Guess who is back at Messenger Kids this year? Santa!
This is the neatest thing ever. Truly magical!
Parents can once again opt-in to allow their kids to “chat” with Santa! I won’t spill the beans here in case your kids are sitting next to you. But trust this over-protective mama when I say it’s fun, you are in control and it will be a highlight of your kids’ year.
Just check it out. You can thank me later.
My kids have been chatting with Santa several times per day since we hooked them up with this direct line to the North Pole. They are constantly amazed by how much Santa knows about them and running in to show us their conversations! Earlier this evening, our youngest sent this message to the man in the red suit:
Kids can even send Santa a “thank you” message through January 6. What a great lesson in gratitude!
Other holiday options this year:
- 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.
- Holiday Cards (Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa): Parents can send customized, digital holiday cards to their kids through the parent dashboard.
Brightening the Holidays in 2020
A couple of weeks ago, one of our sons noticed that my cousin’s daughter had joined Messenger Kids. We connected them through the app and later that day, I saw in my Parent Dashboard that the two of them were chatting.
These kids only see each other once a year, so I was curious what they would find to talk about. I popped in to take a peek and what I saw brought me to tears:
Seriously? This is what our kids are talking about when they think no one is looking? They are being thankful for each other? We need more of this in the world.
Connecting with Friends + Family
Our kids have enjoyed Messenger Kids since it first launched. It was fun to see school friends on weekends and family, occasionally. But over the last year, Messenger Kids has become a lifeline.
We’ve been working hard to do our part and socially distance during Covid-19. But if that’s been tough for adults, it’s been doubly difficult for our kids. We desperately miss our favorite people, who are scattered around the country.
I love that the Messenger Kids app has helped bridge the gap that this global pandemic has created. It allows our kids to have fun video chatting and messaging with friends and family under my direct supervision.
One of their favorite features is that they can set up small groups of friends to video chat with and message. Some days, they complain about the pandemic. Other days, they create funny faces, play games and giggle.
The thing is… they can just be kids in this space.
Why Messenger Kids Gives Me Peace of Mind
I have to be honest here. I am learning about this ever-evolving online world right alongside my kids. With some apps, that puts me at a huge disadvantage. Messenger Kids is different. It places me squarely in control and gives me real-time visibility into what my kids are doing.
I manage my children’s contact list and set “off times” to manage their screen time. I can report or remove contacts for my kids. And all stickers, GIFs, and filters are kid-appropriate. In other words, it’s a parent’s dream.
The Nuts and Bolts
To set it up:
- Download the Messenger Kids app to your child’s phone or tablet.
- Authenticate your child’s device using your Facebook login. (This will not create a Facebook account for your child.)
- Create an account for your child by adding their name. (At this point you can hand back your child’s device so they can start safely chatting with family and friends.)
- Parental controls are available in the Parent Dashboard in your main Facebook app.
- Through the Parent Dashboard, you can monitor who your kids chat with by adding and approving contacts and setting on and off times through the Sleep Mode feature.