Kindles For Kids

one girl reading real book, one reading a kindle

Parents seem to fall firmly into with the No! or the Yes! camp when it comes to their kids having a Kindle or other kind of eReader. Their attitude seems to depend heavily on their own experience of ebooks.

Those people who have never picked up a Kindle in an act of stubborn loyality to ‘real’ books are unlikely to be happy about their offspring reading from a screen. Similarly those who have tried a Kindle but not got on with them will probably not see any need for their children to have one either.

Some parents who do own and use Kindles argue that they are not toys, and there is no need for children to have access to such expensive electronic equipment. They worry that their child may damage the eReader by not being careful enough with it, or downloading and reading something not suitable for children. These are valid concerns, but the Kindle does give you the option to set a password and so restrict access to the Web Browser, the Kindle Store, and Archived Items.

We are a pro Kindle and kids house: our older girls have both had Kindles for over a year. We have no parental controls set but they know they must not download anything without asking first and this allows us to check that what they are wanting to read is suitable. We don’t consider Kindle time to be screen time, so we don’t limit their access at all.

Kindles have saved us a lot of money and space. Lots of books are cheaper on the Kindle, and even those that aren’t still work out cheaper for us as you only have to pay once. This means you can download the book onto up to six devices at once so both girls can read the same book at the same time without arguing about whose turn it is first. We also travel a lot and it’s much easier to take a Kindle to keep the kids amused, than 3-4 paperbacks per child.

Recently I got given a Kindle paper white, which I absolutely love. Off topic, but if you’ve been umming and ahhing about getting one of these, then my recommendation is do it! But this meant I had a ‘spare’ Kindle which I have just  recently handed it over to our youngest DD , who is seven. She is a very good reader, in all the top groups at school, but she hadn’t yet taken to reading for fun.

My eldest two are veritable bookworms; they will read anything, anywhere. But DD3 was still a bit meh about the whole thing and considered reading  to be ‘hard work’. Having her own Kindle has changed all that, she now loves reading on her Kindle and is whipping through the Judy Moody books, something she wouldn’t touch in real life. She likes it that she can increase the font size so that there are less words on each page; I think seeing lots of words daunted her a little.

So Kindles are all good in our house and I would recommend them as suitable for any child who is reading competently. I know the Kindle fire makes a good job of picture books as well but I do prefer the idea of little children starting out with proper books for some reason.

Do your children have a Kindle of their own? Has it worked well for your family? Or do you prefer your children to read ‘real books’? If so, why?



8 comments on “Kindles For Kids

  1. I have a Kindle, which all three children (youngest being 3) love having access to when we’re on holiday and no doubt one of them will ‘inherit’ it once I’ve saved up for a paperwhite ;). Having said that DD1 has a Kobo instead of a Kindle – we decided to go that way because you can download library books on the Kobo (and unlike real library books they automatically get returned if you forget to renew them!).

  2. Hannah has inherited my kindle now I’ve got a kindle fire and enjoys the experience more than a paper book. Mind you, now she’s onto the later Harry Potters it would have been necessary….she could barely hold Order of the Phoenix.

    • I think mine prefer reading on a Kindle, as do I. I read a real book so infrequently these days that I find I’ve forgotten how to turn the pages!

  3. I am pro Kindles for Kids too. My 6-year-old son plays problem solving games and my 3-year-old daughter is learning her letters from connect-the-dot games and puzzle games. They both choose read-alouds and listen to them in the car without my prompting. This is great because they can’t read yet and I can’t read to them while I am driving! I also like that they are learning about how technology works, so vital for today’s world! They don’t use the kindle every day, but it is definitely a resource that I am glad we have for homeschool. We included a Nexus 7 in our homeschool budget this year, and then my mother gave us her Kindle Fire that she didn’t use. Now the kids can both use them at the same time, or use one when the other is being used by Mom or Dad.
    I like accessing all the free classic books, that may be out of print or unavailable at the library. Also Google voice search is our kids’ dictionary and encyclopedia… so accessible- we use it a lot. We play a game my DH invented, the kids go to the other room and do a voice search for an image and zoom in very close. Then the rest of the family has to guess what it is. The tablet and kindle create lots of opportunity for self-directed learning.

  4. Pro kindles for kids here. She will read paper books and her kindle equally but it’s so much easier on holiday or out and about to just grab the kindle.

    • I have to say mine read Kindles more. I try not to buy paper books for them anymore but they still get some from the library etc

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