Amazon’s Fire HD Kids Tablets strikes the balance between great battery life, quality hardware, durability, and affordability. The tablet is not only excellent for kids but also offers plenty for adults too!
The main differences between Amazon’s line of Fire tablets are screen size, processors and storage capacity. The smallest Fire Kids tablet has a 7-inch screen with 16GB and the biggest is 10-inches with 32 GB. The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition used for this article has an 8-inch HD display, 32GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot for additional storage. The Kids tablets also come in a rubberized kid-proof case to protect it in case of accidental drops.
A number of tablets in Amazon’s Fire HD lineup even have Alexa built-in. Sadly those Fire tablets with Alexa aren’t officially available in Canada. Thankfully, you can still use these tablets, such as the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition in Canada with a few simple workarounds.
Setup in Canada
Setting up the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is fairly straightforward. First, make sure your tablet is charged before turning it on.
You’ll also need to change your Amazon Kindle store account from Canada to the US. This won’t affect buying products on Amazon.ca but it will allow you to get the Amazon FreeTime app which is a big selling point of the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition.
During the setup process of your Fire HD 8 Kids Edition, you can create your child’s profile, so they can access their favourite apps and games. With multiple profiles, more than one child can share a single tablet and always have age-appropriate content.
Using the Fire Kids Tablet
The main feature on the Kids tablet is the FreeTime App that offers a host of educational and entertainment options for kids, and peace of mind for parents. The FreeTime app on the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition allows parents to limit access to apps in your personal library such as Netflix, Kindle, and Crossy Road. So that they don’t accidentally choose an app they’re not allowed to use. Parents can also set a bedtime on the tablet so that the child cannot use it after a certain time, as well as limits for how many hours the child can watch videos for.
The 1 year of FreeTime Unlimited subscription that comes with each Fire HD 8 Kids Edition also gives you access to more than 15,000 kid friendly apps, games, videos, books and educational content from PBS Kids, Nickelodeon and Disney. It also comes with a companion parental app, so you can see what your child is reading, and can use it as an opportunity to enrich what they’re already learning on their own.
In addition to the FreeTime app, you also get access to Amazon’s other services and apps such as Kindle, Audible, Prime Video, Prime Music and more.
Prime Video on the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition in Canada works, without any issues as long as you change your Kindle store to amazon.com.
Alexa, what can you do?
Outside of the kids content on the tablet, you can also use the device as a regular Fire Tablet in the parent profile. The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition has Alexa built-in so you can ask her questions like “what’s the weather?” or “How far is the moon?.” Just be sure to set your location and temperature setting to Celsius in the Alexa app. You can use Alexa on the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition hands-free or by holding down the home button on the tablet.
Alexa on the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition can also allow you to control your smart home devices such as Philips Hue, Wemo, ecobee and even stream video feeds from Ring, Arlo, Wyze Cam and Nest right to the device screen.
Amazon has recently added Show Mode on the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition and other newer Fire Tablets. allowing you turn your Fire Tablet into an Echo Show/Echo Spot.
To do this, all you need to do is get the latest software update (as of July 2018) and you’ll see an option in the quick setting to enable Show Mode. You will need to have your Fire Tablet plugged in to enabled Show Mode as the screen will basically be on all the time.
Buying the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition
In the US, the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition can be purchased from Amazon.com. In Canada, even though the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition and other Alexa-enabled Fire Tablets aren’t officially available here, you can buy one from Wantboard
In summary, the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is a great Android tablet for those in the Amazon ecosystem while also being able to let your kids use it as well.
Canadian Compatibility: The only real thing to worry about using the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition in Canada is getting the FreeTime app to show up on your device but that can be done by following the steps mentioned earlier. Other than that, the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition works in Canada with no issue including Alexa and Prime Video.
Where to Buy: