A first phone for your child
Does your child need a phone yet? Your child’s first phone will probably be a basic one – just for emergency calls – or when they start getting the bus home from school on their own? Could your old phone do the trick?
Even if it’s a smartphone, you can dumb it down a bit:
· only sign up for a phone plan that does not have data – so it can only be used for phone calls and SMS
· uninstall all the unnecessary apps and remove any personal accounts and data
· turn off Wi-Fi so that the battery isn’t being drained constantly looking for a signal. Try not to show your child how to access Wi-Fi because you don’t want them to be able to connect to Wi-Fi at their friend’s homes. If you have Wi-Fi at home the phone will still be able to connect for updates, just make sure you do it.
Load the phone up with your child’s favourite games. I’ve written before about how I gave my boys their Android ‘iPods’ – you can read it here.
The camera in some smartphones rivals, and in some cases is better than, a basic digital camera – and a lot smaller too. You can download any photos by connecting the phone to your computer, or wirelessly with an appropriate app – like Dropbox.
A music player
You can load it up with your favourite songs and videos and you’ll have an FM radio as well. How do you get the music onto the phone? Either by connecting the phone to your computer if you've got your music on it, or download them when the phone is connected to your home Wi-Fi.
A dedicated alarm clock
You could just use the basic alarm function of the phone, or download something really fun
For reviews of some for your iPhone - click here
For Android - click here
Make sure you turn off all other notifications if you’re still using your phone for other things – you don’t want to be constantly woken by other sounds.
Keep it in the kitchen
Load the phone up with your favourite recipes and foodie apps. You could even attach it with double-sided tape to a convenient spot (make sure you can charge it) so that you can see it while you’re cooking. You can get cheap phone holders for cars that could easily be ‘adapted’ to hold the phone in the kitchen.
Use it as a phone – sort of
Download the Skype app or WhatsApp and use your phone for video calls and messaging when you’re connected to Wi-Fi at home.
A security camera at home
Download the AtHome Video Streamer app from Google Play or the App Store and set up your phone to keep an eye on your baby, the pets, the nanny – anything – while you’re away. The instructions you need are here
These are just some ideas of what you could do with your unwanted smartphone. You can probably think of some more, and I’d love to hear your ideas, so please leave me a comment below.