Our technology goes with us everywhere nowadays. We bring our own devices to work, we have computers at our bedside, we mount our phones on our car dashboards, and we even bring mobile devices into the bathroom with us. Just about everyone has some gadget. Everyone, that is, except for children. Some parents have already started giving even younger kids phones, tablets, computers, and such devices, but there are obvious reasons why it’s not always a good idea to give gadgets, which tend to be on the more expensive side of the toy scale, to children.
Children break things. Children drop things. They throw things when they’re mad. They can be quite unpredictable. And you generally don’t put expensive things into unpredictable hands. What’s worse: If your kids don’t have their own devices, odds are they will try to get their mitts on yours from time to time. There’s really almost no winning.
Fortunately, there are more and more modern tech devices coming out that are aimed at kids’ demand for them. Since kids hopefully aren’t hyper-aware of branding and top-of-the-line technology, simpler devices that mock the ones grownups use can do the trick. Other gadgets that are closer to the real deal might be designed with child-friendly programming, parental restrictions, and high durability. Here are 6 products to buy for your kids, just in case you want a diversion to keep them from seeking out and breaking yours.
1. LG GizmoPal
They don’t come much simpler than this, but LG’s GizmoPal serves a very simple and clear purpose. Not only can it help your kid’s craving for a tech device, but it can actually be handy for a parent. With a single button for making a call to a pre-programmed line and GPS, the device has utilities to help keep kids safe. On Verizon’s website, it’s advertised as being durable and water resistant as well, so there’s not much worry that a kid will accidentally break it. Intentionally breaking it is another story. You can find them for sale here.
2. FiLIP 2
If your kid is a bit more fashion conscious or demands something a little bit higher functioning, there’s the FiLIP 2. It includes a screen to display the time and date, and to allow the kid to select from one of five pre-programmable contacts to call. Like the GizmoPal, it includes GPS and WiFi so you can easily locate your kid via the companion app. Thanks to the screen, it also will allow you to send text messages to your child. You can order one here.
3. CAT B15
Caterpillar makes construction equipment. If your kid had any Tonka trucks, odds are he or she is a bit familiar with Caterpillar. Construction workers operate in rough environments, so they need rough phones. To that end, Caterpillar went ahead and made the CAT B15 smartphone.
This is probably an option for the slightly older kids, who know the difference between a smartphone and a piece of plastic programmed to say “hello” or make barnyard noises when they press certain buttons. The CAT B15 is an actual Android smartphone, and it boasts hardware that should keep it from an untimely death at the hands of your children. Its case is dust resistant and can stand drops from almost 6 feet, as well as submersion in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes. To destroy it, your kid will likely have to be putting forth and actual effort. If the kid needs something slightly newer, there’s also the CAT S50, which has newer software, hardware, and 4G, has the same water and dust protection, but is a little less tolerant of falls. Buy it here.
4. Nabi 2
This 7-inch tablet runs Android, has WiFi and Bluetooth, includes a front-facing camera, and is wrapped around the edges in a thick rubber bumper. It comes with 8GB of storage and is expandable with a MicroSD card, so your kid can have more room for games on the device. The Nabi 2 doesn’t claim to be invincible, but if your kid isn’t too rough on it, the rubber bumper should do a decent job protecting it from accidental drops. It’s a much safer option than handing your kid a much more expensive iPad without a case to keep it safe. As an added bonus for parents, the Nabi 2 features an app that awards kids for doing the doing their chores and finishing their homework. Order one for your kids here.
5. Speck iGuy
In the event that you don’t feel like buying your kid their own device, but you also don’t feel like handing over your expensive and breakable device unprotected, there’s this. The Speck iGuy case is available for various iPad models, including iPad Mini.
This case not only makes your device look kid friendly, but makes your device physically kid friendly. Once again, it won’t be indestructible, but its EVA foam body has been military-grade drop tested, according to the manufacturer, so it should keep your device safe from the average drop. Hopefully, the anthropomorphic design will simply keep your kids from every thinking about dropping or throwing the device, as they may think of it as their little, iPad-faced friend. Buy one now.
6. Gameband + Minecraft
Supposing your kid wants to have a watch that looks like a lot of the activity-tracking smartwatches hitting the tech scene lately, Gameband has an interesting option. Although the Gameband + Minecraft isn’t technically a smartwatch — more of a digital watch with graphic LED display — it has the look. Where the device really shows off how kid friendly it is is in the inclusion of Minecraft installed on a USB 3.0 drive cleverly hidden in the watch. Kids just have to take it off and plug it into a computer to play the widely popular game. It’ll store their creations both on the device and in cloud storage. And if that wasn’t enough protection, it has a splash-proof exterior. Heck, if you’re an adult and like Minecraft, you might enjoy this as much as a kid.
Hopefully, as all our smart technology becomes even more ubiquitous, even more child-focused tech solutions will come to save the day and spare your wallet the cost of replacing a broken device. You can purchase one here.
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