Large boy wants a news app for his phone. He’s been reading the Google suggestions and it’s all junk, he’s set it to tell him about superheroes and gaming. But he’s been reading First News at school and loves that, so I’ve been doing some investigating of the options available. We want something more global, with politics and “real” news stories, not celebrities and computing, and ideally free.
This is not a sponsored review. I didn't receive anything for writing it. Any links are not sponsored either. I won't be compensated if you click on them.
Large boy’s school has (or had) a subscription to First News, he really enjoyed reading it each week and often came home telling me about stories he’d read. This would be our first choice, but it’s £2.25 an issue for a weekly subscription to the print version or £5.99 per month for the digital issue. If nothing else suits, I think we’ll suggest to go halves with large boy who can use his pocket money on it. Their aims are just what we want to see:
Our journalists and editors work tirelessly to bring children the most comprehensive age-appropriate coverage of the issues that matter.
Our paper and app are jam-packed with puzzles, polls, competitions, exclusive interviews, gaming, science, sport, world news and more!About First News
The Week Junior
The target age range of The Week Junior is 8-14, so it’s spot on aimed at large boy (and almost small boy). However, it’s print, not an app and £3.25 per issue for a weekly subscription. The first six weeks are free, but then it’s paid. Their goals are very much what we’re looking for though:
The Week Junior is designed and written by experts to carefully explain current affairs, science, sport, the arts, nature and technology to 8 to 14 year olds, encouraging them to explore their world and develop their own opinions.
It explains our wonderful world in a safe, unbiased, age-appropriate way, inspiring kids to talk about what’s happening in the news, and get involved in their planet.About The Week Junior
When I first spotted The Day in some search results, it looked ace.
The Day is an online daily newspaper for young people. We publish analysis of the news that provides context for debates that explore the deeper currents shaping our world. All resources are created by our own team of journalists to help schools teach critical thinking, real-world knowledge and civic engagement. They are available in five different reading levels for children between the ages of 5 and 18.The Day
“Bingo!” I thought. But, on further investigation they provide a 7-day free trial or demo, but I couldn’t see what the cost would be after that. It seems more targeted at schools than individual families. I love the idea of providing different complexity depending on age and reading ability. But this one isn’t for us.
During lockdown, were big Twinkl users, so NewsRoom seemed like it might be a good option.
Twinkl NewsRoom delivers a trusted feed of news for children, including the latest headlines, classroom-friendly reports, and ready-to-use curriculum-friendly resources.Twink NewsRoom
However, again it’s not an app and large boy specifically wants an app, and it’s targeted at teachers and classrooms.
The boys are both already familiar with the BBC Newsround website as it has some games on there as well as news. It’s a great complete solution for keeping the kids engaged and challenged. But they’ve used it so much at afterschool club that there’s no novelty for them. Again, also not an app, but at least it’s free.
Unfortunately News-2-You is an Apple-only app and we’re an Android family. It’s also paid and from the look of their website, it seems aimed at younger children than would suit large boy. To be honest, their blurb is a bit over the top too:
When students can engage in meaningful conversation with their peers and families about world events, the immediate result is a positive sense of belonging. But the issue-based learning in each weekly edition of News2you also comes with many long-term benefits: the standards-aligned articles and activities help students build life skills, become more motivated learners and even discover career options.News-2-You
Yes an app. Yes Android. Yes free. The KidzByte app is ticking boxes. My slight reservation is that the Google Play store doesn’t have any reviews for it. It seems like it does what we want though. There’s a subscription option for premium content which is charged in Rupees as it’s an Indian company.
The KidzByte app for students covers current affairs and world events with an innovative and kid-friendly approach. Today, kids are spending more time with screen media, which has a profound impact on their social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development. Learning how to use media and technology wisely is an essential skill for life and learning in the 21st century.KidzByte
I actually installed this for large boy but uninstalled it 5 minutes later. It’s got adds and is totally gamified, all about getting points and you can get those by sharing more information about yourself. Essentially, it felt like a data mining exercise.
- Newsela – online newspaper specifically written for children, free but with ads..
- News-o-matic – online news resources for children aged 5 – 12, free trial but then paid (not clear on costs).
- NewsForKids – online news app, Apple only though.
How about you?
Do your kids use news apps? Do they use ones specifically designed and curated for young people? Or just normal apps? How do you make sure they’re accessing unbiases (non-propaganda) content?
3 thoughts on “News apps for kids”
Newsround is so relevant and fun. We watch it at school as it covers everything in an accessible way.
LikeLiked by 1 person
My kids have had years of visiting the site and playing the games at after school club, they are totally over it now!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Definite vote for Newsround in our house 👍
LikeLiked by 1 person