If you’ve been thinking about making the leap to tablet tech for your eager kiddo, there’s really no better pick than one of the Amazon Fire Kids Edition tablets, where a world of learning, imagination and even engaged family time is right at your child’s fingertips. Best of all, parents don’t need to be some kind of software engineer to set up parental controls: Amazon Fire Kids Edition tablets are ready to go right out of the box, with no setup, no software to install and no computer required to download content.
Geeky mom Keiko had no problem setting up parental controls on the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablet for her four-year-old son, Judah. Read on for Keiko’s tips on how you can set up parental controls for your very own Amazon Fire Kids Edition tablet in a jiffy, too.
Why Should You Use Parental Controls?
Amazon Fire Kids Edition tablets come with a one-year subscription to Amazon FreeTime Unlimited allowing kids to dive into more than 15,000 kid-friendly books, videos, educational apps and games with nothing more than just a few taps on their screen.
Keiko says: "Even though our son is almost 5 and fully reading at his age, we have to remember not all books or videos are appropriate for preschoolers, so that’s one of the reasons why parental controls are a must for us. We also like to stay in the loop about what he's watching and learning too because he loves to talk about the apps he's played or videos he's watched."
And what does Judah think? “I’ll watch scary movies when I’m 10, Mama. It’s okay.” (Yes, he actually said that.)
Create Personalized Child Profiles
In the Amazon FreeTime app, you can turn on Parental Controls to give your child their very own personalized profile. If you have more than one kid, you can create a profile for each of them.
Keiko says: "We made Judah his very own profile with daily time limits and certain content restrictions. His profile image is a T-rex, because dinosaurs are the obvious personal mascot of preschoolers everywhere. My husband and I are the sole keepers of the Parental Controls password, so if Judah ever tries to do something outside of his pre-set limits, he first has to come to Mama or Dad to unlock it."
Judah says: “Will you please tell me the password?”
Set Daily Daily Goals & Time Limits
On the Parent Settings screen, tap “Daily Goals & Time Limits” if you want your child to only use their tablet for certain amounts of time or only during certain hours of the day. Here's a handy travel hack: set up different time limits for weekdays versus weekends. If you do most of your travel on the weekends such as long road trips, you can set up longer time limits just for the weekends.
Keiko says: "This is my favorite feature of our Amazon Fire Kids Edition tablet by far. We can break down Judah's time limits based on what kind of content he’s interacting with. We allow our son to watch up to 1 hour of videos per day and play up to 30 minutes of games or apps on his tablet. Once Judah hits those time limits, no more videos, and no more apps—but he we’ve set his Books to “unlimited” so he can pick up his tablet and read whenever he wants to, for as long as he likes."
Judah says: “Mom, I’m out of game time. I’m going to go read now, okay?”
Totally Customized Content Just for Your Kiddo
On the Parent Settings screen, you can tap “Manage Content & Subscription” to really tailor your child’s experience by adding and removing specific content, from books and videos to apps and even specific characters. You can also use Smart Filters to filter content by appropriate age groups.
Keiko says: "Even though Judah is already reading and psyched about starting kindergarten in the fall, there are definitely some things we don’t necessarily want him reading, watching or interacting with on his Amazon Fire Kids Edition tablet because it’s just out of his age range. We especially love that we can filter content by age range, (so no R.L. Stine or Hunger Games for Judah—yet). What’s also awesome is that we can filter out certain characters from shows and games who shall remain nameless (think big purple dinosaur or that bald kid from Canada) that as parents, might not be our favorite characters for our son to interact with."
Judah says: “Hey mom, why are there no games from [this popular show that drives us nuts] on my tablet?”
Get Savvy with the Amazon Parent Dashboard
Parents can access the Amazon Parent Dashboard via their desktop or mobile browser by visiting https://parents.amazon.com. There, you’ll see not only what apps, videos, books and other content your child has most recently accessed, you can get a visual breakdown of what kind of content your child uses the most.
Keiko says: "Judah has a penchant for apps and games and what’s so neat about the Amazon Parent Dashboard is that I can click on any app, video, game or piece of content he’s used and see a whole set of discussion cards to talk about what he’s interacting with. One of his favorite apps right now is a simple game of checkers. With unique discussion cards for every Amazon FreeTime app, I’ve talked to Judah about his game strategy and how he tries to think a step ahead."
Judah says: “Hey Mama, how did you know I was watching that?”
Starting at $99.99 on Amazon.com, check out both the Amazon Fire Kids Edition tablets to see which one fits your family’s budget.
What’s your favorite feature of the Amazon Fire?