Nowadays, more and more children have their own smartphone. From what age a cell phone makes sense for children and which functions are important (and which are not) can be found here.
Many parents are critical of the topic, after all, children used to get along without a cell phone. Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that a smartphone can be useful – for example, when classes are canceled and the actual appointment has to be brought forward from school to be picked up. Or in an emergency, when a child needs help in a threatening situation. However, the question arises at what age it makes sense to purchase a smartphone since most children are under the constant supervision of their parents at a young age. Also, a smartphone has to be tailored to the needs of a child, as various dangers are lurking on the Internet.
According to current statistics, around 6% of 6-7 year old children and 33% of 8-9 year old children have their own smartphone. There are even 75% of 10-11 year old – but they are topped by 12- to 13-year-olds: 95% of them have an internet-enabled cell phone (as of 2019). However, this does not mean that you should orient yourself towards it, on the contrary. The general pedagogical recommendation is that children should not have their own smartphone before the age of 9. On the other hand, a kind of emergency cell phone that can be used for calls but cannot be used for surfing is legitimate.
According to the KIM study by the Media Education Research Association Southwest, three out of five children between the ages of eight and nine are online (as of 2018). The most frequently mentioned occupations of young Internet users include research using search engines (65 percent), sending WhatsApp messages (62 percent) and YouTube videos (56 percent). For this very reason, responsible use of the cell phone is extremely important for children – young students only develop an awareness of what is right and what is wrong as they get older. It is all the more important that you only give your offspring access to the Internet between the ages of nine and twelve. You can control this using the corresponding functions in the smartphone.
What characteristics should a children’s cell phone have?
You have to be clear about this: the younger the user, the more robust the handling of the mobile phone. Accordingly, the first phone for your offspring should be as resistant as possible to external influences – for example, with a shockproof cover and a screen protector. To keep an eye on the costs of phone calls and SMS, the purchase of a prepaid cell phone is very useful. Alternatively, there are also special tariffs for children, in which you can determine how many free minutes should be made available to the user. In any case, make sure that your child does not “accidentally” increase the costs, because (legally speaking) you have to pay for the bill at the end.
How much time on the smartphone is recommended for children?
Even though parents tend to stare at their cell phones all day, their children shouldn’t do the same. Because at the latest when you give them Internet access, the temptation is great to surf the net for several hours a day. Since pronounced bans unfortunately only increase the appeal, not to abide by the rules, you should make a clear agreement with your child.
In plain language, this means: Set a smartphone-free time for every day, for example if you have to do your homework. On the one hand, children learn how to use their smartphone responsibly, and on the other hand they reduce the risk that their children will become addicted to mobile phones. Depending on how old your child is, a maximum usage period of the smartphone of 30 minutes is recommended for seven to eight year olds and 45 minutes for eight to nine year olds etc.
What are the best Smartphones for Kids?
1. Nokia 3310
No products found.
The cell phone is a real classic: the phone conquered the digital market at the end of 2000 – and is still considered unbeatable in terms of battery life. Apart from that, the cell phone is extremely robust, if not “indestructible” (say loyal fans). In contrast to its predecessor, the new edition even has a color display and a 2 megapixel camera. And the best thing is: The Nokia 3310 has no internet access and is therefore ideal for children who should only be able to use the cell phone to write SMS or make phone calls.
2. Samsung E1200i
No products found.
The same applies to the Samsung E1200i, which your child cannot use to surf the Internet either. Here, too, the phone scores with its easy operation and long battery life. The model is also extremely robust and also has an SOS message function that can be used in an emergency. This makes the cell phone ideal for children when it is all about making a phone call or texting. With a low price, the Samsung E1200i is a good and solid entry-level model.
3. Cubot King Kong
No products found.
If you want to buy an internet-compatible cell phone for your child, the Cubot King Kong is recommended. The smartphone is waterproof, shockproof and dustproof – making it extremely robust against external influences. Due to its 4400mAh battery capacity, the phone lasts a long time, on top of that it has an integrated GPS module in case your child gets lost and can no longer find the way home. A little more expensive to buy than a classic cell phone, the Cubot Kingkong is still relatively cheap in comparison to other smartphones from Apple & Co.
4. VTech KidiBuzz
No products found.
According to the dealer, this cell phone is recommended for children between the ages of four and ten as a sensible alternative to the smartphone. It has the advantage that the messenger function only works if the phone can use WiFi – ideally, only at home or with friends. Besides, it has a rotating camera and child-friendly apps that should be educationally valuable. The biggest advantage, however, is that a child-safe web browser is preinstalled on the VTech KidiBuzz.
How do I protect my child from data misuse?
If you decide to give your child an internet-enabled smartphone, there are a few points you should consider before handing over your phone:
- If possible, set a PIN with which the cell phone must be unlocked – if your child loses the smartphone and gets into the hands of a stranger
- Clarify in advance your child which data they can and cannot store on their phones – the same applies to all social media platforms
- Define the apps that your child can use. There are a variety of child-friendly learning and gaming apps that are age-appropriate and can be useful in everyday life
- Prevent your child from buying apps independently to avoid cost traps
Last product update on 2022-09-29 | Source: Amazon Affiliate