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Interactive video lesson plan for: How to Choose a Kids' Computer

Activity overview:

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Whether your child is 5 or 15, here are some helpful guidelines to keep in mind when buying a kids' computer.

Step 1: Consider a child's computer
If you're choosing a computer for a preschooler, consider getting a children's computer -- one preloaded with content geared to kids and containing a feature that blocks them from accessing inappropriate content.

Step 2: Decide between a desktop and a laptop
Decide between a desktop and a laptop. Desktops are cheaper and easier to upgrade, while laptops are portable.

Step 3: Make it school-compatible
If your child is school age, find out what kind of computers their school uses -- PCs or Macs -- so you can choose a kids' computer that's compatible.

When you set up your child's login, make sure they don't have access to Administrator mode, which allows them to install programs and change settings.

Step 4: Consider child-friendly features
Investigate child-friendly features and accessories like a water-resistant keyboard or keyboard cover and a scratch-resistant screen. If you go with a laptop, invest in a strong carrying case to protect the computer from bangs and falls.

A travel-size mouse is often the perfect size for small hands.

Step 5: Outfit your tweens
If you're choosing a computer for a tween or teen who plays video games, look for a desktop with a 512 MB or larger graphics card, and a high-resolution monitor that's at least 19 inches.

Step 6: Ask about parental controls
Ask if any built-in parental controls come with the computer. If the machine you're considering doesn't have one of the parental-control features you'd like, ask if it can be purchased separately -- because making sure your children are safe online can be the most important factor in choosing a kids' computer.

Did You Know?
Many educators believe 2 years old is the ideal age to introduce children to computers.

Tagged under: choose,kids,computer,buy,child,guidelines,web,mouse,desktop,laptop

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