This holiday season tablets are hot items on many holiday wish lists and if you read my 5 things to consider when buying a tablet for your kids post, you’ll know that the Amazon Fire HD Kids Edition meets my five requirements. Fire HD Kids Edition is built with safety and durability in mind, features a wealth of content accessible through a fast processor, and is nicely priced at $149 for a 6″ tablet or $189 for a 7″ and is definitely a device that can grow with your child. Being familiar with other devices in the Kindle family from Amazon, Captain Computer and I sat down to explore the newest Kindle designed for kids ages 3-10. We examined the Fire HD Kids Edition according to my five factors to consider when buying kids a tablet and here’s what we found.
Fire HD Kids Edition comes with their durable, lightweight Kid-Proof Case in your choice of blue, green, or pink. The Kid-Proof case is designed to protect the screen and sides from bumps and drops that can come with everyday use. It wraps around the entire Fire and has a raised edge so the Gorilla Glass face never directly hits the floor.
One thing that is noticeable right out of the box is how easy it is to put the case on the Fire. It fits like a glove but no wrestling is required to put it on before placing the Fire in little hands. The ergonomics of the Kid-Proof Case makes it comfortable for kids to hold on to. Parents will rejoice over not having to pry it off when your child one day tells you that the case is too babyish.
As much as we want to think that our kids will carefully care for their tablet and hope that the Kid-Proof Case and Gorilla Glass will protect it, accidents happen despite the best intentions. Fire HD Kids Edition acknowledges that kids sometimes break things and is the first tablet to come with a 2 year worry free guarantee. If anything happens, just send your Fire back and they’ll replace it for free. No questions asked!
One of my biggest criticisms of tablets designed for kids is the endless money suck that parents face when trying to ensure that they always have access to engaging and educational content. I love that the Fire HD Kids Edition includes a year of FreeTime Unlimited so kids get unlimited access to 5,000 kid-friendly books, movies, TV shows, educational apps, and games—at no additional cost.
From favorite PBS shows (like Wild Kratts, Dinosaur Train, Daniel Tiger, and Sesame Street), familiar characters (including Mickey Mouse, Dora, Fireman Sam, Curious George, Spider Man, and more), beloved brands such as Disney, Nickelodeon, PBS Kids, Electronic Arts, and Amazon Originals Kids, and a wide selection of picture books and chapter books to satisfy any voracious reader, it’s not likely that your child will say that they’re bored as they easily navigate through tons of content.
Parents can also personalize content for a tailored learning experience for each child through profiles. Individual child profiles can be accessed on Fire Tablets, Kindle eReaders, or Fire TV to let kids access content where they want to. After the free year is up, an Amazon FreeTime subscription is only $2.99/month for one child with an Amazon Prime membership. Here’s the pricing structure for additional children or the cost without Prime.
Fire HD Kids Edition also features a front and rear facing camera. The FreeTime camera and photo software promotes creativity through the use of fun editing tools and the ability to add stickers and drawings on their pictures. Parents can view photos and videos taken by their children in a separate photo gallery, and have the option to auto-save to Amazon Cloud Drive. As always in Amazon FreeTime, kids are blocked from posting photos to social media.
Every parent worries about screen time and their child accessing inappropriate content but using FreeTime allows parents to personalize screen time limits, set educational goals, and choose which titles kids can access from their own personal content collection. Rest assured that your kids won’t be racking up tons of extra charges since there aren’t any in-app purchases. The lack of ads also means that they will stay focused on the content.
The ability to create individual profiles for each child lets parents determine what’s best for each kid in their family. There’s flexibility to set daily limits and restrict certain categories such as games and video for each child. The Learn First feature allows parents to block access to games and cartoons until after educational goals are met. The Bedtime features controls when screen time ends for the day by shutting off FreeTime at your designated time.
In our house, almost 11 year old Emily who loves to read, has unlimited reading time on her FreeTime profile. Because I’d like to encourage her brother to read more and watch less of his favorite shows like Wild Kratts, I’ve dialed back the time he can spend watching videos and increased his reading time.
While Fire HD Kids Edition designed with kids in mind, parents can switch from their kids’ Amazon FreeTime profile to access a fully featured Fire tablet. It’s easy to know at-a-glance if you’re seeing Fire tablet or FreeTime content. FreeTime features a kid-friendly design with access to titles that they have access to see, and a home screen carousel with recently viewed titles.
While everything I’ve said about Fire HD Kids Edition makes it seem like it’s just for kids but it’s not. It’s a full-fledged tablet with features that kids and parents will appreciate including:
- Up to 8 hours of battery life depending on content being accessed
- Fully charges in under 6 hours
- Dolby Audio
- HD Display
- Quad-Core processor
- 1 GB RAM
- 8 GB of internal storage
- 2MP rear-facing camera that allows for high-resolution photos
- 1080p HD video
- Front-facing camera that’s perfect for video calls between kids and grandparents
- Ability to connect to a HDTV or VGA monitor with an adapter or to a PC or Mac
The Fire HD Kids Edition is $149 for a 6″ tablet and $189 for a 7″ one.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.