Dads develop apps to help parents share screen time with children


Two Dads from the UK are developing a series of apps aimed at helping parents spend more time with their children and explore technology together. The story apps are aimed at three to seven year olds and are designed for parents to share screen time with their children, as opposed to just using digital devices as ‘babysitters’.

Designer Dan Clemo and digital developer Jason Veal, who are friends and co-founders of a creative agency, have been working on the Bean&Gone™ apps for more than two years.

Dan Clemo said: “We’re all guilty of letting our children use tablets and other devices to entertain themselves, and there’s nothing wrong with that, up to a point.  But as new research suggests, the best way for children to engage with technology is when their parents share the screen time with them and explore it together.

“It’s also important for example, with very young children, for parents to reference what’s happening on the screen with real world objects and activities, so children can relate them to what they know.”

Both men have young families and began talking about creating something for their own children that they were happy for them to use on a regular basis, and something they could enjoy with them together.

The Bean&Gone™ series of apps will be part of a multi-phase plan to bring parents and children together through co-play, using technology, with the stories at the heart of the activity.

For children, the concept is about play and enjoying the Bean characters, with lots of relevant interaction and references to the real world. Parents are provided with a multi-layered story and the opportunity to sit with their child and discover together while also making decisions about how the story will flow. There will be nine possible story paths to take within each adventure.

The Bean&Gone™ characters have been updated from the original versions that were created by British Illustrator Richard Fowler in the late 1970s and early 80s. The Beans first appeared in a two part book series and two educational books for children. Richard is delighted to see his characters be the inspiration for a new generation through Bean&Gone™.

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