Revive and secure your old devices, turning this once-thought-only laptop into a fun playground and educational tool for children.
Most old laptops start to leave empty when they are too old to run anything useful. Revive and secure your old devices, turning this once-thought-only laptop into a fun playground and educational tool for children.
“Clean up” old laptop
The first thing to do when preparing a laptop for older children is to make sure it doesn’t contain any distracting or inappropriate content. You can perform a Windows or Mac update, uninstall any unnecessary programs and delete all your files.
If you’ve taken all the important files from your hard drive, the most reliable way to make a kid-friendly laptop is to return the device to factory settings. If it’s a Windows machine, you can use the Reset Your PC feature of Windows 10, reinstall Windows 7 from the beginning, or reset your Windows 8 PC. If it’s a Mac, you can install the latest version of macOS. .u should “clean” the old laptop before letting children use it
You may still encounter hardware problems such as broken batteries, hard drives, or old motherboards. If the battery on an old laptop is damaged or deformed in any way, replace it. Unfortunately, repairing an old computer is often more expensive than buying your child a new Chromebook.
Establish the necessary safety measures
Once your laptop has been thoroughly cleaned and working smoothly, you will need to ensure that it is safe and secure. This does not mean that any complex security measures must be established. In fact, most Windows machines come with Windows Defender, which is a powerful antivirus software. With a Mac, you still need to protect your device from malware to ensure that it can be safe and secure while in use.
Once appropriate security measures are in place, you’ll want to establish the second most important safety feature for young children using laptops: Parental Controls. Limited use of time, certain features, access to inappropriate websites and content is essential to developing a healthy relationship between children and technology and the Internet.
Macs have the ability to create child-specific user accounts with restrictions on app usage and device time. Both Windows 7 and Windows 10 have powerful parental controls. Windows 10 even allows you to create and monitor a child’s account to make it even safer when they use the device
Add the things needed for a laptop
Now your unused laptop is “clean” and safe. Now is the time to make sure that the content your child is accessing is engaging, educational and healthy. When searching for family-friendly content, keep in mind that most free content will have ads. It can be a little confusing to find high quality content for kids, so the article has some suggestions for you:
- PBS Kids (https://pbskids.org/) offers many games, videos and activities for children of all ages.
- Minecraft (https://www.minecraft.net/en-us/) is the most popular computer game for kids, helping to increase creativity and ingenuity.
- Hoopla (https://www.hoopladigital.com/my/hoopla) works with libraries to provide free access to children’s eBooks.
- Scratch (https://scratch.mit.edu/), from MIT, focuses on teaching the basics of programming for children aged 4.
- ABC Mouse (https://www.abcmouse.com/abt/homepage) gathers games for learning from a variety of subjects in a subscription-based package.
- Virtual field trips (https://www.discoveryeducation.com/community/virtual-field-trips/) provide an interesting opportunity to explore famous places together.
- Google Classroom is one of the most popular home learning apps.
As always, make sure you are watching your children closely as they learn or play. Although the parental controls in the previous section may help restrict your child’s access to approved websites, they are smart and always find one way or another to ‘bypass the law’.
Remember to carefully supervise children to use the computer! They are very smart
Speed up the computer
If you still can’t run anything on your laptop, maybe it’s time to offload. Updating an old laptop to a new version of the operating system can overload that old hardware. Instead of using something ‘heavy’ like Windows 10, you can install operating systems like Google’s Chrome OS, built to run on devices that aren’t powerful enough. Besides, it’s worth considering all the little things you can do to speed up your old Windows or Mac computer.
How to set up an old laptop for children