As a parent, you can hardly escape it. You are busy with your smartphone and tablet every day and your child wants that too! And admittedly, it is sometimes easy to calm your child by turning on a movie on your iPad. If they are a bit older, they can of course use the iPad independently. Start up a game yourself, look up fun videos or maybe even discover a bit of social media under the supervision of mom or dad. You obviously don’t want your child exposed to all the disadvantages of the internet. Fortunately, Apple has added several features to the iPad to make it a lot safer for children. In this article, we’ll tell you how to make your iPad more kid-friendly.
It is useful to mention in advance that the iPad is not the most convenient tablet to make child-friendly. An iPad is really a ‘single-user’ device and it is not possible to quickly click again on the right profile for dad, mom or the child. You really have to log out completely and log in again to switch users. Very cumbersome when you alternately use the same iPad. An Android tablet may therefore be much easier for the family. Bee android you can create profiles per user that you can easily switch between.
Create an Apple ID for your child
Everything starts with your child’s own Apple ID. Do you have to create an Apple ID for your child now? Isn’t that ridiculous? No, because if your child uses the iPad with your Apple ID, it means that your child also has access to all your personal information such as documents, photos, messages or maybe even your payment details. And without a filter on apps or the internet, the child can access everything. You will not be the first mother or father with a huge bill because the child has bought lives a little too enthusiastically in his or her favorite game. You can give your own account restrictions, but that is not convenient for you either. So just create an Apple ID for your child, so that we can immediately create a safe children’s environment. Children under the age of 16 cannot create an Apple ID themselves in the Netherlands, but the head of the household can. The Netherlands is therefore stricter than many other countries, where 13 years is the norm.
- Go to Settings’.
- Tap your name.
- Tap Family Sharing, then tap Add Family Member.
- Tap Create Account for Child, then tap Continue.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the account setup. You can use your child’s email address for his or her Apple ID. Make sure you enter the correct date of birth. You cannot change it later.
If you have never clicked on ‘Share with Family’ before, you will first see a number of information windows and you can quickly click on ‘Create a child account’. It may be annoying that you have to enter a payment method, such as credit card, debit card or via your telephone bill. However, you cannot escape it.
Once an Apple ID has been created for a child, you as a family head have full control over what a child is allowed to see, at what times the child can use the iPad, how much time per day the child can use the iPad and much more. You can even set times per app category, so this all goes pretty deep. To change all this, go to Settings and press Screen Time. Then choose the child’s Apple ID.
Set screen free time
Between what hours can the child use the iPad? You can set this in Screen free time. Go to Settings > Screen Time > Choose Child’s Profile > Device Free Time.
Select here the hours that the iPad may not be used, for example from 8 p.m. in the evening to 8 a.m. Also indicate whether the device should be blocked for the child and choose a daily schedule. With screen-free time, you set the hours between which the child can use the iPad. You can also indicate whether the child may ask the head of the family whether an exception may be made.
At App Limits you select how long apps can be used in a day. Again, go to Settings > Screen Time > Choose the child’s profile > App Limits. Unfortunately, you can’t choose specific apps here, but you choose categories. And it’s not always clear which app falls into which category. So you can also just check all apps and categories, but that may be too much of a good thing. Logical thinking often goes a long way. Do you specifically want to set a time limit on social media apps? Then tick the ‘Social’ category.
Another important point is the imposition of Restrictions. To do this, go to Settings > Screen Time > Choose the child’s profile > Restrictions. Here you can block unsuitable material. For example, choose access to iTunes and the App Store, which apps are allowed, and restrictions on explicit content. Can a child download, delete or make purchases independently? Which material can the child see exactly? This is perhaps one of the most important options for the created child account. Here you can set exactly what can and cannot be seen and done.
You can also set here whether a child may request permission. For example, does the child want to download TikTok? Then you as the head of the family will receive a message and you can give permission. For example, the child cannot install anything without the family head being aware of this.
Lock screen in an app
As you can read, it’s all quite a hassle on an iPad, especially since it’s a device that’s really meant for a single user. Constantly logging in and out between accounts is quite cumbersome. It’s not as easy as starting up your Netflix account and choosing the right user. Don’t you want all this now and do you still have a small child at home? Then it can also simply be enough to ‘lock’ the screen in a certain app. For example, the child can watch YouTube Kids or Netflix and there is no risk that the child can do anything else. To be able to start this you have to enable ‘Guided Access’ in Settings > Accessibility > Guided Access and switch on the switch. You can adjust some additional settings here if you want. Then go to your child’s favorite app and press the home button three times (for TouchID) or three times the power button (for FaceID). Guided access starts. The child can now watch continuous movies and operate nothing else on the device. Press the home button or power button again three times and enter your password to turn off guided access and the locked screen.