Choosing the Best Device for Your Children

Choosing the Best Device for Your Children
Image source: | Choosing the Best Device for Your Children | Deciding when to give your child a smartphone or internet-connected device can be a tough choice. There are tons of options all offering different pros and cons, so how in the world are you supposed to know what’s right? Luckily, there are plenty of different brands out there that cater to every level of concern. There are also some simple questions you can ask yourself to move in the direction of a device you’ll be comfortable with. Let’s look at some of those now!

Determining What’s a Good Fit

You don’t want to give your child access to something you’re not comfortable with, so choosing their first device is an important decision. There are a few key questions you can ask yourself when you first start considering this option to make sure you know what exactly you’re looking for.

  • Do you want to give them internet access?
  • Do you want to be able to track their location?
  • Will they be allowed to download apps?
  • Can they communicate with anyone or just a few people?
  • Should they be able to take photos and videos?
  • Do you want to be able to monitor your child’s activities on their device?

These are all important concerns for parents, so even if just one or two apply to you, think about them carefully. The answer to each question can help you determine what type of device is best for your child, from an emergency phone to a rugged laptop to a connected tablet.

Best Phones for Kids

For kids under 10, you want to look for something with very basic capabilities that’s easy to use. Think of this phone as more of a training phone than an actual smartphone. The same way you put training wheels on their bicycle, this phone will teach them the proper way to interact with a device and how to use it responsibly.

Look for phones with large buttons, simple controls, and limited features. You probably don’t want your 9-year-old visiting YouTube or Instagram unsupervised, so check to make sure they aren’t connected to the internet and can’t download these apps on their own. This phone will be mostly to call or text family members and possibly take pictures if you allow for that feature.

Phone Alternative

One alternative if you’re not quite ready for your child to have a phone at all is the Gizmo watch from Verizon. This is a smartwatch designed specifically for kids. It has just a few buttons and only allows kids to call from a list of pre-programmed contacts, so you know who they’re communicating with. As an added bonus, it straps to their wrist, which makes it much harder to lose or break. These are a great option for parents who want their kids to learn about tech while keeping a safe distance from the internet.

Best Tablets for Kids

You might opt for your child’s first device to be a tablet. Some parents like this option better because it limits how often a child can be on it by not being quite as transportable as a phone. Tablets also offer lots of added features such as drawing apps and card games that aren’t as easy to manipulate on a phone.

The iPad is a great choice for young kids, but be sure to choose one of the base models so you have the option to make it only Wi-Fi accessible if you want. The main benefit to using an iPad is that most schools are already set up to work through the platform, so your child can use it for classwork as well as fun.

Another option is the Amazon Fire tablet, which is a bit less expensive than an iPad. It offers Wi-Fi connectivity as well and features plenty of parental controls so you can feel confident your child is safe on their device.

Choosing the right device for your child can be tricky, but those important questions and these helpful insights should help guide you to the right decision.

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