It’s time for your kids to get their first phone, but which one should you choose? Here’s how to pick the best phone for your kids to get started with.
“Mom I want a phone! All the other kids have one!”
Have you been asked that dreaded question yet?
Did you know on average, kids are getting their first phone at the age of 10. Whether you decide to stick to the average or not, at some point you will have to do the inevitable and buy a phone for your child.
It’s not an easy task deciding which is the best phone for kids. There are so many phones to choose from, and all have a variety of features. You also need to think about the price, the size, durability, internet access, parental control, possible safety measures and more!
But before your brain turns into mush, we have come up with a simple guide which will help you to pick the best phone based on your child’s age and needs.
So let’s get started!
Why Should You Buy a Phone For Your Kid?
The main reason parents buy a phone for their child is to give them a channel of communication when they are not together.
But if your kid just wants to play games or watch videos, you may be able to buy a device without cellular connectivity. This means they can connect to Wi-Fi and enjoy their device without paying for a SIM card.
When Should You Take The Plunge?
When should you take the plunge and buy a phone for your kids? It all depends on the child’s needs and age, but there are no set rules.
Mobile phones are powerful, helpful and extremely useful. But they are also expensive, risky and a huge distraction. Depending on the age and maturity of your child can help you to determine when is the right time to buy a phone for them.
But there are several phones that have been created just for kids, read on to find out more.
A Useful Age Guide
Kids that are age 8 and under may have reasons to need a phone. For example, if they have complex caregiving arrangements, or if they get lost in the playground.
But children that are this age can’t just be given a standard smartphone, as they may find themselves looking at some very bad things online, or being in contact with people they don’t know.
They need a simple device with restricted access. You can even purchase phones that can only dial a restricted set of numbers. It’s also a good idea to have some kind of GPS security measure where the phone can be found if lost.
Kids that are ages 9 to 13 can generally handle a bit more responsibility. They may need to use the phone to text their friends or keep in touch with you as they go around the local neighborhood.
Although they can handle something a bit more valuable, tweens still can’t be trusted with overly expensive items. Low-cost phones or used smartphones are a good choice. You can generally get good deals on older models too.
Teens aged 14 to 17 need phones that are much more advanced. But again, don’t go for something too costly. Teens can still be irresponsible.
The best phone for kids this age needs to have unbreakable screens and be waterproof.
Remember, kids this age are more self-conscious than ever, so you need to consider style as well as function when choosing a phone.
Saving Cash Without Compromising Style
As mentioned before, kids of all ages can be irresponsible. It’s not their fault, it’s all part of growing up. So you don’t want to be spending huge amounts of cash on something that can be easily broken, smashed, lost or dropped into water.
There are tons of phones available in a lower price range. Even though they’re cheaper they still have fun features and can look pretty cool.
But whichever phone you get, make sure to invest in a rugged phone case, to ensure those clumsy moments don’t waste your dosh!
But it’s not just about the phone, you also need the right accessories. Check out https://mobilemob.com.au for a variety of cool accessories to suit the phone you choose.
Picking The Right Service Plan
Whichever phone you decide on, you will need to choose a service plan.
The lowest cost option is a Wi-Fi only device. Without sim card, they can still make loads of calls and send messages through apps. But they can’t send standard text messages or make regular phone calls, which can be an issue if your child is waiting to be picked up from somewhere, or is lost.
There are many service providers that offer good deals. For example, you can share a data bucket with your child. Just make sure to put a limit on the amount of data they use before they leave you with nothing!
Many service providers even offer a free phone for a monthly data plan. Do your research and find the cheapest deal.
Important Safety Checks
Before you hand over the phone, make a deal with your child. Make it clear to them that you will check their phone periodically. You should regularly check for any inappropriate material, such as sexting, cyberbullying and any other dangers.
There are many apps or phone features that add parental controls to the device. For example, blocking purchases from play store or app store. Or blocking certain x rated websites or downloads.
You can even set “screen time” limits so that they can only use their phone for a certain amount of time per day. This will hopefully encourage them not to become addicted to technology and have their faces glued to their phone 24/7. They can then spend more time outdoors keeping fit and healthy.
If your kids are being sneaky and lying to you about who they are contacting or what they are doing, just take the phone away until they earn your trust again.
Choosing the Best Phone For Kids
As you can see, choosing the best phone for kids isn’t something you can do quickly. You need to take time to contemplate if your child is ready for the responsibility, and how much access you’re willing to give them.
We hope these tips will help you to make the right decision when choosing the best phone for kids.
For more great tips and advice on parenthood and other lifestyle hacks, check out our blog!