A warm welcome to parents, grandparents, and educators!

Please join me as we endeavor to harness the internet so that it’s beneficial, rather than harmful, to your children and family! ZillyDilly will help you make the most of the internet for your children.

As a doctor who knows children, families, schools, and technology, I invented ZillyDilly to give you the tools to maximize the internet so it is safe, fun, educational and developmentally-appropriate for your children. My experience and vision, built into ZillyDilly, will guide you to make ZillyDilly your own flexible, reliable, and convenient child-raising tool.

You are the most important people in your children’s lives and have the biggest impact on their development. By managing the internet for your family’s benefit, you will turn it into a growth and education asset unmatched by any other app. You may also improve children's self-discipline, attention span, time and information management, planning and organizational skills, as well as stimulate and nurture their zeal for discovery.

Here are some important points to keep in mind:

  • Children are social creatures. As more of your child's friends use ZillyDilly, the more he will find it the norm and, therefore, easier to accept, leading to healthy and positive online experiences, so spread the word to other parents and teachers.
  • Games are important because initially that's what kids expect from the iPad. You now have the best choices of the most suitable online games for the iPad.
  • I strongly recommend that if you are introducing your very young child to the iPad for the first time, make ZillyDilly the only app you install and set its usage to 100% of the time. This assures that your child’s experience will be totally safe and well-managed.
  • Similarly, if your child has been using the iPad for games, introduce ZillyDilly as his new and only portal, setting usage to 100% of the time, while gradually removing the other apps from the pad.
  • One advantage of ZillyDilly currently over many other iPad apps is that Wi-Fi for the Internet is not available everywhere, allowing you to naturally practice limiting dependence and encourage self-discipline, waiting, and time management. Teach children early that being "unplugged" is good and that finding other activities, including conversation, imaginative play, thinking, reading, etc. makes it even better. Being "unplugged" is a sign of strength -- admire, reinforce, and even reward it.

Welcome to the world ZillyDilly offers.
Let's now welcome your children into ZillyDilly’s world of discovery, too!
Best of luck and my warm wishes,
Dr. S

Tips for Engaging Kids for Best Benefits and Most Success

Note: After downloading ZillyDilly and registering on the iPad, you may more easily customize ZillyDilly from your desktop or laptop. Log into ZillyDilly.com and use your registered email address. Remember to adjust iPad settings to get ZillyDilly's full features.

  1. GETTING STARTED
    • Plan how to best introduce ZillyDilly to your family. This is especially important if children have already been using an iPad, iPad touch, iPhone, personal computers, etc. more independently.
    • Clearly set out expectations and create excitement by showing games and other engaging websites to your children.
    • Invite children to be "junior partners." Be tactful, considerate, forgiving, gentle and patient. Tell them that one way grown-ups express their love is to help their children by managing their technology consumption -- you will limit freedoms to some extent, just as you do by determining bedtimes, curfews, and choosing the right foods.
    • Be positive and reward children for cooperation. Enjoy and have fun. Take frequent breaks as necessary, according to the child's attention span. Some children may require a longer transitional period or may need extra incentives to fully engage with ZillyDilly. You may want to offer them content rich with games initially (many will be educational anyway).
  2. CUSTOMIZING ZILLYDILLY STEP-BY-STEP (about 30 - 90 min)
    • Scout the screens, read the popups. Orient yourselves and sketch out how you will introduce ZillyDilly and engage the children.
    • Set aside a convenient time for everyone and invite the child to join you in exploring ZillyDilly.
    • From the "My Media Plans" screen, select "Add a Child."
    • From the "Child Settings" screen, you and the child will create the child's unique login. (I recommend strongly that you brainstorm together as they choose their own usernames and passwords.)
    • Have them write down and keep their "secret login" information "secure." This teaches about basic online security practices.
    • Choosing a unique name that ZillyDilly accepts may be a fun challenge. Use the child's or pet's name, a color, special number, place, weekday, etc., but keep it simple and short.
    • You may save time by choosing the Media Plan Dr. S preselected for your child's age group. Icons automatically populate your child's iPad, and it is ready for use. Skip to VII below. Take time to read the text you skipped when customizing ZillyDilly later.
    • Learn together how ZillyDilly's controls work by viewing the timers and controls already preset according to your child's age.
    • Save the "Child Settings" and return to "My Media Plans."
  3. DEVELOPING THE MEDIA PLAN (about 10 - 30 minutes)
    • Select "Edit Media Plan" for the child. Explore the page, help screens, and popups. Look at some sites together and discover which sites are highly interesting to the child.
    • Review the five Growth Opportunities together.
    • Explain that the iPad is for the family that you will manage through ZillyDilly to enhance online well-being, learning, and fun.
    • Emphasize throughout that this is your way of being good, caring parents. However, give the child choices where you can, letting him/her type or control the cursor some of the time. Encourage him/her with the promise of ZillyDilly games and other healthy rewards.
    • When developing the plan, it’s best that you and your child learn together how to select sites from the ranked Growth Opportunity lists: review the popups and meanings of the icons. Keep emphasizing that the Growth Opportunity choices make the Internet the best and "funnest" asset and the iPad an important tool for growing up.
  4. VIDEO GAMES ARE IMPORTANT
    • The right kinds of video games can teach, train and motivate positive behaviors.
    • Recommended, age-appropriate, web video games are included for each Growth Opportunity, making ZillyDilly even more engaging.
    • We will continue to add new online video games as they become available for iPad.
    • ZillyDilly makes it easy and convenient to experiment and explore website content alongside video games.
    • Let your child make their own ZillyDilly website and video game choices.
    • Use incentives, like complements or small rewards, to encourage your child's safe internet growth with ZillyDilly.
  5. MEETING THE CHALLENGE FOR QUALITY
    • Your child probably views the iPad as a gaming platform. It is your job to show your child that this is not so and wean him/her from this popular belief.
    • Do not underestimate the popularity of some game apps that are unfortunately like "empty calories."
    • Don’t reinforce their appeal by making them rewards.
    • ZillyDilly is not for every child or family. Older kids deserve more say and negotiation. Although you are in charge, lead by avoiding power struggles that will ruin any chances that the child or younger siblings will ever use ZillyDilly. In fact, recruiting the older to help you with younger kids may be the best strategy.
  6. SAVING YOUR PLAN - Once you save the media plan, log off ZillyDilly.com. All information is saved on our servers.
  7. STARTING ON THE iPAD TOGETHER (about 15 - 45 minutes)
    • I urge you to set a fun and positive tone. Celebrate your first ZillyDilly exploration.
    • Enjoy how your child logs in with his new username and password. With preschoolers and early graders, you can view the introductory cartoon by touching the top bubble icon. Older children can read the intro page with you. Return to the screen by touching the ZillyDilly icon from any screen.
    • Explore the app together by selecting a Growth Opportunity and then a website. Take note with the child how he/she cannot wander off the site. Discuss safety.
    • Since many children expect to play games on the iPad, teach your child how to access the games embedded in the chosen site. Show her/him the tab locations and teach key words to aid navigation.
    • Learn together about time management of media by pressing the “7” and watching the Growth Opportunity timers’ colors change.
    • With the older child, you may show her the report page that tracks usage of ZillyDilly.com. (However, I recommend that the younger the child, the better it is to stay present and enjoy exploring the online world together rather than looking at summary reports.)