When it comes to kids tech, parents should buy devices that’ll help their children learn, grow, and stay safe. With all the dangers surrounding technology, companies have made an effort to launch devices specifically designed for kids. Whether it’s a phone without social media or a durable computer, technology for children has come a long way.
There are tons of gadgets being marketed to kids. It’s likely that your children have asked you for a piece of tech that’s popped up on a commercial recently. While a “gimme” approach may not win you over, you may want to look over all the available tech for kids. There are a few devices that can support your children as they grow. Here are five types of tech parents should consider buying for their children this year.
Not everyone agrees on when parents should first give their child a phone. However, many seem to agree that at some point kids need one. After all, the majority of kids over eight in the United States have one. And according to NPR, over half of the children in the United States own a smartphone by the time they’re 11.
As a parent, you might be hesitant to buy your child their first phone. With tech addiction and cyberbullying on the rise, you have good reason to be nervous. But even with the potential dangers, there are several reasons why buying a kids phone could be beneficial. Being a call or text away in case of emergencies is definitely a big one.
Thankfully, there are phones specifically designed for children. For example, Gabb Wireless ensures kids have access to what they need and none of what they don’t. While these phones look like smartphones, they only have the essentials: messaging, contacts, music, and a camera. One of the things they don’t have? Social media apps, thank goodness.
Fitness trackers have taken the world by storm in recent years because they offer a myriad of health benefits. According to a Pew Research survey, 21% of Americans use a smartwatch or tracker. Why? Besides looking sleek, smartwatches can motivate people to exercise. Most fitness trackers can even send health-related reminders throughout the day. Users are notified to do things like stand up, take a walk, and breathe deeply.
Chances are, you know at least a couple of adults who have a fitness tracker—maybe even some kids. After all, children need exercise too. So companies are launching kid-friendly fitness trackers.
For example, the Fitbit Ace 2 activity tracker is designed for children who are at least six years old. This Fitbit reminds children to move and challenges them to get an hour of exercise. It even sends virtual trophies when kids meet their goals.
The best part about these devices is that they are usually water-resistant. Unlike a phone, they won’t break if your kids decide to play in the water. You can also purchase a durable case for the tracker to decrease the likelihood it’ll break or shatter if dropped.
Do your kids enjoy reading? You should consider buying them an e-reader specifically designed for kids. For example, the Kindle Kids Edition. This tablet has a week-long battery life, and it’s easy to use.
This device is perfect for kids because it can only be used to read. Unlike iPads, which may grant a user access to the internet, these e-readers have no games, ads, or videos. Any time your kiddo picks up the Kindle, they’re basically just picking up a book.
Just 34% of public school students meet or exceed their fourth-grade reading proficiency standards. There’s clearly some room for improvement. A Kindle for kids can be a great tool to help children stay ahead of the curve.
Even if your kid is too young to read, reading to them is beneficial. Use the Kindle so that they can learn how to use the device as you read. In no time at all, they’ll be able to practice reading all by themselves.
Chances are, your child has done some online learning this past year. Whether they had a hybrid schedule or they were 100% remote, they likely experienced a virtual class. If you had to share your home computer, you might have wondered if you should buy them their own laptop. Depending on their age, a laptop might be a great tool for your kids. You just want to make sure you’re purchasing a computer that’s best for them.
Before buying anything, check with your child’s school to see if they have any recommendations for specific models. If your child is on the younger side, you might also want to consider a computer with a high-resolution screen. This will help protect their eyes if they’re sitting in front of it for long periods of time.
There are several computers that can help kids tackle online homework safely. When getting ready to make a decision, make sure you consider your budget. One affordable option is the Surface Go line. It’s inexpensive, but it also has a great design and enhanced performance.
You’ll also want to pick your parental control software. These types of software let parents block certain web content and applications, as well as limit their child’s screen time. A couple of well-known options are McAfee Total Protection and Qustodio Parental Control. Keep in mind though, that the software you choose needs to be compatible with your child’s computer.
While this tech device might not bring children much joy, it’ll give you peace of mind. Location trackers are a great way for parents to keep tabs on their children when they’re not together.
When you think of “location tracker,” you may imagine some sort of microchip. Don’t worry. Those are only in the movies. In reality, there are location trackers that can fasten to a child’s shirt, seatbelt, or even hair tie. The Jiobit is one such product made specifically with children in mind. It’s small and light, and it sends alerts.
After fastening it to your child, you’ll receive notifications based on their location. With live tracking, you’ll be able to see where your child is in real-time. The Jiobit even lets parents designate “safe places,” like school or home. Parents can then receive an alert when their child arrives and leaves.
Of course, modern conversations about hacking may make you a bit nervous. However, most of this tech is incredibly safe. The system is kept secure with government-level encryption at every touchpoint.
The options above are perfect for kids who need tech, and their parents who want the best for them. That said, it’s important to teach kids healthy tech habits to take with them into adulthood. After all, there will come a time when you won’t be able to monitor what your children do online. Thankfully, these items will help you and your children get off to a great start. With a couple instructional devices and safety tools, your kids will learn the ins-and-outs of being responsible tech users.