Parent Tips for Digital Smarts

 Internet Safety

For internet safety we recommend having a look at Common Sense Media’s Internet Safety Library.

Below are some basic safety tips for Elementary School Kids to follow:

  • Never share their names, schools, ages, phone numbers, or addresses;
  • Never send pictures to strangers;
  • Keep passwords private (except to parents);
  • Never open email from strangers – it may contain viruses that can harm a computer; and
  • Immediately tell an adult if something mean or creepy happens.
    Information retrieved from Common Sense Media

For more detailed information about internet usage and safety at all of the city of Santa Clarita Public Libraries, please have a look at our Internet Use Policy.

Below are some more Online Safety and Safe Searching Links:

Safe Kids
This is a good site for kids that includes safety advice tools, an online safety quiz, and a child safe search.

Cyber Safety
This is an interactive guide to staying safe on the Internet.


Criteria for Choosing Apps or Book Apps for Lower Elementary Kids

Apps and Book Apps are better used as a supplement to an actual print book or a specific concept.  Print books, apps, book apps can all be connected to real world things or concepts that can be discussed or written out.  It is best to foster these connections as much as possible.  Below are some items to consider when choosing apps or book apps for your lower elementary kids.

What to look for when choosing apps or book apps:

Interactivity: Interactive elements should enhance and not detract users from advancing the narrative of a story or moving forward through the app.

  • There should be easily identifiable cues that make interactive elements discoverable.
  • Make sure the cues clear enough for the age and developmental level of your kid.

Age Appropriateness: This does not mean only appropriateness of the content but also the functionality is important.

  • Older kids need levels or features to keep their interest.

Annoyance Factors and Customization:  It is important to keep in mind that one thing that may annoy one person may not annoy the next so it’s good to know what annoys your little one.

  • Some of the best apps and book apps have customization features.  Here are some features to look for:
    • An on/off switch for the narrator’s voice or app sounds.
    • A two-touch menu is the best in order to avoid accidental exit from the story or app.
    • Interactive elements that can be turned off.
    • Since free versions are typically ad supported this can lead to in-app purchases and possibly the app to exit to open a website.
    • Features or content that goes beyond reading (this is for book apps).
    • App books that can be used for teaching (e.g. a message, discussion questions, highlights the word).

In addition to having your elementary kids play with apps or book apps, there is a game and online story maker that we recommend.

Below are some exciting ways to get your elementary kids involved in building and story making:

World of Goo

World of Goo is a physics based puzzle / construction game. The millions of Goo Balls who live in the beautiful World of Goo don’t know that they are in a game, or that they are extremely delicious.  We have World of Goo on our Early Literacy Stations at all of the Santa Clarita Public Library Branches.

My Storymaker

You have the power to decide — choosing characters, taking them on adventures and creating your very own story along the way. My StoryMaker lets you control characters and objects — and it creates sentences for you! Or, you can enter your own words. Once you are done with your story, you can print it out.


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