Take a look at the tips to see how what you need to think about before they start, what conversations to have and things you can practically do to keep them safe on the platforms and devices they use.
Research what games are available
Online gaming is increasingly popular with younger children so it’s important to do a bit of research around the types of age-appropriate games that are available for your child
Know your PEGI ratings
Learn more about what ratings mean to make the right choices on the games for your child and avoid games that involve playing with others online
Review the cost of in-game purchases
With more and more ‘free-to-play’ games available featuring in-game purchases, it’s important to see what additional cost may be involved if you download these types of games to avoid getting caught out with a big bill. Setting controls to restrict in-app purchases can help as tech solution.
Mix and match types of games to help them develop life skills and supplement learning
Keep them engaged and learning by giving younger children a varied diet of educational games that teach them basic maths to more fun games that feature they’re favourite TV characters that can help them to develop their problem-solving skills and creativity
Set rules surrounding video gaming and screen use
Have a discussion and create a family agreement on what games they can play, when and for how long for to set clear boundaries to help them have a safer experience while gaming.
Give them coping strategies
If things go wrong while they are gaming (i.e. they see something upsetting) makes sure they know what to do, whether it is to turn off the screen or go speak to you or a trusted adult to resolve the situation.
See what people say about the game
Read online reviews by parents to get a better understanding of the games.
Get help choosing the right game
Use sites like PEGI that offer age-specific game reviews to focus your search.
Stay in control with parental controls
Familiarise yourself with the parental controls on your child’s console, mobile device or gaming app they play to ensure they can only access content that is age-appropriate.
Use tech tools to set time limits
Increasingly children are spending more time gaming so using tech tools on devices they use to manage the time they spend and what they play can help them build good online habits.
Use our set up safe gaming parental controls how to guide to learn how to make use of the tools
Play online games together
Typically, younger children will need a lot of guidance when it comes to choosing and playing games. Playing together can help build their confidence and keep you engaged in their digital world
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