Amazon Kids+

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Amazon Kids+ App Poster Image
Subscription service with robust, detailed screen limits.

Parents say

age 4+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Learning is only as good as the content provided, but parents can choose to set educational goals by adjusting goals for amount of time spent on "educational content." With a diverse set of educational TV shows, books, and apps, there's plenty of age-appropriate learning that could potentially take place. Kids also can start to learn about setting their own screen-time limits as they use the app.

Ease of Play

Setup for parents isn't trivial, but it's straightforward. The kids' area is a bit overwhelming, but easy to navigate. Non-readers may need some assistance in understanding the different tabs.

Violence & Scariness

Violence increases slowly as age range increases (i.e., Frozen vs. Harry Potter, WordGirl vs. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine). All content is selected by Amazon to be age-appropriate. Parents can adjust age restrictions for each child to make sure they're comfortable with what's shown.

Sexy Stuff

While some of the media for older kids may contain kissing and flirting, all the content is selected by Amazon to be age-appropriate. Parents can adjust the age restrictions for each child to make sure they're comfortable with what's shown.

Language

While some of the media for older kids may contain mild language, all the content is selected by Amazon to be age-appropriate. Parents can adjust the age restrictions for each child to make sure they're comfortable with what's shown.

Consumerism

In addition to this being an app for a subscription-based service, much of the content reflects popular media franchises. No overt ads.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some media for older kids may contain mild substance use (light social drinking/smoking, allusions to mind-altering substances), but all content is selected by Amazon to be age-appropriate. Parents can adjust age restrictions for each child to make sure they're comfortable with what's shown.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Amazon Kids+ is a subscription-based service that provides ebooks and video content for kids age 3–12. With its support for up to four kids, parents can control what media kids can access via the app, and do so remotely from their own device. Depending on the age settings parents use, violence, substance use, sexual content, and language vary, though all content is intended for kids. To use Amazon Kids+, parents must have an Amazon account. It's also possible to use Amazon Kids+ with Echo, where kids can call and send messages to approved contacts. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change. Note: Amazon is one of Common Sense Media's paying content partners, but its app was reviewed by an independent writer.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 3 and 6-year-old Written byJodi C. December 29, 2017

To many apps offered with subscription

There are hundreds of apps placed onto your child's profile. They all need downloaded, and can be at the child's discretion. The apps are so diverse,... Continue reading
Parent of a 5 and 12-year-old Written bySteph R November 28, 2017

Not good for unconnected travel

We bought kindles with freetime thinking they would be great for travel when we don't have internet. Nothing could be further from the truth.

You have to... Continue reading

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What's it about?

Parents sign in to AMAZON KIDS+ using their Amazon account and then choose a subscription option. Create profiles for up to four kids using their name and date of birth. Once that is set up, parents can customize settings for each kid's profile. Though the app will automatically set the content based on the age provided, parents can adjust the settings up or down based on their kids' needs and their family's values. To shut down device use, parents can set a range of time (called bedtime) when kids aren't able to use the device and can set time goals for the use of educational content, though there's no way to specify exactly what the educational content is. They can even check a box that won't allow kids to use any content until they've met the educational goals. Also, parents can limit screen time as a whole or limit the amount of time spent reading, watching videos, using apps, or browsing the web. To get even more specific, these can be broken down between weekday limits and weekend limits. If they want to check on what their kids are seeing, they can view some basic usage statistics.

In terms of the kids' experience, they can browse available content by categories such as Discover, School & Learning, or Characters & Themes -- or search for something specific. If there's a time limit set, thy can tap on the timer to see how many minutes they have left.

Is it any good?

This large library of kids' books and videos has a detailed set of parental controls that are finely tuned around screen-time limits and device access, but content moderation is largely out of parents' control. All of the content in Amazon Kids+ is judged (by Amazon) to be kid-appropriate. And for that, it may be exactly what parents -- especially of young kids -- want: It locks down the device, creates a safe free-exploration zone for kids, and lets parents put hard limits on screen time. Even better, with multiple kid profiles, parents can provide age-appropriate media for their 6-year-old while also catering to their 3-year-old, all on the same device. Parents may want to use the time limit settings to help guide kids to regulate themselves as they grow. Parents can add particular books or videos, but they can't choose to exclude content. This may frustrate some families, as they may not agree with Amazon's choices of what's age-appropriate or right for their kids. For example, the content is full of branded product franchises (e.g., Barbie, Lego) and viral YouTubers, which some parents may want to avoid. Once all the settings are in place, the kids' area is crowded but easy navigate. However, it's unclear what makes Amazon mark something as educational; the ability to specify what you consider educational content would be nice. But overall, there's a lot here, and with a huge variety of books and videos, it's just the sort of thing that could help make parents' lives easier.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Amazon Kids+ can help them use screen time wisely. Help kids think about the time they have and what they would enjoy doing most. They can even make their own screen-time budget to ensure they have time for all the things they want to enjoy. 

  • Talk about what content kids love the most. What is their favorite thing to do, watch, or read in the app? Why?

  • Discuss how to use the parent controls less and less over time so that kids learn how to regulate themselves.

  • Talk about the brand-name franchises kids run across in the books and videos. Is a video more appealing if it features Lego characters? Why, or why not? Does watching it make you want to buy more Lego sets? Why do you think that is?

App details

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