Kindle for kids
Encouraging your child to read
In my opinion, anything that encourages your child to read is a bonus. My daughter loved story books as a child and is still an avid reader. From the age of around 2 years old, she was a member of the local library and loved borrowing books using her own little membership card. As parents are the biggest influence on children, it falls on us to encourage them to read at home to extend and widen their knowledge and vocabulary.
At Christmas, my parents bought my daughter a Kindle 4, which she hasn't put down since she got it.
How the Kindle works
The Kindle is a wireless electronic book reader which is designed and supplied by Amazon. There are various models of varying memory which allow you to buy and download books directly from the Amazon store in seconds. The basic Kindle has the capacity to store up to 1,400 books. Once you have purchased your Kindle, it has to be registered with Amazon, and to do this you must register either a credit or debit card on the account.
Once you start to read your book, the page can be bookmarked for future use. When you switch off your Kindle, it will automatically take you to the last page you were reading the next time you switch it on. There is a huge range of books available for children to choose from in the Amazon Kindle Store by all different authors at a fraction of the cost of buying a book. Some of the newer models offer Wi-fi connectivity, allowing them to choose books when they are away from home.
Some models have a backlight which allow you to read in the dark. The Kindle that my daughter received does not have a built in backlight, but this can be overcome by buying one of the many Kindle covers with a built in reading light.
To charge your Kindle, simply plug the USB cable into your computer/laptop. When fully charged, my daughter gets around 2-3 weeks battery life from her Kindle 4 based on her reading around an hour every day. A power adapter can be purchased to charge your device when away from home when there is no access to a computer.
Advantages of the Kindle
- Easy to use
- Large screen
- Built in dictionary
- Bookmark facility
- Continues on the page you were last reading
- Stores between 1,400 and 3,500 books (depending on the model)
- Saves space in kids bedrooms
- Great when on vacation or on long car journeys
- Downloads books in seconds
- There are many free books on offer from Amazon to download
Disadvantages of Kindle
- As a debit or credit card has to be registered on the account, you must ensure that your child does not run up a large bill. If my daughter uses it to purchase an e-book, she knows that she has to ask us first. We had one or two mishaps at the start, but she always asks our permission before buying one now! Amazon Gift Cards can be added to the account, and when a book is purchased, it is deducted from the gift card balance in the first instance.
- Kindle has the ability to eventually take over the need for hardback books. Sometimes it's nice to have a physical book in front of you.
- Not all models are backlit and can be difficult to read in poor light.
Does your child have a Kindle?
I would certainly recommend a Kindle for children aged from 5 years upwards with parental control. It's a great way for children to enhance their reading skills and choose their own books. If you're not sure about buying one exclusively for your child, you could perhaps share one, and allow them to read their books at certain times.