The geniuses at Google recently launched Google Kids Space, an all-new tablet experience with tons of customizable content for kids! Google gave my family a tablet to give it a whirl. My four-year-old son, Watson, took it for a test drive and I haven’t been able to pry the tablet out of his hands since. I’m cool as a cucumber though because combined with Google’s Family Link, I get updates on everything he’s streaming. This is huge: Google made sure all Kids Space content is age appropriate and focused on your kid’s interests. While he’s entertained, I found some time to myself to tell you all about it. Read on to learn about how Google Kids Space is a whole new frontier of fun!
Family (Link) First
No-brainer, super easy set up here. All you need is a select Android tablet, like the user-friendly Lenovo Tab M10 (2nd Gen) or Lenovo Smart Tab M10 (2nd Gen). You don’t need a subscription to sign up for Family Link or Kids Space, so no “Mom, can I have your credit card to download this?” and subsequent freak out when you say no. So yes, I fell in love immediately because I love FREE.
First, you need a Google Account managed by Family Link for your child so you can help guide their experience. I set up Watson’s account during the tablet setup, then downloaded Google’s Family Link app to manage his experience remotely from my phone. Now I can see what he’s up to, including apps he’s installed. Typically, this kid is into unboxing videos that compel him to beg me to buy every product created in the past five years. But it’s a new day with Kids Space, and I’m gleefully delighted because this is all free AND I see he’s downloaded four apps all categorized “educational”—so proud, thank you, Kids Space! You’ve saved my wallet and my sanity.
I can do other cool and helpful things with Family Link:
- Add or remove content filters.
- See my child's device location (very helpful if your kid tends to lose things).
- See which apps he uses most during the week.
- Set daily screen time limits and lock the device when it’s time for a break
I love that I can be sneaky and set these things up on my end using just my phone—without touching his precious tablet, ahh!
Set up for Success (and Fun)
All I can say is, wow. There are so many fun little touches that personalize the experience. First up, Watson chose his interests; cooking, stories, animals and lots more. Next: Creating his character (this was a big hit). I’m impressed with how many characteristic choices there are. It’s inclusive and sets the right tone: everyone is welcome! Choose options to look just like you or someone else entirely. Watson had a blast customizing his creation with just the right shoes and accessories. It was adorable when he was done and exclaimed, “that’s me!”
A Whole New World
Once your avatar is set, the action begins! Kids Space pulls you into a cool new universe. The screen effects are super exciting and got many oohs, ahhs, and “that is so cool” shout outs from Watson (and me!). Once we “landed,” there was a sign to greet him—now his character, face mask and all, were ready for action. The content layout is crisp, engaging and easy to navigate. You’ll feel like kids in a candy store!
The first thing we clicked on? Joke of the day! Next, we hit the fun facts! I was impressed with how the recommended content was bundled and neatly organized. Kudos because clearly, they Marie Kondo-ed it so we don’t have to. It was surprising to me how much recognizable content is available since it’s free! Watson was super pumped to see Sesame Street, Nick Jr., PBS Kids and discovered a bunch of new things, too (hello, Highlights!). Bonus: The library of books available is more extensive than any app I’ve seen, and again, ALL FREE.
There’s something extraordinary about the layout here: Aside from the custom content, there are action-based tabs at the bottom of the screen. The categories are Play, Read, Watch and Make, all of which encourage playfulness and exploration on and off screen, rather than couch potato-ing.
Disclaimer: The tablet for this sponsored post was provided by Google Kids Space.