How I’ve fought the hard Instagram battle with my tween this year, and finally I let in.
Under many, many conditions:
- We signed an updated Family Media Agreement.
- We still use Screen Time Cards.
- Phone use is restricted to our main floor of our house (not used upstairs).
- We approve only followers we know personally or that I approve.
- Her account is private–not public.
- The phone is ours–not hers–but it’s being used by her, so any time we want to check on things, we can and do.
- I follow her friends.
- And more, like constant conversation and an open door for questions any time.
But what I realized is that as a tween, teen, or new user, it’s hard to find cool accounts to follow, so it’s difficult to really know how to properly use Instagram.
Sure, you want your kids to be able to follow their friends, but do you know what most of their friends are doing? A whole lot of duck-faced selfies, that’s what. A whole lot of selfies. Lots. Of. Selfies. Don’t get me wrong–selfies are fine. But all of the time? Gets a little old.
How about changing things up a bit? Showing our new, younger users cool ways to use Instagram?
Really, there are so many creative and thoughtful ways to use this platform; it’s designed to be visually appealing, creative, and memorable. The problem is that kids need models. They need good examples.
Just like when I was teaching kids how to write a strong paragraph, thesis essay, or research paper–they need models. Examples. So they know what good looks like.
So Maddy and I have been searching and searching and searching this year to find cool Instagram accounts to follow.
We’ve found a ton.
Here’s the skinny. . .
Instagram Accounts for Tweens and New Users to Follow:
Remember, friends, this is not a perfect list. And it’s only a start.
If you and your spouse make the decision to allow your child to use Instagram, you must be aware of the Terms of Service. You must first take into consideration how the platform is used and why you need to be an active part of the use.
Our family decided that we’d allow Maddy to give it a try with a whole lot of support.
And with support comes a whole lot of great people to follow so our new user learned how to use the platform by viewing firsthand how some people were really rocking it.
Here are a few cool users to follow if you–or your child–are just starting out on Instagram:
It’s Robby the Kid President. On instagram. He’s inspiring and awesome. Everyone should follow him.
Yep. THE White House is on Instagram. Did you even know that? My thought is this: if our kids are on Instagram and the White House is on Instagram, then our kids should definitely follow the White House. At the very least they’ll know what their president is up to.
Online community of book lovers –a division of Scholastic. Everything teen. Great spot to find new titles!
If you’re not following Humans of New York, you better be. It’s simply the most incredible photo journal I’ve ever encountered. Brandon Stanton is the photographer, and he basically photographs New Yorkers. And the coolest part? He shares their stories.
Buy the book. We’re obsessed. And though Maddy has asked me questions sometimes–because some of the stories are a little thought-provoking or sad–it’s a conversation worth having with your tween or teen.
As in ‘playmobil’ and little photo scenes. Just fun. How cool is this? And what fun our kids could have with doing something like this themselves!
I like this account because the focus is to help people be smarter, happier cooks. And the photos of food are beautiful.
All photos taken with a GoPro–and if you don’t know what a GoPro is, it’s a teeny camera that mounts to just about anything, allowing for people to video very cool things. This account, as you can imagine, shares some really awesome photographs.
I love the idea behind these bracelets–they contain water from Mt. Everest, the highest point on earth, and mud from the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth. By wearing the bracelet, you are reminded to strive for balance in your life. The bracelets are photographed all over the world–it’s so cool to sea where they are and how people photograph them.
Animal photos. Surprisingly human animal photos.
Not even joking when I say that the awesome of this profile is that Angie is mom to ‘Mayhem’–a 5 year old who literally creates runway dresses and costumes out of paper. The outfits either come to her or she tries to replicate what the stars are wearing. Your kids–and you–will fall in love with this feed.
Gorgeous, breathtaking photos. We’re huge fans of the Discovery Channel over here, so this is a favorite.
Love our littleBits sets, so this platform shares photos and videos of the littleBits at work–moving, blinking, beeping, and making magic happen, one circuit at a time.
Bright and beautiful school supplies. Everyone loves school supplies. Right? We sure do. Have you ever seen them look so pretty?
The official account for National Geographic Travel means Awesome. Photos. The. End.
Maya is a bulldog in NYC. This profile chronicles her adventures. I love it.
Pretty food. Pretty, pretty, absolutely gorgeous food. Like food art in such a fun way.
Photos from National Geographic photographers. And stories to go with them.
You guys. Food art. More of it. But different in that these photos sometimes make you forget that you’re looking at food. It’s just awesome.
My girls love this magazine, and the Instagram profile is just as beautiful. Sure, kids posing as models all glammed up isn’t my thing, but these kids look cool. And they’re low on makeup.
Tracey shares everything Young Adult and New Adult books. She’s cool. And maybe she’ll inspire our kiddos to do some more reading.
The ONE campaign is just plain fantastic. What they do rocks. And so do all their photos. Hoping that this gets users psyched to do something, to make a change. To get involved.
Amy Poehler and her bff Meredith Walker created Smart Girls to celebrate awesome girls–every girl. The photos are fun. And the message is stellar.
From Macmillan Children’s Publishing–books and more books.
My sweet friend Jessica shares her photos of her gorgeous little familia and their furry boy. First it was #TheoandBeau and then it became #TheoandEvvie. The photos are incredible, and the awesome thing is that Jessica and her family are as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside.
BEFORE you follow this account, check it out for yourself. Most are positive quotes. Many are happy and really what we all need. Every day.
But some? A little edgy and questionable. Just check it out.
That’s right. A word a day. And why not celebrate words on Instagram?
Friends. Are we following each other? Let’s.
Check it out–
Follow me for fun, quick learning ideas and activities. In the summer, every single day I’ll post our #tabletopsurprises. And on Friday I’ll share a round-up here.
On Instagram, I tend to keep things pretty simple withphotos of some of the cool things we’re up to that don’t always make it to the blog.
But this year, I’m adding a little quickie video as well. Should be fun.
And if nothing else, I do hope it inspires you to get a little crafty and creative with your crew during the long summer months.
What are your other favorite, must-follow Instagram accounts?
I’ll let you in on a little secret–this is the first of a series of posts. I have a ton of great profiles to follow that wouldn’t fit in this one post, so do let me know who yours are, and I’ll do my best to add them!
And remember–these are not all G-rated; you must use this platform, as in all social media platforms, with your discretion.
Check out our initial Instagram post for more information:
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