Why Your Kids Need You To Unplug (At Least a Little Bit)

Ninety-eight percent of children under the age of 8 have access to a mobile device at home, and all that time connected can have a negative impact on them. Kids spend a lot of time in front of screens – and need to unplug sometimes, writes Angela Roe in this MediaShift piece. She recommends making the upcoming National Day of Unplugging a family affair.


Watching the Winter Olympics Online with the Kids

Tablettoddlers plans on watching the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony with the kids tonight at 8:00 pm EST.  Over the next few weeks, we’ll be taking full advantage of all Comcast Xfinity has to offer in ways of watching both online and off.  They’ve made it easy to personalize our viewing experience on X1 and the streaming app.  We’re fans of using the voice remote for EVERYTHING.  For the Olympics, just say “Olympics Home” to get started.  Ridiculously easy.

There are 50 virtual channels on X1 including dedicated ones to hockey and curling.  For quick updates, just press the “C” button, or as my kids call it, the “sports” button, or say “sports app” on the voice remote and you can get updated on specific competitions, athletes, country medal counts and sport specific video clips to binge.

Instant On Demand ensures you won’t miss a moment of primetime action.  Just select or say “restart” and you’re all set.  Otherwise, all competitions are available next day On Demand in high def or 4K.


Image result for Olympic rings

Keeping Kids Connected During Long Winter Days

From snow days to holiday breaks, kids will be off from school often over the next few months. And with the inclement weather, this means they are inside, itching for something to do. Instead of watching TV or fighting with siblings, using the Internet is a more interactive, productive choice for kids of all ages.

Unfortunately about 30 percent of Americans, many of whom live below the poverty line, don’t have Internet access in their homes. To help connect these families to the Internet, Comcast is offering a low-cost broadband adoption program called Internet Essentials.

Internet Essentials offers families with at least one child eligible for the National School Lunch Program Internet for $9.95 a month; the option to buy a laptop or desktop computer for less than $150; and access to digital literacy training online, in person or in print.

With a service such as this, kids can connect to fun online educational activities for free while they are off from school, and they can keep up with their assignments and stay connected to teachers and classmates. This way, they are not only keeping busy, but they are learning.  Here are a few cool sites:

–          Khan Academy (khanacademy.org): Get a personalized experience in math, biology, economics, computer science, art history and more.

–          PBS Kids (pbskids.org): Find learning games associated with your favorite PBS Kids characters like Clifford, Curious George and The Cat in the Hat.

–          FunBrain (funbrain.com): Access a ton of activities; read books and comics; and play mad libs, math baseball and tic tac toe.

Plus, the whole family can use Internet at home this winter to stay in touch with loved ones, search for new healthy recipes to start the year off right, fill out tax returns and apply for financial aid.

So far, more than 350,000 families, or about 1.4 million low-income Americans, have been connected to the power of the Internet through Internet Essentials. There is also a new amnesty program for families who would qualify for the program, but have a past due balance. If they meet all other eligibility criteria, Comcast will offer amnesty for a bill that is more than one year old in order for that family to be eligible.

To learn more or apply, visit www.InternetEssentials.com or call 1-855-846-8376, or for Spanish, visit www.InternetBasico.com or call 1-855-765-6995. Educators and third parties can visit www.InternetEssentials.com/Partner.

Comcast Integrates Common Sense Media Ratings and Reviews

Comcast has integrated Common Sense Media ratings and reviews into its Xfinity TV Go website to help parents determine what content is appropriate for different ages. These ratings are based on developmental guidelines culled from some of the nation’s leading authorities.   Comcast is also integrating Common Sense Media’s ratings and reviews directly onto the TV via its X1 Entertainment Operating System.

Kids’ Smartphone, Tablet Usage Increasing

According to this MediaPost article, seventy-one percent of households in 2014 with a child between the ages of 4 and 14 own a smartphone, compared with 55% of household ownership in 2012. Ownership of tablets doubled in the same period, growing from 21% in 2012 to 32% in 2014.

Among those families with kids, 35% said their child uses a smartphone (up from 21% in 2012) and 31% use tablets, up from 13% in 2012.