Journaling is a great activity for kids. More than just a way to practice writing skills, keeping a journal can help kids explore their ideas, organize their thoughts, and express their emotions. Along the way, they can also learn more about themselves.
With all that said, getting kids to journal regularly can be a real challenge. The DiaryZapp app attempts to solve this problem by providing a safe and interactive space for kids to capture their daily adventures.
DiaryZapp is an interactive journal where kids can record their experiences. They can write, draw, and decorate their journal pages, and share them with friends and family. The more kids add to their journal, the more rewards they can unlock.
To begin journaling, first you must create a "Zapper" account for your child. You can have up to five Zappers on the same device, each with its individual journal. Hand the app over to your child so they can customize their own "Zappicon" mascot.
Once your child has created their Zappicon, they are ready to add their first entry. They can add a new page by tapping the plus sign, then add text (typed using the app's custom keyboard or drawn with fingers), drawings, photos, and stickers as they like. They can also change the page's background with a simple tap.
As your child creates, their personal Zappicon keeps them company and acts as a guide. If they are unsure about a specific tool, or have no idea what to write about, they can tap the Zappicon for more help. The Zappicon can also suggest words as kids type to enrich their vocabulary. For example, it might suggest the words "excellent" or "enjoyable" in place of "good".
As kids fill their journal, they can earn points by reaching various milestones: writing daily for a period of time, restyling their mascot more than once, re-use words from the mascot's suggestions, and more. They can then use these points to unlock additional stickers.
Parents Need to Know
DiaryZapp comes with a sharing feature, which lets kids "zap" their journal entries to a pre-approved list of email addresses or fellow DiaryZappers via app-to-app sharing. This feature is fully optional; the rest of the app works well even without it. Should you wish to use the sharing feature, you can create a "Chief Adult" account to curate the buddy list and even approve entries before they are shared. As the Chief Adult, you can also get your child's journal entries printed out via a partnership with Photobox.
DiaryZapp is a paid app with no in-app purchases and no third-party advertising. It's available for iPhone and iPad, though an iPad is recommended for a better creative experience.
Things I Like
DiaryZapp is a fun and creative way to encourage kids to write and tell their stories. It's easy to use (kids can add an entry in 10 minutes) and there is no limit to how kids want their entry to look like. What sets the app apart from other journaling apps for kids, however, is the word suggestion feature—it's so helpful for kids who struggle with their literacy.
One thing that could be improved is the in-app keyboard, which felt a bit sluggish on my iPad mini 2. It should also be easier to fix errors within a sentence; at the time of this review, you have to erase every letter to get to your mistake. Other features I'd like to see would be the ability to add more than one entry a day, and a password feature to secure each Zapper's journal (but can still be bypassed by the Chief Adult).
DiaryZapp is a fantastic app to help kids record their day-to-day adventure. With the holidays coming up soon, it would also be a great way for kids to maintain learning while also having fun and staying in touch with their family members and friends. Highly recommended for ages 6 and up.
App was provided for our honest review.