What is a Firefly Phone?

J. Beam

A Firefly phone is a mobile phone specially designed for younger kids. The Firefly phone features only five buttons on the faceplate, which are picture-coded and designed to be pre-programmed by parents. The Firefly phone is kid-friendly in design and has a clip for attaching to backpacks.

A Firefly phone may be used by parents to keep in touch with children who go from school to an after-school daycare facility.
A Firefly phone may be used by parents to keep in touch with children who go from school to an after-school daycare facility.

The five buttons on a Firefly phone consist of green and red call buttons to begin and end a call, and mom and dad buttons with symbols similar to those used on public restroom doors to indicate gender. There is also a directory button that will hold up to 20 numbers programmed by mom or dad. On the side of a Firefly phone is a 911-assistance button. The Firefly phone is designed to be simple enough for a child to use and durable enough to withstand normal use by a child.

Many parents find value in being constantly connected to their kids, especially when children start preschool or kindergarten and spend part of their day at school and part of their day at daycare. With a Firefly phone, parents can provide a simple way for kids to reach them at work without needing to remember numbers. It also prevents older children from calling friends unnecessarily and racking up expensive bills.

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Mobile service with a Firefly phone can be purchased on a pay as you go plan with pre-paid minutes or contracted through a Firefly approved cellular service provider. Pre-paid minutes can be purchased online, by phone, or with pre-paid cards available at select stores with a cost of US$.25 per minute. There are of course a variety of accessories available for Firefly phones, just like a grown-up phone, including hands-free headsets, carrying cases and different colored shells you can swap out just like a regular phone's faceplate. Consumers can purchase a Firefly phone for around US$100 from several retailers, including Target and Toys-R-Us, or online directly from Firefly.

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Discussion Comments


Firefly phones are great for kids, and especially for parents who want more control over what -- and who -- their children are calling. I got one of these phones for my daughter, and even though she wanted one that had all the bells and whistles on it, this was perfect. We programmed our numbers, grandparents' numbers and two neighbors' numbers in it, along with the two friends she sees the most. So she's not calling anyone we don't know about.

It sounds kind of like a dictatorship, but my view is, if I'm buying the phone and paying for it, then my rules apply. When she gets old enough to get a job and buy her own phone and pay for the use, then she can call and text all she wants to.


My mom is 86 and really, a Firefly phone would be a great option for her! She doesn't call that many people and 20 numbers would just about take care of all her calling needs. She has a landline for other things, but a Firefly with a 911 button would be great.

A smartphone would hopelessly confuse her and there aren't many phones still available that aren't smartphones. She just doesn't need that. I've seen another phone especially for older people called a Jitterbug phone. I wonder if they're made by the same company that makes the Firefly? I've thought about one of those phones for her, too. She needs something that's very simple to use and isn't a huge change from the old Nokia candybar phone she has now.

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