The fact that we live in an increasingly tech-dependant society means that kids are being exposed to technology earlier and earlier in their lives. The question then becomes: How can I give my little ones a certain level of freedom to enjoy the fun and educational perks of the Internet while ensuring they don’t get tricked into and ripped off by a scam?
This question is especially important when it comes to apps and websites geared towards children’s entertainment. Whether they’re preschoolers, teens or beyond, we want to encourage our kids to read, as well as discover and nurture their taste for the arts, but don’t want to worry about them coming across something inappropriate.
Recently, there’s been quite a bit of buzz surrounding the launch of Playster, a new streaming service going after both parents and children by promising access to unlimited entertainment. As with any new, unfamiliar service, there seem to be conflicting views about the platform online with some people wondering if Playster is legitimate or not, so we decided to investigate it.
Playster charges $24.95 per month for a subscription that gives families access to books, audiobooks, music, movies and games. There are no limits on how much content can be consumed every month and they’re marketing themselves as a great option for families. Not only because of their varied catalog, but also because of their family plan, which allows a number of simultaneous logins across any device.
So is Playster really safe for kids? We signed up for a free trial (note: you do need to put in a credit card, but you can cancel by calling their customer service number) and started browsing to see what kind of stuff we could find, keeping kids in mind.
Starting with the books and audiobooks category, we found lots of classics for pre-schoolers and pre-teens, including plenty of Beatrix Potter and Dr. Seuss. There was also a nice selection of timeless books we enjoyed reading when we were younger, like The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, plus newer kid-friendly titles, like Puss in Boots.
The Kids & Teens section also seemed to have a wide selection of series from popular YA authors, like Marissa Meyer and Sara Shepard of Pretty Little Liars fame.
Movies range from action to comedy and sci-fi, but admittedly seem to be more geared towards teens and adults. As for the music, we came across some cool kid-centric playlists, including ones titled Adventures for Kids, Kids Rule and YouTube Stars.
In the games category, Playster’s old school arcades are definitely a fun choice for the youngest members of any family, as well as parents looking to take a walk down memory lane. We couldn’t help but press ‘Play’ on Duke Nukem and were happy to see they also had quite a few classic Atari games.
All in all, after having spent some time inside the Playster app, as well as surfing the service within our Web browser, it looks like Playster is actually a really cool option if you’re looking for an entertainment service the whole family can use. As we mentioned, the multiple user logins are a nice perk and there’s a solid selection of titles for all members of the fame
There’s no parental control feature (here’s hoping they might add that in the future), but having custom kid categories and playlists does make monitoring a little easier. Besides, supervision is always recommended when it comes to your children and the Net!
If you’d like to try Playster yourself, you can sign up for their free 30-day trial Here