With the rising of technology in the past few years, tablets are almost impossible not to think about in society. Tablets these days have the same aspects as computers and laptops, but they have a much easier use because of their size and the use of a touch screen.
Hospitals, schools and companies: the tablets are used everywhere, for instance to keep up administration, to learn and even to keep an eye on financial situations. Almost every household has a tablet, if not multiple. Because of the tablet being used so much these days, it is logical for kids to be in contact with these devices as well.
Parents don’t usually care for this idea, mainly because they can’t really keep an eye on what their child does on the tablet. The fear exists that kids will see things the parents don’t want them to see. This is totally reasonable. Although there is lots you can do these days, because most tablets have different options to make a tablet “child safe”.
How do I make my tablet child safe/ kid friendly?
To help you make sure your child is safe while using your tablet, we will give you some simple tips.
To make your tablet child safe and kid friendly, you can use these 10 options.
- Protect the App Store
- Install a special internet browser
- Make a special kids account on the tablet
- Protect your tablet with a tablet cover
- Make YouTube kid safe
- Buy a special kids tablet
- Download a “kid zone” app
- Buy a screen protector
- Use the “hold screen” option
- Put a password on your tablet
I will explain how to put these steps in to action more precisely down below.
Tip 1: Protect the app store
It does not matter if you have an Apple, Android or Windows tablet; every operational system has an app store in which you can download fun and handy applications for your tablet. The danger with this is that you child can download whatever it wants, even if you as a parent wouldn’t want them to. It also happens that a child will be able to buy apps from the app store without him/her noticing.
As a parent you also won’t notice until it’s too late, or until you get a big bill sent to your home. Thankfully this is very easy to prevent. Each app store is different, so we will talk about each app store separately and explain how you can prevent these things from happening.
If you have an Android, it is easy to protect the Google Play Store. Open the Play Store app and open settings. Search for the option “content filter”, here you can choose what can and can’t be downloaded on your tablet.
If you have an Apple tablet, it is just as easy to protect your App Store. You can do this by opening the settings. You press general and scroll down to where you see “limitations”. Click this and choose “apply limitations” or something similar.
After you have done this, you can easily turn off sliders like “install apps” and “buy from the app”. Do this to be sure you won’t be surprised.
Tip 2: Install a special internet browser
As a parent you might think that the internet browser is the most dangerous zone for your child. In this app your child can look up whatever it wants, the internet won’t know any limitations. However, luckily it is very easy to limit your Childs access to the internet.
All you have to do is download a child safe internet browser. For Android tablets we recommend the “safe browser” app from the Google Play Store.
Download the app on your tablet, this will able you to do things like put a password on the internet and block certain websites on the tablet.
This way you can be sure your child will be on a safe internet browser.
If you are the owner of an Apple tablet, we recommend the “MetaCert Browser” app. This app automatically blocks more than 700 million inappropriate websites and also filters images and videos.
As a parent you will also be able through these apps to watch exactly what your child is doing on the internet. Very safe indeed!
Tip 3: Make a special kids account
Another handy tip is to make a special kids account on your tablet. At this moment it’s only possible to do this on an Android tablet with an Android version higher than Android 4.3. So if you are an Apple user its best to skip this tip.
The good thing about having a kid’s account on your tablet is that you as a parent can choose exactly which apps your child can and cannot use, what your child can and cannot look up and so on. This will save you a lot of time because it’s faster than downloading all these “child protection apps”.
The safest way is of course to make a special kids account and to download only child safe apps. This way you can be sure that you child will be safe while using his/her tablet.
A special kid’s account is super easy to make. Start by going to settings on your regular account. Click “users” and press “add user”.
You’ll be seeing two options: user or limited profile. Choose “limited profile”. After this you will see a long list of which you can choose which apps your child will be able to access. Use care while choosing these apps to be sure your child won’t be able to do unusual stuff on the tablet.
Click continue and you are done making the special kids account. To switch to this account simply close the screen and press the logo in the right top corner of the screen. There you can choose to use the newly made limited profile. Now your tablet it all ready to be used by your child!
Tip 4: Protect your tablet with a tablet cover.
This tip won’t prevent your child to see or do something inappropriate on the tablet. However this tip is still very important to be sure your tablet won’t break after a couple weeks of using it. A tablet cover will prevent the tablet from breaking when being dumped.
The amount of times I’ve heard about kids accidentally tossing their glass of lemonade all over the new tablet, the kids dropping the tablet or anything similar is beyond counting.
It’s a shame, because these things are easy to prevent and you can hardly blame your child for these sort of things. They are still kids and will be clumsy every now and then.
There are a lot of great tablet covers available for regular prizes. A lot of tablet covers will fold in a certain way to make the tablet stand upright. A lot of people find this very handy.
Let’s look for example at the “Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 Book Cover”. This tablet cover offers a whole hype of different options for a reasonable price. Just make sure when buying a tablet cover that you buy the one that has the right size for your tablet. Our tip would be to quickly Google “your tablets name + cover”.
This way you can be sure that you are buying a cover that is suitable for your tablet. We wrote a whole article about tablet covers that can be handy in this case!
Tip 5: Make YouTube kid safe.
An average of 1 to 2 kids will watch YouTube videos daily.
YouTube is crazy popular and will just keep growing. There is a big chance your child will be watching YouTube videos on your tablet. But how do you know that he/she won’t be watching anything weird or inappropriate? YouTube now has a suitable solution to this problem; Safety Mode.
The safety mode that YouTube uses is pretty simple and uses information collected from the database from YouTube and the opinions of all YouTube users to filter out videos on YouTube. This system however is very new to YouTube so it is not without flaws. It will however make sure that your child will not be recommended any video’s containing violence for instance.
The safety mode is easily turned on in a few easy steps. You start by opening the YouTube app or opening the website on your tablets browser. First, log in to the YouTube account that you want to make safe.
Scroll all the way down and go to settings. Click on “safety”. Now it will give you the option to turn on the safety mode. Click this to make YouTube a bit safer.
If you let someone else use YouTube later on, you only have to log out of that YouTube account and log in to their own account. Pretty simple I’d say.
It is nice to know that at the moment, Google is working on a special YouTube app that is specially made for kids. This app will be called YouTube Kids and will contain tons of different options for parents to choose what kind of videos their child will be able to watch.
This app may already be available in your country, so be sure to look it up in the Google Play Store!
The special YouTube kids app will have options like “kids profile, blocking search options and viewing history”, this will only make the app safer for your child. Like I said, the app might be available in your country, but it will still be in a test phase.
For more information on YouTube kids, you could go to kids.youtube.com. We also wrote an article about kids tablet and the YouTube app.
Tip 6: Buy a special Kids tablet.
Maybe you think all the things you have to do to make your tablet child safe is very complicated and you would like for these things to already be installed. With the making of the kids tablet this is actually possible. A kids tablet is pretty much the same as a regular one. The kids tablet usually runs an Android operating system and is optimalised for children.
As parents it is super simple to apply settings to a kids tablet about what they can and cannot do. However, this is not mandatory, for the tablet already comes installed being kids safe. This is why a kids tablet is very handy when you are unsure if you are handy enough to put in all these safety options yourself. But where do you buy a kids tablet and which one do we recommend?
A kids tablet is very easily available on amazon.com or at best buy, target and even walmart. There are kids tablets available for not too high of a price. The average price for a kids tablet is between 50 and 400 dollars. However, a higher price does not necessarily means that the tablet is better than a low price tablet.
We recommend a fairly cheap model: the Kurio Tab 2. This is one of the few tabs that have the child safety features and all the kid related internet features-at the same time it serves as a great android tablet. It has a very decent look and comes with a factory bumper case – which is rather streamlined and this makes it look sleek. This tablet is on the market for around 80 pounds.
Tip 7: Download a Kid zone app
Another great tip that can help making a tablet child safe is to download a special “kid zone” app. As soon as you download one of those apps, the tablet will switch over to a completely new safe environment that only contains material and apps that are appropriate for children, this often also contains apps that are very educational. You can think of this as a zone that has educational games, fun stories and funny videos for kids.
A good kid zone app that we recommend is the app called “Kids Mode” made by Samsung. Download the app in the Play Store or App store and open the app. You will automatically be directed to a virtual safe playground for hours of entertainment for the kids. The environment has friendly 3D figures. The child can click on these figures, the figure will take the kid to a game arena to play lots of fun and educational games.
Sadly, these apps are not available for the Ipad, it is limited to Android tablets only. Although the Ipad has lots of available apps to download as well.
Tip 8: Buy a screen protector
Another maybe smaller tip we can give you is to buy a so called screen protector for your tablet. This is a see through stick on piece of plastic or glass that you put on top of your tablets touch screen to protect it from scratches. Buy this together with a tablet cover and your whole tablet will be almost completely safe from accidents! Just like you do with buying a tablet cover, it is also important to watch for the size when looking for a screen protector.
Especially with screen protectors it’s important to get the right size. If you buy a size too small it will not cover the whole screen, but if you buy a size too big it won’t fit at all. This will still make for scratches to appear on the screen. A good quality screen protector will cost anywhere from 10 to 30 dollars and is easily available at amazon.com. In total protecting your tablet will cost you around 50 to 60 dollars, but believe me when I say it is definitely worth protecting your Childs tablet, this way you won’t have to jump at every bump it makes because it will have protection around it.
Tip 8: Use the “hold screen” option
It may so often happen that you as a parent is still working away on your tablet when your child asks if it may play a quick game on the device. You might be almost done so it wouldn’t be a problem, you just want to make sure your kid doesn’t accidentally edit or delete any of you work documents. How can you give you child access to the tablet for a quick game without making a whole new profile and everything?
This is possible thanks to the option called “hold screen”. It might be important to know that this option is only available to Android tablets that contain an Android version of Lollipop 5.0 or higher. If you have an Apple or Windows tablet this might not be an option for you. On your Android device, go to settings and type in the search bar “hold screen”. Click on this and it will tell you exactly how to get this option set up. Now your child can play a quick game and you can be assured he/she is not able to reach your work documents.
Also check out our post on the best tablets for toddlers
Tip 10: Put a password on your tablet
Maybe the best tip out there is to simply put a password on your tablet, one that your child doesn’t know and can’t guess. If you don’t have this it is highly likely for your child to just grab the tablet whenever he/she pleases. Without a password, when your kid has the tablet in hand, he/she can access the whole tablet without you knowing. By putting a password on your tablet, this will not happen.
Because of this, your child will have to ask a parent or adult to unlock the tablet itself. This way you can be sure of knowing when your child has access to the tablet. This is the best solution because you can easily know when he/she wants to play on the tablet, plus you get to sit next to your son/daughter and watch them play and explore.
Since you might be sitting next to or close to your child when he/she is playing on the tablet. You might be able to give your kid some tips on how to work the tablet and together explore new fun and educational games for them to play. This way your child will learn from you how these devices work, later this might make the step to for instance a smart phone a bit easier.
A password is very simply put on any tablet or device. For an Apple IPad you can put the password in by going to settings and selecting “touch ID and code”. On an Android device you can make this change by going to settings and pressing “safety” and continuing on to “screen lock”. You can choose if you want to put in a pattern, word or number code as a password. We recommend a letter word password because it is not as easy to guess for children.
The fear that some parents might feel when they think of children exploring inappropriate stuff on a tablet is not necessarily bad, but it is something you shouldn’t worry about too much. Of course caution is always good when using a device that is connected to the internet, but by following our tips you might find it easier to rest when your child is playing on their tablet. It might take a small investment for a tablet cover and screen protector, or even a special kids tablet. But putting in the settings to make the tablet child safe are completely free.
Putting a password on the tablet, downloading a special kids app or making a kids profile, there are plenty of options to let your child explore at their hearts desire on the tablet without the parents having to worry. We wish you good luck with all these tips and if there are any that we might have missed, or tips that you yourself find very handy, please leave them for us in the comments!
Also read: 9 tips to make your tablet child friendly