Author Topic: Bought the kids Kindles  (Read 7076 times)

Gone Fishing

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Bought the kids Kindles
« on: November 27, 2015, 11:25:12 AM »
Against my better judgment, I just purchased 2 Kindles for $35 each on a black Friday special.  The plan is to give them to the children just prior to our 3000 mile road trip planned for next summer.  As of now, we time limit a few games and well supervised videos on our tablets as rewards for good behavior.  The idea is to maintain this strategy using passwords once the trip is over.  My youngest goes into some withdrawal when it is time to turn off the device.  There will be some tears.  I hope I do not regret my decision...   

arebelspy

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Bought the kids Kindles
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2015, 11:45:52 AM »
Kindles are great!  Why restrict reading at all? I'd give them unlimited access.

EDIT: Or is it one of the fire tablets? I guess it seems that way from context, but I wouldn't call that a kindle, though it is a kindle brand. So not sure.  Probably that though?
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Gone Fishing

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Re: Bought the kids Kindles
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2015, 11:57:06 AM »
Kindles are great!  Why restrict reading at all? I'd give them unlimited access.

EDIT: Or is it one of the fire tablets? I guess it seems that way from context, but I wouldn't call that a kindle, though it is a kindle brand. So not sure.  Probably that though?

Yep, they are Fires.  Shows how much I know!


arebelspy

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Re: Bought the kids Kindles
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2015, 12:18:43 PM »
No, you're probably right. I just picture Kindles as the ebook readers. :)

So what was your reason for purchasing them then?
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Gone Fishing

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Re: Bought the kids Kindles
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2015, 01:49:21 PM »
Primarily as entertainment on long road trips which I plan on doing lots of once FIRED.  The kids get pretty cagey in the back of a Corolla after a while!  Also works as a pretty good reward for completing chores, homework, etc. 

 

BeanCounter

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Re: Bought the kids Kindles
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2015, 02:45:37 PM »
I feel your pain. Buying an iPad for our family was one of my worst parenting decisions. My oldest son clearly shows withdrawal when it's time to put it away. Some boundaries we have set are- We don't allow devices in the car or at the table because we feel that developing the skill of waiting and being patient. We also only allow screens (of all types) on the weekend.

MicroRN

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Re: Bought the kids Kindles
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2015, 05:10:58 PM »
How old are the kids?  We're looking at a 3000 mile move cross country in the spring with 3 and 4 year olds, and will likely use screen time to make it through.  We'll tag-team the driving, so the adult who isn't driving will be sleeping.  They aren't old enough to read books on their own, but we can load book apps (the ones that read a story to you) and movies onto my Fire.  Also, just because it's a tablet doesn't mean you have to load anything but books on it.  90% of what I do with my Fire is just reading.         

Most of the time I don't think screen distraction is needed in the car, and my kids handle 2-3 hours at a time just fine.  Looking out the window, napping, talking to us, playing with small toys.  However, I also distinctly remember being a small child on long car trips (12+ hours) and how much I hated them until I learned to read.  It's miserable, and I would entertain myself by deliberately irritating the other people in the car.

Davids

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Re: Bought the kids Kindles
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2015, 05:18:58 PM »
I bought the $35 kindle at best buy today. I went there just for the $20 printer as I needed a new one but the $35 kindle fire was a good deal I also bought one. Maybe I was antimustachian today but this is the first tablet I ever bought.

MrsPete

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Re: Bought the kids Kindles
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2015, 08:10:20 AM »
I absolutely love my Kindle.  I got my first one back when they were really expensive, and I used it for years 'til it just wore out.  I'm on my second one now, and it is significantly better -- the newest ones must be really great. 

I think a Kindle e-reader is a great thing for kids, but I'd be careful about giving kids a Fire.  The internet isn't particularly a safe place for kids, and kids need supervision. 

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Bought the kids Kindles
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2015, 08:27:59 AM »
How old are the kids?  We're looking at a 3000 mile move cross country in the spring with 3 and 4 year olds, and will likely use screen time to make it through.  We'll tag-team the driving, so the adult who isn't driving will be sleeping.  They aren't old enough to read books on their own, but we can load book apps (the ones that read a story to you) and movies onto my Fire.  Also, just because it's a tablet doesn't mean you have to load anything but books on it.  90% of what I do with my Fire is just reading.         

Most of the time I don't think screen distraction is needed in the car, and my kids handle 2-3 hours at a time just fine.  Looking out the window, napping, talking to us, playing with small toys.  However, I also distinctly remember being a small child on long car trips (12+ hours) and how much I hated them until I learned to read.  It's miserable, and I would entertain myself by deliberately irritating the other people in the car.

We made it 1700 miles with no screens and I was alone in the car with them (Mr. FP was in the moving truck.) I just kept their singalong CD on repeat and occasionally chucked them some Cheerios. They were 2 and 3 at the time. I would worry that introducing screens would just mean another source of conflict--that how it seems to work on short trips with my mom when she lets them use her devices.

I'm not saying it was fun--I'm glad that I will never have another occasion to drive toddlers through the flyover states--but we all survived. Good luck!

pbkmaine

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Re: Bought the kids Kindles
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2015, 09:03:39 AM »
We had family visit and took oldest granddaughter for some long drives to state parks. I loaded up my iPad with free kids' games, handed it over to her and had some very enjoyable drives. At night we watched Disney movies and HER rule was: "No internet! Watch the movie!"


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begood

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Re: Bought the kids Kindles
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2015, 10:14:16 AM »
I that $35 is WiFi only, so not too much concern over the kids being on the internet on it while on a long car trip.

You can load up books, audiobooks, kids games, TV shows, and movies onto the Fire before you leave.

You can also check out library books via Overdrive from many local libraries.

The Fire should come with parental controls, and I think it's the type that basically makes it come across as the device setting the limits, rather than parents. We used a similar technique with time-outs - "the kitchen timer says two more minutes!".

I have a first gen Fire from 2011 that's still poking along, so this might be an investment that pays off for years to come.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Bought the kids Kindles
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2015, 02:46:57 PM »
As children we had four options on long car journeys (London to Devon... Ew...)

1. Sleep/look out of the window.
2. Read our own books silently.
3. Audiobooks (parent-approved so they didn't go nuts - lots of Roald Dahl!) - we had cassette tapes but they've invented CDs now...
4. Limited playing of games like I Spy and Twenty Questions until my parents got annoyed.

#2 isn't for everyone (travel sickness, reading age and reading enthusiasm) and #4 can get very annoying but #3 seems like a much better option than buying your children tablets that you are either going to have to wrest off them after the trip or resign yourself to them never putting down.

Syonyk

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Re: Bought the kids Kindles
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2015, 05:31:13 PM »
I intend to have some tablets around for my daughter when she gets old enough, but in a rather locked down configuration.  Books, Wikipedia, a few other reference sites.

And once she's old enough, I'll pick her up an eink reader and plenty of book options.  Project Gutenberg is a good source. :)

Dee18

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Re: Bought the kids Kindles
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2015, 06:21:19 PM »
You don't mention how old your children are, but I'd limit their use to two hours a day, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.  My parents drove us all over the country (48) states, back before there were Kindles.  We played car Bingo, read a bit, sang, learned to read maps, stared out the window and daydreamed.  I really think it is important for kids to learn to entertain themselves without electronics.  I still think daydreaming in unfamiliar places is a great way to spend time!  Also, one year our neighbor made us great travel boxes, each had a map of the states and when we saw a car tag from the state we got to color it in.  Oh, and my mother played the Lifesaver game with us....you keep a Lifesaver in your closed mouth....the one whose Lifesaver lasts the longest wins.  My daughter is an only child...we spent a lot of our travel time playing with finger puppets....including making them elaborate dresses out of Kleenex.  She also,from the age of 5 on, liked having me make up math problems for her to solve in her head.  (Strange, but true.)

Syonyk

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Re: Bought the kids Kindles
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2015, 06:50:16 PM »
...learned to read maps...

Yeah.  Definitely going to do that.  Kiddo will be navigator for a lot of trips, probably without GPS backup...

MrsPete

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Re: Bought the kids Kindles
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2015, 07:25:36 PM »
You don't mention how old your children are, but I'd limit their use to two hours a day, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics ... My daughter is an only child...we spent a lot of our travel time playing with finger puppets....including making them elaborate dresses out of Kleenex.
If the kids are using Kindles as e-readers, I wouldn't limit their time -- it's just a different form of book.

About making dresses for finger puppets -- give her some real cloth scraps and see what she can do.  When I was in third grade I was very sick and was in bed for almost a solid month, and I passed the time by teaching myself how to sew.  I cut up things from my mom's rag bag and started with a stapler ... but by the time I was well, I moved on to needle and thread and was making Barbie clothes with some proficiency. 

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Re: Bought the kids Kindles
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2015, 10:02:21 PM »
I'm sure you, as a parent will make the best choice for your family regarding screen time.

I got myself a fire last year and it's far superior to my previous tablet because of its e reader functionality. Loading up books and audio books from overdrive is great, and Amazon has interesting free ebooks too. I limit myself to one game installed at a time, but for kids you can set different limits for different uses.... ie under the 2 hour suggestion above, you could say that a maximum of 20 minutes is the frozen freefall game. I think it just stops working after the limit, so you can automate the rules you've already planned.

My last suggestion is to spend a few more dollars and get the antiglare screen protector. I have far less eyestrain with this installed, and it softens (reduces) flashing graphics that can cause vertigo, migraines and seizures in some people.

Syonyk

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Re: Bought the kids Kindles
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2015, 10:34:46 PM »
Does the Fire offer something that a normal Android tablet and the Kindle app doesn't?  Obviously the price, but in terms of functionality?

I'm quite happy with my 2013 Nexus 7, but I prefer my Kobo for reading - after a long while of insisting that reading books on a LCD screen with a reflective surface was just as easy as e-ink... I now fully admit I was wrong, and e-ink is a lot nicer for reading on.

Sibley

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Re: Bought the kids Kindles
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2015, 09:38:34 AM »
I could be very wrong about this, but I'd check if the tablets have some sort of parental control built in. I think I remember reading about one that you could set time limits for various activities, times the tablet couldn't be used for anything, etc. Could be very helpful.

I would not restrict reading, ever, regardless of what they're reading. Even if they're reading something that they shouldn't be, they either won't like it and will stop themselves, or won't understand it and will probably give up. They can be reading the steamiest sex scene ever written and be clueless. I did that at least once. Read a book as a kid, had no clue what was going on and gave it up. Read it as an adult and was horrified that I'd read it as a kid, it had graphic sex about every other chapter. If you forbid something, they'll read it. Ever wonder why authors love it when their books are banned? Sales go through the roof.

Davids

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Re: Bought the kids Kindles
« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2015, 10:52:25 AM »
I could be very wrong about this, but I'd check if the tablets have some sort of parental control built in. I think I remember reading about one that you could set time limits for various activities, times the tablet couldn't be used for anything, etc. Could be very helpful.

I would not restrict reading, ever, regardless of what they're reading. Even if they're reading something that they shouldn't be, they either won't like it and will stop themselves, or won't understand it and will probably give up. They can be reading the steamiest sex scene ever written and be clueless. I did that at least once. Read a book as a kid, had no clue what was going on and gave it up. Read it as an adult and was horrified that I'd read it as a kid, it had graphic sex about every other chapter. If you forbid something, they'll read it. Ever wonder why authors love it when their books are banned? Sales go through the roof.
Ha reminds me as a kid when my mom read romance novels, never thought anything of it since i was a kid but one i learned what romance novels were then damn that changed my view a bit of what my mom reads.

Sibley

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Re: Bought the kids Kindles
« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2015, 11:21:10 AM »
I could be very wrong about this, but I'd check if the tablets have some sort of parental control built in. I think I remember reading about one that you could set time limits for various activities, times the tablet couldn't be used for anything, etc. Could be very helpful.

I would not restrict reading, ever, regardless of what they're reading. Even if they're reading something that they shouldn't be, they either won't like it and will stop themselves, or won't understand it and will probably give up. They can be reading the steamiest sex scene ever written and be clueless. I did that at least once. Read a book as a kid, had no clue what was going on and gave it up. Read it as an adult and was horrified that I'd read it as a kid, it had graphic sex about every other chapter. If you forbid something, they'll read it. Ever wonder why authors love it when their books are banned? Sales go through the roof.
Ha reminds me as a kid when my mom read romance novels, never thought anything of it since i was a kid but one i learned what romance novels were then damn that changed my view a bit of what my mom reads.

Regency romances. My mom has probably 10 boxes of them that she rotates through.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Bought the kids Kindles
« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2015, 06:28:15 PM »
I could be very wrong about this, but I'd check if the tablets have some sort of parental control built in. I think I remember reading about one that you could set time limits for various activities, times the tablet couldn't be used for anything, etc. Could be very helpful.

I would not restrict reading, ever, regardless of what they're reading. Even if they're reading something that they shouldn't be, they either won't like it and will stop themselves, or won't understand it and will probably give up. They can be reading the steamiest sex scene ever written and be clueless. I did that at least once. Read a book as a kid, had no clue what was going on and gave it up. Read it as an adult and was horrified that I'd read it as a kid, it had graphic sex about every other chapter. If you forbid something, they'll read it. Ever wonder why authors love it when their books are banned? Sales go through the roof.
Ha reminds me as a kid when my mom read romance novels, never thought anything of it since i was a kid but one i learned what romance novels were then damn that changed my view a bit of what my mom reads.

Regency romances. My mom has probably 10 boxes of them that she rotates through.

Oh my God, now I'm going to spend the next several years wondering when my kid are going to notice how much sex is in Mommy's books.

My mother was a true crime fan, which if you me is waaaaaay ickier than the romance novels.

Making Cookies

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Re: Bought the kids Kindles
« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2015, 08:25:16 PM »
I intend to have some tablets around for my daughter when she gets old enough, but in a rather locked down configuration.  Books, Wikipedia, a few other reference sites.

And once she's old enough, I'll pick her up an eink reader and plenty of book options.  Project Gutenberg is a good source. :)

There is a free (open-source) program called Calibre for managing any ebook reader.

There are versions for Linux (YAY!), Mac and Windows.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calibre_(software)
« Last Edit: November 30, 2015, 08:30:23 PM by Joe Average »

Jschange

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Re: Bought the kids Kindles
« Reply #24 on: November 30, 2015, 08:41:51 PM »
Ha ha ha....My favorite thing about the e reader is that no one knows I check out 4 trashy romances to every 1 real book. And that I'm not hiding covers on the bus.

Syonyk, for reading, I like the kindle better, but it's also 6" not 7, and I have tiny hands. There seem to be some tablet things it does less well than my nexus did. But no one has put a chair leg straight through my kindle, so that's an advantage. Owning either one makes me happy and spoiled.

mikefixac

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Re: Bought the kids Kindles
« Reply #25 on: November 30, 2015, 11:31:01 PM »
Oh my. If I had a Kindle when I was a kid, I'd have died and gone to heaven. All those wonderful books out there to learn and read.

Truly, I wonder where I'd be today if I had access to something like that as a kid.

Books are the greatest treasure we can give to our child.


teen persuasion

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Re: Bought the kids Kindles
« Reply #26 on: December 04, 2015, 10:11:53 AM »
We got a Fire for DS5 last Xmas: he's 10 now.  We tried the parental  controls, to limit his time playing games, and to keep him offline when unsupervised.  While you can set up time limits for different activities (games vs reading), and cutoff times, it was unreliable.  Sometimes it would cut DS5 off after 10 minutes when he clearly had an hour left, and I could not find out why it didn't follow my rules. 

The controls work thru setting up different users on the device: a parent user to set controls, and the limited child user.  Believe me, the kids will at some point get access as the parent user, and all controls are essentially off.  Access to online is completely blocked or granted, not judiciously limited, for kid accounts, which was much too limiting.  The device is designed to keep kids safe from the big bad internet thru their FreeTime service - pay the monthly fee for access to a safe playground for the kids.  Opt out of the monthly service, very little to do other than read books you load up for the kids.

I was disappointed with the way the parental controls worked - unnecessarily complex to access and set up and understand (for parents), too limiting for my DS5's age (probably better for the preschool age set), and definitely only useful with their paid service.  And flakey.

I first got a keyboard e-ink kindle, and love it for reading.  I have a Fire, but use it more for internet access than reading these days.  The glare on the screen is annoying, the e-ink screen is much better on the eyes, and font controls are better, too.  Visibility in bright light is a problem with the Fire, too.

MgoSam

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Re: Bought the kids Kindles
« Reply #27 on: December 04, 2015, 10:33:28 AM »
I haven't really followed this, but I will say that anything that gets a kid to read is worth it, imo. I recall reading about how great the anticipation for Harry Potters books was that many people would camp out to be the first to read it at midnight. In a day where more and more people are ignoring books, we need more literacy.

abhe8

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Re: Bought the kids Kindles
« Reply #28 on: December 04, 2015, 11:08:31 AM »
I will probably got my older two kids a kindle next year, they will be 8 and 9 then, but it will be the e ink reader, not a fire. As it is, they love to read books, and bring home bags from the library every week.