Kindle’s Fire tablet lineup is already among the best tablet options geared toward kids and Amazon is boosting that message with some new offerings. The newest update adds more educational and goal-oriented options to make sure kids are getting their work complete before moving to play time.

  • Parents can now set educational goals for their kids, and make sure their kids have met their goals before switching to cartoons and games
  • Manage screen time with additional Time Limits features: set different limits for weekends vs. weekdays, and use “Bedtime” to set a curfew
  • Thousands of new educational books, apps, games and videos coming to Kindle FreeTime Unlimited, including Common Core Standard-aligned books, educational apps from developers like BrainPOP and Agnitus, and movies and TV shows from Sesame Street, PBS, Reading Rainbow and more

FreeTime is a feature that is exclusively available to Amazon’s Kindle Fire lineup and the update will be delivered automatically in the coming weeks. With the new educational goals, parents can add new goals for their kids: for example, a parent can add a 30 minute reading goal every day in FreeTime. Parents can also make sure their children reach these educational goals before allowing them access to cartoons or games. A simple tap on Learn First and any non-educational content is removed from the child’s FreeTime library until they have met the set education or reading goals.

Parents will also love these additional new options for Time Limits:

  • Bedtime: No more cartoons in the middle of the night—set a Bedtime so FreeTime only works the time of day you choose—for example, between 8 am and 8 pm.
  • Weekend and Weekday Time Limits: All days of the week aren’t created equal—configure educational goals and screen time limits differently for weekends and weekdays.

Amazon is clearly leading the pack with regards to making sure parents have complete control over what a child can and cannot do on a tablet, Apple and Google should take note.

Amazon’s full press release:

Kindle Fire—the Best Tablet for Kids and Families—Getting Even Better with New Education Features for Kindle FreeTime

Parents can now set educational goals for their kids, and make sure their kids have met their goals before switching to cartoons and games

Manage screen time with additional Time Limits features: set different limits for weekends vs. weekdays, and use “Bedtime” to set a curfew

Thousands of new educational books, apps, games and videos coming to Kindle FreeTime Unlimited, including Common Core Standard-aligned books, educational apps from developers like BrainPOP and Agnitus, and movies and TV shows from Sesame Street, PBS, Reading Rainbow and more

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dec. 9, 2013– (NASDAQ: AMZN)—Amazon today announced a new version of Kindle FreeTime on Kindle Fire tablets that brings new educational features built from the ground up for parents and kids. FreeTime is a free feature available exclusively from Amazon, and the update will be delivered automatically to any Kindle Fire tablet that has the FreeTime app in the coming weeks, just in time for the holidays. Customers can order the new $139 Kindle Fire HD, Kindle Fire HDX 7” and Kindle Fire HDX 8.9” at www.amazon.com/fire-hd.

“Kindle Fire is already the best tablet for kids and families—and now we’re making it even better,” said Peter Larsen, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. “We know kids spend a lot of time every day looking at screens, and we’re excited to add new tools that help parents make this time more educational. Parents can use features like ‘Learn First’ to ensure study comes before play and set daily educational goals for reading and learning. If you subscribe to FreeTime Unlimited, your kids will enjoy thousands of new educational books, apps, games and videos.”

With new Educational Goals, parents can now set additional goals for their kids—for example, a parent can set a goal to read 30 minutes every day in FreeTime. Parents of younger children who can’t yet read can set goals to use educational apps such as My First Words: Spanish, Elmo Loves 123’s, or BrainPOP Jr. for a certain amount of time each day.

Additionally, parents can now choose to make sure their kids have reached their educational goals before they can watch cartoons or play games. Simply tap on Learn First, and all non-educational content is removed from the child’s FreeTime library until they have met their daily reading or educational goals. Everything in FreeTime Unlimited—plus the top 10,000 most popular kids’ books, videos, and apps on Amazon—has been categorized as education or entertainment, so when a parent sets goals for Learn First, the work of identifying which content is educational vs. entertainment has already been done for them.

Parents will also love these additional new options for Time Limits:

  • Bedtime: No more cartoons in the middle of the night—set a Bedtime so FreeTime only works the time of day you choose—for example, between 8 am and 8 pm.
  • Weekend and Weekday Time Limits: All days of the week aren’t created equal—configure educational goals and screen time limits differently for weekends and weekdays.

In the coming months, parents will be able to borrow a Kindle book from a participating public library, and make it available to their kids in FreeTime. Additionally, Prime members with access to Kindle Owners’Lending Library will be able to add their borrowed books to FreeTime.

Amazon is adding thousands of educational books, apps, games, and videos to Kindle FreeTime Unlimited, the optional extension to Kindle FreeTime that brings together all the content kids and parents love into one simple, unlimited subscription for kids ages 3-8. Over half the content in Kindle FreeTime Unlimited is educational, including:

  • Thousands of common core-aligned leveled readers and supplemental readers are coming to Kindle FreeTime Unlimited and the Kindle Store—most of these books will be available for the first time digitally. Hundreds of these titles will be available in time for Christmas, with the rest coming early next year, from trusted educational publishers like Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Starwalk Kids Media LLC, The Child’s World, Sleeping Bear Press, Lerner Publishing, and Cherry Lake Publishing.
  • Kid-friendly educational apps such as Team Umizoomi MathSuper Why!Stack the StatesCurious George at the ZooElmo Loves 123’sWrite the AlphabetKids Learn To Read and more.
  • Award-winning and engaging educational apps from BrainPOP and Agnitus.
  • Over 2,000 educational TV Shows and Movies from well recognized educational content providers including Sesame Street, PBS, Reading Rainbow and BabyFirst TV.
  • Beginning level foreign language video learning programs for Spanish, French, Chinese and more from Little Pim.

Here’s what reviewers are already saying about Kindle FreeTime:

  • “[FreeTime] is a boon for parents and means the Kindle is a great choice for the wee ones.” –TechCrunch
  • “Amazon took a big step forward in improving things for families with Kindle FreeTime.” – CNet
  • “Amazon seems to know that a tablet is a device for the whole family, and has done a better job than anyone of making its devices work for everyone.” – The Verge
  • “Amazon has absolutely nailed its family target audience with its more robust parental controls…” –Laptop Magazine
  • “FreeTime is a must have.” – PC Magazine
  • “[FreeTime] eliminates the ‘just one more level, Dad’ nightly debate.” – Wired
  • “This feature makes the Fire the best tablet for young kids, in my opinion.” – Babble

The Kindle FreeTime app will be automatically updated with these new features in the coming weeks. Visitwww.amazon.com/kindlefreetime to learn more.

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