Mobile phones. The bane of parents around the world.

Most parents end up handing kids their old iPhone or Galaxy. But herein may lay the problem. By giving kids what we are used to, we may dump kids into a world of too many choices, too much temptations, too many dangers and too many features before they’ve developed the mindset, digital literacy skills and willpower needed to use mobile phones responsibly.

Here’s a partial list of phones which were designed specifically for kids or phones which have stripped down design and functionality which may suit kids who are just starting to use phones.

Troomi: “With a mission to help children learn, do and become anything through a safe, balanced relationship with technology, Troomi is the smartest way to introduce phones to kids. Our KidSmart OS™ empowers children by protecting them from pornography, predators, bullies and screen addiction while providing tools to excel in school and opportunities to enjoy their hobbies, nurture their talents and discover new passions.”

Gabb: “Gabb Wireless is equipping families with products that keep kids safe while still connecting them to friends and family. This results in freeing up time to experience the world in a positive way.”

VTech KidiBuzz 3: “Message parent-approved contacts, capture and share photos using the new MagLens, play games and more! Built-in safeguards provide peace of mind. Connect with approved contacts to send texts, photos and video clips over Wi-Fi to other KidiBuzz™ devices and iPhone or Android smartphones with the free KidiCom Chat™ app. Take close-up photos and videos with the MagLens on the 5 MP camera, then add live face filters and frames to photos and video clips. Explore kid-friendly websites and 40+ interactive learning games that teach math, science and spelling.”

Xplora Go Clip: “Xplora was founded with the mission of giving children a safe onboarding to digital life and encouraging a better balance between screen time and physical activity. Xplora’s broad portfolio of connected products and services allows people to connect their loved ones, and children to experience how their everyday activities can make a positive change in the world. Xplora’s critically-acclaimed products are trusted by kids worldwide, while the Goplay Services are made available for millions of kids worldwide through third parties and partners. Recently, the company collaborated with Sony Interactive Entertainment to get kids playing outdoors more via integration with the Goplay Services.

Jitterbug Flip 2: Originally designed for seniors, more and more parents are purchasing it for their children. “he easy-to-use Jitterbug Flip2 has big buttons, a large screen and a powerful speaker, so you’ll enjoy staying connected to family and friends. With the Urgent Response button right on the keypad, you have access to the Lively Response Team, so you can get the help you need in emergencies big or small. You can also speak to a board-certified doctor or registered nurse anytime, day or night.”

Nokia 105: Not specifically designed for kids but a sturdy, simplistic phone without a screen. “Nokia 105 features a solid, modern design that fits perfectly in your hand, while the inherent color minimizes the visibility of scratches. Listen to news, sports and entertainment on the go with the wireless FM radio – without a headset. It also comes with pre-loaded games, including Snake, to keep you entertained, and the long-lasting battery life means that you can talk for hours.”

Blog photo by Vanessa Loring