If there’s a simple, fun activity that the whole family can enjoy, it’s reading. Whether it’s getting a confidence boost from fellow parents or transporting your kids to new fantasy world, getting lost in the pages of a good story is a wonderful, entertaining way to spend a few hours. One way to make reading even easier, is via Amazon Kindle Unlimited, which is like carrying an entire library with you everywhere you go on whatever device you use. If your kid loves to read, this is a must-have. And if they don’t… this might just change their minds. The subscription includes thousands of popular kids books and comic books for all ages, including classics like Charlotte’s Web, adventure stories like the entire Harry Potter series, and plenty of books all about dogs. And of course, there are also countless options for parents as well.
What is Kindle Unlimited?
Kindle Unlimited is essentially a media streaming service, but for books. Instead of paying for a single book, you pay for a subscription package and gain unlimited access to over one million books. In addition to books, Kindle Unlimited offers thousands of audiobooks to choose from, the hottest magazines, and more. You can read Kindle books on Kindle e-readers as well as on a phone, tablet, or computer using the Kindle Reading app. Bar hopping is fun, but book hopping is so much more satisfying. The first month is completely free — you can sign up for a trial, peruse your favorite titles, and read to your heart’s content without paying anything. Afterward, it’s $9.99 a month and you can cancel anytime.
Best Amazon Kindles and Accessories for the Family
If you decide to sign up for Kindle Unlimited, you’ll need something to read all those books on. Here are some of the best devices and accessories for your kids and yourself.
Your kid can now have an e-reader of their own to enjoy all their favorite books without any distractions. The Kindle Kids Edition has a protective colorful cover, weeks of battery life, and a two-year warranty. It also comes with one year of FreeTime Unlimited, which provides access to a whole library of kid-friendly books. Through the Parent Dashboard, you can add books to their reading list, check progress, and more, and there are built-in vocabulary and word tools to help them advance their reading skills. The Kindle also works with Audible audiobooks, so you can take a break and let your kids listen to someone else read stories to them.
One reviewer said,”Love it! This is a reader’s kindle. We want our children to read — not play video games all day. From the moment we received this device as a gift, our kids had immediate access to 55 books that we had purchased through our Amazon account. Now they can carry around a whole library of books. Not to mention all of the free out of copyright material that is available. And on top of that, the Amazon Kindle Unlimited gives them access to all sorts of reading material.”
Beyond an e-reader, another option is the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet. Yes, it’s a tablet, but it has parental controls built in to limit screen time, filter content, set educational goals, and manage web browsing. It has an 8” HD display, 10-hour battery, and a sturdy case to protect it from accidental bumps and drops that are inevitable with being around children. The tablet comes with a year of FreeTime Unlimited, so they’ll have access to books, movies, TV shows, games, educational apps, and Audible audiobook appropriate for kids ages 3-12. You can also set up individual profiles if you have multiple kids (or want to use the tablet yourself).
One reviewer and parent said, “Overall I still think this device is a great choice over an iPad for the price and all you get with it. You can have your own profile on this tablet and use it as your own and switch back and for from child to yours and it’s password locked. The warranty itself is amazing, I had previously used it two times on the kindle fire 7 because my son broke the screen and amazon was great in replacing it with a brand new one. The FreeTime you get for a free for year is the best. I love that you can control what your kid can see, play, and even read. You can even make it so they have to read for so long before they can play any games. My favorite feature is that you can choose whatever you want to add from your apps, movies, books and shows to add to their profile. They’ve also added a new app called parent dashboard that lets you see everything that your child is doing on their kindle fire. In today’s world the internet is full of scary and bad things that you don’t want your kids to have access to and with the FreeTime you don’t have to worry with that.”
For an e-reader that’s easy to carry around with you, the Kindle Paperwhite is thin and lightweight. It has a glare-free display you’ll be able to see even sitting outside, has a built-in light, has 8 or 32GB of storage depending on what you need, a battery life that will last weeks. It comes in two colors, black and light blue. Best of all, this version of the Paperwhite is also waterproof, making it a great reading companion by a pool, in a tub, or next to a glass of wine.
One reviewer said, “this Kindle is thin and light. It doesn’t fatigue your hand at all. The fonts are adjustable for size. The light is adjustable for brightness. The color of the light is somewhat grayish. My older Paperwhite had the blueish hue which I found a little unnatural. I bought the Amazon case and when you close the cover the Kindle automatically sleeps and when you open the cover it automatically wakes up. I find this Kindle to be a little faster than the previous version. If this is your first Paperwhite there is only reason to be content with your purchase.”
If you’re the type of person who likes to protect all your devices… or you tend to have clumsy hands, a cover can help give you some peace of mind. This thin leather cover will fit the latest version of the Kindle Paperwhite without adding too much bulk or inconvenience. There’s a magnetic attachment that allows you to keep the cover closed when the Kindle is not in use, but the cover also attaches to the back so it’s out of the way when you’re reading. It comes in various colors of textured leather and has a microfiber interior to protect the screen.
One reviewer said, “Excellent cover! It’s very easy to pop my Kindle in and out of the cover. At the same time, when the cover is on the Kindle, it stays securely in place. I love that my Kindle is well protected without being bulked up size- or weight-wise. I appreciate that the cover stays in place magnetically when folded back. Also, because the inside of the cover is microfiber-lined, it is easier to hold onto my Kindle when the cover is folded back; it feels more secure in my grip. The look of the case is simple and clean and a nice blue with a purple undertone (Indigo Purple). Overall, I’m happy with my purchase!
The latest version of the Kindle Oasis, the top-of-the-line Kindle model, has a seven-inch reading screen, and an adjustable warm light as well as auto-adjusting light sensors on the screen. You can adjust the shade of your screen depending on the time of day you’re reading, or if your eyes are particularly sensitive to blue light. It’s waterproof and lightweight, and has an aluminum body that comes in either silver or champagne color. It’s also ergonomically designed with page turn buttons so you can easily multi-task and read with just one hand.
One reviewer said, “ I tend to hold onto my gadgets longer than the average bear and usually only trade them in when there is compelling reason. This time, for me, there were 3: 1. Larger screen. Since I typically read with a large font, the expanded screen real estate is a big deal. (way less annoying page turns). 2. Amber light. So much easier on the eyes and reminiscent of physical book pages. 3. The Oasis weighs less than my Paperwhite and is balanced better in my hand. I didn’t expect this one to be as significant as it has turned out to be. The Oasis is SO much easier for me to hold and manipulate, what with weight skewed to one side. I probably would have made the switch sooner if I had realized this earlier.”
When you plan on reading from your waterproof Kindle anywhere near liquids, make sure your cover can keep up as well. This lightweight fabric cover is water-safe and designed specifically for the Oasis (there’s also a version for the Paperwhite). It opens and closes like a book to wake or put your Kindle to sleep, has a magnetic closure, and comes in three different colors.
One reviewer said, “This case is Awesome! It feels great in the hand, and looks very cool. The texture is a great balance of soft and rough. It’s not intrusive. Even though it is a fabric case, it looks and feels premium. Very happy I decided to purchase this over the leather case. What I love the most is how skinny the cover is and how minimal the entire case is. It doesn’t add any bulk! I find reading with this case is much more comfortable than reading without it, especially in bed or when laying on a couch or other furniture. Get this case! It’s a must have accessory for every kindle Oasis owner.”
Doesn’t it always seem like you have a million power chargers lying around the house, but when you actually need to use one, there are none to be found? Always have an extra charger handy — this official Amazon 5W charger will keep all your Kindles (and Amazon devices) reliably powered up. It’s designed to be used with your devices’ micro-USB cable, which is not included.
Says one reviewer, “I am a stickler for quality and matched brands accessories. The charger (mated to the Kindle specs) works best. Experience has hard lessons when cheap knock off look alikes are used. Long term usage and high performance quality may cost a bit more up front – but if you have to buy 2 or 3 knock offs; even at a lesser cost for each; still cost more in the long term. This charger works as it is supposed to, and I am confident that it will last a long time. I have several Kindle types, & matched the chargers for each one. All are still working well even after 4 to 6 years of use.”
A little extra light for nighttime reading never hurt, and this small reading light is bright and can evenly illuminate your screen. The clip is designed for Kindles, and you can adjust the flexible neck to whatever angle works for you. Remember, as a kid, when you used to read under the covers with a flashlight? Consider this the upgraded version of that.
One reviewer said, “Sometimes I wake up at night and need to read something and allow myself to get sleepy again and fall asleep. But I don’t want to turn on all my lights and wake fully up! Enter this nifty little reading light that softly illuminates the pages of a book or eReader without lighting up the whole room! I find it to be handy and effective for late night reading sessions without telling my brain that it is daytime. It is also a great way to pass the time when sharing a room with someone who is ready to go to sleep when you are not ready. The light itself is perfect for the size of a page and the rest of the room remains dark.”
For more product ideas for your family, check out our Gift Guides.