As a mom, I worry about what my kids stumble onto when it comes to the internet. This little device ~ which is a small cube called the Cirlce with Disney ~ is literally changing the game when it comes to protecting your family online.
I trust my kids but I still want to protect them. The truth is, as an adult, I also discover more new things on the internet every day and I am still learning how to set boundaries for myself. And although I want my children to enjoy and learn to create with modern tools, part of my goal as a parent is also to help them understand why boundaries exist and why they’re so important. But setting boundaries can be a huge challenge and I sometimes have difficulties being consistent. Creating a rule is simple but holding on to it is not that easy! And that’s why the Circle with Disney is just perfect for us!
What is Circle with Disney?
Managing all your family’s connected devices is pretty much impossible, but not any more with Circle. Very easy to set up, Circle with Disney pairs with your home WiFi and lets you manage every device on your network, both wireless and wired, without ever needing to put software on them.
Unboxing Circle with Disney is a quick and easy process. There is basically one cord that most installations will need (the power cord), but an ethernet cable is included as well. Before you can set up your Circle, you have to download the free app.
In about fifteen minutes I installed the Circle and created profiles for myself and my two children and assigned all the devices we have to each profile, like iPhones, the Wii U, laptop, Nintendo DS… I set up a daily usage limit for everyone, set a bedtime for weekdays and weekends, and filtered content using pre-loaded Circle filters and adjusting a few settings as I saw fit. I found the set up to be simple and self-explanatory but if you do run into snags there are a ton of video walkthroughs, tips, and troubleshooting available.
The Circle with Disney helps set boundaries for every family member, not just the kids! It also gave me lots of insight in how I use the internet on a daily base and I use Circle to manage my own time and keep focus on what I really value as well.
Create Filters and Establish Time Limits!
Circle with Disney lets you filter each device that uses wifi. You can choose PRE-K, KID, TEEN, ADULT or NONE.
It has a few website options already available in the app, for you to block or give time limits. Websites and apps like Netflix, Facebook, Musical.ly, Twitter and Snapchat. With Joya being very active on Roblox I was a bit dissapointed to see the list with options being a little short and not include Roblox. But when I checked Joya’s “history” I saw the Roblox icon and I clicked on it: it made me super happy to see that you can filter the settings for every website or game you want, also Roblox! The game went to the list of options and I can manage it any way I want now, even give it time limits!
When you see a website in your kids “history” that you don’t want him or her to visit again you can simply click on it and it will give you a few options: set as allowed or set as not allowed. The filter you gave the particular device would help you block almost every website you want automatically but you never know, so manually blocking URL’s is a pretty great option!
I am not a big fan of Youtube. I do love the Youtube Kids App and I am trying to make a Youtube channel with Joya in the future but the normal Youtube website scares me, a lot. One moment your kid is watching a cartoon and seconds later the site recommends weird parodies and within minutes your kid gets to see everything you don’t want him/her to watch at their young age. With just one click at my Circle app I get to block the entire Youtube website.
Since more and more content is being moved into the digital world like movies, music, and school work, I knew the time limits I gave my kids would not always work. Circle with Disney has made it very simple with their app: I can add additional time limits as rewards and it updates on their device within seconds. I don’t even need to be home to make these adjustments. The same is true if I want to revoke internet privileges. I can pause the internet on the entire home, just one person, or certain devices – it updates in seconds and I can do this from anywhere.
You can also limit yourself to say an hour a day of Pinterest (yeah, right!) which actually might be interesting should you be one of those users who finds yourself down the rabbit hole and suddenly you blink and it’s two hours later.
Limiting screen time, setting time limits for specific games, filtering websites and searches and have the filters different for each person’s devices! The Circle is every parent’s new BFF!
Pause the Internet & Set a Bedtime!
The internet never sleeps and Jayden, Joya’s 12 year old brother, would sometimes get on his phone very early in the morning and watch Netflix or play games while the rest of us was still sleeping. Growing up you really need your sleep and I had a lot of arguments with him about this.
With the Circle with Disney I can now put the wifi to sleep too, set times for when I want it to turn off and turn back on again, just for his phone! At the moment the wifi automatically turns off at 21:00 at night and turns back on at 7:45 in the morning. Those times are only set for Jaydens iPhone, which is pretty awesome. Joya’s iPhone goes to sleep earlier, at 19:30 and wakes up again at 7:45.
And then there’s the option to “pause the internet”! With just 1 click on the Circle app you can pause the wifi signal to one or more devices! This is amazing when your kid really needs to do his homework or something else. After that there’s the option to “reward” your kid by giving him or her extra time!
Circle with Disney isn’t something I’m checking into several times a day. Honestly, sometimes a couple of days will go by without me checking in on usage at all! But when I do want to check in, the parent interface in the Circle app is incredibly user-friendly. With a couple of taps, I can tell how long each of my children has spent on their devices, what apps or websites they’ve been on and how long they spent on each one. This is where I think Circle really shines. With a teenager, having a more clear idea of where he spend his time online was very helpful.
Get a personalized Disney dashboard for every familymember with the MyCIRCLE app! The kids can see countdowns for their bedtime, check how much time they have left on their favourite apps, have an overview of where they’ve spent time online and they have access to lots of Disney content like games, blogs, video’s, music and lots more! We absolutely love MyCIRCLE! It gives Jayden all the Star Wars news, memes, GIF’s and clips he wants and it shows Joya lots of trailers for new Disney movies, which she loves! And it is giving me many blogs about Disneyland, fun Disney themes recipes and other fun inspiration!
Managing all your kids devices not just at home but… Everywhere? That’s possible with Circle GO! You’ll need a subscribtion, which will cost $4,99 a month and this will let Circle’s settings in effect wherever you go. On a holiday, at a friends house, at school: you’ll stay in control on how much time they spend online and all the other options Circle has.
But it’s not about control really, it’s about awareness. And that is something all parents need in this confusing digital age. This, the Circle with Disney, is a real parenting win right here!