Circle with Disney is a pretty amazing tech tool for us parental units to manage and monitor our kids on screen time.
What can Circle do? It can
- set screen time limits (it actually can turn off a device’s access to WiFi!)
- track kids’ tech usage including websites and apps so that you can see it
- filter and/or block websites and apps either using the preprogramed age restrictions or manually entered by you
- anytime can turn off (and on) Wi-Fi
(P.S. My kids wanted me to point out the oh, so silly irony of a small cube being called a circle. Crazy, right?!)
Circle is easy to set up and use (my 14-year old did it in less than 10 minutes). It must be plugged in somewhere near your router and you can download a free app to control Circle from your phone. Here’s a short preview of what it does:
Circle with Disney is a device (a white cube) and app system for both iOS and Android platforms. It will help parents detect all devices in the household that use the Wi-Fi network. These include: smart phones, gaming systems, laptops, tablets, smart TVs, Kindles, etc.
You assign the devices to the appropriate child so you can keep track of their screen time on a daily basis.
From the app on your phone, you can manage everything on any of the devices.
(Circle with Disney app also recognizes guest devices and can apply a family’s home setting to visitors’ device and block ads from any device on the network.)
Parents, you can set time restrictions for each child. For example, I can set a time when my daughter can not use screen time and call it “Homework” so she’s off after school at 3 pm and back on at 6 pm. This is the time she should be doing homework.
You can also set a bedtime which will shut down access to Wi-Fi at the time you specify which means not just the internet but apps, gaming systems, and so forth.
I can also filter settings by age: pre-K, kid, teen, adult, or none. Within these presets, I can also block any of the platforms listed that I don’t want my kids to use. Below, I’ve selected the “kid” filter settings.
In addition, I can also block individual websites manually.
If my child tries to use a blocked app or website, they will get a message like this one:
Circle with Disney can also manage screen time rewards for your kids. So, if they’ve done a good job, you can reward them with no time limits, no off times, or no bedtime. Or not, but it’s always an option. 🙂
I really like that you can see your child’s screen time / internet usage. See the image below.
*The only thing not totally accurate is that she doesn’t even have a Facebook account so the less than 5 minutes is misleading since it’s zero.
To increase parental monitoring, you can subscribe to Circle Go. This allows parental monitoring and control of kids’ devices when they use Wi-Fi not in your home or cellular networks. (School, friend’s house, cellular network at home with phones.)
Download the Circle app for iOS or Android.
Buy Circle with Disney here.
Read PC Magazine’s list of all the parental control software options of 2017 including Circle with Disney HERE.
Disclosure: I was sent a free review sample of this product. This in no way affected my opinion of the product.