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  1. #1

    Default Kindle Fire. Yay or Nay?

    My husband was gifted a Kindle Fire at work. I have always used apple products, and neither he nor I really need it for ourselves. Those who have one and use it for homeschooling, do you think it would be a functional tool for preschool age? I really hate the idea of giving her more opportunities for screen time, but am willing if it means access to more books or activities that support what she is learning.

    Give me all of your advice!!!

  2. Global Village Forum Post - May2018
  3. #2


    Granted, we are now an Apple family ourselves, and we got an ipad for my baby as a "communicative assitive device".... but yeah, they can be great educational tools. There are so many apps that have great educational value (and are free!) that I think its worth investing if you dont have one. But a gifted Android tablet? Score!
    There are zillions of preschool apps, perfect for filling time (car rides, waits at offices / restaurants, etc....)
    Im convinced that the games, even without my involvement, have taught him how to count, his letter names, shapes, and sounds... and beginning blending of letters towards reading.

    Does it have the ability to read ebooks aloud? (I bought a $50 nook for playing a game, but I saw it will read ebooks that you buy aloud to you.)

    My older son uses his ipad (in addition to recreational games) for ebooks, e-textbooks (ck-12), and educational apps.

    Tablets are a great tool to have access to - and just like anything, the value or harm comes from what you do with it.

    Then again, you may be a parent who thinks screen time will turn your kid into a zombie.
    Homeschooling DS11, DS5.


    My spelling and typing are fine, its my keyboard that doesnt cooperate.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Arrived lakshmi's Avatar
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    I had one and only used it to check out library books. It worked okay .. but I prefer the iPad.

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  5. #4


    My husband and I fix computers as a hobby/extra income. A friend of ours asked if we could fix her Kindle Fire. Neither of us had experience with Kindles but we did have lots of experience with other tablets so we told her we would give it a shot. We were able to fix it for her but neither one of us was very impressed with the device itself. There are so many other tablets that are easier to work with and a better value for the price in our opinion.

    However, if we were given one for free, that is horse of a different color and I won't look a gift horse in the mouth.

    I don't know how "techy" you are but the first thing I would do is make the Kindle able to access the Google Play store. Kindles cannot do this by default so you will have to work some technology magic to do it. It's not hard at all, but if you aren't comfortable fiddling with settings and programming that comes with warnings that say if you fail to follow the directions exactly you may brick your device, you might want to let someone else do it for you.

    Once you have access to the Google Play store, there are literally thousands of apps that are fun and educational for kids of all ages. Some of my 4 year old's favorites at the moment are Dragonbox Numbers (think interactive Cuisennaire rods), Endless Wordplay, Starfall and Teach Your Monster To Read, Duck Duck Moose Math and Reading and then he has some games that are just purely for fun like Toco Cars, Toca Builders, Duck Duck Moose Trucks and More Trucks and a logic puzzle game that has dot to dots, mazes, number puzzles and more.

    We don't put any hard limits on screen time for him because he does alternate between playing outside, playing with toys and screen time on his own. We also sit with him sometimes and play his games along with him or just watch him play and talk about the things he is learning the same as we would with any toy. Our son has his own device that he is responsible for and takes care of. We don't see letting him playing on his tablet as a bad thing at all.
    Last edited by MapleHillAcademy; 06-05-2017 at 08:45 AM.

  6. #5


    I agree with MapleHill about not being too critical of "free".

    If youre not comfortable asking some random kid (nephews / nieces / etc) to make it access the google play store, there are still a lot of amazon store apps.

    In addition to the games mentioned, Bugs&Buttons (whole series of apps), Mathseeds for Kindy (new one for us, suggested here!) letter school, SeussABC, Road Trip, the LEGO duplo apps, Jungle Coins / Jungle Time, and swapsies were all popular and well-enjoyed by my youngun.
    Homeschooling DS11, DS5.


    My spelling and typing are fine, its my keyboard that doesnt cooperate.

  7. #6


    It was a gift. You get the best of both worlds. Android and Apple.

    My teens each have one, won as prizes or gifted. Great for audio books (get overdrive from your library.) As it is free, you could take camping, to the beach or other, and if it gets lost...oh well. Good for keeping busy when eating out and waiting for food while the adults talk. You can put on art programs and all the stuff listed above. doesn't have to be something that is used every day. In fact...don't. Save it for when you are traveling (at night when it is not nice to look out the window,) when waiting at the doctor (to keep hands off the germy toys,) to use when in adult company where the little one needs to sit and listen to a bunch of boring adults. Not using all the time means it will be new and fun and will hold attention longer.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Evolved zcat's Avatar
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    Oct 2011


    I have one for myself and use it daily.
    I use it for books, listening to podcasts (podcast addict) or music (spotify), internet browsing, e-mail. Sometimes videos.
    I have occasionally put games on but usually remove them. I have not checked out preschool games.
    My kindle fire is really sturdy. I have dropped it many times and it is still going. It fits nicely in a quart size zippered plastic food bag if I want to protect it from water.
    I got my 82 year old father one when he was recovering from a surgery. It makes it easier for him to check e-mail.

    If you would let your child use a computer or other device you could find educational uses.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Arrived TFZ's Avatar
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    My mom gave two of my kids Fires. I love them. It is really easy for the kids to use, and even easier to limit access. I have my kids profiles set up with just a few favorite apps and it goes off at 7:30pm. (They play after dinner and baths) When time is up it's off. That's it. No arguing or asking them to put it away. Nice. Also, it came with that Freetime, but it looked like a bunch of games that I wouldn't usually get so I just have Starfall, Stack the States, PBS kids, Teach Your Monster to Read, and a couple others I can't remember off the top.

    My 2yo can get into YouTube on ANY device - phones, ipad, my husband's tablet, random phones he picks up from other people... The Fire is the only thing that keeps him on the kid apps.

    Oh ETA - the others are Reading Rainbow and BrainPopJr
    Last edited by TFZ; 07-30-2017 at 03:53 PM.
    I'm a work-at-home mom to three, homeschool enthusiast, and avid planner fueled by lattes and Florida sunshine. My oldest is 6 and is a fircond grader (that's somewhere between first and second, naturally), my preschooler just told me she wants to learn how to read, and my toddler is a force of nature.

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Kindle Fire. Yay or Nay?