Timer Apps to Limit Children’s Online Gaming

With summer comes the inevitable daily battle to get the kids off of their technology. While you probably shouldn’t prevent the kids from watching KLS videos like The Professions Song I Kls Official Video, you might want to limit the amount of time they spend on digital games.

Computer, television, iPhone – or in our house – the iPad, are constantly in use. The constant stimulation isn’t good for kids (in my opinion) and being indoors and anti-social is even worse – but getting the girls to turn off their iPads is akin to ripping out their toenails. We’re talking screaming, yelling, name calling and full-on-tantrums – by them AND by me.

During the school year I have an early bedtime and the morning school bell to scapegoat to, but summer means I have to be the bad guy and initiate the daily battle to save their melting brains.

I hate being the bad guy.

I hate fighting with them even more.

What I do love are external sources of authority that take the onus of “Mean Mom” off of me, and put it onto something else…

in this case – time lock apps that automatically shut off the iPad after a set amount of time.

YAAAAY!

I’ve found a few parental control tools available in the iTunes store – all with the same system, but ranging in price from free to about $3.

Limit kids playtime on iPad with these apps

TimeLock allows parents to set a daily usage time limit on their child’s iPod, iPhone or iPad. It automatically disables the device when that time limit is over and resets the timer every day. Once installed and set up, TimeLock is completely autonomous, which means your child will only be able to use the device for a set time each day without your intervention.

FEATURES:

? Set a daily time limit on any iDevice to limit how much time the device can be used each day.

? Your child can start and stop the timer at any time during the day so the time limit does not have to be used all at once.

? When the timer runs out, popups appear constantly to effectively stop your child using their device.

? The timer is reset automatically each day.

PARENTS CAN:

? Customise the daily time limit.

? Turn off TimeLock e.g. if the device is being used for homework or GPS navigation.

? Reset the day’s timer if the device is shared between two or more children.

? Create a 4 digit passcode to protect the parent options.

Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 8.31.10 PM

This app does not block access to specific apps, and does not prevent kids from using the device when time is up.
Kid Screen Time is designed to give parents a way to reward their kids for using less screen time, and to notify parents whenever their kids are using their devices.
For the best experience, we recommend setting a passcode lock on the device that your kid does not know. Then choose to be alerted when the kid has stopped using the device.

Too much screen time isn’t healthy for children.
Help your kids establish healthy device-usage habits!

**Set daily, weekly and weekend device-usage limits!
**Kids are rewarded for using less device time!
**Multiple kids supported!
**Text or Email alerts let parents know what is happening!

When device time runs out, kids are reminded that their time is up and that they should put down the device.

Email or Text alert messages can be sent to the parent when:
** Time is up
** App is no longer running
** Device is being used

When kids use less device time, they are rewarded!

Parents can use their password-protected login to view the amount of time their kids have used their device.

The app can detect when you are moving in a car, and allow unlimited device usage while traveling. Great for daily commutes or long trips!

**Multiple kids supported on a single device!
**Parents have a password!
**Set screen limits for Weekday and Weekend!
**Set Weekly limits!
**BONUS minutes for anytime use!
**Uses low-power motion sensing to optionally allow unlimited device usage in the car!

Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 8.32.24 PM

Most parents are concerned about the time their child spends playing games or watching video on the iDevice. And this concern is well grounded as too much screen time can increase child’s risk of becoming obese, make it harder to get the child to go to bed and fall asleep at night, increase the chance child will develop attention problems, anxiety, and depression.
Taking into account the necessity of limitation of your child’s screen time you can use Time Limit for Parents. You just need to:
Main settings:
1. Set the time limit your child can play on the iDevice, e.g. you might decide that half an hour per day is sufficient.

2. Set a secret Passcode and register E-mail address to send the passcode in case of forgetting.

3. Start the timer. Now you can let your child have the iDevice. During the usage of the iDevice the child can watch how much time is still left. When the timer ends, an alarm appears on the screen, stopping your child from playing anymore. From that moment on the alarm keeps appearing unless the device is given to you and the passcode is entered.

4. Enter your Passcode to stop the alarm.
Additional settings (optional):
1. Set the default time limit for each weekday, e.g. you can set 2 hours’ time limitation for Sundays as default.
2. Set sound for popup notification.
3. Set countdown alert time. It automatically informs the child how much time is left to block the iDevice.

Time Limit for Parents works with all games and apps. Stopping your child to play the game or use other applications of your device will never be the same again. Leave negotiations with your child to this smart application and soon it will become your best friend and your child’s time management nanny.

Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 8.33.09 PM

Now you can EFFECTIVELY manage your child’s daily usage!

PlayTime allows parents to set a daily usage time limit on their child’s iPod, iPhone or iPad. It disrupts the usage of the device when the time limit set by the parent is over and resets the timer every day.

FEATURES:

? Set a profile for multiple children!

? Set a daily time limit to see how much time the device was used each day.

? When the timer runs out, popups appear constantly to effectively stop your child using their device and disrupts their usage

? The timer is reset automatically each day.

PARENTS CAN:

? Reset the day’s timer if the device is shared between two or more children.

? Create a 4 digit passcode to protect the parent options.

? Create custom sounds and alert messages

~~~ Top Features ~~~
• No special configuration needed
• Multiple children’s profiles
• Simple interface
Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 8.34.09 PM

ScreenTimer is a simple app that allows you to set limits on the amount of time children use an iPhone or iPad. Set a time length, press start and pass it to you children. After the time expires, a series of audio, visual and on-screen notifications will discourage your children from using the device until you enter the correct passcode.

HOW DOES IT WORK?
——————————————-
After time elapses, the device will receive a series notifications alerting your child that their “Screen Time is up!”. These notification will continue, discouraging a child from using the device until the passcode is correctly entered. They will have to return the device to your to enter the passcode.

STARTING A SESSION
——————————————-
1. Drag your finger UP or DOWN across the numbers to set the time
2. Set the user by tapping on user names in the upper left of the screen. You will be prompted to add a user name before beginning the first run.
3. Press “Start”
4. Pass your iPhone or iPad to your child and let them use the phone any way you choose (e.g. apps, movies, music).
5. ScreenTimer runs in background and keeps track of how much time has expired.

MONITOR TIME REMAINING
——————————————-
You can get an approximation of how much time is remaining in the current session by switching to multi-tasking mode in iOS 7.
– Double-click the ‘Home’ button on the device to display recently used apps.
– ScreenTimer will show you the minutes remaining on the application screenshot.
– The background color changes to provide a visual cue to younger users who can not yet read or tell time. Green (over 5 minutes remaining), orange (less than 3 minutes), red (less than 1 minutes)

NOTIFICATION AND ALERTS
——————————————-
After your predetermined time, a series of alerts and notification will play alerting the child that their screen time is up.

– Continuous notifications will be presented on the device (similar to text messages). This will temporarily disrupt the child’s activity on the device. Notifications continue to fire even in they child taps ‘Cancel’. For best results (e.g. the most disruptive to the child), change the notification types to ‘Alert’ style using iOS’ Setting.app.
– A siren will sound

ENDING A SESSION
——————————————-
The notifications and siren will continue to fire until the correct passcode is entered;
1. Launch ScreenTimer. You can launch it directly from a notification by tapping on it.
2. Enter your passcode to stop all the notifications.

— USER MANAGEMENT
——————————————-
To assist with understanding and managing your children’s screen time, the application allows you to set up users so you can track different users on the save device.

I’ve tried the first app – TimeLock – and it works. The constant pop-ups make it frustrating for kids to continue playing. The downside is that when you close your iPad or shut it off, the timer doesn’t stop. Kids have to remember to manually stop the timer or all of their time will dwindle down even when they’re not playing. This leads to a whole new argument about “but I didn’t use all of my time!”.

With time and consistency, I’m sure they’d learn to pause the timer for breakfast – but I just thought I’d give you a warning ahead of time. I don’t see any indication as to whether the other apps work any differently, so keep that in mind when trying them out.

In addition to the apps listed above are more expensive versions of the same app – premium versions that offer even more features and benefits. PlayTime Timer has a paid version for $0.99 that I’d suggest might be worth the money. The “Lite” version has in-app purchases which can be tempting for a child that knows your passwords.

Finally, something to keep in mind is how to turn the timer/s on. Some reset automatically each day, so you don’t need to enter a passcode to start the device. This is particularly appealing if you have a “morning child” that gets up with the birds and entertaining themselves with the iPad is condoned if it buys Mommy and Daddy an extra hour of sleep.

Limit the time your kids spend online - timer apps

Have a great one!

Too funny

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2018-06-18T13:42:07-04:00July 2nd, 2015|GAMES / FUN, HEALTH/FITNESS, KIDS|0 Comments

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