The High Tech Society

The Kindle Fire HD: Not Just for Grown-Ups

When most people think about the Kindle Fire, they assume that it is a high-tech device made only for adults. For the most part, of course, that’s true. However, Amazon has made it easier than ever before to get the younger crowd into the game with the Kindle FreeTime app. Kindle FreeTime Unlimited is a subscription app that turns a Kindle Fire into a kid-friendly tablet and, from a parent’s point of view, is a great way to keep a child occupied without having to worry about what they’re doing.

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What’s Included

Included in the app’s subscription is access to books, games, apps and videos for the child. Regardless of what the child feels like doing, there is something in the built-in “app store” for them. Of course, the term “store” is somewhat of a misnomer, as there isn’t actually any apps to purchase. In fact, Amazon is very strict about there not being any form of in-app purchases whatsoever, meaning that my child, who is 2 years old, can play to her hearts content without me having to be concerned about receiving a large credit card bill.

Parental Controls

The FreeTime Unlimited app includes a nice set of parental controls. To start with, when you set up the app you are asked to provide a password. Once the app is loaded, the child cannot exit without the password being typed in. This is great news for those of us who don’t feel the need to constantly look over our child’s shoulder. And if you’re the type of parent who like to limit the child’s “play time”, no need to worry. Amazon has you covered there, as well. The FreeTime Unlimited app includes options for parents to limit the screen time. If you want your child to only be able to play games for 30 minutes, but allow them to read books as much as they want, you can easily set up the parental controls this way.

Age Appropriate Titles

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Kindle FreeTime Unlimited includes thousands of titles for children from ages 3 to 8. Books, games and, yes, even full-length videos features many of today’s popular television characters can be found within the app’s “store” – everything from Dora to Sesame Street, even some popular comic book characters.

Costs

While paying a subscription cost for a child’s app may sound daunting to some parents, they benefits very quickly become apparent. I was, at first, hesitant. But after seeing how much my child enjoyed being able to use her very own Kindle Fire HD, and the large amount of content available, I didn’t give it a second thought.

The cost of the subscription depends on two factors: how many children you have, and whether or not you are an Amazon Prime member. The base subscription cost for one child is $4.99 per month for non-Prime members. Amazon Prime members, of course, get a discount: $2.99 per month. For the ability to add up to six separate children’s profiles to the app, non-Prime members pay $9.99 per month, while Prime members pay only $6.99. There are never any additional costs for any downloads within the app. Everything in the FreeTime Unlimited library is included in the subscription cost.

How to Get Started With FreeTime Unlimited

Getting started with the Kindle FreeTime Unlimited app is easy. All you have to do is find the the app’s icon in the Kindle Fire (regular or HD) apps library, and tap it. Set up a password for the app and add your child’s profile. This will include the option to select your child’s age range, to ensure that the appropriate content is available. Finally, tap one of the two subscribe buttons. That’s it. Once you’re subscribed, load up the app and hand over the Kindle Fire to your child.