Amazon Fire: Saving Teens from Boredom on Road Trips Since 2016

Kindle Fire Front seat

This post was sponsored by Amazon as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.

Remember when you were a kid? For me, those happy memories have become more and more fleeting as the years progress, but I still do have a few vivid ones- and one of them includes road tripping. I’m a military brat that lived most of her elementary school years in Northern Maine on an Air Force Base. My family had no family around that particular area, so to visit them we’d all have to jump into our car and road trip for days to make the 1,000+ mile trek to visit my father’s family. During those trips I remember being super excited to see my grandparents- but I also remember the boredom that would set in from the back seat. My sister and I spent most of our time sleeping and complaining about who was on whose side of the seat (a typical sibling argument!) and I’d count down the miles until we arrived.

Fast forward to present day when kids and teens (mine included!) are all about e-devices to keep them company on road trips. And while, yes, we do enjoy each other’s company traveling thousands of miles and hundreds of hours each summer, my 14-year old daughter loves occupying her time by reading books, playing games, and checking out the latest apps she’s downloaded. With tablet in hand, there’s nary a peep from her seat- and there’s a smile on her face. Her latest love? The Amazon Fire. Not only is it very affordable, she loves it for both front seat and back seat road trips.

What Make The Amazon Fire so Great for Road Trips?

Kindle fire Front Seat side

There’s several features that she loves about her Amazon Fire, actually. From the moment it was shipped to us, I barely had a chance to unbox it before she had a case of the “gimmies” and wanted to test it out immediately. I happily handed it over to her along with the fun, bright case and begged her to let me take a couple of photos before she was testing it out. While she did hover over me while I snapped them, she commented on how gorgeous the screen was and how vibrant its images were, too- and I had to agree.

Kindle fire horizontal upright

The Home Screen had everything she already needed to start playing with it immediately- Shop Amazon, Appstore, Kindle, and Amazon Music. But there was a brand new feature that I’d never seen before on a tablet: FreeTime. First of all, I’ve got an angel of a teenager that never gives me any hassle with spending too much time on her e-devices, but I’m loving the app and it’s funtions. It lets parents manage how and when their kids can use their devices by selecting content by hand, setting educational goals, and even set screen time limits. Translation? Parents have more control than ever to determine how long their children can play with their Amazon e-devices. LOVE that!

Kindle fire stand case

The AmazonFire cases are really cool in that they function as a stand- one flip of the cover and it’s at the perfect angle for watching shows and movies or even YouTube. The Kid loves her YouTube!

Additional Features of Amazon Fire that We Love

Kindle fire Vertical

Let’s talk about the overall appearance for a second. The Amazon Fire has a 7-inch IPS display (171 ppi / 1024 x 600) and a really fast 1.3 GHz quad-core processor. It offers both front and rear facing cameras and our particular model has 8 GB of internal storage with the ability to add a microSD card for up to 128 GB of additional storage.

With all of that comes fun features that parents (and kids!) will enjoy:

On Deck

  • We’re Amazon Prime Members, so we love the fact that On Deck will automatically download Prime Video (including the first episodes of Amazon Original Series while the Fire isn’t in use- now there’s always something new to watch even when it’s offline!
  • Not a Prime Member? On Deck automatically downloads the first episode of Amazon Original Series.

Games and Apps

  • The Kid has been trying out new titles including Disney, Gameloft, Sega of America. Heard of Amazon Underground? It’s a one-of-a-kind app store experience with over $20,000 in apps, games and even in-app items are actually free – including extra lives, unlocked levels, unlimited add-on packs and more. She loves the fact that she can have access to all of those cool, extra levels and loves- and I love that I’m not shelling out cash to get them!
  • Learn First, play later. Parents are able to block access to cartoons and games until family education goals have been met. That means so sneaking to play!
  • The Bed Time feature- extends Amazon FreeTime’s existing Daily Time Limit Control. Kids won’t be able to stay up past their bedtime and lose track of time and precious hours of sleep.

Blue Shade

  • Blue Shade automatically adjusts the backlighting of your device screen (it removes blue light for easier nighttime reading). So awesome for when we road trip late into the night or for jetlag on planes or the hotel room. All we have to do is tap Blue Shade on the quick actions menu to turn on the feature and avoid straining my teen’s eyes.

Word Runner

  • Want the kids to pick up the pace when it comes to reading faster? Word Runner is a fun new way to help. It keeps the eyes focused right in the center of the page- bringing each word right to where the eyes already are. Man, I wish this was available when The Kid was young. We struggled with speed reading. It also uses dynamic pacing, slowing down for difficult words and punctuation and paragraph breaks.

Kindle fire Home Screen

And the verdict? Let’s just say I don’t think it will be in my hands any time soon- unless I sneak into her room at night and use it! Hey, there’s no Bed Time Feature for me!

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