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Raising Readers – How to nurture a love of reading with Kindle for Kids

One of the most difficult things about being on the road and travelling light with kids is not being able to take books. Kindle for Kids to the rescue!

There are times when we slow down that we head to a book shop and get a fix whilst we can but we try not to carry physical books around with us because it adds such a huge amount of weight and then there wouldn’t be enough room for the international rock/stick/shell collection some people have been working on!

Both our kids have an iPad which we use to support with education but we were conscious of adding the Kindle app. The temptation to stray from reading when on the iPad would be a lot for any kid so we also opted for them to have their own Kid’s Kindle.

Now, I’ve been a Kindle fan for years. As an English teacher, I love to read but again, getting through five physical novels on a weeks holiday isn’t practical when travelling long term (just to clarify, this is true, but obviously pre-kids! Like I have time to read anything now! Ha!), so I was keen to spread my love of the e-reader to my kids.

A few of my concerns were relating to the display of the content when it came to illustrations.

Kindle for kids a  travel essentials
Our kindles go everywhere with us

A Guide to Getting the Kindle for Kids

What’s different about the Kindle for kids and the normal Kindle?

So technically, they are pretty much the same. You get the same size display (six inch), the same pixels per inch and the same 8GB of storage. Battery, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth connection- you get the idea, it’s all the same.

However, the Kids Kindle comes with the option of a free, slightly studier, case. With the purchase of the Kids Kindle, you get access to Amazon Kids+ which gives you free access for your first year to thousands of popular books. This subscription is 1.99 (GBP) after a year.

A great bonus to the Kids Kindle is the extended warranty of two years for breakages.

Everything You Need to Know About the Kindle for Kids

Which Kindle should I buy for my child?

It depends. Deciding which Kindle to buy for yourself or your child boils down to what they want to do with the Kindle.

Which Kindle to buy

If your kids are big readers you can choose between the Basic Kindle Kids and the Kindle Paperwhite Kids. The latter is the same hardware as a Kindle Paperwhite, but it comes ad-free, with a free case, a complimentary Amazon Kids+ subscription, and a solid two-year guarantee. The Kindle Paperwhite has a few additional features which could work well for kids but it does cost more.

  • It’s great for reading in the sun
  • It’s waterproof
  • It has a bigger display
  • It has an adjustable light for night time reading

Definitely, yes. If you’ve ever wondered what can a child do with a Kindle, here are a few things kids can do with a Kindle e-reader:

  1. This may be obvious but they can read books, even illustrated books. All of the illustrations are in black and white so it does impact the experience of reading graphic novels for example but my kids haven’t complained about that at all.
  2. The battery seems to last forever. The kids always seem to pull them out of their bags charged up.
  3. Listen to Audible audiobooks using a Bluetooth speaker or earphones. More on this later.
  4. Learn new words as they read with the dictionary feature.
  5. Free access to over 2500 age appropriate books
kindle for family travels
Raising readers, always having books at hand, even in the rice paddies in Bali.

Is the Kindle good for kids?

If your kids love to read then YEP! If you don’t have space for physical books then YEP! If you don’t want to carry all the books the children want to read then YEP! If the children devour books like an insatiable book monster then YEP!

Has this affected our kids when it comes to physical books? Not at all!

What age is appropriate for Kindle for kids?

It depends on your kids, but our youngest started reading her kindle when she was 6. If they can read independently, they can use a Kindle e-reader. From then onwards these reading devices can be used for years to come. We get so much use from them so we have never questioned buying them a Kindle from a young age.

How to set up a new Kindle

This is pretty simple to do. Here’s how to set up an Amazon Kids Kindle:

First you will want to activate the Kindle Kids subscription.

Once you have activated and set up the Kindle the warranty will automatically begin.

  • Create a profile Amazon account and add the kids details. You can also add up to four children.
  • Turn on your Kindle device and connect to WiFi.
  • Sign into your Amazon account from the Kindle.
  • At this point, you’ll see a prompt to start Amazon Kids+.
  • Then, set a PIN for the device, and you’ll see all the Child profiles you set up in step 1.
  • Select the kid whose Kindle it is, and they can start reading.

How to add books to a Kids Kindle

Here’s how:

  • Head over to your Content and Devices
  • Choose book content on Amazon
  • Check the boxes to select the books you’d like to share and click on more options and then click Family Library which will send the book to your kids kindle

Can you buy books for the kids’ Kindle?

You can! You can use the free books which come with the free subscription for the first year or you can buy additional books.  

There are other ways to get free ebooks too, check out this post

Can a kid’s Kindle be set up for an adult?

This is a sneaky little cheat to get you an ad-free Kindle with an extended warranty. Just make sure you check the restrictions on the account.

​​Can I turn a regular Kindle into a kids’ Kindle?

You can. You’ll need to set up a profile for your child on your Kindle. Here’s how to do it:

  • Tap on the three dots in the top right-hand corner and select Amazon Kids.
  • Then create new profiles for each child
  • Back to the same steps as before to share content.

It seems a little bit of an oversight to not have provided an audio jack on the kids Kindle. Having to use wireless headphone or speaker seems a bit of an oversight.

The Kindles have been a life saving for us as a full time travelling family. It is the one constant the kids have used throughout and are reading at every and any opportunity. Still not sure? Check out our other post on Kindles for kids here.

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Meet the author

Lisa is the founder of Boston Tribe Travels. She has lived and travelled abroad for the last 15 years, visited more than 30 countries and has done most of that with her husband and two children. As a full time travel family, they like to travel slow, worldschool and seek new adventures. From living in Borneo for 5 years to backpacking South America, Lisa shares a wealth of travel experience to empower more families to travel and learn together.


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