How to Setup Kindle Fire Kids Edition

Amazon’s [amazon_textlink asin=’B01J94SBEY’ text=’Kindle Fire Kids Edition’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’ajaharris-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’70e4af5c-4ca5-11e8-85ed-cfcbe9403322′] is one of our favorite items, especially for travel. We often get asked on how we set them up, and we have compiled this guide to help others. We will be updating it with even more tips and tricks over the next few days.

Adding your Kindle Fire to your Amazon Account

If you ordered the Kindle Fire from your Amazon Account, it should automatically be added to your Amazon account. If you received it as a gift, you will be asked to enter your Amazon username and password to register the device at first power-on. If you need to verify, or change your registration, it can be found in the Settings App, under Settings > (De)Register your Kindle. Make sure your kindle is registered to your account, as it is required for everything that follows.

Other quick notes: if you have not gotten a screen protector, we highly recommend one, such as [amazon_link asins=’B06Y5WW2XT’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’ajaharris-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’f746e230-4bbd-11e8-bd9b-099d7d55fa39′ text=’this option from NuPro’]

Setting Up Amazon FreeTime (the Kids App)

Amazon Freetime is the app in which your kids will spend their time – it provides an age-appropriate, curated experience of books, videos, and app for your child. You can set it up in one of three ways: in the FreeTime app on the Kindle Fire, in the FreeTime App on your Android phone, or via the web-based Amazon Parents Dashboard.

The parents dashboard can be found at: https://parents.amazon.com/

In this section, we will show you how to:

  1. Make Child Profiles for Each of your Children via Amazon.com
  2. Setup Freetime Educational Goals and time limits (optional)

Creating Profiles for Each Child

These instructions involve creating the child’s profile online and then switching to the Kindle Fire to complete setup. If you would like to do the entire setup on the Kindle Fire, please visit this Amazon Help page. We will be adding our own instructions soon.

You will want to make a profile for each child in Amazon Freetime.

This allows them to have their own library of content, and if you have larger age gaps, make sure that each child sees the appropriate content. Once they are setup, you can change profiles on your Kindle Fire by selecting the small colored or pictured circle at the top right of the passcode screen.

To add a child:

  1. Go to Amazon.com and go to My Account > Amazon Household
  2. You will see your household’s members, including up to 2 adults, teens, and 4 children. Scroll down to the “Children” section, and click the orange plus sign button to add a child
  3. Fill in the Child’s first name, gender, birthday, and select a profile image
  4. Click “Save”

Congratulations! You have now added a child to your Amazon account, and they should have a profile show up on your Kindle Fire within minutes. You’ll now need to setup FreeTime on your Kindle Fire tablet.

Have multiple children and multiple kindles?

There are some challenges that come with multiple children, profiles for each child, and multiple profiles. Luckily, we have some strategies that make it a better experience.

The biggest issues that arise:

1 – Each profile is isolated, as is its content. This means if each child uses their own profile on the same device, anything they download will take up space and not be accessible on the other profiles.

2 – If you only have one Kindle, one child profile, and different ages, the content displayed may not be of the right age level for one or the other.

The best way that we have found to handle this situation is to have a separate Kindle for each child (they come in one and two packs with three color options: blue, pink, and yellow) and assign each child a color. Then, we create a seperate profile for each child and only allow the correct child’s profile to show up on each device. For example, Child A has the yellow kindle, Child B the blue kindle, and Child C the pink kindle. The only “profile” options on the yellow kindle are Mom, Dad, and Child A. On the Blue Kindle, it is Mom, Dad, and Child B, and on the pink Kindle it is Mom, Dad, and Child C. This ensures that there is only one kid profile, and only one place for their content and each kid immediately knows which Kindle is theirs. How to achieve this magic?

1 – Setup a seperate profile for each child, either on the Parents Dashboard or in the FreeTime App on the parents side (instructions below)

2- On each kindle open the Amazon FreeTime app on the parent profile. Click on the gear next to one of the children that you do not want to display as an option for that Kindle

3 – Scroll down to “General Settings”

4 – Find the option ” Show Profile on Lock Screen” and slide the slider to off (it should turn gray)

5 – Repeat for each child profile on that Kindle that you do not want to display

6 – Repeat for each Kindle you have

To make the profile appear again, repeat the steps but slide the slider to the on position (it should turn orange)

Setup FreeTime

If this is your first time configuring FreeTime, you will need to do the initial setup from the Kindle Fire itself.

Open the FreeTime App from the parent profile. You should get a list of the children you have added and the option to “Add a child” if you have not yet added them, or do not have the maximum of 4 children profiles.

For traveling, we recommend not setting any goals or time limits, as this could cause problems as you go through your flights.

Adding Content to FreeTime

There are two ways to add content to FreeTime:

  1. Download from your child’s profile
  2. Add from the Parents profile to the child’s profile.

In general, you can download directly from FreeTime those things that are provided by the FreeTime subscription, but not things that you already own outside of Freetime (such as Disney movies) To add this content, you will need to add it from the Parent’s side.

Downloading Content from FreeTime Child’s Profile

Switch to your childs profile on the lock screen by tapping the colored circle in the upper right corner, and then selecting the child’s profile from the list. Swipe up to unlock, and you will be presented with the blue FreeTime area. If you are not on the lock screen, you can swipe down from the center-top of the screen display the menu with the time, date, wifi options – and the ability to switch profiles is in the upper right of this screen as well.

Inside the blue FreeTime area, you can add:

Books: Scroll trough the books on the book tab, and tap any that would be interesting for your child. They will download and display a black circle with white checkmark in the lower left corner. This symbol indicates that it will be available offline.

Videos: On the video tab, scroll through the listed videos and long tap on any video you wish to download. In the menu that appears, you can click “Download Now”. The image of the video will turn gray, and you will see the small orange progress bar across the bottom of the image as it downloads. Once complete, the image of the video will display a black circle with white checkmark in the lower left corner. This symbol indicates that it will be available offline.

Apps: Scroll trough the apps on the apps tab, and tap any that would be interesting for your child. They will download and display a black circle with white checkmark in the lower left corner. This symbol indicates that it will be available offline.

You can also search for any videos, apps, or books, and download them using the “Search” magnifying glass in the upper right of the Freetime area. If you can not find it, then it may not be available via the FreeTime Subscription and will need to be added through the parents side of the Kindle Fire.

Making Purchased Content Available for Streaming in FreeTime

If you have content that you have purchased on Amazon (such as movies, books, etc) and you wish to make that content available to be used in FreeTime while connected to the internet, you will need to specifically do so. This can be done in two ways, via the Amazon Parent Dashboard or the Amazon FreeTime App on the parent’s profile. 

If you wish to also make the content available while offline, you must download it first on the Parent’s side. You can do this for videos by:

  1. Navigate to the correct “tab” on the parents side (i.e. “Videos”) and click the “Library” button on the far right of the tabs
  2. Navigate to the correct area (for example, in “Videos Library” there are separate options for TV Shows and Movies.)
  3. Click the “hamburger” button (three horizontal lines stacked on op of each other at the upper left near “Libary”
  4. Select Video Library
  5. Next to any of listed videos, click the downward arrow. Your video will download and once complete, display a “trash can” icon

You can, if a Prime Member, also download videos from the Prime Library up to the Prime limit. These can then be added to FreeTime as well, as described below.

Adding Content from the Parent’s Profile to FreeTime

To add content that you own or have downloaded on the parent’s side of the device, you need to use the FreeTime app or Amazon Parent Dashboard. Using the app directly on the Kindle is important if you want to have content you downloaded to be available on the FreeTime side without an internet connection.

  1. Open your Kindle in the Parent’s profile
  2. Open the “Amazon FreeTime” app (It has a kid with a kite for the image)
  3. Click the “Gear” icon next to the child’s name that  you want to add content to (be sure to click the gear, otherwise it will switch profiles and put you into the child’s freetime area)
  4. Under “Manage Your Child’s Content” tap “Add Content”
  5. Select the books, videos, and apps that you want to add

Verifying Content Works in Offline/Airplane Mode

Most importantly, you must make sure that the content you have downloaded and added works in offline or airplane mode.

To enable airplane mode:

  1. Swipe down from the center-top of the display, which will open a menu with the time, date, and several options for wifi, bluetooth, etc.
  2. On this screen, tap the image of the airplane, labeled “airplane mode”
  3. This will disable wifi, bluetooth and GPS. You will see an icon of a plane in the upper bar next to the battery level to show it is on.
  4. To reenable these items, simply repeat these steps.

To verify that your downloaded content works:

  1. Open your Kindle Fire in one of your child FreeTime profiles. Switch to your childs profile on the lock screen by tapping the colored circle in the upper right corner, and then selecting the child’s profile from the list. Swipe up to unlock, and you will be presented with the blue FreeTime area. If you are not on the lock screen, you can swipe down from the center-top of the screen display the menu with the time, date, wifi options – and the ability to switch profiles is in the upper right of this screen as well.
  2. Verify that there is an airplane icon in the upper right of the screen next to the battery. If not, enable airplane mode using the instructions above
  3. You should only see content in Freetime that has a black circle with a white checkmark in the lower left. This indicates that the app, video, or book is available offline.
  4. Test each item to make sure that it opens. To get back to the main screen, swipe up from the bottom and click the circle icon or back arrow.
  5. For videos, you will need to acknowledge a 48-hour viewing period for videos that you do not already own. If you do not connect to the internet again within 48 hours, the video will not be playable until you do. Be aware of this.
  6. If anything does not work, take a note of it and attempt to redownload it when you are done testing

Adding Purchased Content from iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, or FandangoNow

We purchase a lot of our movies from Google Play or Vudu in addition to Amazon, and until recently there was not a great way to get them onto our children’s Kindles. With the introduction of MoviesAnywhere, this is now easy.

You’ll need to create a new MoviesAnywhere account on the MoviesAnywhere website. Once you do, follow  the instructions to connect your Amazon PrimeVideo (most important!), iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, and FandangoNow accounts (or any combination). Once you do, any movies that are from participating studios (such as Disney) that you have purchased will appear in every location that you added!

For example, if you purchase a Disney movie on Google Play, and you have Google Play and Amazon PrimeVideo connected to your MoviesAnywhere account, you will also see the movie in your Amazon PrimeVideo account, and vice-versa. This means that you can add and download content to your Kindles, even if it was purchased elsewhere.

Not all studios participate in the MoviesAnywhere program, but most of the big ones do, and we are looking forward to more joining soon.

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