I have to preface this article by saying I’m not a mom who is against screen time. BIG props to the moms who can live without screen time for their kids. I am one who needs some peace and quiet every now and then, therefore screen time to the rescue!
About two years ago we were preparing to travel to Canada to visit my grandparents with two small kids, 1.5 and 2.5. I was kinda nervous to fly with two little ones for the five-plus hour flight across the continent. I did some research on tablets and actually ended up purchasing a different tablet, returned it and finally settled on the Amazon Kindle Fire-Kid’s Edition on Prime Day. There was a killer deal. The Fire was the kid version, which includes the kid case that is virtually impossible to break. And, if the tablet breaks in the case, Amazon will send you a new one! Score!
The Kindles were pretty helpful on the Canada trip. The 1.5 year old didn’t know how to operate it super well but we had some TV shows/movies on it that he enjoyed watching. The have come even more in handy as they have gotten older. My kids are now 4.5 and 3.5. My three- year- old is hit or miss with nap time, but no matter- we still have quiet time. The Kindles are helpful to use during quiet time. I feel much better about myself when the kids are using learning apps. Two of our favorite learning apps are: Endless ABCs and the ABC Mouse App. Both of these are super helpful with letters and I have noticed some improvements with letter recognition since my have used them
Besides the learning apps, the Kindle Fire comes equipped with “Free Time” which is an app that has only kid-friendly material in it. I always feel confident when my kids are using “Free Time” because when they are using the app, the kids can not get out without a pass-code. Inside Free Time there are apps games, shows, and books. When you purchase a Kindle Fire, it comes with one-year of Free Time for free. After that it is $7.49 per month.
The reason I decided to write this article is because my 4.5 year old and I recently went on a trip. Each time we flew. the Kindles were very helpful keeping her entertained an happy in the airport, on the drive and on the plane. Like I mentioned earlier, we have had the Kindles for two years now and they are still going strong! I plan on getting one for the baby if we take a long trip again. Here is summary of the Pros and Cons of the Kindle Fire:
-With the kid case they are “kid-proof”/drop proof
-They have lasted two years and I believe they will continue to last
-Free Time is kid friendly with no worries about adult content
-Variety of apps free and paid
-Links up to my Amazon account so I can manage the kids’ Kindle accounts
-Can have multiple kids Free-Time accounts on one Amazon account
-Battery life isn’t long, but not too bad
-After a year, the “Free-Time” app costs monthly
-The Kindle Fire we purchased doesn’t have a lot of storage, so we have to delete things often
-A little learning curve if used to Apple products (this was specific to me)
I often have people ask me what my kids are using when they see us traveling or places where I know we will be waiting for a long time. The Kindle Fire-Kid’s Edition is basically the regular Kindle with the kid-proof case on it. I love the Kindle largely in part because of Free-Time. It gives me a huge piece of mind knowing my kids are in Free-Time, they can only access kid-friendly content and they can’t get out of the app without a password. With all the crazy things that can circulate on devices- this is HUGE for me. Although it costs monthly to keep, “Free- Time” is totally worth it!
If you travel, go places where the kids have to wait a lot or you just need a few moments of alone time, the Kindle Fire-Kid’s Edition may be perfect for you. Click here to get one for your kid(s). And let us know below, any other tips and tricks you use to keeps your kids occupied!
(happy quiet time hehe)