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Motherhood in this day is a completely different game in this age than it was for our parents. So much has changed, from education to nutrition and the role technology plays in the daily life of our families.
It seems like keeping up with technology has become a job on its own. We have to set limits, monitor and educate our kids about acceptable online behavior. Then there is the worry that we face, what are our kids doing online? It seems like our kids can operate tablets and remote controls, laptops, and cellphones before they can walk and talk. A parent almost needs an assistant to keep up with the online activities of their families!
Since the kids are out of school for the summer, it only seems that screen time has increased more so than ever. I’m guilty as well. I’m always within reach of my iPad or cell phone either checking emails, scrolling Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram, and streaming Netflix or Hulu for our favorite shows, all the time. I needed to find a way to limit our daily intake of screen time and monitor what the kids are doing without having to stay on top of them constantly.
So I was pretty excited to receive the Circle with Disney device to review from Best Buy. Circle with Disney is a device that helps parents manage screen time, filter content, and are able to monitor what the kids are doing while they are on their devices.
Circle with Disney is exactly what my family needed to make tech less stressful in our daily lives! Let me tell you about Circle with Disney and Circle Go, and how this helps me in my journey of motherhood in the modern day. This is kind of like having that assistant just for technology!
Circle with Disney Features
Circle with Disney connects to your home’s connected devices when paired with your WiFi. Here are some of our favorite key features.
Setting time limits on your kid’s devices can be a lifesaver. No more staying on the computer or tablet all day or night. For example; allowing 2 hours of Netflix streaming a day, or 1 hour of Minecraft. The Offtime feature disables the internet from the device so that the child can no longer use it and would have to take a break. This time could be set for during lunch, playtime outside, reading time, etc. The options for Offtime is unlimited. You can always check how much time your child has left for the day at any time from your device.
This is by far my favorite feature. It always seems the kids want five more minutes when it’s time to put their devices away. Now with BedTime, no more asking for the kids to get off their devices. BedTime automatically says goodnight all on their own. No more wondering if the kids are on their devices late a night after bedtime because this feature says no more.
Yes, this feature is one of the best by far. With a push of a button, you can actually pause the internet. Pause it when it’s homework time, lunch time, chore time or family time. Either way, Circle has your back.
With Filter, you are able to set individual filter levels for each child depending on their age and interests. You are able to choose from Pre-K, Kid, Teen, and Adult. These filters come defaulted with settings designed for that age group, but can be easily be customized. Set it up once and it will apply to each one of that child’s assigned devices. The kids can search Google easily because Circle will filter out inappropriate sites and images from the search results. You can block access to specific websites like YouTube, Snapchat, Facebook, Facetime, and much more. This gives me a peace of mind to know that my kids are not viewing inappropriate things online.
This feature gives you the ability to compare screen time online today, last week, or even last month. You can quickly take a look to see where your kid spends the most time on which sites or games, etc.
I think this is my kids’ favorite thing to see pop up on their screen. With Reward you are able to reward your child by if they finished their homework early, read extra books during reading time, completed all their chores with no fuss, helped out a little more around the house, etc. You can reward them by giving them extra screen time, of course, you set how much extra time, maybe a later bedtime, or no OffTime. This can be really fun for the kids.
Setting Up My Circle
You can have Circle with Disney connected in under 5 minutes to every device in your home. Once you purchase your My Circle, remove it from the box, plug it into the wall outlet and then download the My Circle App which can be found in your App Store or Google Play Store. Once you download the app, you simply follow the steps as it walks you through how to connect to your WiFi and once connected you are ready to go. It can seem a little confusing at first because Circle has to find each device and then you have to assign the right device to that child. It will take a few extra minutes to determine.
This offers me a single view of our family online activities, so I can monitor what my kids are doing online as well as set limits on screen time, create a pause button as needed and turn the online fun off, when it is time for bed, with no fuss!
Wish you could monitor your kids’ devices even when they are not home? With Circle Go, you can!
Circle with Disney: Circle Go
With Circle Go, you can manage the kid’s devices no matter where they go, so even when they are away, you have peace of mind, and the settings remain the same! Circle Go extends all of Circle’s settings on your home Wi-Fi to your kid’s mobile device 4G LTE and any other WiFi network they join.
Circle Go extends Circle’s settings at home to any network by using a VPN on your kid’s mobile device. A VPN, or virtual private network, allows Circle to directly manage the traffic and enable time tracking, filters, and every other Circle feature. You will need to purchase a subscription of $9.95/month for up to 10 devices. Also, parents can use the MyCircle app to install Circle Go on your kid’s mobile device. Kids can use MyCircle to track their online time, receive push notifications, and check out cool Disney content.
My Circle with Disney Thoughts
I have been really pleased with how easy Circle with Disney and Circle Go are to use and how much worry it takes from my shoulders surrounding the online activities of my growing boys. I would highly recommend these products to other parents looking to keep their kids safe online while limiting their screen time.
I feel like this product helps me to keep my eyes on the kids, without having to be everywhere at once. I can now take the worry of monitoring screen time and activities online off of my shoulders and leave it to Circle with Disney, while I focus on the other parts of parenting!
Circle with Disney and Circle Go make a great gift idea for families, it is a useful product that can be used all through childhood!
Circle with Disney is available at BestBuy for $99.
Disclosure: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free
P.S. Once your children are done with their screen time, use our tips for adding movement into their day!