Messenger Kids | An App for Kids to Stay Socially Connected with Loved Ones (and Santa) this Holiday Season

Disclosure: This article is sponsored by Messenger Kids. We love providing relevant products and information to our audience.

We downloaded the Messenger Kids app a little over a year ago, when my kids were 7, 5 and 5. What I didn’t know then, was just how much use this app would get over the next year. 2020 turned out to be a year where my kids have been physically distanced from their friends and family – more than ever before. A year where they craved connections with the people they love most. Thanks to Messenger Kids they have been able to stay socially connected, despite being physically distanced.

As a parent, I do have big concerns about the world of social media that they are going to grow up in. But when used appropriately, messaging apps can be wonderful and I do believe that introducing them to it early allows them to learn how to be safer and savvier.

Be Kind; Be Respectful; Be Safe; Have Fun 

Before officially signing up for Messenger Kids, your child is required to agree to: Be Kind; Be Respectful; Be Safe; Have Fun. We have strict rules in our house when it comes to screen time and technology – there are limits to the amount of time they are allowed to use ‘screens’ and we stay on top of the parental controls and settings to make sure they are using the devices safely. So far we have had no issues with Messenger Kids and my (now 8) year old gets so much joy from feeling like she is ‘independent’ enough to to communicate with her loved ones. She loves receiving sweet messages… and gets giddy when she is able to create silly stickers or filters. It’s such a fun app and I am amazed by how well she is able to navigate it!

Staying Connected During the 2020 Holidays

Like many other families, we are unable to gather with our loved ones this holiday season. But Messenger Kids can help kids connect with friends and family during a socially-distanced holiday season. And they have some really cool holiday features!

Santa

Santa is back at Messenger Kids this year and it’s such a magical thing! Parents can opt-in to allow their kids to “chat” with Santa. It’s pretty neat. In a year where we have been unable to ‘see’ Santa in person, this is definitely a very fun option. And in many ways even more special than sitting on his lap at the mall! My kids have been chatting with Santa regularly and love having a direct line to the North Pole. Kids can even send Santa a ‘Thank you’ message through January 6.

Holiday art and stickers

A series of seasonal augmented reality effects, stickers and frames will roll out every couple days. Learn about Hanukkah. Send a photo in a gingerbread frame. Tack on a glowing reindeer nose. So many fun options, and if your kids are anything like mine they will have a blast with this!

There is something about the stickers that my 8 year old cannot get enough of. She has been been sending lots of these to her friends… I love hearing her giggle as she discovers new effects and frames!

Holiday Cards (Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa)

Parents can send customized, digital holiday cards to their kids through the parent dashboard. Even though we don’t celebrate Hanukkah or Kwanzaa at my house, I want my kids to be aware of and understand other customs and cultures and this has been a fun way for them to learn!

Why Messenger Kids:

Messenger Kids is an app designed for kids ages 6 to 12 to have fun video chatting and messaging with friends and family in a parent-supervised environment. Since online safety and screen limits are of utmost importance in our household, here are the reasons we love it:

  1. Parents set up their child’s Messenger Kids account through their own Facebook account. You are NOT creating a Facebook account for your child. You can add or remove contacts for your kids and can check in on who they are messaging at any time.
  2. Parents manage their child’s contact list. When you install the app, you are able to see which of your friends’ kids are on the app and you can add new contacts to your child’s contact list. It was fun to see how many friends already use it!
  3. Parents can download a copy of their child’s information, including their chat history. I appreciate that kids cannot delete any photos, messages or videos. This gives me the opportunity to check in on my child’s online behavior and to intervene if there are any concerns. My hope is that this will set her up to have positive digital experiences as she grows older.
  4. Parents can manage the screen time. Parents can set a sleep mode with off times for the app to help manage screen time.

To set it up:

  • Download the Messenger Kids app to a phone or tablet.
  • Authenticate the device by using your Facebook login.
    • This will not create a Facebook account for your child.
  • Create an account for your child by adding their name.
  • Parental controls are available in the Parent Dashboard in your main Facebook app.
  • Through the Parent Dashboard, you can add contacts for your kids and set on and off times through the Sleep Mode feature.

DOWNLOAD Messenger Kids for FREE Here!

Learn more: Messenger Kids Website | Facebook | Instagram

Madison Moms Blog is written by and for moms who live in the Madison Area. We strive to connect local moms by sharing personal experiences, fun ideas and useful information as well as promoting local businesses. Our community begins online, but doesn't stop there! We offer Mom's Night Out events, play groups and other opportunities to connect offline, with and without kids.

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