Best Kindles or E-Readers for Kids in 2018 (Picked by Age Group)
E-readers are old news by now, whether or not you believe they represent the end of brick and mortar libraries or simply an evolution. But since day one, Amazon's various Kindles have represented a lot more.
Sure, you or your child can do so on an iPad, but you could be doing it on an anti-glare paper mimicking screen that helps the environment by reducing the number of paperbacks printed.
Kids stand to benefit immensely from Kindles. Whether they use a fancier model with more tablet-like features and don't just read or prefer to consume novels in black and white simplicity, a Kindle can help increase a child's interest in reading, reduce spending on print materials, and provide greater portability for everything being read.
Not to mention, Amazon kindles offer huge advantages in terms of customization, since you can't resize or change the font of a hardback, or instantly define new words with a few presses. This is especially great for kids who find reading very straining due to learning conditions and can open up a world of possibilities.
So what are you waiting for? In this article will show you what factors make for the best kids' Kindles, and point out a few of our favorites we think you'll like as well.
Which Amazon Kindle or E-reader is best for your child? We've outlined which ones are best by age group to help you decide.
Best for Early Readers: Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet
This tablet features a color display, protective case, and supports contents besides books such as movies or educational apps. It has extensive parental controls and is intended for the younger crowd. Reading picture or comic books on this will be a breeze, and the bright colors are persistent throughout illustrated early chapter books or web content.
Best for Late Elementary/Middle Schoolers: Kindle for Kids Bundle
Offering a greater focus on novels and text-rich books, the Kindle for Kids bundle acknowledges that your devices still need protection from childhood clumsiness while also allowing voracious readers to expand their libraries on the classic black and white Kindle eReaders, mimicking real pages. It's an eReader that will last for many years and doesn't worry about the entertainment content such as games your child probably has already on their phone.
Best for High School: Fire 8 Tablet
A tablet that can easily transition to college with your high schooler once they leave the nest, it's useful while they're still around too. You can easily view detailed textbook illustrations, check out classroom novels, and access thousands upon thousands of reading materials for leisure, or make use of other supported apps such as Spotify and Netflix. It will certainly be appreciated for its practicality and versatility.
Who Should (Or Should Not) Get This?
As you may have noticed, this article is focused on the best Kindles/EReaders for kids — so everything recommended here is meant for the parents of kids reading age and up to explore.
An e-Reader can do a world of good for both children who do and don't like to read - and with reading being such a critical skill, it makes sense to foster it in all ways possible.
A Kindle is an almost endless respiratory of knowledge and entertainment, and if your child isn't a big fan of books it can help them warm up a bit by offering variety, an engaging display, and resources such as audiobooks or interactive stories.
If you aren't sure your child is ready to regularly use electronics, a Kindle may not be a great choice for you. Every family has different expectations for "screen time" and age-appropriate tech use, so make sure to take your own values into consideration.
However, if you're worried about content access, Kindle's have a great set of parental controls that can really put your mind at ease and make the Kindle safer and more comfortable for everyone involved.
E-Readers for Kids: What to Consider?
Do you want your Kindle to function only as an e-reader or do you intend to replace the family iPad? Does your ravenous reader simply need a better place to expand their collection of young adult novels or do you want to be able to put on a movie during long car rides?
All of the Kindles have different capabilities, so you should know what you consider a want versus a need before deciding which is the best fit for you. The options range from black and white with basic internet to full HD displays that can run Candy Crush and Netflix in addition to your latest novel.
Kindles are available in a variety of display types. The most basic e-reader models such as the Kindle Touch are not backlit - they use only e-ink to display their contents. These are great for reducing glare but will need a book light to use at night.
The next step up is a backlit but still black and white screen like on the Kindle Paperwhite, which has an adjustable brightness but still focuses on maintaining the appearance of a page.
Lastly, there are classic glass tablet screens in full color like you would see on an iPad. These work in color and are found on Kindles such as the Fire HD that support further features like apps, movies, or games.
Durability and Portability
All Kindles are extremely light and easy for kids to pick up, carry, or otherwise move around, though they do come in different dimensions, so you should be sure to check whether it'll fit in their favorite bag or backpack without any trouble.
However, the devices are delicate just like any other electronic, so you should look for models that have many protective cases available (some even come with one) or offer a warranty with your purchase.
The Best Kids' Kindles & E-Readers: Our Picks
The electronic items recommended below are picked mainly based on 1). the criteria listed above 2). our own using experience 3). reputation research we did from the Internet hearing what other Amazon e-reader users say about their products.
Have a mid-reading level child but worry about the potential for damage to electronics? The Kindle for Kids Bundle offers the latest eReader kindle, a protective case, and a two-year warranty to keep you covered. Recommended for children reading chapter books, since the black and white screen is less than ideal for picture books.
What We Like:
- The Kindle eReader will last for many years and ages well, especially paired with the protection plan and case.
What We Dislike:
- Black and white display is not ideal for younger kids who will want to read picture books, or for older kids who prefer comic books or illustrated novels.
For something affordable, colorful, and multi-purpose, the Fire 8 is the perfect fit. Available in 8 and 16 GB of storage, it functions like a small tablet in addition to reading support, making it a great option if a color display is a must and you want to be able to use other materials such as educational apps, or use it for textbooks if your child is in high school or above.
What We Like:
- Bright, colorful IPS display brings books and additional content to life.
- The device can support common apps like Spotify and Netflix while also delivering bright illustrations for comic books, graphic novels, and textbooks.
What We Dislike:
- Must pay extra to remove ads from the lock screen.
Looking for something that best fits the younger demographic, which needs color, durability, and parental flexibility? The Fire 8 Kids Edition offers all of this with a special case, IPS screen, and extra parental control features, as well as a kid-friendly interface and a 2-year warranty to protect it from inevitable clumsiness.
What We Like:
- Sturdy case is great for an easy grip and protects the device.
- Simplified interface is great for kids to use and the color display can support everything from movies to picture books.
What We Dislike:
- Your child will eventually "outgrow" this tablet, so if they're approaching the age of chapter books or more diversified content and use, you'll want something that can support that growth instead. This one's lifespan is more limited.
Useful Kindle Tips and Guides
While there are plenty of free options on the Kindle Store, and you may be perfectly fine with buying new titles as well, there's an even easier way to get new material and support your local library. Many modern libraries now offer a set of eBooks that can be checked out with your library card — only you do so online rather than in person.
You can check your library's website for this, but the most popular platform is Overdrive and you can see if your library supports it by checking here. If you do have access to Overdrive, you can check out books and borrow them on your Kindle for up to 3 weeks at a time (some libraries may decrease this time limit, especially on popular titles).
To get started borrowing books on Overdrive, you can use this concise and illustrated guide they provide. The great benefit of Overdrive is that you can check out books from libraries you can't physically be near - so if you have cards from both San Francisco and Los Angeles (perhaps after moving), you can actually use both libraries' resources and get access to the titles you want faster.
Worried about what content your child could potentially access, or don't want to fret about accidental purchases or settings mishaps? Luckily, Amazon offers a great set of parental controls for use on all the Kindle models. To get started with any eReader (black and white) models, check out this Amazon guide. If you're using a Kindle Fire model, see this one instead.
Paperbacks might have been the only option when you were a kid, but we now have so many ways to expose kids to reading materials it would be insane to skip out on them.
From audiobooks to interactive picture books to textbooks that are half the price in electronic form, e-readers offer a new way to experience knowledge. Kindle is no better place to start.
Have a personal favorite model of Kindle? Leave us a comment below and tell us why!