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September 30, 2021 3 min read

I have been on the hunt for a phone that I feel OK putting in the hands of my 12 year old. At this age many of his friends already have phones, and we were in need of a way for him to get in touch with us + have a way to communicate with his friends. 

This post contains affiliate links in which I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you, in return for sharing about Pinwheel and giving my honest opinion about our experience. 

In case you already know about Pinwheel and are just interested in a discount, you can use the following link, or code BLUEHOUSEJOYSTEN at check out. Either option will give you 10% off. 

Even though I have an older I-phone I could have passed down to him, we did not feel comfortable with his first phone having access to the entire internet, social media + every game and app right at his fingertips. I also didn't think my first phone would be quite what he had in mind ;)

donut phone

I had spoken with many other parents that felt a bit stuck when it came to phones for their kids and young teens as well. There are so many studies and articles on the danger and addictiveness of smart phones and it left me desiring a better alternative. 

Pinwheel Logo

In my searching I came across a company called Pinwheel. As I did a little more research it looked like it might be the answer to mine and my husbands concerns! A smart phone, geared towards kids, with all the necessary features plus access to apps that have been tested for safety and are parental approved. 

We decided to give it a try and after about a month of use I can say that we are very pleased. Our son has a way to reach us, he can go on a bike ride with friends and we can check in on his location, and he can listen to music. It has may other great features, but these were three things that were on the top of our list :) 


I love the GPS feature, so that I can check in if he rides his bike, or the bus is running late. There is also a Caregiver Portal so you can add or remove apps, check location, battery life and more. 

One of the things I really love is their mission designed to teach kids to have a healthy relationship with their phone. I was able to speak with a representative for their company and ask about why certain apps aren't on their approved list. They have a therapist council that vets every app and if it doesn't meet their criteria (a really great criteria list by the way that you can find on their product page) then it doesn't make the cut. However, that doesn't mean it doesn't have any apps. They actually have a very large list of apps that do make the cut and really help make it feel customizable to what your child needs in a phone. 

I would be happy to answer any questions you might have about our experience with Pinwheel. If you are interested in getting your own here is a link to get you 10% off, or you may enter the code BLUEHOUSEJOYSTEN at checkout. 

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