An Android tablet is often better to make child-friendly than an iPad. This is because it is easy to create different profiles on an Android tablet that you can quickly switch between. You can also keep a close eye on your children with the Google Family Link app. In this article we will look at the different options for making an Android tablet child-friendly. Since there are so many different manufacturers, all with a slightly different software shell over Android, the steps mentioned in this article may be slightly different than on your tablet. However, the basics are the same, so you will quickly find the right steps.
Lock your tablet
A tablet and a smartphone always have a great attraction for children. They see mom and dad constantly working with those mobile devices, so of course they want that too. Do you really not want this because the child is still much too small, for example? Then make sure you have a good lock. In that case, the child will in any case not be able to unlock the tablet. You can set this in Settings > Security or a variation of this. Thanks to software shells from manufacturers, a different name can be used or functions are located in a different place, this also depends on the version of Android used. You can often choose from a password consisting of numbers, a pattern, facial recognition or a fingerprint.
Can your child also use your tablet? Then a sturdy cover is nice, because that tablet will undoubtedly fall. In addition, it is of course nice that a child-friendly environment is shown on the tablet, where the child cannot accidentally make purchases and where the child is not exposed to unwanted content. You have several ways to accomplish this on an Android tablet.
Create a new profile
You can of course give an old tablet to your children, but often there is a family tablet that can be used by everyone. Fortunately, you can create multiple profiles, so that each family member has their own environment with their own apps and associated restrictions on the tablet. Creating a new profile can vary quite a bit by manufacturer, so we’ll give you a few options where you can find creating a new profile. Look at Settings > Accounts, Users (or a variant of this) if you can set up a new user on the tablet or open the shortcut menu by swiping down from the top of the screen. Do you see a user? Often it is an image of a doll. Press this and you can add a user. Both options lead to the same screen where you can create a new profile on your Android tablet.
Once you have clicked on create a new profile for a new user, you have several options. You can create a completely new user with your own apps and content, but also set up a restricted profile that restricts access to apps and content from your account. For a child, the latter option is often sufficient. With a limited profile, you do not have to create a Google account for the child. This is necessary if you choose a completely new user. In most cases, however, the limited profile is more than sufficient, because you can simply set per app whether the child has access to it. No access? Then the app is not on the child’s profile at all, so accidentally YouTube or Netflix is really not possible. You can also easily block the Google Play Store, so any purchases are really not possible. Does your child want a certain app? Then you can install it on your account and you give permission or not via the settings for the child account. However, the further possibilities stop here. Do you want to be able to exercise more control? Then it is important to really create a new user.
New user and the Google Family Link app
Just like making an iPad kid-friendly, where you need to create an Apple ID for your kid, Android also requires you to create a Google account for your kid. Exaggerated in our opinion, but you can’t escape it when you want to set parental controls such as screen time limits. The new child account is linked to the parent’s account. Creating the new account is not difficult, but it does take some time. Create a Google account for a child via the New User option, link it to your own account and start selecting what the child can and cannot do. You will be prompted to use the Google Family Link app during account creation.
The Google Family Link app is your portal as a parent to set up the tablet for your child. You can set here, among other things, which content may be viewed or whether apps or other purchases may be made. You can see how often and for how long apps are used by the child. And is it time to play, do homework or sleep? You can just remotely lock the device using the Google Family Link app.
While the Family Link app works well, it can be a bit of a mess at times. Google also appears to have opted for large blocks for parents, so that you sometimes lose the overview. You can manage options for content and possibly adjust this per age category, so that the child can download apps or watch videos for 3-year-olds, but not for 6-year-olds, for example. You can also set access for the location. You can then always see where the child’s tablet (or smartphone) is. You can set per app what the rights are and whether the child has access to them. Every day you get an overview of the screen time of the child and you can also set limits or bedtime, after which the tablet can no longer be used after a certain time. You can also set approval requests where you as a parent must give permission to download certain apps. Google gives you a lot of options for content restrictions for the child, but it sometimes takes a while to figure out how it works.
Google has its own environment called Kids Space for children, but unfortunately this is not available for every brand of tablet. The tablets from Lenovo and Nokia, among others, do. And that makes these brands ideally suited for children. It is an educational environment where (small) children can learn while playing through games and videos and it can be used via the Family Link app for parents. A list of supported tablets for Google Kids Space can be found on the Google support website.
Does the tablet start and the child profile is started? The child will then immediately see their own Kids Space environment where the child can create their own avatar. Here you will find many educational games and videos, but the child can also access YouTube Kids and other apps. It is also not possible for the child to turn off Kids Space and, for example, to go to the regular interface of the tablet, so there is no need to be afraid of purchases or 18+ content via the Chrome browser. The child cannot reach it at all.