Nicole’s Nook: Limiting Your Child’s iPad Time
March 24, 2014
The iPad can be useful, educational and, of course, entertaining. Sometimes it is so entertaining that some children have a hard time quitting an app or moving onto something else. Obviously, this can be a detriment to productivity, but luckily the iPad comes equipped with some practical functions to help address this common problem.
Before allowing your child to start playing an app, you can set a locked timer. A locked timer allows you to choose the amount of time you would like your child to have for a specific iPad activity. Once the time is up, the screen becomes locked and can only be unlocked with a passcode. For directions, see below:
Setting a Locked Timer
To set a passcode lock
- Go to settings > general > passcode
- Choose lock
- Turn passcode to on
- Set a passcode
To set a timer
- Open the clock app that comes standard with the iPad
- Tap the timer tab at the bottom of the screen
- Set the timer for the amount of time you would like your child to have
- Select the timer alarm button located below the timer circle
- Scroll to the bottom and select stop playing
- Select set
- Select start
Now open the app you want your child to use. When the time is up, the iPad will automatically lock the screen until the passcode is entered.
Another option is to use Siri to set the timer. As long as you have the alarm set to “stop playing”, all you have to do is tell Siri the amount of time for which you would like the timer set. Once time is up, the iPad will automatically lock the screen until the passcode is entered.
These settings can really make a difference in helping your child use the iPad productively. It can help those children who have difficulty transitioning from one activity to another or those children who have trouble giving up the iPad or a specific app.
It may also be helpful to have a visual timer of some sort nearby to provide some predictability and anticipation that the app is only available for a limited time.
Nicole Weckherlin, OTR/L