If schools find out about cheating, they are often not fined immediately.

If schools find out about cheating, they are often not fined immediately.

Many apps can also be played in offline mode. "Parents should activate this so that the child is not led out of the app with one click and, in the worst case, comes across other content" said expert Korn. She also advises parents to keep talking to the child. "And even if it is tedious: It is worth taking a look at the data protection declaration."

In addition, parents should switch off the push notifications in the apps and deactivate in-app purchases or provide them with password protection.

From what age do apps make sense for children?

Children under the age of three should not use any screen media yet. That advises the initiative "Look at! What your child does with Media". At this age it is more important to explore the real world. "Small children in particular need holistic experiences such as family games, discovering nature and sports" it says on the initiative’s website. The early use of electronic media can neglect such experiences, so that the children cannot deal with those in the media world either.

Parents should give children clear rules for how long they can use mobile games. The initiative recommends a compromise, for example: The youngsters can play until the end of a level or they can allocate a certain time budget themselves. For children under five years of age, a maximum of half an hour of media use is sufficient. Parents should make sure that agreements made are kept.

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Reviews of some popular apps

"The mouse"In the test of "" fell this app around "The program with the mouse" particularly positive. The experts were the only ones of the 100 apps tested that had nothing to complain about. The app completely dispenses with advertising and in-app purchases.

"ZDFtivi for children"With the ZDFtivi media library app, children can watch TV programs on smartphones and tablets anywhere. The experts had next to nothing to complain about with this app either.

"candy Crush Saga"In this game the player has to push candy of one color in a row and thereby make them burst. "" chalked at that children are constantly confronted with purchase options. Discount campaigns and long waiting times increase this pressure.

"Pokémon Go"The player can catch small monsters with this app. It is at "Pokémon Go" an augmented reality game. The app determines the location data of the player and positions his avatar on a map. Looks critical "" thereby the risk of foreign contacts in the "real world". The examiners write: "For example, players can use lure modules to attract Pokémon and thus often other players who want to catch the virtual monsters. At such spontaneous gatherings, children always run the risk of being approached by strangers (…)." The virtual resources needed in this game can either be collected or bought by players throughout the city. According to the experts, especially younger children are tempted to make in-app purchases – because they are more likely to be tied to their home environment in everyday life.

"Plants vs. Zombies 2"In the colorful app, zombies have to be fought with plants. "" criticizes the advertising for other apps that children cannot distinguish from the game content due to the visual design. Children are also prompted to make in-app purchases directly with pop-ups.

"Angry Birds 2"The player must with "Angry Birds" hurling birds at pigs with precision. In this app, too, advertising can hardly be distinguished from the rest of the game. Those who watch promotional videos receive rewards for playing the game. Pop-ups encourage people to buy something. Another critical factor: there is a comparatively large amount of data exchange.

"Magic kids app"The surprise eggs contain QR codes that users can use to unlock games in this app. Some content can also be used without the codes. As with the Ü-eggs themselves, children may want more and more codes. "The app transfers the principle of the surprise egg from the real to the digital world" says Marlen Korn. It is positive that the "Magic kids app" does not contain in-app purchases. And no advertising either – "where of course the app itself is actually advertising".

Sources used: Initiative "Look at!"

Families have to travel during the school holidays. And then it’s always peak season. It is worth taking a look at the price tables from other airports. If the school holidays there have already ended or only start later, then you can fly much cheaper from there. The journey within Germany is by rail & Fly tickets are included in the price of many organizers – no matter how far the airport is.

The outdoor pool closed, the playground wet and cold? But autumn and winter don’t have to be boring for families. Inside or outside – there is always something to do, play or do handicrafts. You just have to know what.

As soon as the dark season arrives, many parents are at a loss as to what to do with the little ones. Autumn as a season of horror for families? Ulric Ritzer-Sachs, qualified social pedagogue at the online counseling of the federal conference for educational counseling in Fürth, sees it differently. "Autumn is a wonderful time of year for children because it is not that hot and they can let off steam." For him the motto is: "If it’s drizzling, put your jacket on and still go out! Flying kites, ball games, leaf battles, autumn hikes in the forest, when everything is so beautifully colorful."

Children also like to help around the house

But autumn and winter are also ideal for quietly showing children what is going on at home. "How do I bake a cake? How does a vacuum cleaner work? Of course it takes longer when children help" says Ritzer-Sachs. "But children find it incredibly interesting what adults do. They want to learn everything and can do it too. Even five-year-olds sew on buttons if you show them to."

Combine playful activities with useful activities

Family blogger Lisa Harmann also likes to combine the playful with the useful. For this she has called herself a game "Household Challenge" considered: "First we draw plans of all the rooms and furniture and write down what to do there. With us, for example, all the sofa cushions are constantly mixed up" she explains. "Then one of them has to sort all the pillows very quickly, another is busy in the bathroom, the third in the stairwell – and afterwards there is cocoa for everyone!"

Harmann lives with a husband, three children and lots of animals in a town of 25 people near Bergisch Gladbach. Together with Katharina Nachtsheim, mother of three from Berlin, she runs the blog When "Country mom" of the blog, Harmann has many ideas on how to keep children busy in nature: "Letting paper planes whiz across the field, looking for animal tracks in the forest, torch hikes – in autumn you can pretend it’s deep night from 5 p.m."

Big cities also offer many opportunities

Even in the big city, children can have fun outside, Katharina Nachtsheim knows: "Last fall, I did a lantern tour with my kids every evening, regardless of whether it was storming or snowing." Collecting leaves in the park, sticking pictures from them at home and finding out which leaf comes from which tree – this is how city children experience nature.

Make appointments

Nachtsheim also enjoys the advantages that a city offers. "We like to go to game cafes. It’s nice for the parents because they can have a coffee in peace and quiet, and it’s nice for the children because there is always something going on."

In order to create free space, she generally advises: "Make an appointment, make an appointment, make an appointment!" Parents don’t always have to be present at game dates, on the contrary. "Older children also like to play with their friends, unobserved by mum and dad. And the next time you return the favor."

Museums can provide variety

Nachtsheim also recommends visiting museums during the cold season. Natural history or technology museums are always exciting for children. An indoor aquarium is the bad weather substitute for the zoo and an indoor swimming pool for the quarry pond.

Marion Gusella from the FEZ Berlin Children’s, Youth and Family Center has tips for those who need even more action. "Go to the puppet theater, fairy tale hour or dance festival" she explains. With simple means such as a sock, kebab skewers, a table tennis ball, a small cloth and a bit of paint, you can also make your own dolls at home and tell stories you invented.

Bringing children closer to games from their own childhood

Often it doesn’t take much to brighten up a cloudy autumn afternoon. What used to be fun, children still love today. "Paint scratch pictures with crayons, stick blackboard foil on the wall and scribble, make play money out of paper and play a flea market" Blogger Lisa Harmann lists her classics.

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Sit inside and look out

"Dim the lights, make bread and have a picnic in front of the television. Those who have collected chestnuts can use them to make males, monsters or crocodiles" adds social worker Ritzer-Sachs. He tells: "I often ask our children what is best about rain. Your answer: "Sit inside and look out." When it storms outside, when the trees bend and the rain is pounding, there is no better thing to do than watch from inside."

Skiing instead of learning, sunbathing instead of browsing – bargain hunters can easily fall into the trap. Instead of saving on vacation planning because they are leaving earlier than the rest, some parents have to pay for cheat vacations. Because that’s a criminal offense. If you get caught, every extra day of vacation is really expensive. 

Knowledge quiz – literature, music, art: 30 questions for students

Knowledge quiz
Literature, music, art: 30 questions for students

More police officers will be seen at airports and highways in the days before the start of the holiday. Not just because of traffic jams and security. You are looking for underage truants and their parents. Vacation extenders are caught more and more often.

School attendance is compulsory in Germany. A healthy child must therefore not be absent from class without good reason. Leave of absence is available for family matters such as weddings or bereavement, but not for family vacations.

Tempting savings when booking a trip

Flights, hotels, holiday apartments, campsites – holidays are high season, so expensive. A flexible travel date can make a big difference to the travel budget. It’s seductive. Quite a few parents invent reasons or swindle a certificate so that they can start their vacation earlier. 

If the federal police catch the holiday fraudsters, they must report them to the school concerned. Then it is at the discretion of the school management to initiate criminal proceedings with the education authority. In this case it will be expensive.

Fines, imprisonment, fines – vacation fraudsters are threatened with this

Unauthorized taking in the days before and after the vacation can be punished with a fine. Depending on the federal state, the possible fine is several hundred euros per child, in Rhineland-Palatinate in the worst case up to 1500 euros. In Bavaria, the school law provides for a fine of up to 1000 euros, according to the Ministry of Culture.

If schools find out about cheating, they are often not fined immediately.

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