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Parental Control: Occupy Kids With Activities
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Launching on September 27th 🥳

Available for pre-order on App Store now!

Playpen is an app for iPhone and iPad that is designed to help parents keep their kids entertained without allowing them to rifle through their devices. By giving kids access to pre-approved activities, Playpen gives parents a well-earned break safe in the knowledge that their little ones are entertained.

What makes Playpen unique is that parents can change the current Playpen activity without taking the device from the child's hands. Playpen supports remote control through the Playpen Apple Watch app or nearby iOS devices running Playpen using Apple's Multipeer Connectivity framework.

What is Playpen?

Playpen is an app created by a father who found that simply giving their kid an iPhone locked to an app with Guided Access wasn't enough. Kids soon get bored of playing the same game or looking at the same photos, and sometimes giving them unfettered access to YouTube isn't something parents want to do. Playpen is the answer.

With Playpen, parents can configure which activities they want to allow their kids to access and then enter Guided Access mode. That way, they don't get bored and parents have peace of mind because they know exactly what their child is doing.

Activities available to kids via Playpen include being able to take photos, look at photo libraries, watch YouTube videos, and more:

  • Access to the selfie camera, but not your entire Photo Library
  • Preconfigured YouTube videos but without access to the wider YouTube library of content
  • The ability to view specific photo albums without the ability to edit them
  • Listen to multiple interactive and cute animal sounds

Playpen will automatically start an activity whenever Guided Access mode is enabled as well, making it super easy to get up and running when parents need it. Even better, Playpen supports parents' Apple Watches, so they can control the activities that kids are using without having to take the iPhone or iPad away.

Guided Access is an iPhone and iPad feature that locks devices to a single app with a special sequence of button presses and a passcode required to unlock.

Who is Playpen for?

Playpen is for parents of kids who need to be entertained on long car drives, while waiting for a meal in a restaurant, or anywhere else. As parents, we've all been in situations where our kids are bored and need a little extra stimulation and Playpen is an app that offers that in a way that ensures not only are our kids safe, but so are our devices as well. Giving kids access to iPhones and iPads, often that are used for work, can be problematic. That's no longer a concern when using Playpen.

People who could benefit from using Playpen include:

  • Parents stuck in line with a child who is becoming restless
  • Anyone who's been on a long car journey with a child who keeps asking "are we there yet?"
  • Parents who would normally give their iPhone to a child to entertain them but worry that they'll go snooping through their work emails
  • Any parent, with any child, who just needs some peace!


Playpen has a Freemium subscription model with monthly, yearly and lifetime options. Family Sharing is enabled for all.

The free version is suitable for parents that have an iPhone or iPad that their children love to playwith. It includes all activity types, widgets, and shortcuts.

Paid subscribers enjoy additional features and content:

  • Use Apple Watch app to change Playpen activities on the iPhone
  • Use iPhone or iPad to change Plpayen activities on other nearby iPhones or iPads

Who made the the app?

Playpen is made by Josh Holtz. Josh is parent of two kids, lead maintainer of fastlane, and software engineer at RevenueCat.

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