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Hardware & Software

Wanna have: When is a good time for which device?

Some let their children use tablets before they learn to walk. Others would prefer it if even teenagers did without their own device altogether. Many parents are unsure at what age to allow children which device. A few rough guidelines can help with the decision:

  • Baby age up to two years
    The very youngest children usually find the flashing of smartphones and the like quite exciting. But their brains are not yet mature enough to cope with such devices themselves. That's why most experts recommend keeping children of this age away from them altogether.
  • From the age of two to three
    Even now, the devices used by older siblings and adults are still too much of a challenge. It is different with educational computers specifically for kindergarten children. Entry-level tablets in particular can be helpful for practicing the use of technology. Touchscreens can be operated without accidents even if little hands slip off in between. Simple symbols and child-friendly content, for example about animals or colours, make it easy for children to gain their first sense of achievement as future computer cracks.
  • From primary school age
    Those who are learning to read and no longer have problems hitting the right keys can slowly get used to the devices for grown-ups. For example, many parents set up an individual profile for their children at this age on laptops they no longer use themselves. This is often quite sufficient to prepare the first presentations for school. But more and more schools are also giving kids special tablets to take home for this purpose.
    Pippa, your best friend, already has her own smartphone with Internet access? It's still a bit too early for that: primary school children often find it difficult to limit surfing on the net to a sensible level by themselves. One alternative is specific children's mobile phones, which can be used to go online briefly at most and not to buy anything. They are easy to use, and parents can also see where their children are any given time.
  • From the age of ten
    By the time they start secondary school, at the latest, hardly any family can do without a smartphone for their kids. The basic rule is that anyone who can operate a simple mobile phone, has already gained a little experience with the Internet, and is reasonably confident with a tablet or computer is ready for a smartphone. However, functions such as Bluetooth, which can sometimes lead to accidentally sending data to others, are best left switched off. Now is also the right time to get an own laptop. If the children are to use it for school, too, a camera, mouse, screen, and a proper keyboard are particularly important.