Meet KidsWantU: The app bringing back quality family-time, away from screens

KidsWantU is a new app empowering families to bond over shared activities, away from computers, phones or TVs. The informational app was founded by mother and entrepreneur Anne-Marie Walton, as a way to support parents to maximise time with their children and to build healthy, happy and positive relationships.  

KidsWantU is for every family, with creative and customisable guides to games, recreation and learning ideas for parents and caregivers to do with their children. The user-friendly app gives families activities to do together that are suitable for all ages, interests and time restraints, without having to purchase any additional bells or whistles. 

Anne-Marie said, “We understand that being a parent in this day and age can be a tiring and guilt-ridden journey. We all have so many external factors competing for our attention and unfortunately sometimes, our kids miss out. You have to be pretty dedicated if you wanted to come up with different ideas, or fun things to do with your kids.” 

“We found that often parents are too tired, overworked or overwhelmed to get those creative juices flowing, and so KidsWantU has taken some of the thinking out of it for you. We want parents to relax and have fun too because it is all about creating memories strengthening those loving relationships.”  

The KidsWantU app is packed with tools that make parents and caregivers lives easier, from dashboards monitoring time-spent together, to an all-in-one-place library of productive and perfectly matched-to-you activities. 

The system is designed for the adults to shortlist 3 activity ideas that they will enjoy doing themselves, the kids to then pick a winner (by popping a virtual balloon), they look through the instructions together, then the phone is put away for some engaged face-to-face fun. 

Based at Fishburners, Australia’s biggest start-up community, the social impact app has recently undergone its first round of crowdfunding and achieved over $30,000 in pre-orders in October, ahead of a national launch before Christmas 2019. Anne-Marie was one of Fishburner’s first Virtual Members and living outside of a major city has not proved as difficult in growing the business thanks to being part of the “Fishies” community.

KidsWantU has received guidance through Impact Academy Social Enterprise Accelerator, the BDO for Startups program and many helpful mentors. The Queensland Government also provided support by sponsoring Founder, Anne-Marie on the Advance Queensland Female Founder’s mission to London in late 2017 and via KidsWantU being the recipient of matched funding for a project under the Business Queensland Small Business Entrepreneur Grants.

Anne-Maries added, “being a Mum, of course, has its benefits. I owe a lot of my entrepreneurial spirit and resilience to the skills I learned as a parent. I definitely know how to take the shortest route to getting things done!” 

No stranger to the world of entrepreneurialism, Anne-Marrie fell into the startup scene 4 years ago by way of a newspaper advertisement for an innovation hub pitching award. After 2 weeks of pitching, practise and prototype building, Anne-Marie went on to not only win the award but less than 2 years later, was running the innovation hub itself. Working with Helen Black from workRestart, Anne-Marie then ran the first entrepreneurship workshops in the Australian prison system to help reduce reoffended and restart lives. She continues to be an Entrepreneurship Facilitator in her region under an Australian Government Initiative.

Her message to parents to startups alike is, “You don’t have to invest huge dollars and many hours on a trip to Movie World. Or Silicon Valley. Dedicate your time where it matters to you. Make the most of your hours and fill them with the good stuff – in small packages.”

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