If you're on the fence about buying a tablet for your kiddo this holiday season, then let me tell you, the powers that be(zos) at Amazon are offering a deal that's truly hard to pass up. You may be thinking, I'll just wait until Cyber Monday... but there's a ridiculously good sale on the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet right now, and it ends on Thursday, November 7, so you may want to grab one while you can.
Many parents have a love-hate relationship with tablets, especially when it comes to their children using them. On the one hand, handing over a screen playing Daniel Tiger or Baby Shark (pack headphones, please, I’m begging you ) on a flight or a long car ride or a long car ride can be a godsend. But on the other hand, it can be stressful if you’re not able to monitor exactly what your child is playing or watching, and isn’t being able to go do your own thing (by “own thing” I mean like... cooking dinner, or maybe if you’re getting wild, responding to an email without tiny yogurt encrusted hands jabbing at the screen) the whole point of giving your child a tablet?
The Fire HD Kids Edition, which is currently on sale for $90, a big savings from the original $130, alleviates some of these fears (and also the fear that your fragile iPad screen is going to get stepped on by a very small but mighty Croc-wearing foot). And even if you end up hiding it away in the closet until Christmas Eve, now's the time to buy.
There are easy-to-use parental controls within the Fire HD where you can set screen time limits, filter age-appropriate content, block any content that isn’t marked as “educational,” and manage web browsing. It’s super easy (coming from someone who is still trying to figure out WHY my TV requires three remotes) to set the controls either on the device itself or online through the Amazon Parent Dashboard.
The sturdy but small and very packable Fire device has a 10-hour battery life (which is key on travel days when outlets are scarce). It also comes with one free year of FreeTime Unlimited, which “gives your kids access to over 20,000 popular apps and games, videos, books, Audible books, and educational content from PBS Kids, Nickelodeon, Disney, and more,” per the product details on Amazon. After a year, the subscription renews for as little as $3 a month, and there's also Spanish content available on FreeTime Unlimited.
If you’re tired of being the one to tell your kid it’s time to turn off the videos (cue crying, boneless toddler), then have the tablet do it for you. You can set it to turn off activities after a certain amount of time, and if you need to lessen the blow, in addition to videos and games, there are also audiobooks (including Beauty and the Beast, The Snow Queen, Peter Pan, Rip Van Winkle and more) and art-centric or other educational apps. Everything your child looks at will be recorded in the Parent Dashboard, which makes it less likely that your child is watching TV shows you know nothing about (honestly, who is Catboy?) and it creates an opportunity to connect with your child by asking them questions about what they did that day.
Best of all, the Fire HD Kids Edition comes with a 2 year “worry-free” warranty, meaning that if anything happens to the tablet — milk spills, something unidentified and very sticky jammed in the headphone jack, a shattered screen — you’ll just mail it back and receive a new one for free. Now if that same worry-free warranty could just follow me into every real-life situation.
Edit note: This post has been updated.