Cell phones aren’t just for adults anymore. Cell phones exist for kids that are simple, sturdy and look like toys. Other phones look like regular cell phones, but have features that appeal to kids. Maybe most important though, these phones have features that appeal to parents.
Phones With Parent Appeal Parents everywhere have reasons to buy cell phones for their kids. Maybe your youngster has been begging you for a phone after seeing that all their friends have them. They might even make the case that they need one to stay in touch with you or contact you in an emergency. Parents imagine a big mess: huge phone bills and strange numbers on the phone. Yet, many parents are finding ways to get around steep phone bills and unnecessary conversations. Some companies make phones specifically designed for kids with features parents will love. Here are four popular types of cell phones for kids today with built-in features parents appreciate.
- Allows parents to set monthly spending limits for their children’s phones through the phone or the computer. Once a child reaches the limits, they are still allowed to make and receive calls to designated numbers and can still get through to 911. Parents are alerted once a child reaches their limits and may raise them.
- Parents can program the days and times during the week when children can use the phone and can track the location of the phone from their own phone or computer.
- Parents can also enter phone numbers that their children can never access.
- Using a parental pin, parents can add up to 20 numbers.
- The call screening feature on the phone rejects calls not stored in the Phone Book.
- Parents can visit MyTicTalk.com to set controls on the phone. Controls include entering phone numbers that can be called anytime, calling numbers that only can be called during permission-based times which parents set, selecting what times phones can ring, sending your child a reminder, and choosing which features to enable or disable.
- And what’s better than a phone that encourages learning? Kids can earn extra minute rewards on TicTalk phones for playing LeapFrog learning games on their phone.
- The phone comes with an optional Chaperon service, where parents can track the phone in real time on their own phone or computer.
- Parents can pay an additional charge to set boundaries for their child; for instance, if their kids leave a designated area, parents will get a text message sent to their phones.
A phone for kids is worthless though if your child won’t use it. Let’s take a look at each of the above phones and why your kids might like their features. Here’s more information on these phones specifically designed for kids.
Disney Mobile, a phone specifically designed for 10-15 year olds includes custom text messaging as well as preset text messaging choices such as “Can U Get A Ride?” Kids can connect to Radio Disney as well as download wallpaper, graphics, and ringtones from Disney. TicTalk phones allow kids to record their own ringtones and download photos. A calendar and to-do list are also available on the TicTalk phone.
But what good are lots of cool features if they are too complicated for your kids to use? Simplicity is particularly key on the Firefly and Verizon Migo phones, which are designed for younger children. The Firefly simplifies things with only five keys. The Verizon Migo, designed for kids between five and nine years old, has five speed dial buttons on the front that parents can program for their kids.
Service Plan Options Interested to know how much these phones cost? In most cases, the phones themselves are more expensive than regular cell phones.
- Customers sign contracts with Disney but the service is actually on Sprint’s network. Interested customers can visit DisneyMobile.com. The Disney service works with LG phones ($110 each) and Pantech phones ($60 each). Subscribers to the Disney service buy two or more phones. One person with the “parent” phone becomes the “family manager” and sets monthly spending allowances for the “child” phone by accessing the Family Center menu on the phone. The monthly family phone plan with two lines and 450 daytime minutes starts at $59.99.
- TicTalk phones can be purchased online at http://www.enfora.com
Rate plans are prepaid according to phone minutes. For example, $25 for 100 airtime minutes.
- A Firefly phone costs $79.99 and includes a travel charger, backpack clip, and 30 minutes of airtime. Firefly has a monthly package starting at $9.99 and a pay-as-you-go $.25 per minute package that requires a minimum of $25. Both can be cancelled at any time.
- The Verizon Migo phone costs about $120 and calling plans vary.
Parents should check out these phones and plans if considering a wireless device for their young children. Kids will probably find the phones easier to use than standard cell phones and parents have the control and peace of mind that they desire.