Freeing up Mom Time with Amazon Kindle FreeTime

IMG_20130718_175216_102I just  got our Amazon Kindle Fire HD and I am soooo excited, I just had to write about it right away.  Let’s start with, what an awesome little device it is!  I do love my tech toys!  Straight out of the box it was super easy to set up.  I loved the virtual keypad.  It was super intuitive and I noticed right away that it started to remember things like my email address when typing.  For this social media mom that needs to write super quick notes, it was such a nice little subtle feature.

The Kindle Fire HD is now an android based system and with my recently complete integration over to an android phone, everything is playing so nicely together.  It’s very similar to the relationship all Apple products have with one another, but now you have a lot more options!  It synced all my contacts, emails and even my many calendars based on google.  I am a happy gal.  I should note that calendar syncing is available with certain email accounts, not all.

While I initially thought the 7″ screen size would be too small, I am actually loving the compact size and can see myself taking it with me every where, unlike my iPad which I would have to first pry out of my children’s hand, and a bit larger and cumbersome to carry, not mention more costly.  I’d be afraid I lost it.  My Kindle Fire HD has ads or as they call them special offers, but they are not intrusive at all.  I haven’t noticed any ads that are racy or inappropriate if my children happen to pick it up.  In fact I’d encourage them to borrow my Kindle Fire HD merely for their all new Kindle FreeTime.

IMG_20130718_114725_168What is Kindle FreeTime

Available on Kindle Fire devices, Kindle FreeTime is a free, new service which reinvents parental controls and is designed to allow parents easy and comprehensive control over what their children can do on a Kindle Fire, so they never have to worry about what content kids will access. Parents can create a customized profile for each of their children and choose which books, apps, games and videos they want to give their kids access to. Even better, FreeTime also lets parents limit their kids’ screen time by content type. For example, parents can limit games and videos to one hour per day but can choose to make reading time unlimited – right now I have a 3 year old who I want to encourage the love of reader and a 6 year old early reader.

  • Blue Means FreeTime: When Kindle Fire enters FreeTime, the background color of the screen switches to blue, making it easy for parents to reassure themselves from across the room that FreeTime is on.  It completely locks out access to the rest of the Kindle Fire HD, operating as if it was a version of Kindle Fire for Kids.  Exiting FreeTime always requires a password and isn’t obvious in how to exit for a child to figure out.
  • Time Limits: Even with all the benefits of digital media, at some point it’s time to put down the tablet and go outside to play.  With FreeTime, parents can set a daily time budget, or specifically limit the time spent on activities such as playing apps or watching video, while making an activity like reading unlimited.  This by all means, has to be my favorite feature.  I can encourage my kids to read above all while allowing them to enjoy what they enjoy.
  • Kindle FreeTime Unlimited: an optional extension of FreeTime that provides unlimited access to thousands of hand-picked books, games, apps, movies and TV shows, just for kids. In fact, just this week, Amazon announced it had added more than a thousand titles to Kindle FreeTime Unlimited over the last six months including popular content from Disney, WB and EA.  This means my kids will never be bored with the Kindle FreeTime! At $6.99/month for a family subscription or $2.99 per child/per month, this is a much better and smarter alternative to a limited NetFlix subscription.  The selection is incredible!  When I opened up my daughter’s profile, it already had selected many of her favorite titles and suggested many that she would definitely enjoy.  The Kindle Fire HD also has Immersion Reading – Invented by Amazon and Audible, Immersion reading synchronizes printed text and professionally narrated audiobooks, giving readers the ability to experience their reading with two senses – sight and sound – on Kindle Fire HD. As the reader views the text of the book, text is highlighted as it is professionally-narrated, creating a more immersive reading experience, as well as a deeper learning and comprehension, perfect for an early reader.
  • Parent-Approved Content: Every piece of content available in FreeTime is added by parents, making it easy for parents to control what their kids are watching, playing and reading.  Parents can select from their own content or from the broad selection of kids’ books, apps, games, movies and TV shows from Amazon.com
  • Multiple Profiles: Every child has their own personalized experience—content that might be interesting and appropriate for an eight-year-old boy, for example, probably won’t be for a four-year-old girl—and parents get to choose.

The Kindle Fire HD is a powerhouse in such a tiny package.  I am absolutely loving Amazon’s Whispersync technology to synchronize your content across devices so that you can pick up right where you left off. Start streaming a movie on Kindle Fire HD, pause, then resume watching straight from the same scene on your TV (through their handy dandy HDMI port!). Whispersync is also available for books, games, and Voice (allowing you to seamlessly switch between listening to the Audible audiobook and reading the companion Kindle book right where you left off).  The Kindle Fire HD also has a HD camera which allows me to connect with family and friends across the globe through Skype.

The 7″ Kindle Fire HD with special offers retails for $199.00.  If you would like to opt out of these special offers, you can do so through Manage Your Kindle for $15 after you have registered your device.

{ disclosure: I received a Kindle Fire HD loaded with Kindle FreeTime.  I am already currently an Amazon Prime member and purchased my own Kindle FreeTime Unlimited Subscription. }