Updated for 2017! There are affiliate links in this post.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 5 years or so (and if you have, hey, more power to ya! I bet it’s quiet under there. I’m sort of jealous!), mobile devices are all the educational rage! Tablets in particular are extremely useful in our children’s educational pursuits. We recently set up a Kindle Fire for our almost three year old daughter and I want to share with you my list of the best Kindle Fire apps for toddlers & preschoolers!
Why a Kindle Fire?
We are a family who loves Apple products, but when it comes to tablets for our six kids we have gone strictly with Kindle Fire. Why?
-The price cannot be beat! The base model Kindle Fire is under $50 (though you may want to upgrade to the no ads version of the Kindle Fire)
-The Kindle Fire is a very durable tablet, ours have been dropped more than a few times with no screen cracks. The Fire is durable, but it’s not indestructible so we put protective cases on all of them. Our younger kids each have a MoKo Kindle Fire Kid’s Case. We love the MoKo cases because they are super padded, have an adjustable carrying handle that doubles as a tablet prop, and they come in so many fun colors that each kid can have their own!
-The Kindle Fire has exceptional parental controls. From the tablet I can block various features (video, internet, app store, etc.) & set up curfew times. If I hop online I can set a pin number to protect against unauthorized purchases (ask me about the time the toddler bought a whole season of The Wild Kratts, two copies of Star Wars, and a Ghostbusters DVD!) Also, the Kindle Fire allows you to set up parent and child profiles, this allows the parent to control the child’s access from their own account, and that includes sending them specific books and apps.
-You can expand the Kindle Fire’s storage capacity with a micro SD card! For around $10 you can more than double the storage capacity of the device, something you cannot do with Apple products! And you’re going to need that extra space, because…
-The amount of FREE apps you can access with Amazon Underground is breathtaking. Amazon Underground rotates a list of TWENTY THOUSAND paid apps that are FREE, including FREE in-app purchases. The value of the apps can range from $.99 to over $25, all totally free. Did I mention free? You can access Amazon Underground online or straight from your tablet.
Okokok, so now that I have extolled the virtues of the Kindle Fire, let me share which apps are our toddler’s favorites!
The Best Kindle Fire Apps for Toddlers & Preschoolers
PBS Kids allows my child to watch all of her favorite PBS shows (especially Daniel Tiger!) on her tablet, and I don’t have to worry about her accessing questionable shows.
Endless Alphabet is part of the Endless App Bundle from Originator, Inc. While there are many Endless apps available FOR FREE on the Kindle Fire (they run around $8 each on other platforms), Alphabet is certainly baby girl’s favorite! Bonus: you don’t need an internet connection to use Endless Alphabet, making it a great app for use in vehicles!
Sensory Baby (or as my daughter calls it, “FISH!”) is a great app that not only soothes sensory seekers an calms down sensory avoiders through its interactive virtual fish aquarium, it also teaches young children the basics of using a touch screen tablet.
Netflix makes a great app for those who already subscribe! Set up a child’s profile from the computer then your child can navigate through shows that are safe for little eyes and ears.
Did you know that Amazon Prime members get unlimited streaming on their Amazon Video platform? If you are an Amazon Prime member (get a 30 day free trial!) you can use Amazon Video to download safe shows for your child that they can watch without an internet connection. Because there is no way to separate Amazon’s kid videos from the grown up videos, I don’t suggest allowing your child to browse the app. Rather, download what you want them to watch then block the app from the parental control menu. And, don’t forget to set up that Amazon Video pin so your toddler can’t buy videos!
LEGO Duplo Trains is my toddler’s absolute favorite app! While there are quite a few fun Duplo apps to choose from (ice cream, animals, food…) she loves the Trains app the most. The app teaches animal sounds, colors, matching, and simple words.
Elmo Loves 123s is another paid app, normally $5, that you can get for FREE with Amazon Underground! Your child will love interacting with Elmo while learning their numbers and singing cute songs.
So there you have my list of the very best Kindle Fire apps for toddlers & preschoolers! What apps would you add to the list? Feel free to comment below, or visit us on our Facebook Page and Facebook Group to let us know!