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Tackle the Tech

Secure Your Holidays: Complete Kid-Safe Smartphone and Watch Guide

Navigating the holiday tech landscape can be a daunting task for parents. So many tempting deals and flashy gadgets beckoning! In the pursuit of the perfect gift for your child, making informed decisions before putting a device under the tree is crucial.

In this guide, we cut through the noise, offering practical insights on tech investments that prioritize your child's safety. From smartphones to smartwatches, filtering apps to hardware, movie filtering, and our very own digital course — we’re covering it all.

Smartphones for kids

The kid safe smartphone market is expanding, and that’s fantastic news!! Before wrapping up a phone for your child this Christmas, explore the features and benefits of each option.

For an updated and in-depth comparison of features, cost, specs, parental controls, and warranty options, read:

Quick overviews for Gabb, Troomi, Pinwheel, Bark, and MMGuardian phones (don’t miss the discounts!)


  • Two phone options: one with only essential apps, while the other has access to a variety of apps that are Gabb-reviewed and parent-enabled.
  • Neither phone has a browser.
  • Uses Gabb’s cellular service (Verizon towers).
  • Features filtering, remote monitoring, and parent alerts for texts.

🚨Free Gabb Phone, or 55% off a Gabb Phone 3! Click here and enter code DYM at checkout.


  • One phone choice, with a variety of customizable features.
  • Kid-safe browser available.
  • Library of “KidSmart” apps that are selected and managed from the parent portal. 
  • Features remote monitoring via the parent portal app.
  • Uses Troomi’s cellular service (AT&T towers).

🚨Free Troomi phone! Click here and use code FREEA14 at checkout. This offer is for new customers only, and is good for up to 4 phones per household.


  • 5 phone choices (including a Pixel!) to fit various budgets and needs.
  • Has a large library of apps that parents can enable.
  • No browser is available.
  • Features remote monitoring via the parent portal app.
  • Pinwheel’s higher end phones can be used with any carrier, while the cellular carriers for their other phones vary by model.

🚨Free Pinwheel phone! Use this link to get the Pinwheel Genesis 1 at no charge, or 10% off any other Pinwheel phone or accessory! Note: Free phones cannot be combined with other phones in the same purchase. If you want to buy multiple phones, please place separate orders. A separate order is also required to receive 10% off accessories.


  • One customizable phone choice that can access any app with parent approval.
  • Can be as locked down or as unrestricted as parents would like. 
  • Built in Bark monitoring and reporting system — parents receive alerts on their phone concerning online behavior including messaging, images, and web browsing.
  • No remote monitoring.
  • Uses Bark’s cellular service (T-mobile towers).


  • Two phone choices available with access to any app with parent approval.
  • Can be as locked down or as unrestricted as parents would like.
  • Features remote monitoring via the parent app.
  • Built-in MMGuardian monitoring and reporting system — parents receive alerts on their phone concerning online behavior including messaging, images, and web browsing.
  • Monitoring and tamper protection features can be removed when parents are ready for it to function like a standard phone.
  • Can use any cellular network.

🚨Free phone accessories and free shipping! Click here to get yours now.

Smartwatches for kids

If your child isn’t quite ready for a smartphone, a smartwatch is an excellent choice. Fortunately there are several to choose from. 

These smartwatches are all standalone, meaning they have their own number and do not require a bluetooth connection with a nearby phone. They all have fairly similar features such as:

  • calling and text to/from selected contacts only
  • GPS tracking
  • activity tracking with motivational games to get kids moving
  • geofencing

Brands, models, and prices (plus discounts!)

Gabb Watch 3

  • Device cost: $149.99
  • Monthly cellular plan: $17.99/month
  • Uses Gabb’s cellular service (Verizon towers)

🚨55% off Gabb Watch 3! Click here and enter code DYM at checkout.

Troomi XG03 watch

  • Device cost: $129.95 
  • Monthly cellular plan: $13.95
  • Model: Xplora XG03
  • Phone number can transfer to a Troomi phone when child is ready to graduate to a smartphone
  • Uses Troomi’s cellular service (AT&T towers)

🚨$30 off Troomi Smartwatch! Click here and use code WATCH30 at checkout.

 Gizmo watch by Verizon

  • Three watch choices 
  • Device cost: varies from $99-$170
  • Monthly cellular plan: $10
  • Uses Verizon’s cellular service


  • More likely to appeal to older tweens and teens due to design and plentiful features
  • Many models to choose from
  • Price ranges from $249-$799
  • Can be used on any carrier

*Apple watches have full access to the internet (including porn!). We included it in our list because many parents consider Apple watches for their kids. It’s crucial to learn about potential safety issues and take precautions to lock down the device. We recommend sticking to one of the kid-safe smartwatches for younger kids.

Learn more about the risks of Apple watches here: Porn on an Apple Watch?! How Clever Kids Find It and How You Can Block It

Filtering: Hardware and software

Don’t overlook the importance of filtering and monitoring on your kid’s devices and your home network. Multiple layers of protection are crucial, especially for devices that leave the house. The following products provide effective solutions to keep your kids safer both at home and away. 

Quick overview of filtering products


  • AI based web filtering service blocks nudity and partial nudity.
  • Blocks specific images within web pages rather than blocking the entire webpage.

For a more in-depth look at Canopy, see: Unexpected Nudity and Unsuspecting Kids: Protecting Your Children Online

🚨20% off Canopy subscriptions! Click here and enter DYMB2S at checkout.

Gryphon Router

  • Router that filters all internet activity that goes through the home Wifi.
  • Customizable profiles available.
  • Filters Smart TVs and gaming devices through controls set at the router level. 

For a more in-depth look at Gryphon, see:  How to Protect Your Kids from Porn with a Gryphon Router

🚨55% Gryphon routers! Click here for automatic savings.

Device level parental controls

If your child’s device does not have built-in parental controls like the phones listed above, you’ll definitely want to install a filtering and monitoring system on each device that has the ability to leave the home network. A few excellent choices include:


Filter movies with VidAngel

Movie filtering can ensure your family can stream content that matches your values. It’s a great investment that expands the library of streaming content you already pay for.

VidAngel overview

  • Filters content on Netflix, several Amazon services including Prime, and Apple TV.
  • Cost is $9.99/month (discount for annual subscription).
  • Includes many filter categories to choose from including profanity, nudity, violence, gore, and more.

For a more in-depth look at VidAngel, see: Filter Movies to Protect Kids: 5 Simple Tips from VidAngel You Need to Know

🚨50% off VidAngel for 6 months! Use code defend to snag this deal.

Internal Filter

While tech solutions are essential, they aren’t foolproof. The biggest mistake parents make when buying kid-safe tech and setting up internet filters and parental controls is this: They think they’ve done enough.

So if a parent has already installed internet filters, what else can they do to protect their kids?

The answer: Teach them to install their own internal filter.

Defend Young Minds’ resources are specifically designed to guide parents in providing actionable steps for their kids when they encounter porn and other harmful content. Equip your children with the skills to reject inappropriate material, going beyond traditional filters.

Take proactive steps with Defend Young Minds resources


Learn more: The Compelling Science Behind Good Pictures Bad Pictures

Digital safety course

  • Brain Defense digital curriculum offers entertaining videos, engaging workbooks, and family activities to protect kids ages 7-11 from online dangers.

Learn more: No kid deserves to face the porn industry alone

🚨50% off Brain Defense! Click here and use code BlackFriday23 at checkout. Offer good  through 11/27/23.


DYM’s guides provide parents with an easy way to be informed about a variety of topics and provide practical, actionable steps. Many are free. Download them now!

Invest in your child’s safety

We can’t even count the number of tears we’ve shed with parents listening to their heartbreaking stories at in person speaking events and conferences. They just had no idea about the dangers and their child was harmed. That’s why we stress prevention! 

So get informed! And then seize Black Friday deals to fortify your child’s safety. Because this season, the best gift is not just a device — it’s the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ve done everything you can to protect your child.

Brain Defense: Digital Safety Curriculum - Family Edition

"Parents are desperate for concepts and language like this to help their children. They would benefit so much from this program - and I think it would spur much needed conversations between parents and children.” --Jenet Erikson, parent

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