How to Choose Your Child's First Computer

If you're thinking of buying your child's first computer, you should look for a high-quality, safe, and durable option. Keep reading.
How to Choose Your Child's First Computer
María José Roldán

Reviewed and approved by the psychopedagogue María José Roldán.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

If you’re thinking of giving a gift to your child, you should know that not everything has the same value. For this reason, we’re going to give you some indications so that you know how to choose the first computer for your child and you succeed in all the objectives.

A computer is a considerable investment, but it can be very useful. That’s why you should think carefully before taking the plunge. But don’t despair! In this article, we’re going to make it easier for you, so keep reading!

Put technology on your side

Technology can make you have doubts about the real benefits it provides to your children. But, we must be aware that, right now, it occupies a large part of our lives and that it’s unavoidable.

In our current society, digital life has been consolidated and even the mastery of technologies has become a fundamental competence to be able to achieve all school learning. Although there are still experts in education and health who maintain the importance of limiting access to screens in childhood, it’s important to take the good of both positions and achieve a balance.

Logically, it’s important to have certain limits regarding the use of these devices, but also not to think that they’re bad in themselves all the time. In this sense, it’s essential that parents keep track of what their children consume on the internet so that the time they spend in front of the screen is constructive.

A small boy looking at a tablet in bed at night.
Allowing your child to have a computer in their room isn’t a good option. This will make it difficult to monitor the content they access and the time they spend on it.

The first thing you should know before buying a device

When it comes to using technology, it’s good for parents to take into account a series of tips to ensure a better use of them. Thus, before buying an electronic device, you should consider the following aspects:

  • The child’s age. Ideally, you shouldn’t introduce your child to the digital world before the age of 12.
  • The place of use. Ideally, the computer shouldn’t be located in the child’s bedroom, but in a room for common use by the family. This way, in addition to allowing you to make an active parental control, it also avoids prolonged and excessive use of the screen.
  • The purpose of the device. While computers serve many purposes, it’s best to strike a balance between academic pursuits, leisure activities, and other functions.
  • The basic computer skills your child has. You can introduce your child to the world of computers with private lessons or by teaching them yourself. This way, they can move from a user level to a more advanced level in a short time.

Is it better to buy a new computer or recycle a used one?

This depends a lot on the budget you have or what you want it for. As this is your child’s first computer, it might be better to recycle an old one you have in storage and give it some more life. Or even buy a second-hand one. Of course, you’ll need to make sure it’s suitable for good internet connection and that the speed is acceptable for the desired purpose.

If you choose to recycle an old computer, you should format it and leave only the basic usage tools and those of parental control well installed.

A teen boy sitting at a desk using a computer.
The computer can be a desktop or laptop, but make sure it has good security, acceptable connectivity, and is durable.

Things to consider when buying a computer

If you want to buy a second-hand device, you’ll need to make sure it’s in good condition and working properly. Never take it home or pay for it without testing it first. Also, ideally, you should ask for a warranty in case it stops working when you use it at home.

In the case you want to buy a new one, then you’ll have to think that it’s a good device and a good price-quality ratio. To do this, you should take into account some important points:

  • Determine whether you want it to be a desktop or a laptop.
  • Make sure it has a good level of security.
  • It should be durable and the battery should be in good condition (in the case of a laptop).
  • Be sure that it fulfills the purposes for which you’re acquiring the product.

Find an ideal computer for your child’s needs

When buying the first computer for your child, ideally, you shouldn’t spend too much money, as it will be the device that will initiate them in the digital world and they’ll probably learn from their successes and failures with it. Keep in mind that, especially if it’s a small child, they’ll be less careful than a more experienced user would be. And this is normal.

There are inexpensive, simple, and good-quality options on the market. Surely, you’ll be able to make good use of technology and your child will be able to get their start in the world of computers in the best way possible.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Vorderman, C. (2019) Introducción a la programación informática. Editorial: DK

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.