The Amazon Fire 8 Kids' Edition Tablet Will 100% Save Your Sanity

It’s Easy To Limit Screen Time


The parental controls allow you to set a total amount of screen time per day—and once that time is allotted, the tablet shuts down. You can restrict the screen time by category (say, 30 minutes a day of apps and games but 2 hours for reading), or set a bedtime, when the app goes to “sleep” until the next morning, at a time you set. It made it easier to set and enforce boundaries.

It’s Intuitive—for Kids, Anyway

The Fire 8 Kids Edition was quickly stress-tested by my daughter and my niece and nephew. At 3 and 4 years old, my niece and nephew took to the device quickly, immediately opening and following along with their favorite Peppa Pig and Daniel Tiger stories. They showed me how to download drawing and puzzle apps, including how to save them for offline use. To be honest, it was a blessing and curse they couldn’t figure out the parental controls, because at first, I accidentally set “bed time” to 8 a.m. instead of 8 p.m. and spent a solid 15 minutes trying to figure out how to undo it. I’m positive they could’ve figured that out faster.

It Passes the Drop (and Slobber) Test

Within, oh, hours of unboxing, the tablet endured its first fall. Then another. Then a tug-of-war, only to be followed up with my daughter squeezing the rubbery edge of the tablet, smiling, and promptly chomping into it like it was a ketchup-covered chicken nugget. (To be fair, the case is roughly the same texture as a dino nugget.) The tablet didn’t crack and the case didn’t tear or even show signs of teeth marks, despite my little Vampirina’s valiant efforts.

It’s Stealthily Educational.

Candace Davison

My biggest concern about succumbing to a kids’ tablet was that my daughter and her cousins would become addicted to staring off into mindless shows, but I guess Dr. Angelou was right—even if she never meant for her quote to be interpreted quite as I have. When given the choice, all three kids wanted to play Sesame Street Art Maker (essentially, a painting app without the mess of an actual paint set), practice their ABCs with Elmo or explore Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood (which is a lot like playing with a dollhouse, minus me tripping on discarded tiny desks and beds and dolls hours afterward). They’d play for a solid 20 to 25 minutes, then move on to something else—no kicking, screaming or fighting for more time—giving their parents the chance to fold laundry, make dinner or even, dare I say it, hold an uninterrupted conversation. The tablet doesn’t take the place of actually painting or going for a walk through the neighborhood or playing pretend, but it has been a nice new creative outlet. And a respite for this weary parent.

$120; $80 AT AMAZON

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