Amazon Freetime Unlimited (Totally Necessary for Kid Travel!)
This post is dedicated to one of the best discoveries I’ve made for family travel. For a while I’d been looking for a way to download tons of kid-friendly games, videos, and books to my kids Fire Tablets, while still giving them a bunch of options—and me the piece of mind for their online safety. I tried Netflix, and while it’s okay, the download options are limited. My kids were always getting bored and I was having to constantly delete and download—plus I have to limit the web surfing feature separately on their browsers. Then one day I found Amazon Freetime Unlimited.
Amazon Freetime Unlimited is a subscription service giving kids access to thousands of videos, books, and games from all the major kids networks: Disney, Nickelodeon, PBS, and Cartoon Network. It’s Parent enabled and controlled, so we can set all types of limits and filters based on age, content, type, etc. I’ve found it extremely safe for my own kids and I love that all the Disney Jr., Nick Jr., and PBS content they already love (and I deem safe enough for them to watch) is already uploaded onto the app in so many different forms. So not only can they watch shows about Anna and Elsa, they can read books with them in it, and play games about them too. And I love that I don’t have to worry about pop-ups, social media content and logins, or web browser access (unless I so choose).
It can be customized for one kid or multiple in your household, with each one having their own content per profile. And the content from the app doesn’t have to be downloaded from that specific device making it imperative that you carry around your kids’ tablet anytime you want to use it, but can be accessed from multiple devices simply by logging in.
When you download the Freetime Unlimited subscription and they are in the app, they are not able to switch back and forth between it and a web browser. It’s almost like the app takes over the tablet, and they can only use what’s there. Parents also have the capability to set time limits for it’s usage, or limit the usage of videos and games, and make book reading unlimited. Going along with this there’s a “Learn First” feature, allowing parents to set learning goals per day with the educational content, and kids can only access the games and videos once those learning goals are met.
It can either be wifi enabled giving them access to as many titles as you choose, or, and here’s my favorite feature: anything you download can be accessed without wifi. This means that if you’re ever on an airplane, taking a road trip, or in a place with no/limited wifi they can access all of the content you’ve already downloaded.
This came in handy and was a lifesaver during our most recent road trip to Canada, when by hour 3 my kids were getting restless, and started touching each other to annoy the other one, making it difficult for us to concentrate on driving. Well thank you Amazon Freetime Unlimited: I gave each one their tablet and headphones, and we didn’t even notice the last hour and a half of easy-peasy-quiet driving.
Amazon Freetime Unlimited is not included in a Prime membership but must be subscribed to separately. It’s available to both Prime members, and those who aren’t, though it is much cheaper for Prime members. (But if you aren’t an Amazon Prime member by now, I’m not even sure what to say to you. I simply ask you “Why??” with two question marks.)
|With Prime Membership||Without Prime Membership|
|single child—$2.99/month||single child—$4.99/month|
|Family (up to four children)— $6.99/month||Family (up to four children)— $9.99/month|
|Family (up to four children) one year prepaid— $69.99||This option is not available without prime membership|
The app works on all major tech forms and devices, but access is based on which device you use for your kids. For owners of the Amazon Fire Kids tablet they have access to 20,000 different games, videos, and books. For owners of Android or iOS devices access is given to 10,000 games, videos, and books. Freetime Unlimited also includes access to 1,000 different games, videos, and books in Spanish as well. Obviously Amazon is giving more content access to their own tablet device to promote it, but for this reason alone it might be worth purchasing one, as it provides almost double the content.
I personally own the Fire Kids for each of my daughters and I love it. It’s simple and easy to use, and already comes with parental controls enabled, even without the Freetime Unlimited app. And so far, 4 years later, they’ve stood up very well to my kids’ manhandling (and being dropped). And with every purchase of an Amazon Fire Kids tablet a year’s membership of Amazon Freetime Unlimited is included for free! And if it cracks or breaks within two years (though it shouldn’t) its under a 2 year warranty and can be replaced for free. Click this link* to purchase with one-year Freetime Unlimited access.
From my experience, I can attest that Freetime Unlimited is very easy to set up, and I’m really not the most tech-savvy person. It takes only a few seconds, as you find much of the content on the homepage based on “suggestions” to start with per age level. Then based on those selections Amazon starts suggesting others your child might be interested in. And it does take “reading level” into account as well. For example, my daughter is 6 but loves to read the National Geographic Kids biographies, so when I started clicking a few of them in the app, Amazon began suggesting similar titles and ones of that reading level.
The subscription is absolutely worth it if you travel often and need to download lots of different content for your kids and/or don’t want to worry about wifi access. When we went to Lebanon and had limited wifi in many places, this was an amazing feature. It’s also great during plane rides, road trips, and if you use your kids tech devices often. It allows them to do more than just watch videos, but be able to read books and play educational games as well, which I love.
The night before our last flight I downloaded lots of new things for them, and they used it both on the flight and in the airport. They sat quietly, and I actually sat and ate my Subway sandwich at the gate in peace for the very first time, without anybody nagging me to “fix their video” or telling me they were bored. I even got to go to the bathroom alone. Priceless.
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