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5 Apps Parents Can Use to Limit Screen Time

An excess of time spent playing with screened toys can negatively impact children, but it’s hard to avoid the fact that many of the devices and games seen as trendy and exciting include screens. There’s no reason kids need to be deprived of the fun entirely, but setting wise limits helps to be sure that they’re not shirking other activities in favor of apps and video games.

Of course, enforcing screen time limits can be tough; this is especially true when parents have multiple children with multiple gadgets to manage, since no parent can be everywhere at once. Enter screen time control apps. These handy little programs give parents peace of mind regarding the way screened devices are being used, and the flexibility to set up changing limits while being assured that they’re enforced.

These five apps are a few of our favorites; most have bonus features, like content control and geolocation.

Screen Time Limit KidCrono

  • Operating System: iOS

This unique pick works with kids to build trust and respect with regard to screen time limits. It’s less a surveillance app, and more one which “rewards” them for good playing behavior and adhering to limits. Parents set up the app with desired limitations, and a visual timer shows kids how long they have to play. Multiple profiles can be made, so it’s useful for more than one child, but it’s not designed for remote access and relies heavily on a child’s discipline rather than actually enforcing a limit.


  • Operating System: Android

This thorough suite of parental controls for Android devices allows parents to use age-based filters to determine what kinds of apps and content kids can access and set time limits for individual apps and games. Parents can track kids via GPS, send a message that must be responded to before device use can continue, and remotely access and monitor device activity. The app offers web browsing that automatically blocks adult content, but allows kids to request exceptions to some sites marked as “forbidden”, which can be granted through the parent portal app.


  • Operating System: Android, iOS

If you’re in search of an app that allows flexible time control over multiple apps and devices, this is a perfect pick. ScreenLimit lets parents allow access to appropriate apps at appropriate times, assuring that they’ll only use educational apps in school and won’t stay up past bedtime playing addictive games. It also lets parents fully lock device access if they need to be 100% sure kids aren’t playing. ScreenLimit can be installed on multiple devices, with set limitations neatly crossing over to prevent clever kids from evading the rules.

Boomerang Parental Control

  • Operating System: Android, iOS

Looking for a parental control app that includes text monitoring? You’ll be able to limit app access, monitor texts and calls, identify inappropriate keywords, and block unwanted parties from contacting your child with Boomerang. The app lets kids view a handy list of their time and app limitations, and offers parents a list of downloaded apps which they can approve or disapprove of before use. Web content is also filtered, and location tracking is easy to sync through the remote parent app.

OurPact Parental Control & Kid Tracker

  • Operating System: Android, iOS

OurPact offers a robust set of device control tools which offers easy remote access to parents and tells kids exactly what limitations to expect by offering a daily schedule to review. Parents can block apps or Internet access with just a few taps, and create “geofenced” areas triggering notifications when their child enters or leaves an indicated area. Screen time limits can be scheduled across both days and weeks, and access to remote texting apps that are sometimes used to evade text filters can be blocked.

By: Neve Spicer (July 10, 2020)