Clothes hand-me-downs have been in practice since the existence of kids, and well, clothes. And while we’re all too familiar with clothing being passed down (whether we got hand-me-downs ourselves, or make our kids ‘recycle’ their clothes among siblings), a recent trend has emerged this Christmas season -- tech hand-me-downs.
With technology topping most kids’ Christmas lists, the practice of parents handing their technology down to kids after getting new gadgets for themselves is a great way for everyone to get that tech must-have item on their wish lists.
A recent study by PBS KIDS of parents with kids ages 2-10 found that nearly a quarter will be “handing down” their used gadgets (mostly computers and mobile devices). While the iPad tops the most coveted items on kids’ lists, I’m pretty sure most kids would be just fine with getting a used tablet as opposed to no gadget at all.
The step before the hand-me-down phase should be making sure that the phone or device is free and clear of anything that is not intended for a young audience, whether that’s bookmarked websites, emails, apps and the like.
As part of the survey and the passing down of technology, PBS offers the following tips for parents before switching ownership:
- Sweep it: All devices should be cleaned of any content including personal files, credit card information, etc. before handing down to kids. Parents should swipe all their browser “cookies” and perform an application sweep.
- Secure it: There are parental controls on most tech devices that can turn certain features on and off. Settings on the iPhone, for example, that can be restricted include explicit song titles, Internet browser, YouTube, iTunes and the camera.
- Set limits: As with any new toy, parents should set expectations and limitations with their kids when the device is handed down, and should encourage other forms of learning and play beyond the screen.
- Find the right apps for your child: A good app is the perfect combination of education and entertainment, and should be appropriate for your child’s age and stage of development.
- Avoid apps that try to sell: Apps labeled “lite” or “free” often attempt to make money by trying to sell virtual items while a child is playing a game, or link to another related app that requires payment to download. Select apps from trusted, reliable sources, and make sure that they are not trying to market to your child.
If you have a question for Screen Play or would like to submit a product for consideration, please contact LetsPlugIn@gmail.com.