Toddle

What is Toddle?

Toddle is a macOS app that allows babies and toddlers to get closer to the screen during video calls.

Toddle disables the keyboard and mouse so your little one can mash the keyboard without accidentally ending the call.

When you're finished, you enter a password to unlock the keyboard and mouse.

Things you should know

You need to give Toddle access to 'control your computer'. This sounds scary, but it's just so that it can disable the keyboard and mouse, which is its whole purpose.

It's a bit convoluted the first time you use it, but once you've set it up, it's easy to use from then on.

If you can't unlock the controls with the password you chose, then you'll have to power off the computer by holding down the power button for a few seconds.

Let’s get on with it...

1. Download to Applications folder

  • Download and unzip, then move Toddle into your Applications folder. See GIF below.
  • It's a bit convoluted the first time you use it, but once you've set it up, it's easy to use from then on.

2. The first time you open Toddle

  • The first time you launch Toddle, it will tell you Apple is unable to verify that the software isn't malicious. This is just because I'm not subscribed to the Apple Developer program.
  • So to open it (only the first time), you have to go to your Applications folder, then hold the 'control' key and click on Toddle, then select 'Open'. Then choose Open from the next window. See GIF below.

3. Allow Toddle to control your computer

  • The first time Toddle launches, you need to allow access to control your computer. This is just used to disable the keyboard and mouse β€” nothing else!
  • When prompted, open System Preferences and tick the box next to Toddle (in Security & Privacy -> Privacy -> Accessibility).
  • You will need to click on the padlock in the bottom left of the window to make changes. See GIF below.

4. Re-open Toddle and go into "Lockdown" (disable keyboard and mouse)

  • Once you've done this, you'll need to go to the Applications folder and relaunch Toddle. (Just double click it to open, as usual.)
  • Now you should see Toddle's 'dummy' icon in the status bar in the top right of your screen.
  • Next time you have a video call, lock the keyboard and mouse by selecting "Lockdown" from the status bar menu (dummy icon). See image below.
  • You'll be asked to choose a password that you will use to unlock the keyboard and mouse when you're ready.

5. Let the little one loose on a video call

  • Once locked, let your little one go wild. They'll probably still try to close the laptop lid, but I can't write any software to prevent that! Oh and this doesn't make your laptop dribble-proof! πŸ˜‚
  • Warning: Don't let your child press down on the screen and the keyboard at the same time, which could result in the laptop screen snapping away from the keyboard.

6. When you're finished and want to re-enable the keyboard and mouse

  • To go back to normal, just enter the password you chose to unlock, and that's it!