Gomer Wants a Kindle Fire

So, Gomer wants a Kindle Fire.  Would you ever buy your 7 year old a tablet?  Actually, it wouldn't be me buying it.  Let me start from the beginning.  




Gomer's been saving every nickel and dime he can come across because he wanted to buy himself the Lego Death Star.   Yeah, it's a $400 Lego set with about a billion pieces to lose.  He's still a hundred bucks short and now that money is burning a hole in his pocket and he's realizing that he loses Legos and they're a waste of his money (amazing how he realizes this when he's the one putting up the cash).

A few weeks ago he decided he didn't want the Lego Death Star anymore.  He came to us with his newest idea.  He would like to spend his money on a Kindle Fire.  He actually made a fairly convincing argument.  He loves to read, he wouldn't be "wasting" his money on more Legos when he already has buckets of them and he would only play games or watch videos when we said it was OK.  Hmmm.....

The Hubs and I started thinking and we came up with our pros and cons list.

TOP 5 REASONS TO LET GOMER BUY A KINDLE FIRE:

1.  Makes it easy for him to read anywhere.
2.  Isn't more Legos to step on.
3. Will keep him entertained, so less fighting with his sister.  (Oh crap, his sister.  She's going to want one too - better add that to the cons.)
4.  Teaches him the value of his money when he has to purchase games/movies himself.
5.  Teaches him responsibility.  This is an expensive piece of equipment and he needs to take good care of it.

TOP 5 REASONS TO NOT LET GOMER BUY A KINDLE FIRE:

1.  We lose control over what he's doing when he's using it.
2.  Could be a "fad" item that he grows tired of and ends up being an expensive drink coaster.  (We could give it to Adolpha at that point, I guess.)
3.  Easily lost and/or broken.
4.  Quickly becomes obsolete and then he wants the new/bigger/faster/better/etc. one.
5.  I don't even have a tablet of any kind.  I will be jealous of my 7 year old's technology!

Many of the kids in his school have an iTouch and iPods (which we don't).  Is this just a more "educational" iTouch?

What do you think?  Would you let your 7 year old kid buy a Kindle Fire?

140 comments:

Lewis said...

I would try to bargain for a regular Kindle. Then all he can do is read books.

Jessi said...

I actually just bought a Fire for myself this past week. It is my absolute favorite thing now! I read constantly, and the Kindle books are so much cheaper than buying them from a store (another pro there). When my 10 year old was 7, he got a DS. I was nervous about dropping that kind of cash on a kid, but he treats it like gold knowing that if anything happened to it I was NOT about to buy another one. As far as tablets go, I think the Fire is the best one for kids. (I really do get an eye twitch when I see children with iPads... ugh) My vote is go for it! It encourages reading, which is always good. Good luck!

justbreathe said...

Absolutely...with guidelines/rules. Encourages his reading and since y'all are into bribery etc....what a great negotiating piece! Plus...mommy can 'borrow' it too! :)

kdavis said...

If he has the money I would let him-anything to get a kid reading is great! I have a Nook and have books my boys would love to read but I don't want to loan it to them! I am thinking of getting a tablet and passing it on to them to use for reading. It does have games on it but I can easily get rid of them if they overuse them. Our school also has Kindle readers that the kids can checkout and I have seen an increase in son #2 reading when he has it.
Plus anything bought over Legos is a good thing! Curses on the head of the person that invented those death toys!

Anonymous said...

Both my kids got ipads for Christmas. I researched all the tablets, and am so happy we went in this direction. We ordered them with Amex points, so we did not have to put up the cash. I also did not have a tablet, but enjoy using it when they are at school. It is a great item to use for discipline.....remember the incident I told you about at Heathers, 6 yr. old went home on the bus with a friend...lost his ipad for a week. There are a lot of controls you can put on there to keep up with what they are doing. They can watch TV through Time Warner Cable, movies through Netflix. You can save money on babysitting, if you need to go out somewhere, you just put them on the couch with the ipad...they won't move for hours. I have seen pictures of friends at nice restaurants with their kid sitting quietly next to them with an ipad. You will love it, but Adelphia will probably need one too.

Anonymous said...

I did buy my 8 year old a Nook for Christmas, yes. He really struggles with reading and you can turn off the internet. So I figured it might be a more fun way to entice him to read. He loves it and takes very good care of it. The games are also a lot cheaper than games for the DS. :)

Anonymous said...

We bought one for our boys, ages 7 and 8. They love it. I love it. But, I do have very narrow perameters about anything they download. I don't have one myself, but I use theirs while they are at school. It's a win/win.

Anonymous said...

what a little champ, to save up that kind of money! a. you NEED a Kindle Fire and b. I would definitely let him have it ... it is so cool, get's him used to the technology, there are lots of free books and it will prompt him to read obsessively (that's a good thing :). I have to fight my 9-year-old for my Fire constantly. She was reading "Little Women" the other day ... she never would have picked up the print book. Good luck!

Sue and 2 said...

Well we let our 10 year old by an Ipod touch with the money he saved. I didn't want to but he has been great with it. However, he has to pay cash for any and everything that goes on it. I have a kindle myself and most of the books I want to read aren't the free books or cheap ones. It is the gift that keeps getting money put in it

Alina said...

I guess it depends on how responsible your kid is and whether you think he could respect and take care of an expensive piece of electronics. We have avoided buying our kids anything fancier than a Nintendo DS, not because they are irresponsible, but because they get all that entertainment in other ways. The both enjoy reading books (made of paper!), the only video games they really seem into right now are Wii games, and the rest of the time they are either playing outside or watching the 1-2 shows a day that we allow them to watch. They are 10 and 7 and amazingly have never asked us for anything like a Kindle Fire - or asked to buy one themselves with their own money. I'm a bit surprised since they are surrounded by kids who have things like iPod Touches etc.

I don't think there is a right or wrong answer. You know your kid best.

Jenny said...

I have a Kindle Fire and I love it! Do you have Netflix? If so, you can watch Netflix shows on there as well. There are sooo many games you can download (many free!). My 4 year old plays on it more than I do! He hasn't broken it yet - there are many protective covers for it as well. I think I would let my 7 year old buy it if he wanted to, but there would be restrictions on how long my child could use it, to make sure he is still getting plenty of physical activity.

Anonymous said...

My 9yr old niece has one and loves it. And we made a deal with my 8yr son that if he read a certain amount of books in a certain amount of time to get his reading grade up we'd get him one. The only negative I see is that they can say they're lying in bed reading, but they're actually watching TV on it. I'm hoping by getting him one he'll lay off me about a cell phone because that's not happening for another 5yrs. He only wants a phone for the games anyway.

MGN said...

We got a Kindle Fire as a "family" gift for Christmas. It was mostly for the 8-year-old (who wanted an iPad - as if that was going to happen). He loves it. He uses it mostly for reading, but also plays some games on it. I even broke down and let him take it to school when he wants (e-readers/tablets seem to be very popular in his class). He is a good, responsible kid and would punish himself more than we ever could if anything happened to it or if he were caught doing anything inappropriate with it, so I don't worry about losing control (not yet, at least). It's Gomer's money, I say let him get it if it's what he really wants. It is a heck of a lot better than legos.

Mrs. Luttrell said...

I would be down, especially if he is paying for it with his own money ( a reason you can tell the sister that if she wants one she can save her money too!) I think its a great lesson and you can bargain with him that you will still regulate it:)

LaLa the MaMa said...

I feel you on this one. My 5 year old can navigate my iPhone better than me (she is supervised and I have not linked it to any credit cards so she cannot purchase without my knowledge). She says the Leapster Santa brought this year is "for babies". She recently saw a friend's mother's iPad and asked if we could get one. After I finished laughing (my laptop costs less than an iPad), I starting thinking if a FAMILY Kindle Fire was a good idea. Lots of Pros, lots of Cons...I look forward to reader feedback!!!

cosmom said...

I have a Fire (and I have a DSi). The kids know that both of these things are MINE and I am the only one that downloads stuff onto those machines and I am going to see EVERYTHING they do on them. (I have a 7 yr old and a 5 yr old). Wondering if you would consider buying yourself the Fire (thereby no longer coveting your son's technology) and letting him use his money to buy things to download on it, with your approval, of course. Don't know how that would fly at your place, but it's how things currently work at our place. (We also allow our kids to use the laptop--also OURS, not THEIRS).

nikki said...

So, we got our 7 year old a Nook Color for Christmas..
My husband has a tablet and me??? just my old bulky laptop. boo hoo..

Anyway... our reasons for getting him one..

He has 5 book shelves full of books and we are running out of room for more.
He loves to read and is a good reader.
He is a VERY responsible child and will look after it. and even though he didnt use his own money to buy it ,, he does know the value of it and looks after it.
He can use it to access the internet but only under strict supervision.
AND after all that..

When he goes to bed and I cant be bothered holding up the laptop to read, it becomes my little guilty pleasure..
as long as I find out how to delete the history.. lol

My thinking is, if they want something.. and save and get it.. and then break or loose interest, that is a lesson learned right there.... I wont replace Mr A's nook if he breaks it.. and he will pay me back if it gets broken because he left it on the floor and gets stood on or corner of the coffee table and it falls off.. and when the next newest comes along and he wants that one... well start saving sunshine.. Next time someone gets a Tablet its gonna have MY name on it...!!!

Babble Blog said...

We just bought my daughter a Kindle Fire for her birthday last week. She immediately purchased 5 books, novels actually. She zoomed through two of them already. She has been able to download FREE aps from Amazon using the house Wifi…which I control. Plus, with Amazon Prime (a month comes free with the Kindle Purchase) you can “borrow” books from the virtual library. Better still—no due dates, no late fees. I really like it because she is a big reader & buying Kindle books are half the price of the physical book. And we never make it to the library. It is password protected to your Amazon account, so he can’t download things without it; you will still have some control. Plus, it is a GREAT privilege to revoke when the attitude needs checking. It can be a valuable educational tool, especially if it’s his money! It was wonderful for her to bring along over Spring Break while we drove to our Stay-cation destinations. Her little brother also enjoyed looking over her shoulder and playing the silly games (like Angry Birds) when she would let him. PLUS, a good mom can “borrow” the Kindle after bedtime and read her own books.

Anonymous said...

If he insists, I would try for a regular Wi-fi Kindle--and then turn the wi-fi off and only deliver books through the cord connected to the computer. There are a boatload of free books available, but many are not suitable for kids: graphic sex, violence, language . . . There are parental controls on the Fire now, but I think that's only for the internet, not for restricting what books are available. And, most new books are just as expensive on the Kindle--$8 to replace a paperback I originally paid $6 for (and it was never a hardcover. . .) No thanks. Having said all this, I LOVE my Kindle, and when my first one's battery died the day before I started a six-week jury duty stint, I went right out and bought a new one. We also got one for my 13-yo daughter for Christmas, but the 9-yo boy has to wait, even though he also has the money for it. Parents have veto power. We have the better decision-making ability (um, most of the time . . .) Also, some libraries allow you to borrow Kindle books now. So, pros and cons, but I'd only say yes with lots of restrictions and supervision.
-Deirdre

Moriah said...

We just bought our daughter the plain old original kindle. She wanted to "read". and that is all we want he to be able to do on it.

The Ludwigs said...

I think if Gomer has saved his money he should be able to get the Kindle. BUT maybe make him wait a month to be sure that's what he really wants & he doesn't change his mind again. :)

Mindy said...

He saved the money all by himself, I say let him get the tablet :)

The Ludwigs said...

I think if Gomer has saved his money he should be able to get the Kindle. BUT maybe make him wait a month to be sure that's what he really wants & he doesn't change his mind again. :)

Carol said...

I would let him go for it, as long as you guys discuss the rules of it and he sticks to it. Just think it is much easier to take away a kindle vs. 300 bucks of legos he buys. My son wants to save up for an ipod touch, and that is fine, I'd rather him try to save long term for it, then run out and get the next best video game for his DS because he needs to spend the money. He is a long way off for the money for his ipod, but he also hasn't asked to go out and spend his money for the heck of it.

Penny said...

Our 8-year-old has one, but rarely uses it to read. He mostly uses it to watch wrestling or lego clips on You Tube. Yes, we are in the running for parents of the year, I know.

Jenni said...

Both my sons (9 and 13 ) bought them with their birthday money last year. They mostly use them for playing games and listening to music. The plus is that the apps are inexpensive or even free but unless you have control over what they can access from your router they have full access to the internet. You can easily turn the internet off after they've downloaded their content to the device. You also don't want to leave your credit card attached to the account otherwise they can buy whatever they want - whenever. You can put gift card money into their account but they can only purchase apps, music and books that way. For whatever reason a credit card is still needed for movies and tv shows. Not a big deal but something you should be aware of. We bought Roo cases for ours and they seem well protected inside of those.

Allison said...

Jen, my older daughter saved for a DS (then Nintendo kept coming out with newer and more expensive ones). When she turned 10 we decided we kick in the balance for an iPod touch. She is 11 1/2 now. We have a LOT of restrictions on it, both parental controls and family rules. She does read with the Kindle ap, email (supervised account that I check daily) and go on YouTube (restricted) but mostly plays music and games on it.

Now the almost 9 year old wants one. We were debating a Kindle Fire instead. The tech columnist in the NJ Star-Ledger had an interesting article on the subject:

http://www.nj.com/business/index.ssf/2012/02/hoffman_exercise_restraint_giv.html

We have ultimately decided to wait another year until the younger daughter turns 10 and then make the decision about what device. She does have a DS and she and her sister swtich devices a couple of times a week after homework is done and they have free time.

But that's our family. Hope it works for you!

Zoe said...

That's pretty awesome he saved all that money by himself. I did that with the original Nintendo system and took very good care of it. It sounds like Gomer would, too. It sounds like his parents :) will sit him down and go through the list of pros and cons and consequences of overuse/misuse. Good luck and I'm sure you'll make a decision that makes everyone happy!

Anonymous said...

Wow, lots of families buying expensive toys for their kids...whatever happened to good old fashioned books from the library? :)

Allison said...

oh, and older daughter doesn't have the password to download aps herself. I heard too many stories about parents who found massive credit card charges from in-game purchases. When she wants something she brings it to me and I put in the password.

DavidsMom said...

yes, I would let him buy one. My son is 4 (will be 5 in May) and used my Kindle Fire all the time. We actually fight over it. I have Amazon has daily free games - educational and not - as well as free nooks for kids. My son will "read" books or there is audio for the Kindle to read it to him. This morning he was playing the Alphabet Bus in the way to day car and was learning to spell.

It is a technological world and in his preK Class they are already using pads and Smart Boards.

BlondeGirl said...

I received a Kindle Fire for a gift and I wouldn't buy another one. I have a regular Kindle as well that I LOVE! But the Kindle Fire touch screen is glitchy, it will ruin his eyesight to just read on the Kindle fire (back lighting causes eye strain- the major reason that the normal kindle isn't back lit). If he just wants it for reading, then let him get the regular Kindle. I do NOT recommend the Kindle Fire.

Anonymous said...

First off, it's great that HE saved enough money to purchase one! I have a Kindle Fire and LOVE it!! My kids use it all the time. You can download great apps that are educational and will keep them busy. And my kids are all younger than him! We found it especially useful when my 2 year old was in the hospital this winter with pneumonia. It was a great way to keep her busy!

Mari

StaceyH said...

Yes!! I have a Fire and love it. My kids (5 & 3) both use it for games (both educational & fun) and to read/listen to books. It is mine and I limit how often they use it. I don't think it is a fad; there are always new games and books coming out. I also have an iTouch. More games and of course books on Fire. If it is 100% his then it may be hard to limit his use...

Lesah said...

there's a ton of free book sites out there- pixel of ink being one of them, so potentially you can find hundreds of books for him to read on the free and/or cheap. I have the fire and I really do like it. I believe you CAN set parental controls on it- so then you will have some control over what he views/does.

Anonymous said...

I recently bought a Kindle Fire for myself and my son (7) is allowed to read books on it as well as play games. The kids books are cheap and there are thousands of free educational games that you can down load. I see where others are going with recommending a "regular" Kindle but honestly , a 7 year old would hate it. There is no color and the kids books are harder to read as you cannot zoom in or really do anything special with it.

Anonymous said...

My brother bought my 8-year-old nephew a Kindle Fire for Christmas. He figured why keep wasting money on toys that my nephew loses interest in within weeks. Plus, the only presents my nephew truly enjoyed were books. Well, I'm pretty sure my nephew primarily plays games on his Kindle Fire instead using it to read books. I guess you can control what they access on the internet, though, so that's a plus. I would think as long as you can control what's on it then it would be a good thing.

A Caring Heart said...

Am I old fashioned?? I would not let my 8 year old get one. However, her friend of the same age as a Kindle Fire. In talking to her mom, there is a lot of the time she has lost the privilege of using it due to poor choices etc. Just not worth the expense to me. But again, I may be old fashioned.

Anonymous said...

I have an 8 yr old. If she saved all her own money and thats what she wanted to buy I would let her. It does show them the value of money since it is so much money for them to use. I do see your cons as well. I think it would be a great thing for him to have though and its way better than more toys!

Anonymous said...

My Christmas gift was a Kindle Fire.. and I love it. My 4 year old asks to play on it all the time and I have downloaded kid friendly games to it. Kids these days get into electronics very fast!! (Oh and on a side note -- since it has the gorilla glass - very hard if not impossible to scratch/damage!)

rebecca

Libby said...

Love the fact that he saved his money, and that he wants to read! both huge. My concern is that with the Kindle fire, he will have access to any aspect of the internet 24/7. He might not figure that out right away but... could be a bad thing for a 7 year old boy.

lindsay said...

Both of my children, 5 & 7, saved their money and bought iPod touches. It is teaching them the value of saving and I figure it's their money to do with what they want. I'd rather have them but that than a bunch of crap that never gets played with. Of course you have to monitor what the play, search, etc! But let him get it!

Anonymous said...

Another cool thing is being able to rent/borrrow library books directly on it. That being said, I would either do a plain kindle with no internet access or figure out a way to PW protect or disable internet use. My 8 year old started reading a book on my ipad and lost interest and is back to reading old fashioned books; he is a voracious reader and jut digs lying in bed with a good book. Worst case, your son loses interest and you get to use it.

Jen said...

I have a kindle fire and my 6 1/2 year old loves using it. The only concern I have had is that he can access the movies and the online store and just buy whatever he wants. Not that he has, he has been good about only watching cartoons that are free etc., but there are a lot of inappropriate things out there plus movies to purchase. I found this app yesterday called Kids Place - with Child Lock that is FREE - woohoo! and the reviews are great. Basically you can lock down the device to only allow certain apps or books that the kids can access. This way they cannot get to areas you don't want them to (If I am reading the reviews correctly).
Personally, if he has had the discipline to save up this kind of cash, it would be a great reward and he will treat it like gold. There are so many wonderful books and learning (as well as fun) apps that I think he will get such great use out of this for years. Good for him!!

Jessi said...

You can still be in control of what he can do on it on Amazon.com it shows every app and book and you can even set parental controls with the free app i believe it is called mommy cares but the good thing about it is if you do not put a credit card or gift card on amazon.com he can not purchase ANYTHING with out you going on the computer even the free stuff will not allow download with out it I personally let my 5, 8, and 9 yr old all use it and there are so many free kids books and games it is worth every penny. on a side note i would recommend getting a case because it is thin and it helps give them something to hold. plus really cool feature is you can "lend" books from one kindle to another so if you know other moms with kindles you can send books back and forth.

Libby said...

Well, I bought myself a Kindle Fire and now my 4 yr old and 2 yr old constantly bring it to me asking me to read the books to them (I downloaded some for them so it's completely my fault). But I actually like that. 1) My 2 yr old rarely sits through an entire book, but he does with this! 2) We were in the waiting room at the doctor's last weekend - voila - no worries about keeping the 2 yr old entertained.

However, I would be worried about a few things w/ a 7 yr old: 1) He could purchase (maybe w/out him even realizing) books and before you know it you see $100 in Amazon purchases on your bank statement - bc when you set up your Kindle Fire you set up the card in which you choose to make purchases with. My suggestion would be to only use Amazon gift cards so you can control that. 2) Internet - not sure if there are parental controls on it? But I'd be nervous letting a 7 yr old have free reign w/ it.

Overall, I'd say don't feel bad letting him get it. Good for you for teaching him to be responsible w/ his own money! My 4 yr old has a Nintendo DS - we have reminded him many times the importance of taking care of it bc it's expensive and mommy and daddy won't replace it if he breaks it. :)

Anonymous said...

Our 6 yr old requested an iPad after Christmas. When he was told no he informed me that he would just wait for Christmas again because then Santa would bring it and it wouldn't cost us anything.

He did buy, with his own birthday money, a kids "ipad". It has mommy mode so they can't get on the internet w/out a password. It's a Nabi. However, be warned...it's a coaster.

Anonymous said...

Does your library allow you to check out books for the Kindle Fire? Ours has some, and I have downloaded 1 or 2 to my iPad for vacation (I typically like books without a screen better). My 6 year old son has a DS and after the initial excitement wore off, he does a good job of limiting his time on it. He mostly uses it in the car and before we wake up on the weekends. Its a good thing he likes to play outside so much!

mere said...

You definitely have to have rules and guidelines. We have friends that have a 3 year old and 1.5 year old, they both have one, let me REPEAT a 3 year old and a 1.5 year old EACH have one. When we go to dinner, know one else exists, they are buried in it. I don't have a child old enough to ask for one yet. my hubs and I have this conversation all the time regarding our kids future comments, "everyone one else has one." You just need to think long and hard because once the first one is bought... you can't go back, you are setting a precedence. There is always going to be something bigger/better/faster/newer, etc. I agree with someone else comment about the regular Kindle, if he wants it for reading, then he doesn't need the "Fire". Just my 2 cents. Keep up the good work, I love your blog and vote for you everyday. :-)

3Lads&aLass said...

I got one for Christmas and my 8 year old is saving up for his own. He is a HUGE reader, way beyond his age level and devours books. All of the classics are free and many of the books are actually cheaper for the kindle than hard copy. Also, there are a ton of great apps out there. My two year old daughter plays with mine when we're stuck in doctor's offices for hours on end (we have a child with medical issues that requires a lot of doctor visits... torture in a tiny exam room for hours with four kids!). She already knows all of her letters, numbers, shapes, and colors and as the fourth kid, I can tell you she didn't learn any of it with my help!

As for the control issue, you can password protect the WiFi connection so that he cannot buy things without you putting in your password. I have had to do this because with Amazon 1-click buying, it was far too easy for my kids to get things accidentally or without my knowledge otherwise.

the golddigger said...

Nope. No way. Especially when he can get books for free at the library. Four hundred dollars divided by free = lots and lots of library books + money left over.

pam said...

I can see trouble brewing if one child has a Kindle and the other doesn't. I don't think you can really make them share if Gomer bought it with his own money. I see lots of fighting in your future!

If you do let him have it, I don't see why you would lose control of any games/apps he purchases (you say that you would lose control over what he is doing when he uses it). My kids have DS's, but I reserve the right to veto any games they want to buy (my kids are 8 and 10) and I also have veto power of the Apple laptop apps. You are still the parent!

You can also set time limits, just as you would computer/tv time.

Staziaface said...

WHOA!! what a little stud! I cant even save up 300 bucks! LOL.

I think you should go for it! Its good to reward him for saving so much and not restrict HIS money! Its great for reading, etc. And maybe even more importantly it will teach him how to manage money! If you set up rules that he has to buy every app or game it will help him with buying vs saving AND limit the games etc he puts on it. Reading is clearly not the issue here, but it is an advantage that Kindle books are WAY cheaper than print books and its a good way to see more books than you would at a normal store.

Maybe a good compromise is that you can get a FAMILY kindle Fire (also saving any sibling issues)in which you buy it together, if you split it 50/50 with him, you will all be able to use it, you'll be better able to monitor care and usage, and he wont clean out his savings! It could at least be an option you bring to him...Say that if he WANTS to spend his whole savings on it, ok, but give the option of using less of his money and sharing the product.

Anonymous said...

That's EXACTLY what I was thinking!! Kids just wanting more and more technology.....sad and scarey when you think about it *sigh*

Anonymous said...

Cheers to being old fashioned!

pam said...

This is so disturbing on so many levels. Why are a baby and a toddler interacting with screens rather than people? How can a 1.5 yr old even work the tablet? How much disposable income do these people have to spend $800 on electronics for a baby and a toddler?

I hope the kids drop them or spill juice on them ASAP to teach their parents a lesson.

Staziaface said...

and then if the kids stop caring about it you wouldnt be "stealing" his kindle or letting it become a coaster. lol.

Staziaface said...

Just a note, most local libraries also have kindle ebooks available for "checkout". There are plenty of free book options when you buy a kindle also.

QuarantinedKiddos said...

Just tell him he can buy it, but that it means an earlier bed time. Then you can use it at night while he's sleeping! MWHA HA HA!

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

We bought a Kindle Fire as a family Christmas present. However, we are a family who loves and embraces technology -- my Kindergartener has had his own laptop since he was 4 (it is a teeny thing that my husband got for free through -- too small for either of us to use, quite frankly. So we gave it to the kid.)

However, I am also a diehard booknerd and prefer to read with my regular Kindle. I really don't think a regular Kindle would be useful for a small kid. You are going to get FAR more bang for your buck from a Fire.

Responsibility?? Both of our kids (ages 4.5 and 6) are actually very responsible with the Fire.

*shrugs*

Meredith said...

Gomer sounds like a responsible kid if he has been disciplined enough to save up that much money at the ripe ol' age of 7. My son is 7 and if he gets his hands on a buck he's ready to head to Target and buy a candy bar. His poor, future wife. I apologize in advance. Anyway, I digress. From what I can tell, you've got a pretty good handle on your children and chances are they know what behaviors you consider unacceptable. I say let him buy it for himself. It will give him a sense of accomplishment and independence. When I am feeling unsure about letting my kids do things that are a little out of my comfort zone, I just tell them "I'm going to let you do this. I trust you. Don't start giving me reasons not to."
Parenting is the hardest shit ever.

Katherine said...

Well we got my 4 year old the Kindle Fire for Christmas because her brother asked for an iTouch and we knew she would want her own but figured she needed the bigger screen. That being said I also managed to rack up over $100 in Staples rewards through my job and bought the Fire at Staples so I got it for a little under $100 which is what the stupid V-tech kiddie tablet goes for anyway. My kids both love the Fire and the iTouch and trade them back and forth. We also have Amazon Prime so she loves being able to watch "her shows" and using the Amazon Cloud player I uploaded songs from my iTunes to the cloud and then onto her Kindle.

I say let him buy the Fire. Also think how easy it will be if for every birthday and present all you have to do is hook Gomer up with Amazon giftcards so he can buy books and music!

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure honestly. I bought really cheap mp3 players for my kids and ALL of them lost them. They're 11 and 8. They randomly find them, have them for 2 days, then lose them again. They only cost 15 bucks and I told them no replacements up front so I'm not upset over it. 7 is little. However its his money. I think I would but I would make him leave it with me and ask to use it. Easier to monitor and even if it wasn't my own money I couldn't fathom allowing a 200 dollar mini computer get destroyed. The Fire has some nice apps and Amazon gives one away for free everyday. Some of them are geared to kids even. Lock the Internet.

Anonymous said...

I am having vicarious anxiety for you over this because of the sharing issue. I have a Nook Color and my daughters (ages 6, 3, and 1) who are well-behaved and sweet children, act like wild beasts fighting over a carcass when I have my Nook out. They fight over who gets to turn the page, who's turn is it, etc... It works well for the kids books and games when I have them 1:1, but there is something about it that makes them go crazy. I am a bit weary of that hypnotic effect electronics can have on kids.(that glassy-eyed, zoned-out look)
Maybe this just puts it out there that I'm not the best at using the microwave timer, for my girls to take turns, but aside from the Nook, sharing and taking turns hasn't been a problem.
As many people above have suggested, I think if you do let Gomer buy the Kindle, work with your husband and then the kids to establish some ground rules about using it.
- Jessica (sorry, I don't know how not to post as anonymous)

Anonymous said...

Bought a Nook for myself and bought a iPad later. Wished I hadn't bought a Nook and bought the iPad first. I say buy an iPad and you can still take it away when he gets mouthy. My 7-year old plays with my iPad constantly and I am going to buy her her own. She reads on it, plays Math games, watches TV. You can still control whatever device you allow him to get. McGruff makes software you can put on computers, iPads and iPods that track every key stroke they make. Not to mention remember you are allowing him to use his money vs. put it in the savings account. I would buy the iPad instead of a Kindle. It does so much more! BTW you can get a 16G ipad2 for $399 now.

Unknown said...

Ummm...you got me on this one. A cheap Kindle is nothing compared to the iPad my 22 month old has.

Let me defend myself by saying that it IS very educational and useful for MANY things. :)

MommyOntheEdge said...

I would go ahead and let him buy it, just make sure he knows that even though he's buying it w/ HIS money that you and dad are still in charge of it. With rules and guidelines in place I see no reason why a 7 yr old shouldn't have one.

I have a Nook Tablet, and I let my 8 and 10 yr olds read/play games on it all the time. They are VERY careful w/ it(because they know it means trouble if they break it) and it's quite durable. My oldest son (17) also has one, and he's not as careful w/ his as I am w/ mine and it's still going strong.

I'd love to get my kids each one, it's just not something I can afford, and none of them are saving there own money for one. Kudos to your son!

Anonymous said...

I vote for Gomer! Let him buy the Kindle Fire with his money. Not only can he download books, listen to music and watch movies...he can also download EDUCATIONAL apps. I got a Kindle Fire for Christmas..and it has become my 9 and 11 year olds favorite toy! I let them play games, but also they need to read a little and use the educational apps (piano note teacher, spanish teacher, etc.) And if he does get tired of it....maybe you can use it..you'll be hooked! ;)

Cynthia said...

Ooh... I posted this on Babble, but maybe the response would work better here...

Since it’s his money, I would say yes and set up the parameters for usage with him ahead of time.

For those people who are recommending a regular Kindle instead – no, no, no, no. He will be horribly disappointed in it if he is thinking that he can play games and watch videos, as well as read books. Plus, some children’s books have illustrations and the Fire will be better for that. There are tons of educational games and videos available – so it will provide a better all-around experience for him.

I have both an iPad and a regular Kindle – I do like reading on the Kindle slightly better, but not because of the eInk issue or glare, but because it weighs less. Most of the idea about potential eye-strain from back-lit devices has proven to be a non-issue – especially since Gomer wouldn’t be sitting at a computer at work all day and then reading on his Fire at night.

I’ve read several long books on the the iPad and never had a problem with eyestrain – even with my 44 year old eyes. If it wasn’t for the weight, I might even like it better because it displays more words per page and I’m a speed reader.

While the eInk display does perform much better in direct sunlight, you can adjust the brightness on a tablet to some extent and use it outdoors when it isn’t as super-bright out. I’m guessing that Gomer isn’t going to be allowed to take it to the beach anyway, so it might not be a problem for him. There is also some type of anti-glare coating on both the Fire and the Nook Tablet, so it may be even less of an issue than with the super shiny iPad.

For the record, besides being a hard-core reader and gadget hound, I’m also an elementary computer teacher and spent a year researching tablets and eReaders before I ended up with the iPad and Kindle, so I’m not just making stuff up, I did actually look at all of these issues before buying – especially the issue of glare and eyestrain.

Anonymous said...

I say let him get it. I got a Kindle Fire for Christmas and I love it. My 9 and 6 year old each play with it and now my 9 year old is saving up for his own too. There's a lot of great stuff on it. With Amazon, there is a free app offered every day and we've received several games that way. I figure it's cheaper to pay for a new app than to buy a new DS or Wii game. Junior forgot the novel they are reading in class at school -- downloaded it. It did inspire him to read more. The book we downloaded for school came with the illustrations and everything. It's very cool.

I think Amazon has an opportunity to create better controls for kids and I would expect that to come in future software updates. You can block for in app purchases, but there aren't currently blocks on purchases for books and games. But if he's saved this much money, he sounds like a responsible kid!

I agree with the moms that said why don't they just go to the library. Unfortunately, this is a technology world and it's kind of the way it is. I think we can embrace it without outfitting newborns.

Lastly - get one for yourself too!!

Jennifer D said...

Holy cow! My son is saving money for the LEGO Death Star, too! I wish he would change his mind and want a Kindle Fire. I think that I would have my son look up some of his favorite books/movies/games to see how much he would be spending on them. Then I would offer to buy the protection plan and the OtterBox to help protect it from harm. Last, I would stress that his dad and I will NOT replace it in the event of owner damage or loss of the device. If he still wanted it, I would go for it!

angela said...

There is a kids tablet out now. It is the Nabi. I have it for my daughter who is 6. You can put overdrive on it and he could downnload library books or add the kindle app and download those books. You would have to add the amazon app to download those games (many are free). But what I like best about this is that it has a kids mode and a parents mode. The parents ok websites, videos, games that the child can have. They can't download anything without parents approval. But it is simple and kid proof enough for a child. http://www.nabitablet.com/ Sometime in the fall they are going to come out with a bigger version for older children. My daughter really likes hers.

Anonymous said...

We seriously considered going in with "grandma" on a Kindle Fire for our 7 year old, but ultimately just went with the Kindle Touch. He loves to read, and that's what we wanted its primary use to be. The Kindle Fire would have obviously had a lot more features, but we were uncomfortable with 1) another app/"video game" device in the house, 2) him have unfettered access to the internet. Granted, we could have kept the Fire in our possession and only let him use it under our supervision, but our 7 yr old really likes to read at bedtime in his room and the Fire just posed more concerns than benefits in our situation. I should note that I have an iPad that I occasionally let the kids play games on, but that is considered a treat and they are always supervised.

Anonymous said...

Same poster here, I just saw the comment about the "Nabi." I would've seriously considered that for our 7 yr old if I'd heard of it at the time.

Cheryl said...

I work at Barnes and Noble and my 7-year-old has come in and played with the NOOK Tablet. He was able to pick up on it much faster than a lot of adults. I know that, not only can you buy books for it, you can download books from the library which then AUTOMATICALLY get returned when due which eliminates lost books and late fees. Of course, I get one before he does but I say go for it. If he loses interest you have YOURSELF a new toy.

Anonymous said...

Gomer has saved his own money for it, so I think he should be able to buy it, with rules applied and agreed to, of course. It's easy enough to disable the internet access. (which I had to do in order for my 4 yo grandson to play some of the many FREE age-appropriate and educational games that can be downloaded - or else he would have inadvertently hit the "buy the paid version" button). The books can be downloaded directly into the Fire, so there's really no need to keep the internet connection on. (Saves on battery life, too). When he needs it, you can turn on the access so he can look stuff up under supervision.

Anonymous said...

It is fantastic that he was able to save that much money, shows maturity. He also decided on his own that it was a waste of money to buy more Lego because he looses them is a good sign that he will be more likely to take care of the Kindle. There are plenty of ways to limit/restrict the things he can access. Having a written contract with him will establish guideline and rules that both parent and child understand and agree to. Perhaps have a parent buy out clause, if and when he tires of the Kindle, will help with valuing his investment and taking care of it. Also, purchase it at a place that offer equipment replacement plans in case of accidental damage, such as Best Buy or NFM.

Melda said...

I was going to say the same thing....the regular Kindle is now around (*only) $80.

My kids are older - and they all have some gadget - They all have the Kindle App and books on their devices... but they are sucked in by the amazing world of free game apps. They do read - but on school nights they have to "turn in" their devices to mom before bed so they aren't tempted to stay up half the night playing games.

Kristen said...

I am generally opposed to giving technology to kids, but yes, I would agree that if he saved up the money for it and was generally responsible (he's not sexting pics of his privates to 7-year-old girls in his class yet, right?) then I'd say yes. He will definitely be more responsible with it than if it was given to him as a gift. Do NOT buy Adolpha one; make her save her money, because it's really not fair to one kid to have to save his money for something the other kid gets for free. Also, don't make him share it with her.

And definitely buy yourself something fun. Groupon Goods and Redtag.com often have great deals on Android tablets for super cheap so you can have the gadget without spending wads of cash. I know it sucks when your kids have cooler technology than you.

I have a traditional Kindle and my son loves reading on it during car trips and stuff. The only games it plays are word ones which is great because I don't like him playing video games, but will hand him my Droid once in a while to play Skeeball.

My only advice is to be prepared to a) hear Adolpha whine about what she doesn't get to play, and b) get push back on limits set. Kids tend to think limits on technology don't apply when they spend their own money on it.

That said, I still think the Lego Death Star is a way cooler option. My son is dying for it too.

brooke said...

yes, my daughter has a kindle fire -- she got it gor xmas -- she is 10 and in fifth grade -- i love it --- and let me tell you there wasnt a video game in our house for 9 years and what i got was the Kinect for xbox bc its not a "sitdown" game and you have to get your ass off the couch! The good thing about the K - fire is that it needs wi fi to hit the internet -- so when your in the care only saved books, movies, music and games are them only available. so this is good bc i can monitor. MY girl is very responsible and she asks bfr she can download anything --- usually paydays -- also im letting her download any books until she reads all of the "real" books she/i have purchased. Go for it -- its a great lil gadget and I dont see it as a fad all!! and if hes spending his own money -- it a good investment and a smart kid!!

ohhh btw ear phones can be hooked so you dont have to hear all the shit in the backseat!

brooke said...

sorry for all the fucking typos --- typing isnt my strongest trait!

Nicole Marie said...

I'm not a mother, but I can argue that the Kindle Fire is pretty amazing. If he is a big reader buying books is much cheaper, especially when it comes to those popular children's books. Although, it is really easy to buy items, making it a bit scary when just one touch of a button your credit card is billed.

The Kindle also allows you to surf the web. It is like having an iPad, but it also stored books and movies. I am sure there is some sort of parental code you can install onto the Kindle. You might even be able to lock it so he can't buy anything without your knowledge using a password you or your husband will have to enter before purchases.

I think it is a great item to have if you are into reading a lot. But like I said, I am not a mother so I can't really judge if a seven-year-old should own one or not. I don't see the harm if you can monitor it.

Gypsie said...

First, I agree with the other posters that if Gomer saved up the money he should be allowed to purchase it with some rules/guidelines as I believe you have to link it to a credit card for future purchases from the device.

Second, I would see if your local library supports the kindle. I know that my local library supports nook ebook formats and so I can borrow books from the comfort of my own home. I do have a Nook Tablet and LOVE it. I also had a Nook Classic (the very first generation) that I loved to death. It was literally falling apart when I traded it in. (BN had a short lived upgrade program where I got credit for turning in my old nook for the new one).

Good luck with the decision!

Anonymous said...

I say no. Let him start small, the basic is all he needs. Let him use some of the additional money to purchase a "Kindle" card to buy books with. I am old school and don't think kids NEED everything they want. My kids didn't get phones until high school and didn't get data plans for phones until they could pay their own phone bill. Saving up money isn't the same thing as responsibility.

Anonymous said...

I am currently trying to save the money to get this exact item for my 6 year old. He loves electronic devices and can already get on the internet on our computer so i know he is safe with that right now as he looks only at a few select sites that he knows how to enter into the address bar. Also this would let him read whenever and wherever he wants and play several great games. I think if he has saved the money for it it is a great idea. By the way my son is autistic and ADHD so entertaining him can be very very difficult at times so the entertaining factor is a big one for us. If you know your child can be trusted to follow your rules I think it is a great idea, especially as he has saved the money himself.

Amanda said...

My 4 year old and 9 year old both have them and I've posted about those too!! I'm a mom too!

Cynthia said...

Oh ... as if my earlier reply wasn't long enough - buy the warranty through Square Trade and not Amazon; it's a lot cheaper.

Unknown said...

Absolutely. That's a pretty big accomplishment for a 7 year old to save that kind of cash. I think he deserves the reward of getting the kindle. And if he loves to read, it's a great thing for him to have. His sister wanting one shouldn't factor in to your decision. And if you want one, save your cash! :o)

Unknown said...

We bought my 13 year old one for his birthday. When he wants to buy something, he has to have the money and what I do is buy him an amazon gift card on the website and then put it on his account. That way he can buy what he wants with his and it's not hooked to my credit card.

Amanda said...

Also
Also I have found it is teaching a lot of responsibility and trustworthiness. I have Amazon 1 touch enabled on mine *gasp* but they are not allowed to buy anything without asking permission and then they have to earn it. They will do ANYTHING for a $.99 app or song. I haven't had to restrict the 1 click ordering yet. :)

Anonymous said...

Am I the only here who doesn't buy the "he saved his money, he should be able to get it"?! He's SEVEN!!!!! You're the parent - he should get one because you think he should, not because he saved his money.

My son got a regular Kindle for Christmas. He's 11. He uses it to read books and has downloaded some very basic "educational" games on it. I think that's plenty for a kid, but I'm also 'that mom' who doesn't allow video games in her house and my child doesn't have his own computer or have free access to surf the internet - call me old school, but I think video games rot the brain and there way too much crazy stuff on the old world wide web....

Hey Mon! said...

Was *just* going to say the same thing. I have both the kindle fire and a kindle touch and much prefer the kindle touch for its intended purpose of reading books. I do like the Fire for streaming movies (for free with Amazon Prime), but would not want my 7-year-old to have that ability.

Mel said...

My nephews have them. One is 9 and got it for christmas and the other is 6 and just got it for his birthday. They don't use them for anything educational just to play dumb games like angry birds.

Christie said...

My kids have been using our iPad since they were very young (my oldest was about 2 and the youngest about 6 months). They've been fighting over it lately so when my brother bought himself the new iPad3 he gave us his old one so they could each have their own. Of course, Hubs and I control when and where they can play with it and what games go on it. I think it's a wonderful device! My daughter plays so many educational games and I can really tell she's learning. At 4 years old she can point to any state I name (she can't say the names yet though) and can point out where different relatives live. But it's not just for games. We loaded ours up with family photos and videos and I'll catch them flipping through them reliving some of our great times.

Hey Mon! said...

Good idea!

JenF said...

First of all I believe my Grayson and your Gomer might be one in the same child! If we ever have the Lego Death Star please shoot me! That being said he is a twin and they are 10 and we have not allowed any electronics and they can sometimes use our ipads, they have full use of our desktop and sometimes use my laptop for homework. Mine want Kindle's (they don't have to be the wifi enabled Fire). Books are getting tough to find. I hate to have to order them. I loved going to Borders but that's not an option anymore so I am kind of all for the Kindle. Now just waiting to talk the Hubs into it! He has become very anti electronic. We have two college aged kids too and he believes they got ipods too young. This is a big disagreement and topic at our house!

JenF said...

Precisely why I only want my kids to have the Kindle without the wifi, the one where they can only read books. And it's cheaper too.

Portia said...

Get it and establish ground rules - ex: no games/app will be downloaded without your permission etc. I was never a big reader until I had my Kindle (maybe I loved reading but never got into books until I found it much more convenient to have the contents stashed in one, think, portable gadget). The biggest con I found with having one is I got addicted to one of their game apps (don't ask which one). I use it everyday and couldn't put it down whenever I get the chance to read (or play hah!). Anyway, it's a good investment, my .02.

Hey Mon! said...

My daughter does have an ipod touch and I gave mine to the younger daughter because I just didn't use it for anything but podcasts and music. Actually, I traded my ipod for younger daughter's cute pink ipod nano.

I agree with Allison about putting a password on whatever you get to prevent downloads you don't approve of. My kids have to come to me even to download free apps. They are only 7 and 9, though, so I think that's appropriate.

Hey Mon! said...

As an owner of both, I agree 100%. I rarely use the Fire except for movies and internet TV shows. And I'm a much bigger reader than TV/movie watcher, so my much cheaper regular Kindle gets a lot more use.

Jennifer said...

My 7 year old got one for Christmas. He actually takes care of his Kindle fire better than his 3 DS. He love it and we can stream Netflix for him. He can't buy or download any apps without permission, and if he does I get a notice thru e-mail. Definitely worth the money and does almost as much as the I-pad.

Amy said...

We bought our daughter one for Christmas and she loves it! Its great getting new books...but who's kidding who...her dad and her have angry birds competitions all the time! She wanted an ipad because a lot of the other kids in her class have them. I bought the Fire and told her it was an iPad...LOL That worked for about a week!

calicocat96 said...

I got one for myself in January and I LOVE it. So do all 3 of my kids...ages 9, 4.5 and 3. Some suggestions...

1. Put the parental controls on. You can choose what he can/can't do with it that way. I especially recommend putting a password on purchases.

2. Get a nice cover that STAYS on the device. I got one from Amazon for $15 that is way better than ones I saw in stores locally for twice as much. Also, an anti-glare screen protector is nice.

3. Buy apps that are ad free. For instance, Angry Birds without the ads is only 99 cents. Worth it. If you're not sure it's an app he'll like, get the free version, try it out, and if it's a keeper then go pay for an ad free version. :)

It's totally possible for him to have apps that are educational AND fun. We have several that my littlest ones LOVE to play, and I even have one that tests my anatomy knowledge.

Let him have it, momma! He's done good saving that kind of cash!

dianericci said...

Your gonna hate me for
Posting this but I just bought them for
My 4 years old
Twins for there fourth birthday. I know I'm one of those. But it's the best thing I ever spent my husbands hard earned money. Kids love it. It's his money. One vote for Gomer.

Tracy said...

It's hard for me to vote "no" on this one. It's impressive that he saved up that much money. My son learned the value of saving very quickly with this kind of thing. Set time/usage limits, and if/when it gets taken away for violation of those rules, Mom gets to use it! It's a win-win there! There really are lots of educational games...my son is allowed to 'borrow' my iPod touch sometimes (I just won't let him have free reign all the time) and it's entertaining to play Words with Friends with him :) He's not allowed to have the password for the App Store. Oh, and it's never, EVERY allowed at the dinner table. He may have it while we wait at a restaurant for a table, but not once we sit down.

Anonymous said...

I bought one for my 5 year old for Christmas. We didn't need anymore toys. She is our 4th daughter and I was tired of her stealing my iPad. She calls it the little iPad. She watches a lot of Netflix while waiting on her sisters. She also has many many educational games and they are free.

Anonymous said...

I got one for my birthday a couple of months ago...it's the best present I've ever been given! I use the darned thing all the time. Books, netflix, games...etc. My 8 year old uses it and loves it. We're going to grab him one for his birthday.

Anonymous said...

As an elementary school teacher, I say if he saved up let him buy it....we have to expose our children to this technology or they will be left behind in the workforce of tomorrow. Plus there are so many educational things out there. Even Angry Birds promotes problem solving, spatial skills, etc.....we hold classes monthly to show our parents how apps are "good" for their kids and how they can learn from them. As a parent of two kids, I understand about what is out there on the internet, etc...we do have password controls over buying, etc....but my oldest who is almost 13 is out there on the web. He knows what is appropriate and what is not, and I will check any device at random whenever I want. A few times he has come across something that made him uncomfortable, and we have had frank discussions about this and how to deal with it. You can't shield them forever. I'd rather he do it here than at a friends house where I have no idea what is going on. And my youngest has her own laptop, etc....It is what it is!

The Working Momma said...

My MIL got my 6 year old son one for his birthday a few weeks ago. While we appreciate her thoughtfulness, we would have been happy with legos. He and his brothers just primarily use it for games, although I have downloaded some books for our nighttime story time. She plans to get our 4 year old one for his 5th birthday...not sure we'll need two Kindle Fires! My hubby and I have both downloaded books to read, so I guess it was a good gift for us too :)

Beth McDonough said...

Oh, just get it for him. Yeah, it's more expensive, but so is everything. He's going to spend his money on something...why not that?

Anonymous said...

Kids need to learn money management. We have always let our kids spend their money how they want to. They learned quickly not to buy junk. So their money - they decide.
The internet access is another thing. You control that. Maybe he only gets wifi access when supervised. Maybe you have to OK every app download. I'm sure you can come up with the right guidelines to keep him safe.
I also agree with the other poster who said to collect all the gadgets before bedtime. This is an important one as many kids stay up too late already.

Robyn E said...

We bought 3 kindle fires for our sons for Christmas(ages 5,7 and 10). They are the most awesome things we have purchased. It has gotten my 10 year old reading more and there are tons of educational apps these guys love. Not to mention mommy has some fun reading and playing games on it as well:) Even reading my fav blogs;)

vanessajt said...

I think it's okay for him to have. It sure beats more Legos and at least he realized he really didn't need anymore of those. lol It can definitely be an educational toy for him and you can use it as well for books and stuff. I say it's a win win situation! :)

Shannon said...

The way I look at it, technology is not going away...my kids know more about the iPad than what I do because they have them in school!! I think it would be a great idea to get him one...mine each have iPod's and they're a lifesaver when we are traveling!

Anonymous said...

My 9 year old has the no frills $79 Kindle. I did not want her to have access to the internet

Unknown said...

I am planning on buying my 4 and 6 yr old a Fire to share. Here is the deal. If I link it to my amazon account I can have complete control. Our Wifi is password protected which means their Fire could only get online to download games/books/music when I say. There are a TON of educational apps and books for the Fire and it will grow WITH the kids. I wanted something like my Fire for the kids. Leap Frog has the new Leap Pad but it's $100 and games are $25 each. Well hell at that price I can buy them a Kindle Fire with a huge library of free apps that are educational or REALLY cheap. I say let him!! I think he would get his money worth and some!

Anonymous said...

I am so shocked by all the peeps saying yes. I say hell no. My kids begged me for a DS at age 4, cellphones at 7 etc. The only reason my daughter has an ipod is because my mother gave it to her..and it's an ipod shuffle. Children owning electronic devices worth hundreds of dollars doesn't make sense to me. I'm going to kick it old school. We all didn't get our generation's technology (walkmans, boomboxes, shelf stereos, nintendo, sega) until 12 or 13.

Anonymous said...

Embrace the times...lhe saved up and it's a great product. He may read more than using regular books. Fun apps and games will be a fun treat too. We have an iPad. Our 4 yr old loves it and I am ok with her using it. She treats it like gold b.c we made a big deal about it. I can actually take her to the doc with me for the baby's checkups and sh isn't interrupting me a 100 times. She is peaceful and polite and still engages and says hi...we always remind her to look and speak to people. Go for it!!!

jenn t said...

I say go for it. We got one for our 7 yr old for Christmas. He uses it mostly for apps and reading. They have to ask to download any apps first plus you get an email anytime they "purchase" anything free or paid so you can easily monitor their activities. I was however, very jealous of him having one and me not so i had to get one for myself a few weeks later and i love it personally. Good luck!

Momfever said...

This is something I struggle with myself: I'm always trying to get the kids away from their screens! Why buy them another screen! But then again, if it helps them to read more books, that can't be bad can it?

So I'm torn.

Les @ LPN Programs said...

Perhaps you can let him find other options where to spend his "hard-saved" money? If not, I think a Kindle Fire is not so bad. They say it's the technology generation after all. Just make sure to keep a close watch that he's just "reading" or learning from the educational apps. If you need to turn off the wi-fi or something do it. It's just a matter of coming to an agreement and sticking to it. Luck!

Anonymous said...

That's my thought. A 7 year old kid doesn't NEED a high tech Kindle Fire (or tablet etc). Get the nicer plain Kindle so he's just reading.

PR19 said...

Kindle Fire has outstanding color screen; love reading Natl Geographic on it. Just gorgeous! Not my favorite thing to read novels on though. WiFi only works when connected to a network, so it's not like he can ride around in the car surfing the net. My kids play on my KF when at doc appts, other events where one kid is participating (sports) and the other is spectating. Lots of apps for them to use, work arounds to disable one-click check out, etc. I do read a lot less since getting the Fire, cause there is so much to PLAY! When I do read a novel, I pick up my Kindle Keyboard, still by far the best ereader! Good luck!

Tazi Kat said...

I say it's his money that he saved, let him buy it. You can put parental controls on the sites you don't want him to see, and it is a great educational tool. Both of my nephews have them, and love them. They actually WANT to read now. It's been 3 months, and the shine has not worn off of them. As for me, I love my Nook, but want an iPad!

Twisted Tibits from Bitchburg said...

Just bought the girl (she's 8) a tablet, I have to say that she's reading like crazy and yes she's playing games. She can get on the internet, but only if I sign her onto the network, so she has to ask and I know when she's surfing (bonus), I struggled with the decision and there are many rules in place, but so far it's been a great experience. I say, let him get it, moniter usage and run with it. I have a nook, but I love to hold a book and I love to extend my library, so it doesn't get used as much, but it's great for travel. The only problem is the six year old boy, who now wants one.

Freda Thomas said...

I agree with the others who suggested you bargain with Gomer for a regular Kindle rather than the Fire. The first time Gomer takes his Fire to school (ok, maybe not the first time, but the 2nd) his classmates will be in awe and some may even goad him into downloading a movie or game you do not want him to have. And he'll do it, regardless of his promise to you because of the peer pressure and wanting to be cool - which always comes first before any agreement with mom and dad. And a regular Kindle will be less expensive to replace if something happens to it. Oh! and Gomer will have money left over to buy books.

Confessions of a PTO Mom said...

I actually know a 6 year old who has one... Not my cup of tea. It's bad enough my kids know how to use my iphone so well.

Go outside and climb a tree.

aubrey said...

Keep in mind with a kindle vs a kindle fire... the. Fire is backlit so its like reading on a computer screen and can cause eye strain. I love my kindle keyboard for the e-ink technology so its like reading any other book and isn't so straining on my eyes. And for the games. I love all my free games! If he really wants it for reading, regular kindle is a better purchase imo.

couplabz said...

Both my 8 and 11 year old have a Nook Color and we love them!

vudean said...

I bought my wife an iPad a year ago, and our 3 year old swears it is his iPad. He plays mostly games, some are educational such as Dora's letters (unlike his favorites: cut the rope, angry birds, and water something).
On the bright side, it does teach them about computers (or what is becoming "computers" at a young age as well as hand to eye coordination... I can still dream he will be a surgeon, right?

We do limit when he can use it... usually its when he gets up in the morning, so Mom (8 months pregnant) and I can get just a bit more sleep while he plays with it or watches a show on the PBS kids app.

And of course, its great for long car rides, doctor's offices, etc.

But MY NUMBER ONE PIECE OF ADVICE invest in a top notch case, like the ballistic level kind where you can drop it from space and it doesn't brake (seriously, google that, there is a company that makes cases that do that) and/or an iron clad replacement plan for it.

I would think a piece of technology like this will easily last 2-3 years before it becomes somewhat outdated, but still would be fine to read books on. But if you like reading books out on the beach (i know you don't) or by the pool... get the regular (cheap) kindle.

Amy said...

I have no experience with tablets so don't have an opinion on that part of your post. However, if Gomer puts up the cash to buy *whatever* techie gizmo he's allowed, Aldopha should have to buy her own as well. If Gomer can save up for his, it's unfair to also get one for her as a gift (even if it's, understandably, just to shut up the whining). Make her earn hers if she wants one that badly, too. You have the best rebuttal to the "It's not fair" complaint ever: "Then save up to buy your own, just like Gomer."

Also, #2, #3 & #4 on your "cons" list are only "cons" for GOMER. They are brilliant potential "pros" for YOU! It;s a great, nag-free opportunity to teach a valuable lesson. If he's going to drop a load of cash on something that is just a boring fad, easily broken, or quickly outdated and obsolete then that's a *great* lesson for him to learn NOW, with his own money! He will definitely be wiser about how he spends his money in the future! Don't go trying to protect him from those kinds of mistakes, because they only get bigger and more expensive when they get older and have more money. Let him learn it now, and cheaply (by comparison) and you would be doing him a big favor for later on in life.

Cami said...

I think that you should. Think about it, you can download the same type of apps that they currently sale individually to help children learn how to read. My daughter had so many of those damn educational laptops and other learning electronics that I would have LOVED to been able to have one device that does it all. It is a good investment and there are A LOT of educational apps, which is the reason that so many schools are using tablets in the classroom environment.

Syd said...

Good to know I am not the only Mom out there struggling with the "To buy or not to buy" syndrome. My soon to be 9 year old wants one too!
Good Luck to you! :)

Kristianna said...

Since he has saved the money himself -- an impressive feat! -- I'd reward him with allowing him to buy it. I'd have limits to how often he uses it, and perhaps insist it's used in the public areas of the house because it is a computer and that's our house rule, and it would be considered a privilege. He sounds like a good kid who can reach his goals, and that is a wonderful thing.

Kristianna said...

I fully agree it would be punch-worthy to make one child buy his tablet then give one to the other. I'm an older sibling and that kind of crap bugged the bejeesus out of me growing up!

Jaimee said...

If he earns the money for it, he should be allowed to buy it. As mentioned above somewhere, there are tons of amazing educational apps that would be great for him, and Adolpha if he is willing to share. Also mentioned above, there should be rules about when and how he can use it. I feel that even at 7 yrs old, he can learn a valuable lesson, and I feel it will also give him confidence that he took the time to earn the money and you trusted him enough to purchase an item like that. Then of course you and the Hubs can bribe and/or blackmail him using the kindle when he gets out of line!!! HAHAHA. LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog! Thanks!

Jeff Laws said...

I have a kindle fire and I let my 9 and 7 year old play around on it. I've downloaded a few apps for them, some games and some educational apps. I also let them use it to watch Netflix. I can see a 7 year old having one, like most have said, with rules. I know with Netflix, you can log in and read what they've been watching.

Anonymous said...

I got my 5 yr old daughter a Nook Tablet and just locked it down. She cann't order anything and she cann't get on the web. I downloaded what is on it (which is educational games and books) and she is completely content. She plays with this and her iPod (which was a hand me down and again, completely locked down). It has taught her responsibility and it is actually helping with her learning. I looked into the Kindle fire and the only reason I went with the Nook tablet was because I have a Barnes and Noble account already.As far as Netflix goes, you can lock that down too ;)

Amy said...

Jen I may be repeating other comments but I say that if he saved his money then let him have it. A Kindle is way better then a DS. My kids use mine so much that I am buying them one for Christmas. I will tell you though now I am on the fence between the Kindle Fire and the Nabi. I am leaning toward the Nabi because its more 'kid proof'. Google it, way better for little ones (though that means I have to learn a new electronic too!) Also, Walmart has them $129 on Black Friday!!

Jen Piwtpitt said...

Amy, Thanks for the comment. He actually bought a Samsung Galaxy Tablet and has been using it for reading and games. It's been a great purchase.

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