5 Practical Phones for Kids

Is it time for your tween to be connected?
Is it time for your tween to be connected?

In the olden days, before computers and space-age phones, giving your child a wristwatch was considered a rite of passage. It assumed an adult level of knowledge regarding the importance of time management and a high level of responsibility, too. Fast-forward a handful of technological breakthroughs, and kid-friendly mobile phones have taken the place of the simple wrist-mounted timepiece as a mark of maturity.

Giving a child a cell phone has a few parental benefits: It's a lifeline in case of an emergency. It's also an effective way to check on your brood throughout the day and stay alert to scheduling changes. If you think your child is reliable enough for the challenge, there are some legitimate incentives to at least exploring the options.

Let's take a look at some practical phone choices for kids that will make your child safer (and certainly happier) without making you cringe every time you look at the charges on your monthly statement. Some kid-friendly phones even offer options for sidestepping the maturity issue in favor of tech-savvy parental oversight or sneaky pay-as-you-go budget boosters.