When Amazon asked me to take a look at the Amazon Fire Tablet their timing could not have been more perfect. Mini broke his wrist playing football on his last day of primary school! This has proven something of a challenge for my sporty kid who normally plays football and cricket during the summer and never really sits still. We do have a family tablet, but it is bigger than the Fire and a little heavy for him to hold and manipulate with his wrist in a brace, but the Amazon Fire Tablet has proven a great hit.
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I am going to be upfront and admit that technology and screen time is something I struggle with as a parent. I find it hard to come up with a balance that we all find agreeable and yes it is a challenge. I want to raise creative children who love to play, explore, learn and have fun as I am sure all parents and technology has a part to play in that too.
Normally we have really strict screen rules. None after 6pm and a time limit on them during the week and a different one at the weekend and that works for us. However, poor Mini can not play sport, ride his bike or scooter. He is pretty much limited to walking the dog at the moment! So we have relaxed the rules slightly at the moment and we are finding the Amazon Fire Tablet a real blessing.
The Amazon Fire Table is amazing value at £49.99. The 7-inch version has launched this June and is the perfect size for children. it is an improved version fo the bestselling tablet, but lighter, thinner and more durable. We have a funky yellow one with 8gb, but that is expandable up to 256gb. It also comes with unlimited cloud storage for Amazon content, which works really well for Mini as he has a lot of audiobooks on Audible. Oh did I say that it also comes with Alexa? Well, it does, again perfect for Audible, setting alarms and even controlling our heating! So you can see it is really great value for money at under £50.
So what is Mini using his tablet for?
So we have downloaded BBC iPlayer, Prime Video and Netflix. Having the ability to download programs to the Amazon Fire Tablet makes life so much easier. Perfect for when we are stuck at the fracture clinic. He is currently working his way through Plants v Zombies and if you have younger children you will be pleased to know you can also get PAW Patrol!
He can also access all his audiobooks via Alexa without downloading them. I can not stress enough just how amazing Audible is when you link it with Alexa. He can switch books and pick chapters with the books on the cloud. Better still he can resume the book from where he last left off, even if that is from the previous night on his dot. Whilst we are talking about books he can access Kindle on the tablet and is finding it lighter and easier to hold than his actual books. He is currently reading a Star Wars graphic Novel, which looks great on the 7-inch screen, really bright and vivid.
I love how apps can be fun and educational making them perfect for over the summer. I can let the boys “play” and they are learning at the same time. I downloaded DoodleMaths for the boys. They do it is 3 different age ranges and for them, I have the 11+ one. They both have an account and before they play any games they answer the day’s questions. They only have to do eight questions a day to reinforce what they already know and it is great for building confidence then answer additional weekly questions to build upon their learning.
I am really impressed with DoodleMaths, especially for a free app. it is all about technology enhancing learning and is linked to the National Curriculum. It works by ascertaining your child level of learning (what they can achieve without needing additional teaching or support) and then creates a daily practice based around it. It empowers and creates confidence in a fun and engaging way.
Both of my boys love maths and really do not see learning as a chore, so I think this will be a great app for making sure that there is no summer slide.
Mini has also downloaded an app (Fun Easy Learn French) to help him learn French before he starts taking it as a subject in September. I am really looking forward to doing it with him and it is also a great revision resource for Maxi. It is great as not only do you see the words and images but also it speaks to you too!
There really is a game for every age available on the App Store. So I am going to share with you some of the boys’ current favourites:
- Crossy Road – This is an arcade style game where yes you guessed it the chicken has to cross the road. They have endless fun playing this.
- Adventure Time Jumping Finn – You have to rescue Princess Bubblegum from the Ice King by bouncing Finn and Jake. If you like Adventure Time then this is for you. it is short but fun.
- Angry Birds – This game never seems to get old and the boys still love it in all its variations.
- Despicable Me: Minion Rush – The boys have just got back into this game as there is exclusive content from Despicable Me 3. You have to race with the Minions collecting Bananas while jumping, dodging, rolling and knocking Minions off the track in despicably action-packed levels.
- Flow Free – This is a simple yet addictive puzzle app that both the boys and MadDad love.
- Stick Cricket, Stick Football & Stick Tennis – All the stick games are big hits here. They are really intuitive and easy to play and the boys keep coming back to them.
- 100 Pic’s Quiz – This a firm family favourite and perfect for us all to play together. We play this a lot when we are all together. One that is perfect for interaction whilst waiting – so great for at the hospital.
- Candy Crush Saga – This is MadDad’s favourite. A simple puzzle game that gets harder and harder.
- Word Cookies – A simple puzzle game where you have to find all the hidden words great for improving spelling skills.
- Slither.io – You have to try and become the biggest snake by eating dots and not letting your head touch another player.
- Color Switch – You have to guide your coloured ball through the matching coloured obstacles. I find this one addictive.
There really is a game for every age available on the Amazon AppStore.
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