Thursday, February 13, 2020

A Review of Amazon's Kindle Kids Edition

My son went from not ever wanting to read (on his own) to being obsessed with books. He now reads non-stop. This Summer was the turning point. All it took was finding was a book series for him to really get sucked into to. For him it was the Dog Man series by Dav Pilkey and the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan (read his review here).

He's also really gotten into listening to books, and downloads Audibles at a faster rate than I do. I love that he has a new found love for all things reading.

In January he turned nine. He had mentioned some new books he wanted, but I decided to do some research about getting him his own e-reader. Besides, it seemed like a much better alternative to adding more toys to my house. I had the thought that everyone could get him gift cards for books for his birthday or any holiday and it could be the gift that would keep on giving.

After a few weeks of research, I decided on the Amazon Kindle for Kids. It came out in October, and seemed like best choice for what I was looking for. Now that he's had it for about a month, all I can say is best. gift. ever.

Here's my thoughts on it in case you've been thinking of getting your own little reader an e-reader.


A friend of mine decided to do the same gift idea for her son for Christmas, but went with the Kindle Fire for Kids instead. After chatting with her about it, I was curious. She brought her son's over one day for me to play with, and I was so impressed. Our kids all have iPads, but for the cost and the set-up, the Kindle Fire hands down is the better choice in my opinion.

If we didn't already have iPads for the kids, I would have pulled the trigger on the Kindle Fires. They are easy to navigate, already come with a ton of age appropriate apps, a protective cover, and have an excellent warranty. It's a no brainer at less than a third of the cost.

Ultimately I decided to stick with the Kindle Kids Edition. We already have iPads and I wanted him to have a device that was strictly for reading and not worry about him getting on YouTube or Netflix or anything else.

Size Comparison: Kindle Paperwhite vs. Kindle Kids Edition


I have the latest Kindle Paperwhite, and thought about just purchasing him that option, but then I realized what a better deal the Kindle Kids Edition was.

  1. Cover Options are included.  It comes with a protective cover when purchased, so you don't have anything additional to buy. With the Paperwhite I still had to buy a cover as an extra. There are four cover options to choose from.
  2. Amazon Free Time is included free for one year.  A Free Time Unlimited subscription allows a Kindle user to have unlimited access to books, magazines, Audibles, movies, and shows. The Paperwhite offers a free subscription with purchase for up to three months, but the Kindle for Kids edition comes with a free one-year subscription. It also allows for the Kids version to switch back and forth between reading the story and the Audible version for free.

    I was nervous the subscription would just be a few books, but it includes a ton of popular titles and almost any book a kid would really want to read. For example, the entire Harry Potter Series comes with the subscription. 

    I haven't done a cost analysis since we've only owned it a month, but I'm guessing if you have an avid reader the yearly savings would be huge. (Free Time increases to $2.99/month for Prime users and $4.99/month for non-members after the free subscription period ends. It can be cancelled anytime.)
  3. Security. As with any electronic device these days, parents have to worry about security on multiple levels. The device works off wi-fi, but there isn't any chatting, etc. available. I also control purchases and what content he views from my own account. He can independently search and download within the parameters I set him and his reading level, but anything outside of that has to get permission from me. Super simple to set up and use, and very easy to alter if needed.
  4. Free Replacement if damaged. The Kindle Kids Edition comes with a 2-year worry free guarantee. If anything happens to it within two years of purchase it can be replaced for free. That alone makes it worth it because...well, kids.
  5. Wireless headphone capable. Total first world problem, but I can't stand untangling cords. The kids could care less how many knots are in them, but it drives me nuts. With just a click of a button their wireless headphones were able to be connected. (We own these inexpensive ones.)
  6. Battery Life. Battery life for the Kindle Kids Edition is excellent. We've had to charge it once in the past month. That's with at least an hour of use daily. It takes four hours for it to get a full charge.
  7. No distractions. I love that the device is just set up for reading and listening to books. No distractions from apps or games. No commercials or ads for those things either. Just reading.
  8. It's small. Just like my Paperwhite, the Kindle Kids Edition is pretty small. Think the size of a small paperback. I was nervous it would be too small after being used to a larger tablet for so many years, but I actually like the smaller size. For travel it is excellent because it doesn't take up any room and is light enough that kids can carry it around with out it making their bags heavier. 

I will add things to this list as we navigate through new features or anything else new we learn. The only con I can see so far is that the screen is only black and white. The lighting is excellent, and our son hasn't complained about the lack of color, but in some books I can see where color for younger readers might help (especially when they are still looking at photos for reading cues). 

Hope this helps anyone thinking of getting a Kindle Kids Edition for their own little reader, or if you were needing a great gift idea! 

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