How Do I Choose the Best Cell Phones for Kids?

Patti Kate

When choosing cell phones for kids, be sure the mobile phone you choose is user friendly and age appropriate. You also need to consider the cell phone plan and how much it will cost. Even if cost is not an issue for you, a smart phone with multiple features may be unnecessary and too complicated for a young child to operate. If the child requires nothing more than basic call and text features, choose a basic-feature phone. Before you decide, however, visit the mobile phone carrier of your choice and speak with a representative for advice.

Some text harassers send hundreds of messages per day, while others opt to send verbally abusive messages.
Some text harassers send hundreds of messages per day, while others opt to send verbally abusive messages.

Basically, there are two options when choosing cell phones for kids. You can choose a no-contract phone, or one that will require a contract to operate. The contracts are generally one- or two-year plans. If you already have a cell phone plan, you might be able to receive a special rate for a family plan that includes two or more family members.

The number of different cell phone options can be overwhelming.
The number of different cell phone options can be overwhelming.

The advantage of a contract phone is a discount pricing. Also, you might find more of a selection for contract phones than on the pay-as-you-go, no-contract cell phone. Conversely, if your child simply needs an inexpensive cell phone without the obligation of contract or costly monthly plans, you should consider the no-contract phone. Some no-contract phones may require a plan, while others let you refill minutes with a phone card or credit card.

Deciding whether or not to monitor your child's data usage is an important aspect of choosing a cell phone for your child.
Deciding whether or not to monitor your child's data usage is an important aspect of choosing a cell phone for your child.

As you contemplate your options for cell phones for kids, consider the available data plans, which often limit usage and include fees if you go over your limit. Unless the child is extremely careful and responsible, he could inadvertently go over the limit on data usage, which could amount to exorbitant costs. If you choose a multi-media cell phone with limited data usage, you can ask your cell phone carrier to block all data on your child's phone, so there's no need to constantly monitor his usage.

There are a few other important things to consider before deciding which cell phone is right for your child. When choosing a cell phone for very young or pre-teen children, be sure it has a speed-dial function so your child can easily dial you without having to fumble through settings or pages. Another good idea is to choose a cell phone with a rugged exterior for durability. Also, cell phones for kids should be equipped with a protective case, so be sure there are phone cases available for the mobile phone you're considering.

Money can be saved on smartphone data plans by taking advantage of free public wi-fi.
Money can be saved on smartphone data plans by taking advantage of free public wi-fi.

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Discussion Comments

CookieMonsta

A fairly popular phone for very young children is the Firefly phone. They offer durable, cute phones for young boys and girls, and their plans start at $10.

It is important to consider this sort of cell phone plan for kids, since children are probably not going to use the phone minutes excessively. A cheaper, lower minutes or texts plan would also be good for children who are only to use the phone in an emergency or to call for a ride.

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