A room with a security camera and kid building blocks on top of a chest by a window with a sensor
Energy Efficiency | July 10, 2018

Best Ways to Make Your Home a Kid-Friendly Smart Home

Raising kids can be challenging, especially in a world with new and rapid-changing technology. Luckily, thanks to this new technology, making a kid-friendly smart home is easier than ever! Parents can use smart home security systems to protect or keep children safe at home, control access to entertainment content, and even remotely control appliances and save energy. If any of these ideas sound good to you, check out the best ways to make a kid-friendly smart home.

An eye on a kid building block

Monitor Your Kids and Make Daily Routines Easy

Manage your appliances from any smart device to save energy.

Technology and kids are a natural fit. But even as tech-savvy as kids are these days, they still manage to forget to turn off lights, fans and appliances.

By using a smart home system, you can monitor energy usage in your home and have easy access to all your smart-home technology. For kids who often forget to turn off the lights, smart devices like timers and motion sensors can control appliances and electricity usage, and most home automation safety systems are controlled by apps, allowing you to respond remotely and quickly in emergencies.

You can also use smart home systems like Constellation Connect to protect your home and provide peace of mind. Easily coordinate all your apps and smart gadgets to help decrease your energy use and keep you secure and in control.

Order snacks and restock essentials for your kids with smart refrigerators.

Smart fridges are rapidly becoming some of the most popular smart technology for the home, and they include a variety of child-friendly options:

  • alarms to remind children not to leave the refrigerator door open;
  • family message centers equipped with podcasts and recipes;
  • grocery management apps (so you can order food directly from the screen); and
  • the ability to stream music, TV programs and educational information to keep your toddler entertained while you’re cooking.

Smart fridges are compatible with most home automation hubs, and even work with smart assistants including Alexa, Google Home and Cortana. Many new fridges also include tiny cameras inside that you can access from any smart device. That way you can check to see what you already have while you shop for your groceries.

Help your kids create daily routines with smart assistants.

Getting ready in the morning can be challenging, especially with kids. That’s where smart assistant routines come in. By using voice assistants, parents can combine separate tasks into a single, daily routine that gets your kids ready using smart technology (and helps kids stay on track, too!).

For instance, your child’s morning routine might include a wake-up alarm, upbeat music for getting ready for school and a reminder about important morning tasks, such as eating breakfast, brushing teeth and getting school bags ready.

Coming home would trigger another smart routine, which might adjust the thermostat to a comfortable temperature, remind your child to do their homework and unlock controls on the television at a set time.

Pro Tip: Smart assistants can also be programmed to reward your kid for good manners. If you’re looking for things to do with Alexa or Google Assistant for kids, try teaching please and thank you with programs like Pretty Please.

It’s easy to make requests with smart-home systems. Most people simply say, “Play music,” not “Play music, please.” That’s fine for adults, but kids are still learning how to use manners. One of the most helpful things to do with any smart assistant is to set the system to reward children for saying please and thank you.

Limit screen time for your kids even when you are not home.

Overuse and inappropriate content have made controlling access to television, gaming systems and other entertainment devices an important tool for keeping children safe at home.

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A number of apps allow parents to schedule set times when children can use televisions and other electronics, and some even allow you to turn off televisions remotely if you’re not home. Most smart televisions have content-control settings so that your children can’t access mature content on TV channels or streaming services.

heart monitoring on kids building block

Take Care of Your Kid’s Health and Well-being

Track your kid’s health with a smart health-monitoring system.

Smart-home technology allows parents to monitor a child’s health like never before. In addition to using home video monitoring to keep an eye on your baby or toddler, you can make use of child safety gadgets such as wearable monitors that provide information on temperature, breathing and heart rate and that encourage kids to keep moving and eat healthier.

Put your kids to bed with smart bedtime routines.

You might not immediately think of smart technology for the home when you think of a child’s bedtime; after all, sleep specialists recommend avoiding the blue light from electronic screens in the hours before bed.

Smart-home technology for kids, however, can make bedtime more relaxing by creating a predictable nighttime routine. Possible actions your system can take include the following:

  • Closing automated blackout blinds.
  • Lowering the lights.
  • Playing soft music, lullabies or white noise.
  • Turning electronics off at set times.

Smart technology for kids can even read aloud kids’ books when adults aren’t available to read that favorite bedtime story…for the third time.

Monitor the air quality of your home for you and your kids.

Keeping children safe at home often means protecting them from environmental threats. For instance, carbon monoxide accumulation in buildings kills 430 Americans a year. With home automation safety systems, you can now receive updates from smoke and carbon monoxide detectors while also tracking temperatures, carbon dioxide and other chemicals—all of which is especially useful if your child has asthma or allergies.

kids building block with alert symbol

Keep Your Kids Safe and Away from Dangerous Areas

Install cabinet and door sensors to keep your kids away from poisons.

Babies and toddlers are adventurous little explorers, which can sometimes get them into trouble. Fortunately, with the help of child safety gadgets like smart cabinets and door sensors, you can deter small children from exploring unsafe places. The sensors send push notifications to your phone when they sense movement and can be installed on both medicine and cleaning supply cabinets with ease.

By using these safety devices for kids, parents and guardians can potentially prevent small children from ingesting harmful chemicals or medications.

Know when your kids enter potentially dangerous areas.

Smart sensors are one of the newest ways to improve child safety at home, and they can protect your youngest children outside as well as inside the home. Sensors can alert you to movement near your barbecue grill, tool shed and garden gates. If you have a swimming pool, sensors are available that detect movement around—or in—the pool, alerting you immediately if your child wanders near the water.

Smart sensors are only one option of many. If you’re looking for more ways to automate the outside of your home, check out these outdoor smart-home ideas.

Set up smart night-lights to help your kids sleep and feel safer at night.

When the lights go out at night, a child’s normally friendly bedroom can suddenly seem scary and unfamiliar. A smart lighting system can help children feel comfortable at night. Energy-efficient dimmer light bulbs can be controlled by your smart home, which slowly dims the light in the room while turning on a night-light.

For those sometimes-scary nighttime trips to the bathroom, motion sensors will turn on hallway lights at low settings, providing enough light to keep children (and adults) from tripping over obstacles or bumping into walls.

kids building block with a lock

Protect Your Kids with Security Systems and Child Safety Gadgets

Check on your kids when they’re home alone with home video monitoring systems.

Sometimes, it can be hard for parents to keep track of their kids, and technology makes it easier than ever before. Home video monitoring has multiple applications for safeguarding your children. With live streams delivered directly to your mobile device, you can easily monitor what your children are up to whenever you’re not home.

Home security automation also allows you to keep track of who enters and leaves the home—an important consideration regardless of your child’s age. Smart security apps can also alert you to activity around the perimeter of your property and any unusual movement in or around the home.

Use smart locks to keep your kids safe all day and all night.

Older children often come home from school before their parents are home from work, and may spend a few hours home alone without adult supervision.
Safety devices for kids like smart locks ensure your child is as safe as possible when you’re out. Smart lock apps allow you to open and lock doors from your mobile device so you can lock the door in case your child forgets.

You can program your apps to grant access to trusted friends and relatives so that they can enter the home without keys in case your children need help from a trusted adult. You’ll even receive push notifications when someone enters or leaves the house.

See who comes to your door with video doorbells.

Like smart locks, video doorbells improve your child’s safety at home. Whenever someone comes to the door, the doorbell sends a live video stream to an app on your phone. If you’re not home, you can choose to answer the door remotely, or call your children and tell them how to respond to whoever is at the door.

Use geofencing to protect your kids when they arrive and leave your home.

With tools like geofencing, parents can use child safety gadgets to help keep their kids and homes safe. Geofencing uses GPS technology to create virtual boundaries that tell your smart home when you leave.

For instance, you can program a geofence to tell your home automation security features to turn on once you leave your front yard, and can program them to turn off when your kid returns home. That way you won’t have to worry about trying to remember to lock the doors and turn on the security system.

For parents who are also wary of losing track of their children playing outside, you can use a child proximity alarm to keep them close. The child proximity alarm creates a predetermined virtual fence that alerts you if your child wanders too far away. While useful around the home, this can also be used in public places.

With so many options to choose from, it is easy for parents to build a kid-friendly smart home by using smart security systems like Constellation Connect to help to save energy. From home video monitoring to daily smart routines, new technologies are constantly shaping the ways parents use smart-home technology to improve their child’s safety at home, keeping them protected and healthy.

Stay tuned for more home automation ideas on how to build a smart home for pets and the elderly.

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