favorited and stored in the "Your Favorites" category and used offline. From devices, songs from the app can be played through other speakers in the home. In the "Grown Ups" section, parents have access to each child's individual listening history. Controls also allow parents to block unwanted songs and book chapters after a kid has already listened to it. It's also possible to share a curated playlist with your kid from your own account.
Is it any good?
This app solves a problem many parents have faced around letting kids loose in a music library, but it's still important to be aware of the branded content and some sexy album art. For parents, kids' having access to their preferred favorites in an easy-to-navigate playlist may also make it easier to play music and audiobooks through Bluetooth on road trips and car rides. Better yet, parents may be able to hand off the device to the child to control the music, as long as it's not too much of a distraction. Some of the curated playlists have fun content for concepts kids need to learn about in a fun way, such as learning how to wash hands.
So what about those kids who are used to using Spotify already? Even though their age might be in the demographic for using the kids' app, they may not be sold on transitioning over to Spotify Kids. They won't have access to all of the songs and content they might be listening to through Spotify currently, and it does have an interface that will appeal more to younger kids. And since the upper age band serves a wide range of kids, some of the music and album art may be iffy for those on the younger side of the spectrum. Parents can easily monitor the songs their kids are listening to, block songs they don't like or feel are inappropriate, and unblock them at a later time if they change their mind. And the ability to create a playlist and share it with kids help you pick stuff you approve -- and love! For users with only one Spotify account that's shared among family members or for families with a lot of kids, upgrading the service for just a few dollars per month is worth it for the flexibility. Kids will love having access to their own profile and music, and parents will love the age categories and being able to hand over a music app without worrying about super mature content.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about all of the different genres of music and how Spotify Kids might be a fun way for kids to explore and learn about various music from artists around the world.
Talk about how musicians market themselves. Why do they wear the clothes they do? What image do you think they're trying to convey?
Discuss the brands within Spotify Kids. What brands do you recognize? How does including music in the app help that brand?
Music can serve as background noise for homework or chores. It can be a way to calm others down when they are stressed. Music encourages kids to dance and exercise. However, searching for music can also become a distraction. Parents can discuss with their kids when it's appropriate to use music for a purpose, and when it's not a priority.
It's possible to use apps with Bluetooth in the car, so kids might have the option to be the family DJ. What will the rules be when changing from one song to another in your house or car? How will you take requests and turns for the kids while minimizing distractions?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Subjects: Arts: dance, music, singing, theater
- Skills: Emotional Development: handling stress
Health & Fitness: exercise, meditation, movement
- Price: Free to try
- Pricing structure: Free to try (three-month trial, then included in Paid Spotify Premium Family Membership, $14.99/mo)
- Release date: October 30, 2019
- Category: Music
- Topics: Arts and Dance, Book Characters, Music and Sing-Along
- Size: 91.70 MB
- Publisher: Spotify Ltd.
- Version: 1.11.2
- Minimum software requirements: ios 10.0 or later
- Last updated: January 19, 2021
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.