mom with a though bubble; sun & cloud in bubble

When you’re a parent, it can often feel like not only do your needs come last, but your feelings do, too. You spend every moment making sure your kids are happy, and the burnout can feel real. So what can you do when you aren’t feeling quite up to it? While you can’t always turn around your mood, there are ways you can work to have a positive parenting mindset. Check out just a few of them below. 

5 Tips for Creating a Positive Parenting Mindset

1. Keep a one-line gratefulness journal

Start a small journal where you jot down one thing you're grateful for each day. By focusing on the positive aspects of your life, even during challenging times, you can cultivate a sense of gratitude and shift your mindset towards positivity. Research from the University of California Berkeley found that people who wrote gratitude letters reported significantly better mental health for weeks after keeping a gratitude journal than those who didn’t. Try following these nine tips to create a science-backed, mood-boosting journal.

2. Create a daily pick-me-up routine 

Morning time is often “me time” for parents. Design a routine that includes activities that bring you joy, such as listening to uplifting music, reading inspirational quotes or making your favorite morning beverage. These small moments of happiness help get your day started off on a positive note and sets the tone for an uplifting day. Not a morning person? Consider adding these 27 habits to your daily routine for happier days.

3. Practice mindfulness and positive affirmations

Take a few minutes each day to practice mindfulness through deep breathing, meditation or simply being present in the moment. Combine this with positive affirmations, repeating encouraging phrases to yourself, to build resilience in the face of challenges. While it might feel a little silly at first, phrases like “I am doing my best” and “I live a life rich with love” can become ingrained in your psyche and change your everyday perspective in the long run. Check out these 20 positive affirmations for parents.

4. Quit the comparison game

Recognize that everyone's journey is unique, and comparing yourself to others only leads to negativity and self-doubt. Penn State recommends eight key ways to stop comparing yourself to other parents. Chief among them: keep your focus on connection, harness your strengths, and temper your triggers — get off social media! 

5. Welcome imperfections

Contrary to how it may seem on social media, there are no perfect parents! Understand that imperfections are a natural part of life, and they don't define your worth. Instead of striving for perfection, embrace your flaws and mistakes as opportunities for growth and learning. Remember that being kind to yourself and practicing self-compassion is vital for maintaining a positive mindset, even in challenging times.

kid on a phone with headphones on; illustrated app icons

Will Durant famously said (or not so famously said, as this quote is often misattributed to Aristotle), “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” This saying holds more weight than ever during your child's teen years. The habits instilled in them become the backbone of their identity and provide the structure for how they navigate their adult life.  

There’s certainly plenty to be focused on, from helping your child create good hygiene, health, and wellness routines to fostering study and social skills. But there’s one more realm you’ll want to touch on — healthy tech habits. Kidss today spend more time on their phones than ever before, and without the proper attention paid to developing healthy habits around this ever-present entity, your child could form some pretty damaging behaviors. Check out our five tips for fostering healthy tech habits in your child below.

5 Healthy Tech Habits for Kids

1. Create tech boundaries

Healthy relationships are all about boundaries, and just like the relationships with your friends, family or partner, setting boundaries can make your relationship with technology better and easier to navigate. It's equally important to set physical boundaries for tech. For example, designate places where devices are off-limits, like the bedroom, the dinner table, in the classroom, in the car, etc.—as it is to set more abstract action-based boundaries. For example, no screens an hour before bed, no phones during meals and no texting while driving. Establishing these set rules not only clarifies your personal interactions with technology but also shows friends and family that you value their time and are present and engaged.

2. Set weekly screen time limits

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the average kid spends up to seven hours — or around 40 percent of their waking hours — in front of a screen. While some of this time is necessary, like that spent in front of a computer studying or even catching up with friends, too much screen time can be taxing on your child and when it starts interfering with your child’s sleep, it can have much bigger health and behavioral consequences. Help your child take control of their tech usage by chatting with them about how much time they want to spend in front of a screen and set limits from there. Your tween or teen, along with the rest of us, most likely doesn’t even realize how much time they are spending online. By bringing this top of mind for your child, you’ll help them feel empowered to create a healthy balance between their digital life and other important “real-life” experiences.

3. Schedule tech-free outdoor time

Embrace the benefits of nature and allocate dedicated tech-free outdoor time. Whether it's going for a walk, playing sports, or simply enjoying the fresh air, spending time outside without the distraction of screens has been shown by the American Psychological Association to improve your mental and physical well-being. Encourage your child to start small with just 30 minutes spent outside three days a week without their phone, and then encourage them to go for longer and longer periods of time.

4. Make mindful choices

Often how much time you are spending in front of screens isn’t nearly as important as what you are doing in front of those screens. In order to get the most out of your tech time make mindful choices that align with your values and goals. Select apps, websites and social content that is educational, inspiring and meaningful to you. By consciously curating your tech experience, you can maximize its potential for growth and self-improvement while minimizing distractions and time wasting.

5. Turn off notifications

Notifications can be a big productivity killer! A study conducted at the University of California, Irvine, found that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to fully regain focus after being interrupted by a notification. By disabling notifications, you can create uninterrupted blocks of time for studying, deep work or engaging in activities that require your full attention. This simple habit can significantly enhance your ability to stay focused, retain information, and accomplish tasks more efficiently.

How Bark Can Help

In combination with healthy tech habits for kids, parents can use Bark to help enforce screen time limits, aid in creating boundaries, and more. Open up a dialogue with your child today about healthy tech habits, and consider filling out and signing off on a tech contract that both you and your child can return to. 

Ask Titania search engine query "Why are kids so drawn to Omegle?"

**Update: As of November 2023, Omegle has shut down over claims of abuse.**

Dear Titania,

My 11-year-old son came home from school the other day talking about a “game” kids play at sleepovers called “Omegle.” He said it matches you up with random people and you can text/video chat with them. This sounds like a horrible idea, but apparently kids are constantly getting on it. What do I need to know? Why are kids so drawn to this upsetting website? And is there any way to talk to my son about how dangerous this is?

Signed,

Over Omegle

Dear Over Omegle,

First off, there’s absolutely nothing  — and I mean nothing — redeeming about Omegle. Your parenting intuition was 100% on the money for this one. I’ve heard from countless parents like you about how common this anonymous chatting app is in middle and high schools, and it’s truly frightening. The things kids can encounter are super concerning and could even scar some young people for life! You can see firsthand accounts of inappropriate exposure on Omegle in the comments section on this TikTok I recently posted. The fact that kids are coming to my video to share their stories is both eye-opening and heartbreaking.

Cheat Sheet

What Is Omegle and How Does It Work?

Omegle is a website that touts itself as a way to talk to strangers. All you need is access to a web browser, whether that’s on a phone, tablet, laptop, gaming console, or TV. 

One of the most shocking things about Omegle is that its homepage has a direct link to porn straight off the bat. They claim it’s there so if you’re looking to be inappropriate, you can just watch pornography instead of using Omegle. But all this does is encourage kids to not only use Omegle, but watch the supplied porn. Absolutely ridiculous. 

You’ll read several warnings on the site that it’s for 18+, but there’s absolutely no age verification to start chatting. The site also says that video chat is moderated, but I’ve seen no proof that that’s actually true — unless they’re cool with nudity and sexual acts on screen. 

Once you click into the chat, you’ll be paired up with a stranger after you choose text chat or video chat. Then, it’s exactly what you’d expect — picture a Zoom call with a stranger. It’s awkward, weird, and uncomfortable. There’s a chance you could be paired with a fellow kid, but you’re never in control of who you match with. And because of Omegle’s reputation, the potential for sexual content is extremely high — including naked videos, live on-screen sex acts and more.

The Lure of Anonymous Chatting Apps

Omegle is the 21st century version of logging on to an adults-only AOL chat room, something that many teens did back in the 90s. Kids really haven’t changed through the years — but technology has. 

And today, tech gives kids a readily available, free way to act impulsively. When are kids using Omegle? They’re logging on after midnight at a sleepover when they’re hopped up on soda and lack of sleep. Or maybe they’re just on their laptop after school before parents get home.  

The chance that they might encounter something risque or “bad” is the driving force — even if deep down they’re scared or worried. Add in group dynamics and it gets a lot more complicated. 

How to Talk to Your Kid About Omegle

Kids may think that Omegle is just weird harmless fun, akin to watching an R-rated movie when your parents aren’t home. But tweens and teens may not be emotionally ready to see some of the things they may encounter on the site. 

Here are a few conversation starters to get your and your child thinking about Omegle and how it may affect them. 

Ways Bark Can Help

One of the first things you can do is use Bark’s filtering tools to block Omegle.com on your child’s devices. Bark Home will even let you block the site on browsers on TVs and gaming consoles. There’s still the chance that your kid may encounter Omegle on a friend’s device, but at least this way you're covering all the bases that you can. 

Bark can also monitor your child’s online activities for signs of sexual content (if they screenshot an image from Omegle, for example), online predators (which can be prevalent on the site), and more. When you get an alert, you not only have the chance to see what’s going on in your child’s world, you also can check in and make sure everything’s okay. 

This stuff isn’t easy — our parents just had to worry about us making prank phone calls to strangers, which while annoying, usually didn’t put us in direct danger. Good luck!

dad and son looking at phone; illustrated dollar sign

One of the most important things to learn growing up is money management. Unfortunately, most schools don’t dedicate nearly enough time to teaching kids about budgeting, saving, investing, etc. This means that the brunt of money education falls on the parents, but it’s not always an easy task. 

Luckily, there are loads of money apps for kids that teach awesome habits which will carry with them into adulthood. And the younger they start, the stronger those habits will be! So we researched the best money management apps for kids, that way you can pick the one that works best for your family. 

Money apps for kids under 10  

Bankaroo

Bankaroo works like a virtual bank for kids ages 6-8, but all your kid needs are basic reading skills to use it. Active users are aged about 5-14. Additionally, it’s available as both an app and a website, so your kid doesn’t need a mobile phone in order to use it. 

The free version allows you to set up an allowance and add funds to your child’s account while they manage their money from their bank and set goals for purchases they want to make. Kids can save money, and parents have the option of matching those savings to encourage healthy savings. There is a paid version that allows children to split their money between checking, savings, and charity accounts for a more detailed banking experience.

Cost: Free

Savings Spree

Savings Spree is a fun, interactive game that teaches children the financial impact of decisions they make in daily life. Each choice they make in the game will either lead them to savings or financial setbacks. It’s recommended for kids about 7 and up, but younger children can play if they have a bit of help from a parent. Additionally, it’s only available through the Apple store. 

Kids will learn super important concepts like saving, budgeting, donating, and investing in this game. It’s a great option if you aren’t quite ready to let your kid handle real money yet. 

Cost: $5.99 one-time fee

Money management apps for kids 10-12 years old

GoHenry

GoHenry is one of the best money management and learning apps for older kids who want the experience of swiping their own debit cards to make real-time purchases. First, parents will open an account for their kids and allow them to select a colorful design for their debit card. The card is FDIC-insured, chip and PIN protected, and comes with zero liability protection through Mastercard.

The app allows you to assign chores for your kid and pay them upon completion, and there’s an option to send automatic weekly allowance transfers to your child’s card. Then, kids can save or spend that money as they wish, while also going through in-app educational lessons about investing, credit cards, entrepreneurship, and more.

The best part of the GoHenry app is the learning missions. These missions allow kids to learn valuable financial concepts and apply them in real life. Some missions are recommended for kids over 12, so there’s lots of growth potential with this kid’s money management app.

Cost: $3.99/month after a 30-day free trial

Kiddie Kredit

Recommended for ages 9-11, Kiddie Kredit is a simple app that allows parents to teach their children about credit scores and financial responsibility. How it works is parents will assign tasks to their kids in the app and set a deadline for each task. If the kids don’t complete it in time, it could impact their “Kredit” score. Parents can also make a game out of it by setting rewards when kids reach different levels and master lessons. 

While this isn’t the most comprehensive money management app for kids, it’s a great pick if you want to teach your children how to use credit responsibly. It works well with some of the more advanced apps recommended here.

Cost: Free

Money apps for tweens & teens

Greenlight Debit Card & App

Many tweens and teens are ready to learn more than the basics of savings and budgeting — they want to manage their own money through a legitimate debit card. Maybe they’re even interested in more specific money management skills, like learning how to make sound investments or earning cashback on purchases. Your tweens and teens can do all of that and more through the Greenlight for Kids debit card and app!

Using a secured debit card, teens and tweens can earn money for doing chores or collecting allowances from parents. That money is used in the following ways:

The educational materials built into the app are insightful for kids — and for many parents as well! You may find yourself brushing up on your own financial knowledge as your child learns it for the first time. 

Cost: $4.99 - $14.98/month, depending on the plan

FamZoo

FamZoo offers some advanced features that work well for teenagers who have a bit more financial knowledge and perhaps a part-time job beyond completing chores at home. It’s certainly a winner for parents who are looking for a more in-depth education on money management and wealth growth.

Teens can receive direct deposits to their FamZoo debit card. You can pay compound interest to your child for the money they save or offer a private loan and allow them to repay through the app. Tweens and teens can create a budget with subaccounts and money management goals which will help them make smart spending decisions long term. 

Cost: $5.99 per month after a 1-month free trial

The best way to monitor your child’s progress

These money apps for kids are a great way to introduce your family to healthy money habits. And if you want to keep tabs on how your child is using these apps, Bark can help you there! With Bark, you can set screen time limits as well as block any app on your child’s device. Start your free trial today to see how it works!

illustrated women, shadow to convey she is struggling mentally

Since the dawn of time, parents around the world have all asked themselves the same question. Am I doing this right? When it comes to caring for the person you love most in this world, it’s easy to worry about if you’re doing your best. 

An age-old dilemma we now call parenting guilt, this anxious feeling has largely gotten worse for parents who are constantly comparing themselves and their families to manicured momfluencers on social media.

But there’s hope for parents consumed with day-to-day worries and future anxieties. It turns out a little self-compassion and some practical strategies can go a long way in helping you overcome parenting guilt and self-doubt, reminding you to keep going even when faced with tough times.

7 Tips for Combatting Parenting Guilt 

1. Acknowledge the universal experience of parenting

Parenting is a shared experience that unites people from all across the globe. Understanding that every parent faces challenges and experiences moments of doubt can be a source of comfort. Recognize that it's normal to have doubts and that you are not alone in your journey.

2. Practice self-compassion

Parenting guilt often stems from holding ourselves to impossibly high standards. Embrace self-compassion by treating yourself with the same kindness and understanding you would offer a dear friend. Remember, you are doing the best you can with the resources available to you.

3. Focus on the positives

Shift your perspective by focusing on the positives in your parenting journey. Celebrate the small wins and remind yourself of the impact you are making in your child's life. Emphasize the moments of joy, laughter and connection to cultivate a sense of fulfillment.

4. Seek support

Building a support network is crucial for overcoming parenting guilt and self-doubt. Surround yourself with fellow parents who understand the challenges you face. Share your experiences, seek advice and draw strength from their stories. Consider joining parenting communities, attending support groups, or seeking professional help if needed.

5. Embrace imperfections

No parent is perfect, and that's okay. Embrace your imperfections as opportunities for growth and learning. Understand that making mistakes is a natural part of the parenting journey. Be gentle with yourself and use these moments as valuable teaching experiences for both you and your child.

6. Prioritize self-care

Taking care of yourself is essential for your overall well-being as a parent. Nurture your physical, emotional and mental health through activities that replenish your energy and bring you joy. Remember, self-care is not selfish; it enables you to be a better parent for your child.

7. Trust your intuition

You know your child better than anyone else. Trust your instincts and believe in your ability to make the best decisions for them. While seeking guidance is important, ultimately, you are the expert on your own child's needs.

Parenting is a remarkable journey, filled with both challenges and triumphs. It's normal to experience moments of guilt and self-doubt, but it's crucial to breathe and remember that you are doing a great job!

illustrated smartphone text conversation

Being a teenager is never easy, and that’s something nearly every generation experiences. You’re caught in between two worlds, and you desperately want to be grown and taken seriously. Unfortunately, even though we were all once teens, it’s amazing how quickly you can forget how strong these feelings can be. 

To help remind you what this time was like, we’ve assembled five important feelings that teens wish their parents better understood. We hope it helps you see things from their perspective a little clearer. 

5 Things Teens Wish Their Parents Knew

1. “It may not seem like it, but I do listen to you.”

It is a truth universally acknowledged that teens never, ever, want to admit that their parents are right about something. This is because as a teen, you feel like you’re the first person in the history of the world experiencing everything for the very first time.

But even the most stubborn of kids is also always listening to what their parents are saying — and in more ways than you might think. They listen to how you talk about having a bad day at work, how you talk about missing your own parents, how you wish you had more hours in the day to relax. 

Kids learn and absorb so much from their family, even if they’re unaware of it or unwilling to admit it. They’ll take in your political beliefs, sense of humor, and taste in movies. As a parent, you’re setting an example not only by what you say, but what you do, and how you live, day in, and day out. 

And those times you warned them about something and it came true? They did listen to it (even if they didn’t follow it). And when they're older, they’ll remember it as love. 

2. “The pandemic really did a number on my generation.”

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the entire world, and millions of lives were lost over the course of a few years. It was a tragedy the likes of which the world had never seen.

For those lucky enough to escape unscathed, it meant 2+ years of isolation and separation. Many adults worked from home and (sometimes) enjoyed the break from social obligations. For others, balancing childrearing and working from home was a disaster. 

But kids also had their entire young worlds upended. Zoom school was difficult, frustrating, and not entirely successful. Some kids still claim that they learned almost nothing during those years. The complete disruption of daily schedules and the best parts of being a kid — school dances, sports, sleepovers, trips, and clubs — were dashed. Parents could go back into the office once things were over, but kids couldn’t go back to 7th grade for a do-over.

Now that the world is mostly back to normal, there are often two approaches kids are taking. Some are going all-out trying to make up for lost time. Others have retreated into themselves, accustomed to the online comforts of Discord, gaming, and the safety of indoors. It remains to be seen how these years of isolation will affect the long-term mental health of this generation — especially in the critical years of youth when socialization and milestones are so important. 

3. “I understand more than you think.”

With the instant access to all of human knowledge that the internet provides, kids know a lot more than we did when we were their age. This goes for all sorts of subjects — money, relationships, politics, culture, even sex. Growing up in the digital age means you grow up a lot faster, for better or worse. 

This means you can talk to your child directly a lot of the time without pulling too many punches. When you do this, they’ll appreciate the respect you’re showing them and will be more likely to engage in a meaningful way. They may not have a ton of world experience, but they can recognize key events, people, and themes — and may even have their own unique perspective on it all. 

4. “My phone is my lifeline.”

Teens aren’t drawn to their phone for no good reason — devices provide communication, information, connection, entertainment, and so much more. As an adult, you know this is true for yourself, as well. 

This doesn’t mean that kids shouldn’t have guardrails and screen time limits. After all, their brains are still developing and it’s our job as parents to keep them on the right track.

But it’s important to keep in mind that the way we live now is so, so different from growing up in the ‘80s. Not to mention that the pandemic helped really cement digital communication as the go-to source for chatting. Hanging out with friends used to look like roaming Barnes & Noble or hanging out at Denny’s late into the night. This still happens, of course, but it also looks like playing Fortnite online with five of your best friends who live in different states. 

5. “Sometimes — even though I’ll never admit it — I just want to be a kid still.”

The pressure to grow up fast begins at a young age — think how many kids demand that you refer to them as “6 and a half” instead of “just 6.” As they get bigger, they strive to shake free of kid-like habits and clothes, desperately trying to fit in with the cooler, older kids. 

But there’s a tension that can emerge. All of the fun stuff that comes with being older, like driving and dating, can get overwhelmed by other responsibilities like working, taking advanced classes, and more. And older teens are just a few short years away from being legal adults, which means college, full-time jobs, the military, or other new paths in life. 

Kids recognize this, and sometimes just want to be a kid, reveling in kid-stuff like video games, family board game nights, and bike rides. When you recognize these moments in your teen, lean into them. Make that grilled cheese. Pull out the photo albums. They’ll be grown before you know it.

How Bark Can Help

Raising kids in the digital age can be a challenge, but Bark is here to help! Our tools help you set healthy boundaries around screen time, block inappropriate websites, and track location. Our most powerful parenting tool is monitoring. Bark scans your child’s texts, emails, and social media for signs of potential dangers and sends you alerts so you can check in and make sure everything’s okay.

 Parents write in every day to tell us how Bark alerts kickstart important conversations, helping to improve their relationship with their child and protect them online and in real life. Try Bark free for a week to see how it can change your family’s life. 

kid on computer with illustrated emojis next to him

Gone are the days of computer nerds! Nowadays, most kids are far more tech-savvy than we ever thought possible. Not to mention, the profession of coding or web development is one of the most in-demand professions out there. 

If you’re not familiar with the world of coding, it can seem intimidating. The good news is that coding is something that kids of all ages can learn!

So whether you’re kid is looking for a new after-school activity, like coding classes for kids, or you just want to add a valuable skill to their toolbelt, coding should be at the top of your list.

Keep reading as we take a deep dive into the world of coding and how you can get your child started.

Starting with the basics: how does coding work?

As you’re reading this, you’re likely on a computer or mobile device. Behind everything you do on that device, from scrolling on Instagram to navigating a website, is a set of code that runs in the background. That code tells your software what to do and how to do it.

Lines of code are almost like a recipe. You get a list of ingredients and instructions to get to your final dish. The code gives computer software all the step-by-step instructions for how it should perform a task – based on what you’re doing.

But unlike a recipe for your favorite pasta sauce – code isn’t written in a spoken language like English or Spanish. There is a whole other world of programming languages that are used to write code. Some common examples you might have heard of include Python and JavaScript. These languages have rules and syntax that come together to create lines of code that can be understood by a computer.

But coding is more than just stringing program languages together. It also includes finding creative ways to solve problems through code, writing that code, and then debugging it – all before it can be used. 

Coding takes ideas and concepts and brings them to life – the result being what you typically see as the end user.

Where can I find code in my daily life?

The cool thing about code is that it can be used to create a whole host of different things. You can write code for simple things, like solving math problems. Or even create more complex projects, like apps, or even harness the power of AI.

In fact, if you look closely, you’ll learn that coding is behind a large chunk of the activities that we do every day – particularly when it comes to electronics and technology.

Some examples of things that are powered by code (that you may not even realize) include

​​What is coding for kids?

Unless you’re familiar with programming languages, scripts and lines of code can look incredibly complicated. You might be wondering how children can make sense of it.

Well, coding for kids isn’t quite the same as what you’d expect from a seasoned software developer. They might not learn advanced languages, but they can get a head start on learning the principles and concepts. They can learn things like sequencing, loops, conditionals, and even debugging (or solving) issues in their code.

For example, a popular way to introduce young kids to code is through block-based languages instead of text-based commands.

Understanding how to think like a software engineer and developing problem-solving skills early on can go a long way in helping them become rockstar coders in the future!

What makes coding for kids different from computer skills?

There was a time when simply being able to use a computer was a high-tech skill. But now, basic computer skills are common knowledge.

Computer skills require you to know how to use the user-facing software – where to click and what to input. In other words, the code has already been written. But coding requires you to know how to create that user-facing software. With a little bit of creativity and problem-solving, you can actually create your own custom applications or programs that can do… well, whatever you want them to!

Coding and its benefits for kids

Coding isn't just fun, it's also a great way for your child to develop problem-solving skills and get creative with technology. Here are some ways learning to code can set your kid up for success in today's digital world.

Coding for kids improves learning development

Learning to code introduces your child to a whole new way of thinking and learning. Coding classes for kids teach them problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity skills that can open up endless possibilities for their future.

Writing code is almost like working on a large puzzle. In order to successfully navigate coding, children need to learn how to break challenges down into smaller bite-sized pieces. Then create unique solutions to the challenges at hand.

While coding seems highly technical, it also fosters creativity. Coding usually requires users to think outside the box to find unique ways to solve problems. Plus, they’ll also need to think about things like user experience and design.

Build confidence

It takes time and incredible patience to learn the skills to successfully navigate the ins and outs of coding. But once your child gets the hang of it, they’ll be able to start writing and running their own scripts!

This can give kids a huge sense of accomplishment. It also gives them something practical and tangible that they’ve built.

Coding classes for kids set them up for future career success

Because code powers so much of our everyday lives, there is a huge demand for workers with coding skills. Common jobs that require coding skills include software developers and engineers but also include other roles like web developers and data scientists.

These roles can often have high salaries and are incredibly versatile. You’ll find many of these roles in fields across all industries, from healthcare to e-commerce. So it offers your child the opportunity to work in a variety of fields they might be interested in.

Even where coding skills aren’t key requirements for a career, the additional skills associated with coding can set you apart from the crowd!

As technology grows, it’s clear that coding skills will be in demand for years to come. So learning to code is a great way to help future-proof your child’s skills.

Let’s get your kid coding! 

The first step is sparking your child’s interest in coding! There are many ways to keep your child engaged, even if coding isn’t their first choice of extra-curricular activity. Here are some of our top tips:

Lean on gamification: coding games for kids

One of the best ways to make learning coding more enjoyable includes learning experiences that gamify the experience.

By incorporating things like badges, levels, and rewards, there becomes a fun incentive for them to continue exploring their coding skills.

Foster creativity

Creativity is about more than arts and crafts. Coding gives children another outlet to explore their own ideas, create their own app designs, and try new things. Make sure to use this as an opportunity to encourage that creativity in your child. Who knows, you might be raising a future tech innovator!

Make it interactive

As a general rule, coding is very hands-on. It’s difficult to learn without trial and error.

Fortunately, this makes it a great skill for kids to pick up on. Instead of asking your child to watch videos, for example, choose an approach that’s interactive and gives them a chance to test their new skills.

Apply it to the real world

Many kids thrive when they see a purpose for what they’re learning.

Especially when it comes to older kids, take the time to help your child understand how coding powers the world around them. Whether it’s their favorite video game or how they chat with their friends online, understanding the background can inspire them to learn how to code. Many programming tools for kids also do a great job pulling in pop culture references to keep things relevant.

Tools and resources for learning to code for kids

If coding isn’t something in your own repertoire, don't worry! There are plenty of amazing tools and resources out there to help your child get started. Many of which are designed specifically with kids in mind. 

Ages 5-7

Young children likely aren’t going to be able to navigate complex scripts or understand true programming language – nor should they! But this doesn’t mean they can’t start learning the foundational blocks of coding.

Many resources for this age lean on block-based programming languages (as opposed to actually writing code themselves). That way it’s easy for children to understand without feeling totally overwhelmed.

Here are some of our favorite coding resources and games for kids aged 5-7:

Scratch. Jr

Scratch is one of the most well-known free programming apps for young children. Created by a group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Scratch’s programming language leans on visual shapes and blocks. Instead of long lines of text, kids drag and drop colors and shapes together to create animations. Using the basic principles of coding, like sequencing, children can learn how to think like a developer.

Scratch. Jr, in particular, is the perfect stepping stone for young children before they progress to the standard Scratch software.

Code.org

Code.org is another highly educational yet engaging way for kids to dive into the world of programming. Code.org is a non-profit organization with the goal of making coding and computer science more accessible for kids.

From kindergarteners who are just diving in all the way up through Grade 12, Code.org has activities for everyone. Many of the resources and activities draw from popular games like Minecraft or the trends in pop culture. It makes learning coding fun while creating meaningful connections between tech skills and the real world.

Tynker

Tynker is a web-based program that provides a wide range of games and activities to help children learn to code. With learning paths for all ages, kids as young as 5 can learn to code with Tynker. They program with brands like Star Wars, Barbie, and Minecraft which makes the activities more fun and relatable.

Tynker also provides a unique hybrid approach that gives your kids access to live coaches to support their learning. This is a great solution for parents who are hoping for more customized learning for their children.

codeSpark Academy

codeSpark’s online education platform teaches problem-solving skills and logical thinking through basic coding principles. You won’t find text-based coding languages here. Your child will learn through puzzles and mini-games, all while accompanied by codeSpark’s in-game characters.

While anyone can use codeSpark, the platform was designed with girls in mind. Girls are typically underrepresented in coding and technology, and codeSpark aims to lower gendered stereotypes.

Ages 8-10

As kids get older, they can start building on the basics. They’re more likely to grasp complex concepts like loops and conditionals.

Here are some of our favorite coding resources and games for kids aged 8-10:

Scratch

The next step up from Scratch Jr. is Scratch. Users create their own projects like games or art using the online editor. While designed for children and beginners, kids and adults of all ages use Scratch to learn to program.

The great thing about Scratch is that it’s easy to use. You can simply open the editor online, and it includes everything needed to get started. Older children can even interact with and learn from others using Scratch’s online communities.

Hopscotch

Hopscotch is a fully-mobile app that kids can use to create and play games. There are 3 modes for kids to learn, create, and explore.

From creating games to stories, or even animations, children are encouraged to create their own projects through code. Hopscotch uses block-based programming languages to teach the basics while keeping it fun and entertaining.

Kids can also play games created by friends and other classmates!

Sprite Box

Sprite Box is a mobile adventure game that harnesses code to move through different puzzles. With two levels of block-based and text-based code, kids get to play through fun challenges and learn the fundamentals of programming.

It’s not designed to be a long-term learning solution and doesn’t go in-depth into programming, but Sprite Box’s app is a great stepping stone.

Kodable

Kodable is a kid’s learning platform that was originally designed to be used in elementary schools. So you know that your child is getting quality programming education in a safe environment.

The game introduces coding basics and logical thinking through over 80 levels. Kids can build their own games within the program and design their own characters.

Kodable is the perfect way for kids to have a blast while learning. They can learn at their own pace without any pressure.

CodeMonkey

CodeMonkey also uses games to help children learn how to code. Unlike some more basic games, CodeMonkey uses real programming languages like CoffeeScript and Python – which can be a great first step toward advanced coding skills.

While CodeMonkey uses programming languages, the games and lessons are designed to be used by all skill levels. Even kids with no prior coding experience.

Kids Ruby

Ruby is another real programming language that isn’t as commonly covered.

Kids Ruby breaks down the concepts of coding in the context of the Ruby language. Using kid-friendly language and storytelling, kids can work through fun games and activities to unlock new coding skills.

As your child advances, they can graduate to Kids Ruby’s more advanced program, Hackety Hack.

Older kids and teens

Teens and older kids will benefit from coding that relates to the real world – anything from building a website to replicating their favorite game. They’re also more likely to be interested in self-directed learning and engage with others in the coding community online. Older teenagers might even dabble in advanced languages like Java or Python.

Whether your teenager is dabbling in coding for the first time or looking for additional resources, here are some of our favorites:

Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a free online learning resource. Khan Academy covers a wide range of subjects and topics, from English to Science. But they also offer resources on programming and learning to code.

Khan Academy has the most resources on Javascript. You’ll find lessons for beginners all the way to more advanced programming resources.

Khan Academy is most suited to older kids and teens with a vested interest in learning code. While interactive and very helpful, it takes on more of a traditional learning path with less gamification.

Minecraft

Minecraft is a highly popular game among both kids and adults. The game’s sandbox style means that players can actually write commands and implement modifications using code, to make the game more fun and unique. They can automate tasks or even design new features.

The great thing about Minecraft is older children may already be playing it! All that’s left to do is make the connection between ‘gaming’ and ‘coding.’

Roblox

Roblox is another extremely popular multiplayer game. Using Roblox, kids can create their own games and play them. You can also play games created by other users.

Learning to code with Roblox is a bit more advanced as it does require users to learn a programming language like Lua or Python. However, there are many resources and tools offered by Roblox to help users learn.

It’s a great option for older kids who love to learn as they go!

Make the most out of your child’s coding experience with Bark

Learning to code is an invaluable skill and has so many benefits for your kids. As they explore the world of coding, they may find their new passion  –  a major win!

However, like all digital-first activities, you should be aware of potential risks related to excessive screen time and internet access. Especially as they get older and engage with online communities.

Make the most out of your child’s coding experience by using tools like Bark. From phone to home, Bark’s suite of parental controls helps you manage screen time and filter websites. Schedule screen time for learning activities, like coding, and get detailed reports about the sites or apps your child is using. Get started with a free trial of Bark today.

Dear Titania,

I have two kids (10 and 14) and things are so tough lately. I feel like I’m just treading water lately when it comes to balancing childcare, work, cooking, cleaning, fur babies, aging parents, and a laundry list of extracurricular activities. How do other parents have time for yoga classes and girls’ nights and honestly, peace of mind? What can I do to get to a place where I feel like I have more time?

Signed,

Overwhelmed Parent

Dear Overwhelmed Parent,

First let me say: you are definitely not alone in how you’re feeling. Every parent feels overwhelmed at some point in time — if not most of the time! Raising kids isn’t (and never has been!) simple. 

Doing it in the digital age is even more of a challenge! People like to talk about all of the positive parts of being a parent, but the struggles and rough patches as your children grow into middle-schoolers are often overlooked.

Second, now’s a good time for one of my favorite reminders that helps me keep things in perspective. Although folks like us and Beyonce each have the same 24 hours in a day, those hours aren’t exactly equal. 

Beyonce has personal chefs, professional cleaners, and a thousand other domestic helpers. The average parent literally has to do it all, which is why it feels so overwhelming. Because a lot of times, it is!

It’s 100% normal to admit that the job of parenting is hard and isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. In fact, it’s probably much healthier for your mental health if you understand it from the get-go. Additionally, how many of us ask for help when we need it? Let’s normalize doing that. We take on too many burdens, not wanting to then be a burden to others who are just as stressed, but let’s lean into that “it takes a village” theme a little bit more, okay? 

Remember, it’s a wild time to be a parent right now

A global pandemic. Civil unrest. School violence. Mental health issues on the rise. Technology that changes constantly. Social media. Political landscapes that seem more like reality TV dramedies than actual adults focusing on the common good. Being a parent in today’s world is truly an unprecedented experience, and one that your own parents probably can’t give much advice for because no human has ever lived through a time like this. 

Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good

There are going to be days you just don’t feel like getting out of bed. Days the kids will make it to school (barely) in questionable outfits and lunch money in hand instead of perfectly curated bento boxes. And that’s okay — because you put one foot in front of the other and made it happen.

You can’t always give 100%, but that doesn’t mean that 85% or even 50% is a failure. Do your best, whatever your best looks like that day. Sometimes it looks like frozen pizza and a movie on the couch with your kids. One of my favorite quotes from Brene Brown is “Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up.” Keep that in mind and I promise you’re doing okay.

Just breathe!

When you feel overwhelmed and caught in a negative thought spiral, it can be easy to get carried away in a wave of anxiety. To help keep yourself grounded, remember to always return to your breath. 

The body and the mind are very much connected (even if it doesn’t always feel like it). Just a few deep breaths can help you feel a little bit better in times of chaos. Breathwork is just one example of a self-care activity — check out our list to see a ton of other ideas.

Be vulnerable

It’s ok to not be ok all the time. We worry that we have to hide our weaknesses from our kids but guess what? If they know you struggle too sometimes, and you are honest with them, it helps them to be able to come to you when times get tough vs. thinking that you wouldn’t understand.

Also, back to that asking for help thing – we are not meant to live in isolation and do it all, all by ourselves. Think of one thing you can delegate today. Think of one friend or family member or colleague who can take one thing off your plate. I guarantee you’ll feel much better after raising your hand (or, sending a text), and people love helping others!

How Bark Can Help

Adding online safety to-dos to your list can feel incredibly overwhelming, and that’s the last thing you need. That’s why Bark is here to help parents in a ton of different ways! 

We provide free resources like our blog, a super helpful Facebook group where parents can ask questions and get advice, and in-depth app reviews so you can learn all about the pros and cons of the most popular platforms for kids. After all, Bark was created by a dad of two, and so many of our team members are also parents.

Have most of us at some point let screens babysit our kids? Yep. Can we lean on each other to help us do it in a safer, more responsible way? Also yep. That’s why we are really excited about the Bark Phone, the absolute best phone on the market for kids right now. The parental controls are built in and can’t be deleted, giving you peace of mind that the rules you set stay in place. You manage nearly everything, from who you kid can text to when throughout the day they can use YouTube — if at all! This is a game-changer, and we welcome all the help when it comes to parenting in a tech world. 

two teen girls camping, taking selfie, snippet of bark location alert

Summer is here and kids everywhere are rejoicing! Parents, on the other hand, are looking for a way to help keep their kids safe online and in real life. The Bark Phone is the absolute most perfect phone for kids, with features like location tracking, contact approval, and so much more. Check out all of the ways the Bark Phone can give you peace of mind this summer. 

Stress less with location tracking

Trips to the local pool, baseball games, and sleepovers — being a kid in summer is one of the great pleasures in life. But as a parent, you also want to keep track of where your child is when they’re out and about in the warmer months. With the Bark Phone, you can track their location in real-time. 

You can also add in frequently visited locations — like a best friend’s house, a co-parents home, or the local park — and get automatic alerts when your child arrives or leaves. No more constant, back-and-forth “Where are you?” texts!

Win the battle against screen time

With school being out and facing less daily supervision, kids may wish for a no-holds-barred approach to screen time this summer. But even if your family is cool with a relaxed screen time schedule, it’s good to still have some bumpers in place. 

The Bark Phone lets you create customized screen time rules that let you get super granular. For example, mornings could be “only text and calling” and afternoons could be “just YouTube.” And for sleepovers, you could block internet access to prevent any potential unsavory googling. This way, you can help keep some healthy boundaries and encourage more outside time and in-person socialization. Pro tip: With the Bark Home, you can also manage your child’s online video game schedule. Say goodbye to marathon Fortnite sessions with our scheduling tool. 

Get alerts for potential dangers

Kids may have the summer off, but many parents don’t. Similarly, online dangers don’t take a break, which is why the Bark Phone is a must-have for families. Bark scans your child’s device and accounts for signs of potential dangers — issues like online predators, sexting, depression, and more — and sends an alert if something concerning is found. This way, you can check in and make sure everything’s okay in your child’s world. 

Manage contacts for all those new friends

One of the best things about the Bark Phone is that it lets you manage who your child can communicate with online. When your child’s at camp or roaming the neighborhood this summer, you can approve all of the new friends they want to add as contacts. This helps keep your child’s online world a little smaller and, hopefully, safer. 

Stay on top of schedules with remote alarms

Summer can mean the opportunity to sleep in, but sometimes you don’t want your child staying in bed until noon. Whether they have a day camp, medicine to take, plans with friends, or just chores around the house, kids can get a wake-up call from their phone with an alarm you set. 

Learn more about the Bark Phone

The Bark Phone starts at just $39/month and comes with unlimited talk and text. No contract required, cancel anytime. Learn more about our different plans and order yours today. 

tv remote surrounded by colorful illustrations

**This blog post was updated on April 5, 2024.**

If your child has expressed an interest in anime, one thing’s for certain — they’re not alone! Anime’s popularity stretches across time and space, meaning it’s been around for a long time and there are people all over the world who love to watch it. 

As a parent, if you don’t know much about it, you might be a little intimidated. You might be asking, “What exactly is anime?” and “Does kid-friendly anime even exist?”

The good news is that you’ve come to the right place! After reading this post you’ll not only know what anime is, but you’ll walk away with a list of the best family-friendly animes to show your child. We hope parents find this a helpful introduction to the big wide world of anime!

Family-Friendly Anime: What Is Anime?

Let’s start from the basics.

Anime is a unique style of animation that originally came from Japan. The word “anime” is an abbreviation of the word “animation” in Japanese. While animations can be made around the world, anime is specific to animation produced in Japan.

Anime covers almost every category and subject you can think of — which is both a good and bad thing. On the one hand, a wide variety means that most people can find some anime movies, TV shows, etc. that they enjoy. On the other hand, it’s not hard to find inappropriate or harmful anime content along with kid-appropriate content. 

Parents should know that some anime is explicitly sexual in nature (known as ecchi or hentai) and should be aware when finding appropriate anime titles for their children.

However, there are loads of kid-friendly anime titles to be found in every genre, including action, adventure, romance, and comedy. So we’re not kidding — there’s an anime for everyone! It’s no surprise that it’s become a favorite for viewers around the world.

What makes anime so distinct and intriguing for many viewers is the visual animation style. It’s often very colorful and includes a lot of details. The characters and their expressions are often very exaggerated, making for a very engaging watching experience.

Some anime comes from Manga (Japanese comic books) and closely follows the storyline. But just like many book adaptations, there are many anime that go in a different direction from the manga.

Kid-Friendly Anime: Benefits of Watching Anime for Kids

Anime is all-around entertaining, but there are way more benefits to watching anime that kids likely wouldn’t realize. Here are just a few: 

How Kids Can Watch Anime

Despite getting its start in Japan, anime has been popular around the world for years. It’s very common for English versions of popular children’s anime to air in the US.

Some channels where you’ll find anime include:

But many streaming platforms have also jumped on the anime train. Popular streaming platforms that have many animes available include:

For anime lovers, Crunchyroll and Funimation are some streaming platforms that primarily stream different types of anime for kids and adults. Although important note for parents: these anime platforms can also include some of those inappropriate anime titles mentioned above. Specifically, take a look at Crunchyroll before letting your child have unsupervised access.

And now, what you’ve been waiting for! If you want to get into anime with your child, we’ve put together a list of the most popular kid-friendly animes to serve as a jumping-off point. Let’s get started! 

Kid-Friendly Anime for Kids 10 and Under

Kids under the age of 10 are still developing their comprehension skills. It’s best to stick to animes with storylines that are easy to follow with relatively simple vocabulary.

Japanese culture includes a lot of martial arts and ninja themes. But in general, anime directed toward younger kids is light-hearted and fun.

Here are some anime that would be suitable for kids under the age of 10.

1. Pokémon: Indigo League

Even if you’ve never heard of anime, you’ve likely heard of Pokemon.

Pokemon is the story of Ash Ketchum, a young boy who hopes to become a Pokemon master. His goal is to battle other trainers and catch all the Pokemon. He’ll face trainers — some friendlier than others — as he explores the world with his own Pokemon, Pikachu. It’s a kid-friendly story of friendship and determination.

Indigo League is the first season of the anime; there are several more to follow. Some have slightly more mature themes than others, but they are generally extremely kid-friendly.

The Pokemon anime series is also a natural companion for kids who enjoy the Pokemon video games.

2. Doraemon

Doraemon is a large blue and white earless cat that you might recognize — except he’s not just a cat, he’s robotic! It’s a classic anime and manga series that was created in the 70s, but new episodes are still being made today.

Doraemon is the trusty sidekick to his human friend Nobita Nobi. Using his skills and knowledge, he helps Nobita grow up and tackle school and life. It’s a coming-of-age story with a bit of a sci-fi twist.

It’s an enjoyable anime for young kids and the entire family.

3. Little Witch Academia

As the title suggests, the series follows Akko as she attends a school for witches. Except, unlike many of her classmates, Akko doesn’t come from a family of witches, which makes her transition to Luna Nova Academy a bit of a challenge. But her determination and belief in herself play a key role in her becoming a great witch.

Little Witch Academia is perfect for school-age children as they tackle academics and new friends.

4. Dragon Ball Super

Dragon Ball Super is the third continuation of the beloved Dragon Ball anime series. Following Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball.

The series still follows Goku and his friends as they battle gods and characters from different universes. It’s an expansion of the original universe, introducing new transformations and characters.

Dragon Ball Super is technically the third part of the Dragon Ball series. However, the original two series are better suited to kids over the age of 10 due to mild violence and mature themes. The Dragon Ball Super series is widely acknowledged to be purposely aged down to bring new, younger kids into the Dragon Ball Universe.

5. Naruto

Naruto is one of the most popular anime and manga series among kids. With the first episode in 2002, the story follows young ninja Naruto Uzumaki whose ultimate dream is to become the Hokage–the fearless leader of the Leaf Village.

With his friends and Ninja Academy classmates, Naruto builds his ninja skills and starts to take on challenges and battles. As the story progresses, Naruto starts to understand the value of friendship and learns more about his own family history.

With mild violence related to ninja battles, the series is generally acceptable for kids. Naruto’s coming-of-age experience is relatable and a great way to help kids learn more about the power of friends and family.

6. Boruto

Boruto is the third sequel to Naruto (and the sequel to Naruto Shippuden–which we’ll talk about later).

It takes place several years after the previous two series and follows Naruto’s son Boruto as he becomes a Ninja. While the storyline follows new characters, those who’ve watched the original Naruto will appreciate the nods and throwbacks to characters in the original series.

Similar to Dragon Ball Super, Boruto has been aged down from Naruto Shippuden (and even, to some extent, Naruto) to attract younger kids to the Naruto franchise.

7. One Piece

One Piece is arguably one of the most popular and most successful anime series of all time. With the first episodes coming out in 1999, new episodes are still being made today.

One Piece is the story of Monkey D. Luffy, a young boy who’s determined to become the Pirate King. Except he’s no ordinary kid because his body is made of rubber. (Thanks to a Devil Fruit.)

He gathers a group of friends and other pirates to search for a famous treasure known as the One Piece. Luffy and his newfound crew make new friends and meet new foes along the way. The characters in this story are complex, a bit wild, yet incredibly entertaining–perfect for children and adults alike.

There are some mature themes in One Piece, but in general, the whimsical storyline is perfect for kids to enjoy.

8. Avatar: The Last Airbender

Avatar is a bit of an oddball on this list in that it’s not technically an anime. It was created in the U.S. However, the storyline and animation style closely mimics anime, making it a popular watch among anime lovers.

In Avatar, there are four nations: earth, water, fire, and air. Each nation has Benders who have the ability to manipulate the elements. Aang is an Airbender but also the last Avatar–someone who can master all four and bring balance to the world.

Aang and his friends travel around the world trying to reach this balance, exploring new places and challenges along the way. A great story of friendship that ties in a lot of elements of Eastern philosophy, including mindfulness and spiritualness.

Best Family-Friendly Anime for Kids 10 and Up

As kids grow up, they’ll be able to enjoy even more anime. The stories become more complex, and characters will start to face more mature (and serious) challenges.

You’ll find many animes also have episodes or spin-offs that age with your children–helping them continue their anime journey as they grow up.

Anime, like most TV, can occasionally contain more mature themes. For example, anime for older kids may include themes like love, death, or mild violence.

While these themes are generally introduced in a kid-friendly manner, it’s important that you consider your kid’s maturity level and development before deciding if a show is the right fit for them.

9. Dragon Ball

The precursor to Dragon Ball Super is Dragon Ball. A very popular and well-known anime and manga series from the 80s. So popular that the lead character Son Goku has been referenced in music and pop culture in many ways.

Goku is a martial arts warrior who is on a mission to find the seven Dragon Balls. He encounters enemies and other warriors along the way. As he trains with mentors and deities, Goku gets stronger and protects the Dragon World from different threats.

Dragon Ball’s intricate universe and relatable characters have made this a favorite among kids for decades.

10. Dragon Ball Z

Following Dragon Ball is Dragon Ball Z. First airing in the 90s, Goku is now an adult.

He continues to embark on adventures with his friends and defends the world from aliens, monsters, and other mystical creatures.

Dragon Ball Z is a classic example of an anime that has aged up alongside its audience. So the young kids who originally enjoyed Dragon Ball can now follow their childhood hero Goku as he takes on life as an adult.

 11. Sailor Moon

Usaigi Tsukino is an average teenage girl. But she’s also a superhero, Sailor Moon, who fights villains and other enemies to help keep Earth safe. As the series progresses, she learns more about herself and the world around her.

The Sailor Moon anime has been a favorite among kids and adults since it first aired in the early 1990s. While it’s primarily known as a kids’ anime, some mild language and violence make it more suitable for slightly older kids.

12. Naruto Shippuden

Naruto Shippuden is the sequel to the original Naruto. Only a couple of years later, Naruto comes back from an intense training session, and he and his friends continue right where they left off. They’re just a little older, making it a perfect show for big kids and teens.

Many of the original villains and enemies from the original series return as they continue to fight for peace between the ninja villages.

While several years have passed between the two series, Naruto Shippuden is commonly known to be a continuation of the original story rather than a sequel. But the world continues to unravel, and we learn more about Naruto’s past as he continues his journey to fulfill his dream of becoming Hokage.

13. Death Note

Death Note is another well-known manga and anime series. The series follows Light Yagami, who’s a high school student. One day, he discovers a notebook that will kill anyone whose name he writes inside.

Light initially uses the notebook to help tackle criminals around the world. But as more top criminals start to die mysteriously, people start questioning it. This leads to Light capturing the attention of a detective named L.

We watch as Light tries to avoid being caught while balancing his want to make the world a better place.

While aimed at high-school kids, this show does deal with themes of violence and death. So it’s best suited for kids who have the maturity to handle the subject matter.

14. Haikyuu!!

While many popular anime series are set in mystical and magical worlds, there’s more to anime than that. Haikyuu is proof.

Shoyo Hinata is a high school student who wants to be a volleyball player. But without the height, he faces challenges along the way. But with a little inspiration from his volleyball icon, Little Giant, Hinata starts to come into himself as a volleyball player.

As he and his team work together to win championships, Hinata learns skills on and off the volleyball court.

Set in a typical high school setting, Hinata’s story is both relatable and also teaches valuable lessons about determination.

 15. Bleach

This story follows Ichigo Kurosaki, who gets the power of the Soul Reaper — sometimes known as the Grim Reaper. He can see ghosts and can connect with the afterlife. Ichigo uses these abilities to protect his town from evil spirits. He also uses his powers to help souls find peace, ultimately healing some of his own demons and trauma in the process.

While this anime deals with themes of death, the story of Ichigo, who lost his mother at a young age, is relatable for many kids who have gone through similar experiences. But the story offers creative ways to make difficult subjects entertaining and engaging.

The Best Family-Friendly Animes

Make anime a family affair! We’ve put together a list of classic and highly popular anime that could be a great watch for the entire family.

16. Spirited Away

Spirited Away might be one of the most well-known pieces of anime to date. It’s one of the highest-grossing films in history.

Spirited Away is the story of a young girl, Chihiro, who moves to a new neighborhood. Except she finds herself in an alternate universe of spirits, where her parents have turned into pigs, and there are many more magical creatures.

The film follows Chihiro as she explores this strange world and finds her way home. In the process, she learns how strong and resourceful she can be.

The animations have been highly praised. It’s a beautiful story of courage that is a must-watch for all kids and adults.

17. My Neighbor Totoro

You might know the name Totoro. No surprise, given he’s a pretty famous character in the anime world.

The film follows two sisters, Satsuke and Mei, who meet Torotoro in a forest near their home. They’ve recently moved to the countryside with their father and are slowly finding their footing in their new surroundings.

Totoro is cuddly, friendly, and extremely playful — like your child’s favorite teddy bear. He helps them navigate their new home.

The original animation was released in the 80s, but the 2005 English version features an all-star cast. Including the voices of Dakota and Elle Fanning, Lea Salonga, and Tim Daly.

18. Attack on Titan 

Attack on Titan has taken the world by storm.

The story is unusual and has twists and turns like you’ve never seen before. Attack on Titan follows Eren Jeagar and his friends Mikasa and Armin, who live in a city surrounded by massive walls. These walls protect them from giant humans called Titans.

They all join the military forces designed to fight the Titans and keep normal humans safe. But as the series unravels, so does everything we know about the Titans.

This anime series should be enjoyed by families with older kids due to its more mature scenes of violence and death. However, the storytelling is like no other and will keep the entire family on their toes.

As of 2023, the series still hasn’t wrapped, but for those who aren’t scared of spoilers, the Manga gives some hints at a possible ending to the series.

 19. Kiki's Delivery Service

Last but not least on our list is the fantastical Kiki’s delivery service. It’s a classic coming-of-age story that can be enjoyed by the entire family.

Kiki is a young witch who is continuing to build her powers and become a better witch. She has an adorable talking cat named Jiji, who helps her along the way. Kiki’s entrepreneurial spirit takes over as she opens a delivery service by using her broomstick to fly and deliver packages.


Kiki hits some hurdles along the way but ultimately finds a new version of herself as she grows up. It’s a touching story about friendship and the power of growing up.

Enjoy Anime Safely with Bark

Anime is one of the best types of film and TV for kids to enjoy as they grow up. The unique stories and characters can spark imagination in anyone. Hopefully, this list of kid-friendly anime gives you a place to start.


Of course, there is a whole world of anime outside of this list and as parents, we want to make sure our kids aren’t exposed to the harmful or inappropriate side of anime. And that’s where Bark comes in! 

Created in partnership with parents and schools, Bark helps parents monitor their kids’ digital activity. Whether it’s setting up parental controls around which animes your child can watch or reviewing what apps your child is using, Bark gives you total confidence in your child’s online experience. Start your free trial of Bark today

pictures of families enjoying summer with illustrated summer emojis

Summer is the perfect time for families to bond and create lasting memories together. But with everything you need at the touch of a button and screen time on the rise over the summer, it’s important to find fun activities that encourage quality time without the distractions of cell phones, TVs, and computers. 

Below we explore seven screen-free fun family activities that will help you make the most of the summer season. From picnics in the park to exploring museums, there's something for everyone to enjoy. So, gather your loved ones, unplug, and embark on these exciting adventures!

1. Go on a picnic in the park

What better way to enjoy the sunshine than by having a picnic in the park? Pack a delicious spread of your family's favorite snacks and head to a nearby green space. Choose a shady spot under a tree, spread out a cozy blanket, and indulge in some outdoor dining. Bring along frisbees, kites, or balls to engage in fun games after your meal. Don't forget sunscreen and bug spray to stay protected during your outdoor adventure!

Estimated cost: $20–$50

Estimated time: 2–4 hours

Insider tip: Some parks offer free outdoor movie screenings during summer evenings. Check local event calendars for a movie night under the stars!

2. Visit a museum or art gallery

Expand your family's horizons by visiting a local museum or art gallery. Many museums have exciting kids' programs, including hands-on activity nights and interactive exhibits. Engage your children in the wonders of history, art, science, or the natural world as you explore the museum together. 

Estimated price: $20–$50 (varies by museum)

Estimated Time: 2–4 hours

Insider tip: Some local libraries offer free admission to local museums, zoos, aquariums, and more. Be sure to check your local library’s website for more information. Also, many museums have one free weekend a month. 

3. Take a nature hike

Escape the hustle and bustle of daily life by venturing into nature. Find a nearby hiking trail, national park, or nature reserve to embark on a family adventure. Enjoy the fresh air, admire breathtaking landscapes, and observe fascinating wildlife. Encourage your children to collect leaves, pinecones, or rocks to create a nature-inspired craft project later. Remember to bring water, snacks, and comfortable footwear for an enjoyable hike.

Estimated price: Free

Estimated time: 1–3 hours

Insider Tip: Research trails beforehand to choose a suitable hike for your family's fitness level. AllTrails provides detailed info, including difficulty levels, reviews, and photos.

4. Organize a family game night

Gather around the table for a fun-filled evening of board games, card games, or puzzles. Game nights promote healthy competition, critical thinking, and bonding between family members. Create a friendly atmosphere with snacks, laughter, and a prize for the winner. Unplug from technology and let the games begin!

Estimated price: Free–$30

Estimated time: 2–4 hours

Insider tip: Stumped on board game ideas? BoardGameGeek will be your new go-to resource for board games — featuring ratings, reviews, and recommendations for age groups.

5. Volunteer together

Teach your children the importance of giving back to the community by doing some volunteer work together. Look for local charities, shelters, or community centers that welcome family volunteers. You can participate in activities like serving meals at a soup kitchen, cleaning up a park, or organizing a book drive. Volunteering as a family not only makes a positive impact on the community but also strengthens family bonds and nurtures empathy in children.

Estimated price: Free

Estimated time: Varies (typically a few hours)

Insider tip: Call ahead to find out if there are any age restrictions or specific requirements for volunteering with children. VolunteerMatch helps connect volunteers with local nonprofit organizations. 

6. Camp out in the backyard

Experience the magic of camping without leaving home! Pitch a tent, set up sleeping bags, and enjoy a night under the stars. Roast marshmallows for s'mores over a bonfire or grill, tell stories, and play flashlight tag. Embrace the simplicity of outdoor living away from screens and distractions. The backyard campout is an excellent opportunity to foster a sense of adventure and develop camping skills in a familiar and safe environment.

Estimated price: $20–$50

Estimated time: Overnight

Insider tip: The American Camp Association provides resources and tips for organizing backyard campouts, including campfire recipes and camping games. Use stargazing apps or books to identify constellations and planets.

7. Plan a family art day

Unleash your family's creativity by dedicating a day to art. Set up a space in your home or take your art supplies outdoors to enjoy the fresh air. Encourage your children to paint, draw, or sculpt while engaging in artistic activities yourself. You can also collaborate on a family art project, such as a mural or a family tree. Display the artwork proudly in your home when you’re done!

Estimated Price: $10–$30

Estimated Time: 2–4 hours

Insider Tip: Research local art centers or workshops that offer family art classes or open studios, providing additional guidance and inspiration. Pinterest offers a wealth of art and craft ideas for all ages, including step-by-step tutorials and inspiration.

This summer, make a conscious effort to disconnect from screens and reconnect with your family through these seven screen-free fun activities. Whether you're enjoying a picnic in the park, exploring a museum, or engaging in outdoor adventures, the memories you create together will be cherished for a lifetime. Embrace the opportunity to bond, learn, and have fun as you make the most of the beautiful summer season with your loved ones.