Technology has had a huge impact on how we parent. It can be argued whether this is good or bad, but for me, parenting is such a tough gig that any help is welcomed.
Whether it’s for security, monitoring, comfort, automation or entertainment purposes, smart home technology has endless applications which can give us parents a helping hand. This kind of tech is something we’ve adopted and embraced in our own family life - so much so that it is now our norm.

With just one or two taps on my smartphone, I have control over aspects of our house regardless of where I am in the world – whether it’s switching on lights, boosting the heating or checking on the dog, smart tech gives me the means to achieve this.

Having tried smart devices from a number of different suppliers, we’re now happy with our current home setup. We use a combination of Hive and Yale for our home security, Hive for lighting, heating and smart plugs, and Google Home as our virtual assistant.



2.jpgSorting out the heating with HIve


During our journey into the world of smart tech, we’ve discovered many ways it can aid parenting. Here’s three smart tech devices we own and how we use them with our kids:



Google Home


Home assistants are packed with family-friendly features to help alleviate childhood boredom. In our house, we use voice commands to ask Google Home to play music (usually the Frozen, Moana and Trolls soundtracks) and play games (including Musical Chairs and The Wiggles’ choose-your-own adventure game) to entertain the children. We regularly ask Google to “tell me a joke” which my daughter finds hilarious, even when she doesn’t understand the punchline!

It’s great to field some of the millions of daily questions I receive as a parent – many of which I can’t answer. Recent referrals to Google have included head-scratchers including “what noise do pandas make” and “how many people run the London marathon”. There’s also loads of things you can ask Google which result in a funny response - “who you gonna call” and “do you want to build a snowman” are my daughter’s current favourite judging by the number of times she asks Google each day!



Hive View Camera


We own two Hive View Cameras which we bought primarily for security purposes, however we’ve found additional uses for them with the children. As parenting requires you to perform the impossible task of being in multiple places at the same time, the cameras provide an extra pair of eyes. I’ll regularly place the detachable camera into a room with the kids, then watch the live feed when I’m cleaning, cooking, or ahem, sitting on the toilet. This also works brilliantly when the kids are still asleep in the car when we’ve got home from a day out.




We’ve also turned one of the cameras into a baby monitor. This allows us to see a live feed of our son when he’s asleep, be alerted to movement or sound, communicate via two way audio, download particular footage and even play a lullaby. Although, I’m not going to lie, turning on the live feed to see your baby staring directly at the camera from a few inches away is the stuff of nightmares!



Hive Lights


Over time, we’ve upgraded more and more of the bulbs in our house to Hive Smart Lights. From a parenting perspective, the fact that they are dimmable and can be scheduled makes them the perfect night light. We have one setup in our hallway to turn on to 5% brightness at sunset, then turn off at sunrise, so there’s always enough light to scare away any monsters.

A few of our Hive Smart Lights are colour changing bulbs too. Through these, we add an extra element when it comes to imaginative play, watching films or reading stories. For instance, changing the colour to a cold blue is perfect for transporting ourselves to Arendelle when watching Frozen, or making them a hot orange works well when jumping across the sofas and cushions when the floor is made from lava.



5 (002).JPGGetting the lighting right!



If this sounds like the kind of thing missing from your family life, you’ll be interested to hear that EE customers can get the latest smart home technology with EE Add To Plan. With free setup and support for a year, the ability to spread the cost over 11 months and a wide range of devices from the likes of Hive, Nest, Alexa, Ring and Apple, making your home smarter has never been easier.

Do you use smart home tech in your household? What are your thoughts on using smart technology to help with family life? Share your view in the comments below to be in with the chance of winning a bundle of smart home appliances from EE!





For terms and conditions click below:

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EE Competition to Win a Smart Home Bundle

  1. The promoter is: Things Unlimited on behalf of EE Limited whose registered office is at [10 Great Pulteney St, Soho, London W1F 9NB].
  2. The competition is open to residents of the United Kingdom aged 18 years or over except employees of [EE & Unlimited Group] and their close relatives and anyone otherwise connected with the organisation or judging of the competition.
  3. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.
  4. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
  5. The competition will be advertised on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter. However, entry to participate in the competition is via the comments on the EE Community Blog Post [].
  6. Only one entry will be accepted per person. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified.
  7. Closing date for entry will be Sunday 30th June 2019. After this date the no further entries to the competition will be permitted.
  8. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
  9. How to enter the competition are as follows:

Access the article here: [].

Do you use smart home tech in your household?

What are your thoughts on using smart technology to help with family life?

Share your view in the comments below to be in with the chance of winning a bundle of smart home appliances from EE!


  1. The promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice in the event of a catastrophe, war, civil or military disturbance, act of God or any actual or anticipated breach of any applicable law or regulation or any other event outside of the promoter’s control. Any changes to the competition will be notified to entrants as soon as possible by the promoter.


  1. The promoter is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition.


  1. The prizes are as follows: Google Home Hub, Google Home Mini, Hive Motion Sensor, Hive Active Plug, Ring Video Doorbell 2


  1. The prize is as stated, and no cash or other alternatives will be offered. The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice.


  1. Winners will be chosen at random from all entries received and verified by Promoter and or its agents.


  1. The winner will be notified by email from the EE Community Blog post within 28 days of the closing date. If the winner cannot be contacted or do not claim the prize within 14 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.


  1. The promoter will notify the winner when and where the prize can be collected / is delivered.


  1. The promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.


  1. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.


  1. The competition and these terms and conditions will be governed by English law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England.


  1. The winner agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material, as well as their entry. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current UK data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.


  1. The winner’s name will be available 28 days after closing date by emailing the following address: []


  1. Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.


  1. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Network. You are providing your information to EE and not to any other party. The information provided will be used in conjunction with the following Privacy Policy found at []




EE Community Manager
EE Community Manager

I wish that I could enter this as the prize sounds fab! Unfortunately staff are excluded...


However I have to share what happens at my house with our Amazon Echo - it's basically used as a timer for the kids' baking as I haven't yet set it up to recognise my voice for shopping lists etc.


But there's an issue - whenever one child sets a timer for their baking, the other will wait a few minutes and then cancel it! They think it's hilarious...



Community Manager


New Member

I’ve been using smart lights and plugs for a while now and they’re great, really eager to get a ring doorbell and try out the hive cameras too!

Brilliant Contributor
Brilliant Contributor

I have Alexa and Google Home Mini.


Use them to annoy my wife mainly she hates them lol.


But the main smart tech we use is our Ring Doorbell.


It is really useful. Specially when you are expecting a package and then had to make a sudden trip to town.


When I was on my way back the delivery driver rung my doorbell. I was able to tell him I was a minute away and he waited for me to get back.


We are waiting for Ring to release their home alarm system that they have in the US as we will be getting that as well as a couple of their CCTV cameras.

Grand Master
Grand Master

I see you have the Yale smart alarm I’ve got this also I also use one of the Yale smart cameras,   I highly recommend it.  I had to get rid of the smart bulbs I had as the mrs kept switching off the power to them not not using voice commands. 

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We don't have any smart tech in our home yet, but my parents have the Hive for controlling their heating that I think is great and I've been looking to get it installed in our home. I don't like heating an empty home so being able to turn it on and off while we're out the home is perfect.

I've just purchased the drayton wiser so I'm not heating my whole house and can keep my children's room cooler at night while we are cosy in the lounge.  I like the idea about the smart bulbs on 5% at night but fear they would keep being turned off at the switch.  Also don't think my Google home would respond well to a whisper to turn on the kitchen light at 2am when I need to go down for a drink!


Think some smart tech is great and useful (wiser, Google home for answering those questions) but some is probably only 70% useful - can't fully see the benefit of the lighting to make me part with with my money!

Ace Contributor
Ace Contributor

I have a few bits of kit that I use daily and love.

I have the tp-link Wi-fi bulbs which are fab for when we are out late or on holiday as extra security. I set various times to pop on and off do it looks like someone is home.

I also have an echo dot in most rooms and the amazon echo spot as my bedroom alarm clock.  I can drop in from one room to another to connect with the kids without shouting upstairs. They’ve also been really useful in helping kids with homework , general knowledge and for playing family games.

Having music in any room is fab too.


I would absolutely love to add a video doorbell and camera at some point as an extra form of security . I was burgled 10 years ago and ever since I’ve always felt a little vulnerable even with a house alarm. 

Technology is really helping us to feel safer and making life much more simple. I can’t wait to see future products and where we can go with it all.  


Would love this as I'm renovating my first home and this is something I'm hoping to purchase! As we get home late and leave early! Also camera would come in handy as we have shared access and a garage we cant see! 

EE Community Support Team

Good Morning @Yesclassic_1.


Welcome to the community.


Have you entered the competition?


Fingers crossed for you, 


Katie 🙂


A really interesting post with some good ideas on how to use smart tech with children. I particularly like the points about using the bulbs as a night light and watching the children with the camera - if only things like that were around when my daughter was little! 


We have a few bits of smart tech in our house and enjoy using them. We have some smart plugs which we use for turning on and off lamps in the living room. We also have one we move around in the kitchen, so that we can turn on things like the slow cooker or kettle. We have a Google Home in the kitchen and like that - we love listening to music as a family so are always playing something from Spotify on the speaker.


I'd love to have more smart tech in the house and think it'd be really good for security. The Ring doorbell looks great and would be a handy way to speak to delivery drivers when I'm not in as we do a lot of online shopping! The competition looks fantastic and I'd love to win the bundle!

New Member

Not with children but my mother has dementia and honestly some of the smart tech has been a life safer.


Tile - have the tile attached to her main items so when she misplaces them she can alert them to ring, which is amazing.


Amazon Alexa - have a routine set up for the morning to go through the day, the calendar etc to let her feel in control.


an iPhone app called Round to monitor the tablets she needs to take


And lastly Find Friends app on the phone.


I personally use Ring Doorbell and Philips Hue for myself, smart tech is the future.


Would love a chance to win something.

  1. Just renovating our house and researching all things smart to aid simplifying our daily family life!  There’s some great applications here we hadn’t even considered. Thanks all! 
New Member

Hello, my twins are tech mad! We have a crazy number of devices in our home that suck the WiFi dry. We have 2 Alexa minis and our TV and some of our lights are rigged to Alexa and we have some smart bulbs. The problem I have is that if the kids are not home , I struggle to turn on the TV and Alexa won’t listen to me. A bit like the rest of the family..... Don’t get me started on the robot hoover. This was a joint Xmas and bday present for my boys. It is programmed to hoover at midnight and wakes me up!! 


New Member

As a part time geek and tree hugger, I mainly try and use my smart home to save energy and organise my life. I've got sensors on my windows so that the hive heating turns off when the windows are left open, rather than heating the rest of the neighbouring houses. I also use my phones location,  via Samsung Smartthings,  to turn on the heating when I'm on the way home and turn off the heating, lights and other devices when I leave the house geofence. Little things but it makes me happy 🙂 


Smart technology definitely has it's uses, I have several 'Smart' items - TV, phone (obvs), a plug, and my washing machine.  The plug is fab for peace of mind, I make sure I use it for hair straighteners and iron - so no more having to come home to check if I've left either of them on (as happened on more than one occasion)!  I have never used the smart capabilities on my washing machine, though if anything goes wrong with it, then it might come in useful for diagnostic purposes (hopefully I haven't jinxed it now!).

EE Community Manager
EE Community Manager

A big congratulations to our competition winner @Chin15 


We will be in touch via private message to get some details from you so that you can receive your prize 🙂