In the world of tablets, Amazon’s Fire Kids Edition—a seven-inch tablet selling for as little as $80—has been a sleeper hit. It’s bundled with a shock-resistant case, an all-inclusive two-year warranty, and FreeTime, a service that gives children content curated and parents control over their offspring’s screen time, down to the ability to specify how much reading kids must do before they can play a game or watch a video. Now Amazon is beefing up FreeTime (which is also available on its standard Fire tablets) with two new features aimed at parents.
The Parent Dashboard—which is accessible from any web browser on a PC, phone, or tablet—provides graphs and stats on what each child signed up for FreeTime has been consuming. It also offers Discussion Cards—CliffsNotes-like cheat sheets about books, apps, games, and videos, complete with conversation starters that a parent can ask a kid, such as “What does Pete do at school?” and “How do you feel when you go to new places or try new things?”