I am breaking away from my usual breastfeeding chat to talk about a product I love. If I love it then I enjoy sharing my experience with other parents. That's why I am sharing my thoughts on the Kindle Fire Kids Edition.
First a little background on me. I spent the last 15 years working in IT so I know a little about it. My husband and I are absolute Apple fans and I pretty much only buy their products when it comes to my personal tech. So of course I thought if I got my kid a tablet it would be an iPad ha.
I also swore that my child wouldn't own a tablet or phone until they were in high school...hahaha. When the point came that my 3 year old daughter would not leave my phone or iPad alone, I decided it was time to check out my options. This was last year before Christmas and I wanted this be her big gift.
While I briefly considered an iPad mini since I knew it could grow with her, I quickly dismissed that idea since 1) it's ridiculously expensive for a 3 year old's gift 2) it seemed like way more functionality and options than she needed and 3) by the time she could use all the features of a rich tablet like an iPad there will be much newer and updated versions. So with that it was a kid's tablet I was in search of and I ended up buying her a Leapfrog LeapPad. Look... the LeapPad is super cute. It is fun and has some cute games. But, after much debating and analyzation I ended up returning it after a week and got her the Kindle Fire Kids Edition. I felt like the LeapPad was somewhat limited in that I needed to buy her games that quickly added up in cost and the overall experience was limiting to us. I don't want to bash Leapfrog, they make great products, but it was not for us. I see they have come out with a new LeapFrog Epic 7" Android-based Kids Tablet so that may be a more robust tablet.
So, after all my back and forth, purchasing and returning, I ended up with the Kids Fire and I could not be happier with my choice. We have owned it about a year so I feel ready to share my thoughts.
Features I love about it:
It's affordable, for a full feature real tablet this is a bargain. It is actually a regular Fire that comes with the additional kids features. While you can get a Fire alone I think the additional case, 2 year warranty for anything (yes anything!!) and unlimited Amazon FreeTime are worth the small additional cost for the kids version.
Nice 7" touchscreen display, it's not tiny but it's not huge. The size and weight are perfect for my 3 year old.
It has multiple profiles you can set up. So multiple children can use it and I can even use it to read my Kindle books when I do not have my Kindle with me.
Easy to use parental controls, I can manage everything including what my kids access, how long they can use it, and create educational goals (which I have not taken advantage of yet).
The battery life seems very comparable to other devices I use.
It is easy to use and navigate which is important for a toddler or small child. My daughter at 3.5 has mastered this thing and can download what she wants (from approved content) delete items she does not want, switch between apps, use the camera and get to the home screen. This is all great because it can be annoying when a little child is asking you to help them switch between items on a tablet every few minutes.
It seems very durable. Despite the 2 year warranty this device has already withstood beverages, food, drops and everything else you expect from a child. The case that it comes with is very thick and spongy and seems to work well. The screen is not covered by anything but so far, so good.
It has a front and rear camera that my daughter finds easy to use.
Some of her favorite games on here are educational and fun. The options available on Amazon FreeTime seem endless so there is never boredom or trouble finding a great option to download. This includes apps, games, movies and books that have all of her beloved and well known characters as well as some new ones.
Comes with Wifi and bluetooth, and there is a spot for headphones to attach. CPU and RAM specs are good for a tablet this size - Quad-Core 1.3 GHz with 1 GB of RAM. 8 GB of internal storage (5 GB available to user). There is an option to add a microSD card for up to 128 GB of additional storage. This is huge because that was not available last year, read below for more info..
Well the biggest con from my perspective was that my device came with 8GB of storage with only 5 of this being usable. My daughter can quickly fill this up although with practice she seems to have figured out how to remove stuff easily so she can download more (at 3 whoa!)
I absolutely wish it had come with an option for more storage. I am pretty sure this was the biggest complaint LAST YEAR when this was released. BUT now it does have an option for more storage.
This year's version comes with an SD slot for up to 128 GB of expandable storage. While I am so happy that Amazon listened to consumers and added this capability I am kind of mad I did not get that version! This is the price you pay for being an early user of something new I suppose.
Since storage is no longer an issue I cannot find any other negatives about this product. I have seen a few users complain about slowness or the tablet freezing but I have not experienced this and we do have the older version. We will continue to use the one we have as long as possible. This product is wonderful for a wide age range as well. I can see this being great for toddlers through tweens or even older.
Here is a summary of the specs from Amazon:
- Up to $109 in savings on Fire, 1 year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited and a Kid-Proof Case, plus a 2-year worry-free guarantee
- Not a toy, a full-featured Fire tablet with a 7" IPS display and front and rear cameras. Add a microSD card for up to 128 GB of additional storage.
- 2-year worry-free guarantee: if they break it, return it and we'll replace it for free. No questions asked.
- Unlimited, free access to 10,000 kid-friendly books, movies, TV shows, educational apps, and games with 1 year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited included
- Best-in-class parental controls allow you to manage usage limits, content access, and educational goals
A full-featured 7" Fire tablet with a 1024 x 600 IPS display that's perfect for watching movies like Frozen, plus a fast quad-core processor that ensures quick app launch times and smooth games and video. The Fire Kids Edition tablet comes in black (with a blue or pink Kid-Proof Case), 8 GB of internal storage, and up to 128 GB of expandable storage with microSD.
I hope this has helped anyone looking for a tablet for their young child. I wasn't sure I should cross the line of getting my daughter a tablet, but a year later I can say we love it. There are still times when days go by without use because we are too busy doing other things. I don't want the screen to rule their lives, and as parents we always worry whether we are making the right choices with a purchase like this. I believe everything in moderation is fine, and this a wonderful device for young kids with lots of parental controls built in to give you the confidence and options to manage it all.
Please let me know if you have any questions about the Kindle Fire Kids Edition at all!
Best place to buy is Amazon of course!
Tuesday 22nd of November 2016
Thank you so much for this review! I, too, did not want to get my kids any major electronics until they were much older (after all, I survived the first 20 years of my life without even a cell phone). However, I decided to get with the times and buy my 3-year-old a tablet for Christmas this year, and was torn between these two.
One question: Can games/books/movies be downloaded onto the Fire so that it can still be used in the car, or does it only function fully over Wi-Fi? I want her to be able to take this on our summer road trips, which are generally 5-16 hour drives depending on where we vacation.
Thank you again!
Tuesday 22nd of November 2016
So, I actually have two of these now and I do love them for kids. My four year old has a newer one and my almost three year old has her older one. The biggest limitation I have with my original one is space but now you can add an SD card so that's not even an issue anymore. I have not tried movies on them but there are books and games that you can download that work without wifi. I think it depends on the app, some need wifi to work, and some work without it. We have used them on road trips without issue.