I got this idea when I switched phone and my kids were playing with it,
This idea is somewhat a recent one, but has been there since the internet was the internet and there are multiple layers to it.
- Protecting your child from harmful content:
- Controlling what kind of content your kids have access
- Limiting your kid device time and when they have access to it
- Re-purposing your old device
Protecting your child from harmful content:
This has been a problem since the dawn of the internet, they are nasty pictures we want to hide from our kids’ uncorrupted eyes. There have been numerous ways to do it with net nanny in the 90s to this magnificent list, nowadays that do more than just block harmful content. In the past, I used a router that could you could set a black list of websites you want to block and you could even block keywords. It wasn’t perfect, it sometimes blocked sites that shouldn’t be blocked.
Controlling what kind of content your kids have access
This is the hardest one because most apps are to click away from harmful content. YouTube in particular was notoriously bad at this, it’s algorithm was recommending adult parody cartoons after watching genuine kids content, it is somewhat better now and YouTube kids kind of address the issues. But YouTube kids have other issues like preferring content in english even though the last video was in french, it doesn’t have access to all the kids content even if the channel my kids want to watch label has kids content. I could probably make a post on how bad YouTube is and how YouTube doesn’t allow kid friendly features like no recommendation at the end, only recommendations from specific channels I choose, etc.
Limiting your kid device time and when they have access to it
We currently have a solution with this one by using our internet provider using xFi Gateways. It allows you to group devices for a profile where a profile is either a person or purpose (work, education).
You can then put a limited amount of time for each profile to access the internet and block the internet for a certain period of the day in the week. This is great! It allowed me to block internet in the morning preventing the kids from watching dumb YouTube show. You can even set the amount of allowed time and I can differ between the weekdays and the weekend.
However, it doesn’t limit the amount of time on the device, so any game that doesn’t require an internet connection to be played can be played and there is nothing you can do except either removing the device or taking the phone or device away.
Repurposing your old device
Like old computers, these old phones cost a lot when we bought them and it breaks my heart to give them back for nothing or close to nothing. Nonetheless, at some point usually the screen break, you run out of space, the battery last only one hour, your charging port is broken or your phone is no longer updated and can’t support the lasted version of your app (thanks Apple)
My old phone has an IR blaster (not sure if it the right name) that can be used as a remote control for anything that use IR has long you have the apps for it, so I keep it for that.
An old iPad mini that can’t run Netflix anymore because apple won’t let us update it, it’s now uses for Skype (yes that still a thing when your parents don’t want to be on FB or iPhone) and watch YouTube kids, which has a built-in timer. I’ve read that some people like to use their old device for beermoney site since some have per device reward, but the rewards per time are so low so I’m not sure it’s worth the time.