Kid’s In Car Entertainment Option – 5 Reasons to Consider Kindle Fire
Welcome to another installment of the Road Trip Tech Corner. In this post I’m going to talk tablets for kids’ entertainment. There are many options out there for kids in car entertainment. But, you might be surprised at what I’m going to talk about this time.
Sure, the iPad is well known for how well kids take to it. But, I’m betting you never thought about the Kindle Fire from Amazon. Here’s 5 reasons why you should.
Amazon has quite a few different Kindle sizes and configurations available. The currently available models are the HD and the new HDX. Each of those model comes in different screen sizes. Beyond that each version has several options for things like the amount of memory and whether or not it includes a mobile data module. This means there should be a version to fit just about any situation.
The Fire series of tablets are solidly built devices. Everyday bumps and the such are easily weathered by these tablets. However, there’s a huge ecosystem of cases designed specifically for when the little ones get a hold of the Fire. After all, we know our little angels can do some seriously unexpected things to anything that gets in their hands. Check out some options at Amazon.
3. Some of the best parental controls on any tablet
I’ve used pretty much every tablet you can think of from the iPad to the Nexus 7. But, what impressed me most about the Fire we bought for our youngest was how granular the parental control options were. There’s actually three levels of controls if you want to call them that. The first is the simple out of the box controls which can help you lock down the device quite a bit. You can limit the child to specific apps, decide whether or not they can access purchases, if they can use the web browser and so on.
On top of the default controls Amazon has an option called “FreeTime.” Freetime lets you build a special profile for your kid(s) in which they only have access to what you select for them. The profile is also a more kid-friendly implementation of the Kindle UI designed for kids to quickly learn and navigate. You can also upgrade to a subscription to the unlimited version.
The Unlimited version gives you the same parental controls and features of course, but also adds a huge library of curated apps, books and videos specifically for their educational value. As a bonus none of the apps in the Freetime Unlimited family have any ads or dreaded in-app purchases.
4. Online AND Offline Entertainment Options
Naturally, there’s a world of stuff to enjoy online with any kind of tablet. But what about when you’re in between wifi networks? This is the Family Road Trip Survival Guide after all. Wireless connectivity can be spotty hurtling down I-75 to Orlando after all. Of course if you have a Kindle with some kind of wireless data plan, you’ve got it covered. I’ll also cover in a future post on how to use your cell phone as a wireless hotspot for the whole family.
But, if one of those above scenarios don’t apply to you, fear not! First of all, like any tablet out there, you can simply copy movie files you’ve ripped from your DVD collection to .mp4 files. Just connect the Fire to your computer and copy the files to the conveniently named “movies” folder.
But, here’s an even cooler option. If you have a Fire HDX model and you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can download TV shows and movies from Amazon Instant for offline viewing. There’s plenty of kid’s stuff on Instant, and you don’t have to worry about converting DVDs (but I’ll write a post on that too soon.)
Here’s where the Kindle really has the other options beat. There are some very affordable options. You can get a base model Kindle Fire HD for about $130. Even if you splurge for the big-screen HDX, your cost will be well south of an iPad and at least comparable to some of the Android tablets out there. If you have multiple kids, you might even consider picking up one for each of them. If there like my kids, there’s no way they would peaceably agree on what to watch during an extended drive.
To get started, check out the Kindle Fire Store on Amazon
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