For many people looking for a device for reading ebooks, Amazon’s e-ink devices are the obvious choice, with their latest Paperwhite being easily the best current choice for reading a novel electronically. However, those wanting to read comics or children’s books would be better suited to a device with a colour screen and traditionally Kindle’s “Fire” range have been out-classed by competing devices. The recent Kindle Fire HD 8.9” is by far the best multi-function tablet that Amazon have ever produced and their new FreeTime Unlimited service for kids may just be the point to tip many parents to choosing the Kindle over its competitors.
For children aged between 3 and 8, FreeTime Unlimited allows access to targeted and suitable ebooks, games, TV shows, movies and educational software at no extra cost. For existing Amazon Prime subscribers, the price is an incredible $2.99 per child or $6.99 for a whole family, charged monthly. Compare this to the usual price of $3-10 for each ebook, and $2.99 per app, and the service pays for itself with your first download. For those not currently subscribing to Prime, the price is still lower than two books, at $4.99 a month per child or $9.99 for a family. The service is compatible with Kindle Fire, Fire HD and HD 8.9”.
Services will have all in-app payment options and external advertising removed, so are safe for children to use unsupervised. Books for parents to read with their kids available from the service come from major names including Disney, Sesame Workshop, Nickelodeon, PBS, HiT, Marvel, DC Comics and more traditional kids favorites. Publishers including Andrews McMeel, Chronicle Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Reading Rainbow and others are signed on to the service, with literally thousands of downloads available.
It can sometimes be difficult to know which books, films and games will become a child’s favorite. This service alleviates any need for worry about wasted money or wrong choices and even allows parents to browse content with their kids and essentially purchase and download anything that takes their fancy. Parents wanting to read a new bedtime story to their kids every night could gain a lot from this service and at this price, the new Kindle Fire devices are a far better option for kids this Christmas than their similarly priced competitors.
Just bear in mind that the Kindles do not have the same strength of a child friendly device, so younger children should have parental supervision when using the Fire range.
Those parents who already own a device from the Kindle Fire family already signed up for Amazon Prime, can try out the service with one free ebook and one prime video. If your kids enjoy the experience of reading together on the Fire, for only the price of one book per month, you could have access to unlimited books, films, TV shows and software, all hand picked to be child suitable and safe for them to use without racking up unwanted bills. It’s yet another option to consider as a Christmas present.