Looking for the perfect gift for a child who loves to read? This will surely earn you some brownie points.
Kindle Paperwhite Kids Edition is a simple e-reader designed with kids in mind. It’s durable and water-resistant, with a glare-free screen that makes it easy to read anytime, anywhere. With Amazon Kids+, it comes pre-installed with a full library of age-appropriate books.
Kindle Paperwhite Kids Specifications
E-readers have come so far since I owned an original Nook back in the day, with a super delicate display that tended to die dramatically if you even touched a finger to it. (Of course, I still thought it was the coolest thing in the universe.)
The Kindle Paperwhite Kids retails for $169.99 and offers a 6.8-inch anti-glare display. This means that unlike any old tablet you might be tempted to use as an e-reader, this one can be used in bright light. The brightness is also adjustable, so it can also be used at night.
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I was impressed with the glare-free display. It really looks like a paper book open in front of you, and I had no trouble reading with it in bright sunlight or darkness.
The device is also waterproof, so an accidental drop in the pool can be survived – making it an even more solid choice for kids.
The Kindle Paperwhite Kids is water resistant, which adds some points to the durability column.
Now, what does this edition do for kids? First, it comes with your choice of two whimsical cases that will appeal to kids of all ages: Robot Dreams or Trees. Your child of the dark and/or avid sticker collector can also opt for a plain black case if they wish.
Your purchase also comes with one free year of Amazon Kids+ (which is otherwise $2.99/month for both Prime members and non-members), which unlocks access to 1,000 kid-friendly books. If you have other Amazon devices, it also offers kid-friendly apps, games, and videos.
Finally, you’ll also get Amazon’s 2-year worry-free warranty — so if the device breaks within two years of purchase, you’ll be able to get a free replacement.
The most important thing to know before buying the Kindle Paperwhite Kids Edition is that it is NOT a tablet. It’s an e-reader, and an e-reader only. That means no games, no video, no browser, and the screen is all black and white.
With an Amazon Kids+ membership, it offers access to a full library of kid-friendly books along with a feature called Vocabulary Builder.
With the Vocabulary Builder, your child can look up definitions of unfamiliar words while reading. Whenever they search for a word, that word will automatically be added as a flashcard in the dictionary builder. They can then use the flashcards to become more comfortable with these words.
Your child can also earn fun Paperwhite Kids achievements, like “On a roll” for reading 100 pages or “That’s over 9,000!” for reading 10,000 pages.
Without an Amazon Kids+ subscription, you’ll have to be a little more vigilant about giving your child content to read.
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For older children or teenagers, you may be interested in a Kindle Unlimited subscription, which costs $9.99 per month for both Prime members and non-members. This subscription offers access to thousands of books at no extra charge. However, you can also buy Kindle books without a subscription.
And to prevent anyone but you from being able to buy books, you can set up a Kindle-only kid’s profile. This will allow you to assign books purchased through Kindle directly to the child’s profile. It also protects them from your books and prevents them from buying books on their device.
Personally, I think the Kindle Paperwhite Kids Edition is a solid choice for kids who are avid readers. The only minor annoyance I encountered is that you can’t lock the screen in portrait mode. Some books (especially picture books aimed at younger children) are only available in landscape.
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My kindergartner is just starting to read, so since he does books and only books, the Kindle Paperwhite Kids Edition isn’t something he can use on his own right now.
However, he likes looking at picture books on his Fire tablet, and the tablet also offers more age-appropriate content (that’s still educational) like games and videos. All in full color too.
For younger kids who aren’t reading independently yet, I honestly think the Fire tablet would be a better buy. The Fire HD 8 Kids is a good option — with the same free year of Amazon Kids+ and a kid-friendly case for $139.99 — $20 cheaper than the Paperwhite Kids.
Although, if you’re a household of travelers, the Kindle offers a convenient and lightweight way to travel with LOTS of bedtime stories.
And for kids who are a little older (and especially if they’re voracious readers), the Kindle Paperwhite Kids makes a great gift — offering a full library of age-appropriate books in one sleek, durable, travel-friendly, and lightweight device.
Best of all, it’s a piece of kid-friendly technology that even the most anti-screen relatives at your next family gathering won’t be able to grumble about. Because, as Amazon proudly states on the device’s sales page, “it’s reading time, not screen time.”