Christmas is a really exciting time for children, with oodles of fun, food and festive cheer! In our increasingly digital world, it’s a time when Santa drops new gadgets into stockings. Whether it’s a phone or a tablet, by helping your child get started with their new device you can ensure that the time they spend on them is safe, productive and beneficial – not just mindless gaming!
Here are three tips to make sure that children get the best out of technology this Christmas.
1 – Parental controls are important
Internet safety is more important than ever, so making sure that your child can play freely without risk is a must. Before letting your child loose on a phone or tablet, remember that setting parental controls will ensure that their use of the technology is safe and sensible. Most devices offer parental controls within their settings, but if not, there are plenty of third party tools that you can use.
Within browser settings for the device, you’ll usually find an option to change your search engine to an option which filters out potentially harmful and explicit online content. Mobicip and Google SafeSearch are great alternatives here!
Setting boundaries on your child’s device will ensure that they are using their device securely, whilst building the groundwork for a healthy relationship with technology in the future.
2 – Screen time doesn’t have to be mindless
We often don’t think about how children are spending their digital time. They don’t have to spend this time tinkering aimlessly in games or getting their head stuck down a YouTube rabbit hole. Apps such as DoodleMaths and DoodleEnglish are built to give children the same fun experience of playing a game, whilst helping them build their confidence and ability as they go.
Educational apps keep children motivated while they learn, so think of DoodleMaths and DoodleEnglish in a similar way to hiding vegetables in a delicious tomato sauce – vital aspects of learning are weaved into the fun aspects of gameplay and the overall experience is an enjoyable one.
A DoodleMaths subscription makes a perfect accompanying gift for a new phone or tablet and until 6th January 2020 we’ve put together a very special DoodleMaths subscription offer – click here to find out more!
3 – Establish screen time rules
Screen time can be great, but it can be a good idea to set some boundaries around their usage. You could try setting certain areas of your living space as “no tech zones” – for example a rule that your child can’t use their device in the bedroom, so as to separate their sleeping routine from their device routine.
If you’d like to manage the amount of time that your child uses a device, most will let you create built-in app timers to ensure children don’t go square-eyed. Alternatively, third-party apps (which can be downloaded from your device’s app store) such as Screen Limit, Net Nanny, and SPACE can limit screen time within chosen apps (or across the whole device).
Our applications, DoodleMaths and DoodleEnglish, help children to develop a healthy routine with their devices, with a healthy usage feature where they are warned when they have reached their healthy usage limit for the day.
Remember, it’s good practice to explain to your children why you’re putting rules like these into place, so that they don’t think you’re being unfair!