I don’t get it. Please can you explain something to me? Why on earth do my children want to sit and watch a video of someone’s hands taking a toy out of some play dough on YouTube?
They’re not even famous hands. Yes, I understand that it’s a Moana toy, and we have Moana on our TV, but it doesn’t make it any better.
It’s not just those ones. Another particular draw for my nearly three year old daughter are ones where similar aged children get to put on the costume of their favourite princess, and have their face made up so that they look like the princess doll.
I readily hold my hands up and say that I let my children go on their tablets if I need to get something done, or they need a bit of calm separation from each other. I’m all for technology and allowing them to have a small amount of freedom when it comes to what they watch, within reason obviously. But there are limits to what my eardrums can cope with, and whiny American voices describing what’s inside a surprise egg goes way past that. Plus, I don’t have 100% control on what they watch or click on. I’ve lost count of the amount of times my daughter has clicked on an advert by mistake. Thankfully, they’ve not come across some of the frightening ‘spoof’ videos yet, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time.
I’m much happier if the children are partaking in educational videos or games, especially now that my son is in Reception year at school. We’ve tried out a few other apps, but they never seem to hold my son’s attention for long and usually are too old for my daughter.
Hopster ticks all of the boxes, it’s a whole world full of shows, games, videos and books aimed at children from age two. It’s a monthly subscription but that one subscription can be used across tablets, phones and some TVs, so there’s no fighting about who gets to go on it first!
Why I love Hopster
All of the content has been designed to align with the UK Early Years Foundation Stage, which is the programme followed in schools and nurseries. The content covers literacy and numeracy, and exploring the world, but without the child realising that they are doing anything educational. What’s great is that you can download the content and access it offline, so it’s brilliant for holidays and travelling. Online safety and privacy are very important in this day and age, so it’s very encouraging that Hopster has been certified by kidSAFE as meeting their high standards.
Why my kids love Hopster
The first thing that my son noticed is that there is a mix of familiar and new characters available, and plenty of options to choose from in each of the sections. In the Shows menu there is Cloudbabies, Ben and Holly and Postman Pat SDS which he recognised, but also Monster Math Squad, which was very appealing! In the Books menu we tried out Mog, The Tiger Who Came to Tea and Paddington, with many of the books having accompanying videos too.
Everything in the Games menu is exclusive to Hopster, and there are number, letter, phonics and creative options available. It was really nice for my son to go into one of the creative games himself, make a picture and be able to save it so he could show it to us afterwards.
Hopster is priced at £4.99 per month, with a seven day free trial available.