Kids use iPhones and iPads at earlier ages than ever. These days, they may even be attending school through an iPad or using apps to improve their math or literacy skills.
These devices can be engaging and fun for kids, and there is no doubt that they will keep a kid entertained. However, we all know the internet can be a dark place, and there are many things you wouldn’t want your child looking at.
You also don’t want your kid spending the whole day on their iPad or buying in-app purchases using your credit card.
This guide will help you set up a new iPad or iPhone for kids!
Setting Up an iPad or iPhone for Kids
Apple have created a built-in parental control app is called Screen Time. Screen time lets you restrict content, and limit the overall screen time your child can use, and more.
The best way to set up Screen Time is directly on the child’s device, so that you can customize it properly. Follow these steps to learn how.
1. Open the Settings app on your child’s device. Tap on Screen Time.
2. If this is your first time using Screen Time, tap on Continue. If not, tap on ‘Turn On Screen Time’.
3. Tap on ‘This is My Child’s iPhone’.
4. Here, you can set a Downtime schedule. This way, your child can only use the device at certain times of day. Your permission will be required for more screen time. Edit the Start and End of Down Time.
5. Next, you can set your child’s App Limits. This is the amount of time that your child can spend on certain categories of apps. For example, you could limit games to 30 minutes a day, or TikTok to 30 minutes a day.
6. You can set time limits for each individual app category or you can set a time limit for all apps. Scroll to the
bottom to edit the time limit.
7. Next up, set a Screen Time passcode. This will allow you to change setting or allow more time for your kids.
8. In the Screen Time section, tap on Content & Privacy Restrictions. Here, you can control what your kids can and cannot see and buy. You can block explicit content on iTunes, the App Store, and on websites.
That’s it. Screen Time is now set up. The Screen Time feature is actually fairly deep, with many individual settings that can be modified. Explore the feature further to customize your child’s parental controls.
Set Up Starter Apps
You may want to set up your child’s iOS device with a few child-friendly apps. Luckily there are thousands of apps for kids. Here are a few we recommend.
Khan Academy Kids
This app has hundreds of activities and features activities that are aligned with Common Core standards. It is designed to inspire learning in kids aged 2-8. There are no ads and no subscriptions, it is one of the only truly free apps for kids around.
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This app is designed for kids aged 5-10. MathTango makes learning addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division fun for kids – no really! It is an excellent app that is widely used and well-reviewed.
Your kids will progress through hundreds of math lessons and earn monsters, complete missions, built out their own worlds, and discover all sorts of surprises along the way.
According to the developers, kids actually learn faster with this app than in the classroom. Combining math puzzles, modern educational techniques, and classic videogame “world-building” makes for an immersive education experience.
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Hopscotch is designed for kids ages 10 and up to learn to code. The app uses games, art, stories, and more to teach kids coding basics.
Kids can also check out other kids projects. They can get inspired and be a part of a digital community of like-minded people. The app is fully moderated to be safe for children.
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External Parental Control Options
While Screen Time is a great way to use built-in features for parental controls, some parents may want more control or more flexibility. There are a variety of third-party parental control options to consider.
Net Nanny is a super popular parental control software that gives you a lot of flexibility when it comes to keeping your kids safe on the web.
You can use Net Nanny to set screen time management, to block certain website, to block certain apps, to block illicit content, set up an internet filter to keep them free from tracking, social media protection, and even location tracking and reports on online activity.
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Qustodio is another option for parental control software. It is also used by schools and businesses to monitor and control online activity.
All you have to do is install the app on the parents device and child’s device. You can then see detailed info on how your child is using the internet, and block activity that you feel is harmful.
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Final Thoughts on Setting Up iOS for Kids
Fostering a healthy relationship between technology and your children is important. Apple and these other companies strive to make that healthy relationship possible.
We recommend that you set up Screen Time – it can even be helpful for adults who want to control the amount of time they are spending on their phone. If you want more control, a third-party app may be the way to go.
Once you are comfortable with your parental controls, you can explore the world of children’s apps, and prepare to be amazed at all of the amazing options!