How to Keep Your Tweens Entertained for Less Than $3 a Month
Amazon’s Kindle Fire has to be one of the coolest devices on the market for families.
Amazon didn’t ask me to write that. I believe it on my own -- I have five young nieces and nephews, and have faced the task of occupying one or more of them for an afternoon.
Kindle Fire is a relatively affordable and durable tablet that lets you and your kids read, watch TV and movies, play games and more.
Amazon FreeTime Unlimited lets you tailor the Kindle experience with a monthly subscription to age-appropriate books, movies, shows, games and educational apps.
The service saves you money with unlimited access to thousands of titles you don’t have to purchase individually. It also filters out games or apps with in-app purchases or ads, so you can skip surprise bills from Amazon.
FreeTime Unlimited Now for Kids of All Ages
FreeTime has been available on Kindle’s OS for a while, primarily with titles for kids ages 3 to 8.
But this week, Amazon announced the service is adding tons of new content tailored for kids ages 9 to 12.
"Today, FreeTime Unlimited offers over 13,000 videos, educational apps, games and books, plus over 40,000 YouTube videos and websites -- for kids from preschool to preteen," said Amazon Kids and Families director Nate Glissmeyer in a press release.
You can subscribe to FreeTime Unlimited for books on a Kindle eReader, videos on a Kindle TV or books, videos and apps on a Fire tablet.
Prime members get unlimited access for one child for $2.99 per month and $6.99 for up to four children with individual accounts.
Non-Prime members will pay $4.99 per month for one child and $9.99 for up to four.
Safe Browsing for Kids
FreeTime includes a web browser, which provides kids with controlled access to over 40,000 age-appropriate YouTube videos and websites.
Amazon experts select and approve the videos and websites included in the browser to ensure they’re appropriate for your kids.
Also today, Amazon is updating fourth and fifth generation Kindles’ software to include FreeTime Smart Filters, which you can use to tweak the FreeTime library for content applicable to your children.
“Younger kids still have the freedom to explore the titles that are appropriate for their age group,” said Glissmeyer. “while older kids get to play ‘Monument Valley’ and see other cool videos, apps, games and books that are just right for them."
What’s in the Library?
Parents of pre-teens might recognize the new titles in the FreeTime library -- if not, ask your kids.
They can tell you what’s cool these days. Some of the library’s popular titles include:
- “Sonic the Hedgehog”
- “Monument Valley”
- “Star Trek”
- “The Witch of Blackbird Pond”
- “The Black Pearl”
- “Harry Potter”
- “Scooby Doo”
- “Disney Junior Appisodes”
- “Big Hero 6”
Your Turn: Do your kids use Amazon FreeTime Unlimited?
Dana Sitar (@danasitar) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s written for Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, Writer’s Digest and more, attempting humor wherever it’s allowed (and sometimes where it’s not).