Buying a Cell phone for a child?

My son is 10 years old and wants to be a bit more independent.  But I would still like to be able to reach him when he is with friends or family.  I don’t want to spend a ton of money on cell phone service nor buy him a flagship phone.  I’ve done quite a bit of research and will share some of the options I have found that could offer a lower cost alternative to a traditional cell phone plan.

First, Amazon has a few offerings of a low cost unlocked phone for Prime members.  The Blu R1 HD is a GSM phone and starts at $49.00.  This is a great option for a casual user or a child. We found the phone to be fast and reliable. No problems with the phone at all.  I activated the phone on FreedomPop’s Global plan.  I went with the free plan which gave my son more than enough talk/text/data.  When at home, he connected to wifi so that it would not take up his data.  I am not sure if Freedompop is able to dial 911, so keep that in mind.  Also, it uses data to convert calls, so you have to have some data available in order for the phone to work.  Freedompop does have some drawbacks, but that is to be expected when you have free cell phone service.  In my opinion, it’s a reasonable tradeoff for a first phone.  Especially when you are not yet sure how much you are willing to spend or if your child is ready for a phone.

Another option I found is through T-Mobile.  They have a prepaid plan that costs $3.00 a month. Not a bad price for an “emergency” phone.  For the $3.00 a month, you only get 30 min/texts (combined) a month.  There is NO DATA on this plan.  If you have a smart phone, you can certainly use wifi.  But note that you still use your minutes if you call/text on wifi.  With this option, my advice would be to download a free calling/texting app like TextNow for calling/texting friends and keep the actual phone number from T-Mobile private (for calling mom/dad only).  Then when on wifi, the texting app can be used for goofing around with friends.  😁   The Blu R1 HD  that I mentioned above WILL work on T-Mobile’s network.  When I was in the store, they also had a promotion going on where you could get a FREE phone by putting $100 on the account in advance.  So, for $100, you can get the phone, a year’s worth of service and a little cushion in case you would like to add a data pack for a day/week or if there are any overages, etc.  Pretty decent deal!  A few things to know about this pre-paid plan is that you are NOT eligible for the fun extras offered by T-mobile, such as the T-Mobile Tuesdays, checking voicemail does use your minutes, any money you put on the account if you want to pre-pay will expire in a year.

Those were the lowest cost options I found.  Worth a mention are some other low cost options such as Tello and Ting.  Both offer low cost prepaid plans and phones.

More Recipies from Celebrating Home

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Jewelry In Candles

A friend of mine recently signed up with a company called Jewelry In Candles. I had never heard of the company before, but since I do love candles and surprises, I thought I would give one a try.

With Jewelry In Candles, you not only get to select a candle, you also select the type of jewelry inside. You can choose a necklace, earrings, or a ring (and ring size).

I liked that I was able to pay via PayPal. That always helps with online shopping. I didn’t have to go find my credit card in order to purchase.

I placed my order on June 8, 2014. My candle order arrived yesterday, so it took a total of 10 days to arrive.

I ordered a Strawberry scented candle. Of course, I had to light it right away! I lit the candle at 5:06 pm

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The scent filled two rooms, which I was happy with. At 7:23 p.m., I could see my surprise jewelry….. Look off to the left. It’s in red foil and sticking out just a little bit.

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I wasn’t able to loosen it just yet, but ten minutes later, I was able to get it out!

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The strawberry scent was still strong and filling 3 rooms. I was pretty excited to open my foil and see what kind of necklace was inside. They say that your jewelry can be valued between $10 and several thousand. I know that the more expensive ones are going to be rare, so I only expected the costume jewelry, which is what I received. It’s cute. I am not sure if it’s worth any more that a few dollars, but that’s ok. The candles are very nice on their own. It was very clean burning. The scent was perfect. And I am sure I can reuse the jar if I want to do so. Other candles I have had leave a lot of unused wax behind and I end up throwing it in the trash.

Once the foil cooled, which was rather quickly, here is what I found inside…

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If you are interested in trying one for yourself and discovering a jewelry surprise inside, you can shop from Jewelry In Candles

The Magic Tree House

My son just finished first grade. This year he has really blossomed into an amazing reader. He has discovered the Magic Tree House books by Mary Pope Osborne. He’s already read several of the books and I was happy to buy him several for his personal collection. I was not familiar with the book series, so of course I looked it up for myself.

I found the website for the series to be an amazing resourse. Kids can create their own account and collect “stamps” by answering three questions about each book once they finish the story. (A great way to test for comprehansion skills!) They also have other games and missions that the kids can go on. My son loves it and it encourages him to keep reading!

As a parent, one of the things that I like about this series is that even though they are fictional stories, there is a lot of real history sprinkled in throughout the story. While they won’t make him an expert on anything, it’s exposure. So when he learns more about it in school, he will already have some familiarity.

The books seem to appeal to kids in grades 1 through 5, depending on reading level. With the new Third Grade Reading Guarantee that is rolling out in a few states, anything that helps parents to encourage reading and has a website to help test for comprehension is a very good thing.

To check out the series and the online games, check out www.magictreehouse.com

Shifting focus

When I began this blog, it was for the sole purpose of promoting my Celebrating Home business in 2009. I have been very blessed to have gained several followers and a few orders through my Celebrating Home website. Thank you to everyone who has participated in my blog! Some of you have also shared your recipes with us. I will continue to maintain my bean pot recipe pages, as I also refer to them from time to time. But I am going to also try my hand at some general blogging as well. I am not yet sure what direction I will take with this blog. I am thinking that I will probably post product reviews, book reviews, and kid stories. I hope that you will enjoy the expanded content on the page and continue to share your recipes and comments.

Fall Products you won’t want to miss!

Love Me Do

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Cookie Dough Fundraising

I am so excited about the Fundraising program that I will be able to offer you in the Fall! It’s frozen cookie dough! But it’s unlike any cookie dough I have ever seen. Keep reading…

The first thing that caught my eye is the fact that they are all egg-free. I realize that this may not be the most important factor to most people, but to me, it opens up a world of possibilities. My son is highly allergic to eggs and this means that I may be able to offer him something other than Oreos as a treat.

Some of the other awesome features of this cookie dough will be more interesting to the general population. Even though it is a frozen cookie dough, it can actually be stored at room temperature for up to 21 DAYS. Yes, I said days! That is awesome news for people like me who occasionally get side-tracked and leave something out overnight.

Not only can it be left at room temperature for 21 days, it can also be re-frozen! It is also certified KOSHER!

If you would like to see a sneak peek of the cookie dough fundraising brochure, please click here.

I will be happy to set up a fundraiser for your group. Just contact me for more details.

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