Constructive Down Time

Sponsored by Amazon

Back to school for our family means a lot of things. Four out of five children are in some kind of education/socialization program: Jack is in fifth, Zoe in fourth, Beau just started Kindergarten and Evvie is now in a preschool program. Our schedule is back to a steady, roaring hum-a feeling we are all still getting used to two weeks in. The routine is something that we all appreciate and respond well to, and each child is learning the ins and outs of their own expectations.

Sports have also started back up, which means our big kids are committed at least 3 times per week for practices or games. It’s an interesting place to be as a parent, watching them enjoy and absorb all of the activities that keep them physically and mentally motivated. We are always moving, though, and I struggle with finding down time both as a family and for them individually. I recently removed all devices and replaced them with Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition, and I couldn’t be happier with them. With educational books, videos, apps and games, I’m confident that their down time is not only fun and calm, it’s still entertaining in a positive way.

Coming from a generation that began typing on actual typewriters, I am leery and nervous about the internet and exposing my children to it’s untethered territories. The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablet has a Parent Dashboard and Parental Controls such as Learn First, Bedtime, and Discussion Cards. I can see what they’re viewing and make decisions around educational goals and screen time limits-something that is absolutely helpful when I am preoccupied with meal preparation and caring for the baby in the family. The Discussion Cards help me to understand and provide context for what they are viewing, plus they provide sample questions about the content to get them talking to me about what they’re doing and how the content is relevant to the world around them. It’s a great way for us to find quiet time with little expectation both actively and educationally, but it keeps their brains involved and interested in sharing what their learning with us in real time. I don’t worry about the toxic wasteland of the expansive internet when they’re spending some time on the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablets, and that is a relief and a welcomed tool in my parenting arsenal. The product comes with one year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, allowing families who are new to the product an easy way to get used to its features, with access to thousands of age-appropriate books, videos, apps and games plus top educational titles that help with reading comprehension and math skills.

I’m not as savvy about introducing the kind of content to my kids that I prefer that they spend their time on when it comes to tablets and the internet. The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition makes suggestions for me based on each child’s age, so I made sure to load them up with some great apps, books and games especially before we take long flights. These last few late summer trips were the perfect time to get them back in to the learning mode during our travel periods: Evvie was entertained by Audible books, Beau found a couple of educational games and both of the big kids enjoyed various different books that offered interactive options and kept a hearty conversation going between the two of them. I personally love and approve of these options, and feel like they’re a great way to spend a little quiet time between the rigours of school and sports. It’s a routine we all love and appreciate, but a little quiet time is necessary too!

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