Technology is now part of our everyday lives a completely different world to the one I grew up in and its growth has been significant even in the 10yrs since the girls were small. It’s not surprising then that from an early age children come into contact with and have the desire to utilise devices as a form of entertainment and over time companies have created thousands of apps and games with this market in mind
Like most children of his age group Leo enjoys playing carefully selected games on our phones and I limit his screen time, much preferring the interaction of play. I do however understand that apps and games have a place in today’s world and can be a fabulous learning and educational tool when used properly. One pet hate I have with several of the apps aimed at young children are the annoying adverts which not only interrupt play but are often not age appropriate or add charges to parent’s accounts without warning!
Recently, I was contacted by the company who created the app Hopster TV and asked if Leo and I would like to try it out. I hadn’t heard about Hopster before so did a little googling and was thrilled with the information I found, agreeing immediately to give it a go. Firstly, it was fabulous to see that my pet hate had been dealt with immediately as Hopster is 100% AD free. Not only that it offers a completely safe and child friendly environment that kids can navigate themselves without any worries for parents about inappropriate content popping up.
The app is aimed at children aged 2-6yrs and is made up of several areas;
- Plus a themed area which changes regularly
Before I shared the app with Leo I had a good look around at all it had to offer and I was genuinely overwhelmed with the sheer number of things it contained. I was also thrilled to see that unlike many other apps it’s features can be used offline too, perfect for holidays and long journeys when you have had enough of being asked “Are we there yet?”
There are literally 100’s of TV shows available to view including favourites like Ben & Holly, Bob The Builder, Thomas The Tank Engine and Pingu all alongside handpicked and specially created shows exclusive to Hopster.
Likewise, there are plenty of Books available on the Book Boat including favourites like Paddington, Blue Kangaroo and Mog to name but a few. Some are video books whilst others have the choice of being an audio book or reading along yourself. Being avid readers, this is one of our favourite parts of the app!
The Music area is full of tunes including lullaby’s and specially created songs to help with bedtime as well as loads of songs that are not only fun and catchy, but also have educational lessons cleverly disguised within! The StoryBot songs are Leo’s top choice especially the ones all about different parts of the body.
Of course, no kid’s app would be complete without Games and there are a vast range of curriculum based, age appropriate ones with something for all abilities to enjoy. I love the fact that Leo can learn without even realising whilst he has fun. His favourite game is Frog Sums as he loves numbers and working out number sentences, it’s a perfect introduction to the kinds of things he will be learning when he starts school in September.
Next is the Create area where kids can get creative and make their own masterpiece using a variety of different digital mediums as well as being able to add their own photographs to different backgrounds and costumes. This has had us in stitches at some of the hilarious outcomes and the whole family have enjoyed getting involved!
Last but not least is the themed section. During our subscription we have experienced Space and Under The Sea, each offering a number of shows, music and games which fit within the featured theme. I must admit I was glad when the Space theme changed as there was a song about the planets Leo must have played a billion times and was stuck firmly in my head!
As you would expect from an app of this kind there is a Parental Control area which allows you to sign up for updates as well as control/limit time spent on the app. This can only be accessed by entering your year of birth as a password.
So, what did we think? From a parent’s perspective this app is perfect! Jam packed with fun things to keep Leo entertained whilst stimulating his learning and development plus completely kid-safe, I’m not sure what more I could ask for? I love that at the end of the Month I receive an email to let me know the top three things Leo has been watching and using. It also offers some great statistics about the number of minutes of adverts your little one would have seen if they had been watching normal TV as well as the number of meals I could have prepared in peace!
From Leo’s perspective Hopster TV is a winner, he asks to play on it all the time which is the highest accolade of them all. Obviously his screen time is still limited by me…..cue meltdown when its time to turn it off!
Subscriptions start from as little as £3.67 a month and can be cancelled online at any time. Once our trial period is complete I think we will be subscribing as it’s quickly become one of Leo’s favourite apps. I feel it is competitively priced and fantastic value for money when considering the huge amount of content you can access.
The generous folks over at Hopster have given me a special code for Fraser’s Fun House readers to receive a FREE month’s trial. To redeem simply use this link and quote voucher code FUNHOUSE to start your trial (Valid until 31st October 2018)
Has your little one used Hopster TV before? I would love to hear your thoughts if you decide to give it a go, leave me a message in the comments below.
*We were gifted a Hopster TV subscription in return for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are our own.