Using iPads/Tablets at home

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Many children love using iPads and tablets at home but might have difficulty changing activity or sharing the tablet with other family members. Below are some ideas for how to use the tablet with your child more effectively.

Using your tablet interactively

You can use the tablet as a tool to play interactive games with your child, take turns, create stories together, look at photos etc. See our other leaflets with ideas for activities to play together.

Restricting tablet use

Many children have difficulty moving onto other activities and can play with the tablet for hours on end. Think about setting limits on time that your child can use it. Here are some ideas for moving on to other activities:

  • If you use a visual timetable at home, put in several slots for the tablet so that your child understands ‘Tablet time’ will finish but there will be more opportunity later on.
  • Use a First/Then board to help your child understand what they are going to do after they finish using the tablet. Make sure you follow tablet time with another motivating activity to help move them on.
  • Set a timer on the tablet which helps your child understand when their time has finished.

Sticking to one app at a time

iPads have a feature called Guided Access which allows you to block anyone moving on to another app. This could be useful if you are doing an activity together and want to prevent your child moving to another app that they want to play on their own.

  • Go to Settings/Accessibility/Guided Access
  • Set a passcode and switch on Guided Access
  • When in an app that you want to stay in, press the Home button 3 times, click on Hardware Options and activate the Sleep/Wake Button. Then press start. This means that your child will not be able to return to the home page but will have to stay in the app.


  • It is also possible to disable the volume button, touch screen function, or specific parts of the screen.
  • Press the home button again 3 times and key in the passcode, then End to finish using this function.