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    Welcome to Pinwheel!

    Header: When your kid says

    Pinwheel is no ordinary phone.

    Because Pinwheel is built specifically to provide a safe, effective communication tool for kids, there are some simple setup steps to take before giving it to your child. We walk you through them on this page — and we are happy to help you through LiveChat if you run into any sticky spots or questions along the way.

     

    If your answer to a question below is "YES," you can skip it and move on to the next one.
    If your answer is "NO" or "I'm not sure" then click on it to read more about that step.

    Have you set up the caregiver portal?

    Your Pinwheel Caregiver Portal

    <- Do you recognize this screen yet?

     

    This screen is from the Pinwheel Caregiver Portal where you'll set up and manage all aspects of the phone. (Notice: the phone cannot be reconfigured from the phone itself. No app store on the phone, no settings for your kid to tinker with. YOU control it from here.)

     

    There are instructions on the Caregiver Portal to guide you. There are also some handy guides and tutorial videos on our help site.

     

    If you have any problems at all, please click the Live Chat button and we'll be right there to assist you!

    To access it, go to "caregiver.pinwheel.com" directly, or use the Login button on our site anytime.

    Some Recommendations

    • Start Simple: The modes and contact groups can get confusing if you try to do too much at first. We recommend just a few school day and weekend modes at first, then build over time. If you want your child to participate in the evolution of their Pinwheel, this is also a way to get them involved later: adding capabilities and discussing helpful routines and modes.

    • Less is More: Start with just a couple of apps. Let kids earn more, while keeping it easy on yourself to create a bunch of logins and accounts on any new apps!

    • No Email Needed! If one of the apps you want requires an email, and you use gmail — Did you know you don't have to actually create a new email address for it? Just add "+anything" and it'll forward right to your regular inbox, like this: "myname+kiddo@gmail.com"

    Has the phone arrived?

    Most of our orders are fulfilled via UPS and there's a tracking code automatically emailed to you when we first print the label. If you didn't get that email and you need it, please search for it, including in your Spam folder.

     

    Most orders take 5-10 days to fulfill, and we do our best to keep our site updated with current shipping times.

    Keep going!

    Do you have a SIM card?

    The phone will not work properly before a SIM card is installed. It reads time zone, location, and other important data from the SIM's cellular settings.

     

    To get a SIM, ask your cell phone provider about adding a line for an unlocked device. Or, you can use this plan from T-Mobile — it's a pre-paid $15 per month plan that many Pinwheel customers use.

    In either case, they will either give you (in a store) or mail you a SIM card, which you'll then put into the Pinwheel! (And yes, you can port a number to it, if you already have a number established.)

    (If you have other cellular questions, check here or ask our friendly LiveChat folks.)

    Keep going!

    Have you installed the SIM card installed in the Pinwheel?

    The phone will not work properly before a SIM card is installed. It reads time zone, location, and other important data from the SIM's cellular settings.

     

    To install a SIM:

    Slim Phone SIM Installation

    Rugged Phone SIM Installation

    Keep going!

    Is the phone connected to your home WiFI?

    Here's how to connect the Pinwheel phone to your WiFi:

    Keep going!

    Have you had "The Talk" with your kid(s)?

    A phone is a big deal for a kid.

     

    Before handing them this new privilege, we recommend at least some basic conversation about the expectations and responsibilities of having it. Every family will approach this a little differently, but we have found these are pretty common topics to explore and explain:

     

    • Tool, Not Toy.There are no games, YouTube, or ads, because they're addictive and built to monetize your attention.

    • Mode Changing. The Pinwheel phone isn't the same all the time. It can have school mode, morning mode, night mode, and more, and each mode changes what apps and contacts are available to help support appropriate behavior for that time of day.

    • Their Responsibility. The Pinwheel phone is safe to leave in their room in "Night Mode," if you want, since it's locked down to emergency contacts only and no apps. Because it’s safe, it can be their responsibility to charge it, keep track of it, wipe the screen clean now and then, and so on.

      NOTE: You'll still want to tell them not to text you at 10pm for a drink of water. How do we know they may do that? We’re parents, too. And it has happened to us.

    • Code of Conduct. Because the Pinwheel phone has a camera, and kids can message friends, you might want to discuss with them consent and appropriateness of photos and videos. To always have consent to take or share someone’s photo. To never, ever take or share photos of private body parts, and to tell you immediately if that should ever happen for any reason.

     

    Keep going!

    Well then…

    You should be all set to give the Pinwheel to your kid!

    We recommend having it in a limited mode when you first hand it to them and have it set to switch to “free play” or another mode after an hour or so, so they see how the mode-switching works. Then:

     

    You can give them their username and password and let them log in and explore!

     

    When you do give it to them, it can be fun to:

     

    1. Really celebrate it.Make it an occasion — you trust them with a new level of responsibility, and that's something to celebrate all around.

     

    2. Have a phone number reveal ceremony.Tell them to call you, and their phone number will pop up on your screen. Then they’ll know what their phone number is and you can save their number in your contacts!

     

     

    Congratulations! Welcome to the Pinwheel phase of your child's life.

     

    If you run into anything challenging during set-up, please reach out. We care about your journey, and we want you and your child to succeed.

     

    Also: keep an eye on your email inbox — as we continue to grow and evolve, we do our best to keep you posted on the latest developments and features!