Disclaimer :: Messenger Kids sponsored this blog post, however, the opinions and paragraphs belong to the writer.
Staying in touch with my long-distance family over the holidays has always been a bit challenging, but when we downloaded the Messenger Kids App for our daughter last Christmas we had no idea just how badly we would need it in the year to come. We are so thankful to have it!
2020 has truly taught our family the value of technology; keeping us healthy, safe, and connected through virtual playdates, broadcast graduations, live-streamed sporting events, and now… Christmas. But while my kiddos might not have normal holiday get-togethers, they don’t have to miss out completely, because Messenger Kids is rolling out a whole bunch of holiday cheer to help kids connect with friends and family during this socially-distanced holiday season. It’s going to be AMAZING!
Home for the Holidays… Literally
While we’re all safer at home over the holidays, Messenger Kids will be the happenin’ place for kids age 6-12! My daughter has loved sharing her holiday spirit throughout December with all of the seasonal AR effects, stickers and frames. Her favorite is the dancing Yeti! (okay… that might be my favorite, too) She has also been asking about Hanukkah and Kwanzaa since there are AR features featuring all of these holidays as well!
My kids have especially loved using the holiday selfies and videos to send joy and giggles to everyone they know. Parents can spread the love as well! This Christmas I’m looking for as many ways as possible to make my kiddos feel special. Messenger Kids has an adorable feature where parents can send digital holiday cards to their kids through the Parent Dashboard. I have enjoyed surprising my daughter with these little surprises and reminders that although things are different, she is always safe and loved.
The Best Way to Connect with Santa in 2020!
One of the highlights of the Messenger Kids Holiday feature is, of course, helping your child connect with the big guy himself – Santa!!! This year has been full of online events, zoom meetings, and virtual schooling. Santa wanted in on the digital action, too!
Through the Messenger Kids app, my daughter is actually friends with Santa! She has never enjoyed going to see him in person, but through Messenger Kids she sends him messages every day, asks him questions, and is, like, best buddies! He recently checked in on them since we were at home quarantining. I love that he uses technology to encourage her to be kind to her family, spread joy and cheer, and help Mama out! Curious how you can connect your Messenger Kid with ‘Santa’? Click here for all the details, or follow the directions below. It’s easy and is sure to keep the magic alive all December long!
But Wait… is it Safe?
I can tell you from personal experience, Messenger Kids has been the perfect tool for my tween daughter as she figures out who she is in a digital world (while still under my control and guidance). I set up her Messenger Kids account through my own Facebook account, so I can see her activity, but she is the one who makes it her own space.
This year our daughter has been able to laugh, play, and stay in touch with her friends and relatives through big-kid means like messaging, video-chatting, and group chats – all while under our watchful eye.
The Gift of Family
This holiday season won’t be like any other, but I believe we will look back on these strange days and see that the brightest moments for our children were the fun, creative ways we found to give them the gift of friends and family… even from far away.
Below you’ll find instructions on how to activate the Santa feature, download the app, and some recommended reading to give you background on Messenger Kids:
To activate the Santa feature:
If your child doesn’t have a Messenger Kids account, you will be prompted to create one through your own Facebook page (see below). The Santa experience can only work through the child’s account creator.
The Santa feature can be cancelled at any time (including all chats) or it will automatically be removed from your child’s account on January 6th.
Installing & setup
The app is free and can be downloaded from any of the app stores:
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.
- Parental controls are available in the Parent Dashboard in your main Facebook app.
- Through the Parent Dashboard, you can add contacts for your kid’s chat set on and off times through the Sleep Mode feature.