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Kids’ tablets have become a staple piece of kit in many a parent's arsenal over recent years - and whether you're heading off on holiday this summer or need to stock up on rainy day distractions, now is as good as time as any to invest in one of these peace-and-quiet guarantees.
Tablets for kids - whether they’re intended for entertainment, gaming or homework - can be expensive, often more so than their adult-orientated counterparts, usually running into the hundreds of pounds unless you buy second hand or catch them in a deal - so it’s always best to research which one is right for your child.
Appearing three times in the Mumsnet guide to the best tablet for kids, there's no disputing that the Amazon Fire kids' tablets tick many a box for child-friendly usability - but with a starting price of £115, even the cheapest Fire 7 Kids model is still something of an investment when you think about the age (and likely stickiness) of the child for which it is intended.
Having borrowed a Fire HD 8 Kids tablet for my review of the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids tablet vs the Amazon Fire 7 Kids, we recently decided to upgrade our decidedly elderly-feeling Fire 7 models to the 8 and Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Pro tablets (and luckily were able to do so during Amazon's recent Prime Day sale, cutting the cost in half).
But what makes the Fire HD 8 Kids so much better than the Fire 7 Kids? How does the Fire HD 8 Kids Pro differ? What age are they for and how easy are they to set up and use? We put them to the test.
Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids: at a glance
Price on writing: £150 | Buy now from Amazon
Size: 222 x 180 x 27mm | Weight: 518g | Age suitability: 3+ | Screen size: 8" | Screen resolution: 1280 x 800 res, 189 ppi, HD playback | CPU: Hexa-core 2.0 GHz | Battery life: Up to 13 hours | Internal storage: 32GB or 64GB, up to 1TB available with additional SD card | RAM: 2GB | Camera: 2 MP, front- and rear-facing, 720p HD video recording | Kid-proof case: Included - red, purple, blue | Audio: Integrated speaker, 3.5mm stereo jack, advanced audio port design in case | Parental controls: Yes | Included perks: 1-year subscription to Amazon Kids+ | Ports: USB-C (2.0) | Warranty: Two years
What we love
Great for younger kids as comes with the 'kid-proof' chunky rubber case
More storage capability than the Fire 7 kids, and longer battery life
Excellent HD screen
Although is marketed at age 3-7, is fine for older kids too
What to know
Can be pricey
Navigating parent dashboard can be tricky at first
What Mumsnet users say
"My kids, 6 and 8, love them and get loads of use from them. They're a LOT cheaper than iPads and kids use them for Netflix, Disney etc with no issues. They use the games too and quite happy with them." (Advice from Mumsnet user Heatherbell1978)
"The profile is tailored to the kid's age, so everything available to download is appropriate for the age bracket.We love ours, they're relatively cheap have a hassle-free warranty and come with decent bump/drop proof cases." (Tried and tested by Mumsnetter Enidisstuckupatree)
"My 5 and 6 year old love theirs, there are loads of games and videos etc, they're always discovering new stuff. Lots of educational things too. And I don't worry that they'll stumble across something inappropriate in the kids' mode."
- Mumsnet user confusedlots
Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Pro: at a glance
Price on writing: £150 | Buy now from Amazon
Size: 212 x 162 x 17mm | Weight: 509g | Age suitability: 6+ | Screen size: 8" | Screen resolution: 1280 x 800 res, 189 ppi, HD playback | CPU: Hexa-core 2.0 GHz | Battery life: Up to 13 hours | Internal storage: 32GB, up to 1TB available with additional SD card | RAM: 2GB | Camera: 2 MP, front- and rear-facing, 720p HD video recording | Kid-friendly case: Included - range of three patterns available | Audio: Integrated speaker, 3.5mm stereo jack, advanced audio port design in case | Parental controls: Yes | Included perks: 1-year subscription to Amazon Kids+, built-in Bluetooth 5.2 with support for A2DP compatible stereo headphones, speakers, microphone and LE accessories support | Ports: USB-C (2.0) | Warranty: Two years
What we love
Allows filtered access to websites which is useful for online learning and homework
More 'grown up' feeling case, also makes it less bulky
Good age range suitability
Often half price in Prime Day or Black Friday sales
What to know
Allows kids greater access to apps and games than the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids
Not waterproof - be aware of spills
What Mumsnet users say
"My son has been using it a lot, especially to find new books for his school reading. They've also really enjoyed some of the recommended apps and I really like the fact they can have whichever app they like, provided I approve it, of course." (Recommended by Mumsnet user SanFranBear)
"It is amazing! Perform[s] really well, and is a great introduction to tablets for younger children. [My child] found it really easy to use, and keeps showing me new things she has discovered. I highly recommend it." (Tried and tested by Mumsnetter cliffdonville)
"I like that it is fully customisable for different children and that I can see what they have been doing. I also liked that we can set different time limits for different things, so I can allow longer for reading than games. It is very reassuring being able to restrict content."
- Mumsnetter fourmonthstogo
Our verdict: why choose the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids/ Kids Pro?
After writing my review of the Amazon Fire 7 Kids vs the Amazon HD 8 Kids (for which we borrowed the Fire HD 8 Kids from a friend) we realised that our elderly Fire 7s might need replacing (OK, I’ll admit it - we tried out the 8s and it really brought home just how far a piece of tech can develop in four years, even if it is only used sporadically to make an animated cat a smoothie out of footwear).
Not only had we had the Fire 7s so long that their particular model was no longer being made (2019), we had an ongoing problem with accessing apps without WiFi, the battery life was beginning to decline and the charging ports had started to degrade. With our kids growing out of the 'first tablet' stage, an upcoming long haul holiday (our first as a family of five) coinciding nicely with the Amazon Prime Day sale, we decided that the time was right to upgrade.
We have three children - aged four, six and nine. We bought two tablets - the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids and the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Pro - both cost the same (£70 during Prime Day, £150 ordinarily) and both are, essentially, slightly modified versions of the generic Amazon Fire 8 HD tablet. Because we’ve always had two tablets, the kids are used to sharing - and while we certainly have the four-year-old more in mind for the more indestructible-feeling Fire HD 8 Kids, neither tablet really belong specifically to one child because both have all three profiles accessible on them. I think this is one of the best features of getting an Amazon Fire tablet - you can have up to four separate kids’ profiles on your Amazon Kids account and switch fairly easily* between them as and when needed.
*I say fairly easily because it can take a bit of getting used to - they have to make it hard for the child to switch out of, after all.
Read next: Looking for more gift inspiration for kids of all ages? Don't miss our bespoke guides to the best toys for four-year-olds, five-year-olds, six-year-olds, seven-year-olds, eight-year-olds, nine-year-olds and ten-year-olds.
What is the difference between the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids and the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Pro?
In terms of dimensions, the Amazon Fire HD 8 (right) and the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Pro (left) are identical outside their cases. The cases themselves are what sets them apart in appearance - the Pro features a more slimline, grown-up feeling case (‘Kid-Friendly’) and the Fire HD 8 Kids features the chunky, (‘Kid-Proof’) case similar to the Fire 7 Kids' cases.
Both feature 9-inch screens with HD resolution of 1280 x 800 and 189ppi, which is particularly noticeable when comparing with the non-HD screen of the Fire 7. Both are also powered by the same CPU.
In terms of usability, the Kids Pro tablet allows kids to request games, apps and books which will then pop up in the parent dashboard (we had one for Roblox within a few minutes of handing it to our nine-year-old). You can also download apps such as Netflix and Disney, though these require you to have an account with these services.
When it comes to internet access, both tablets feature a restricted browser, but while the Amazon HD 8 Kids only allows access to certain sites via links, the Kids Pro allows filtered access to the web. This is actually really handy in terms of homework because it means they can access school-collaboration sites such as Times Table Rockstars and Purple Mash. Our (just turned) six-year-old will be heading into year two in September and will have more task-based homework which is often assigned online - she's young in the school year and struggles a little with dexterity on keyboards, so a tablet is much easier for her to use than a laptop or computer. Thanks to the educational goal settings on the Pro, we can ensure she has completed all tasks before diving back into her family of sandal-eating kittens.
Why choose the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids over a Amazon Fire 7 Kids?
The Amazon Fire 7 Kids (right, in purple case) have served us incredibly well - as first tablets, they've been great. But our kids are getting older, (mostly) more trustworthy with expensive devices and, in the case of the older two, need a device they can use to complete homework. With the Prime Day sale and the ongoing issues we'd faced with the Fire 7s glitching when used without WiFi, it made sense to upgrade and we are very happy with our choices.
Why choose the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids over the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids?
Mumsnet's number one ranking kids' tablet, the Fire HD 10 Kids, takes the features of the Fire HD 8 Kids to a whole new level - it has a bigger screen, more RAM and greater resolution (read our review of the Fire HD 10 Kids Pro here). However, the Kids 10 also comes with a heftier price tag (currently retailing at £210) and the extra features were not, for our family, worth the extra cost, even in the sale. The 10 may well be a good investment if your kids are hardcore tablet users, but for our kids, who forget their tablets exist 90% of the time, there's no point.
What's in the box?
In both cases, the box includes the tablet already in its rubber case (which you’ll know is a bonus if you’ve ever tried wrestling one of it and back in!) along with a charging cable and user guide.
How easy are the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids and Fire HD 8 Kids Pro to set up?
Pretty easy - we already had Amazon Kids+ accounts so all we had to do was log in and activate the new tablets. This meant our active subscription was automatically replaced with a free subscription for a year.
What age is Fire Kids Pro for?
Like the Amazon Fire HD Kids Pro 10, the Fire HD Kids Pro 8 is marketed at children aged 6 - 12. The kid-friendly case allows for any accidental bumps or drops (not spills though, FYI), while having a slimmer, more grown-up feel than the chunky HD 8 Kids case, and comes in funkier designs/ patterns geared towards this age range. It allows for greater access to kid-friendly websites, making it a great tool for digital homework assignments for primary school-aged children.
The slimmer, ‘kid-friendly’ case has a more grown-up feel for it and comes in some funkier designs/patterns geared towards older children. Having said that, you are perfectly able to set up a profile for a younger child on the Pro (we have all 3 kids’ profiles accessible on both tablets) and our four-year-old has been allowed to use it on his settings when the Fire HD 8 Kids tablet is out of battery (I take greater care to wash his hands first and warn him to be careful though - no one likes a sticky screen!)
How child friendly are the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids tablets?
Extremely. We set them up, handed them over and that was it. Some of the new apps took a while to download (Roblox in particular) at first, but there’s plenty of Amazon Kids+ content for them to scroll through and select, with minimal waiting time to get going.
How parent-friendly are the Amazon HD 8 Kids tablets?
Very parent-friendly, once you work out how to access the parent dashboard. (They make it a little tricky on purpose, for obvious reasons!) Once you’re there (definitely set a PIN) you can control screen time, approve apps (on the Pro), monitor what your child has been doing and even set educational goals - ie, you can make it so they can only access games and videos after spending a certain amount of time on the reading and educational apps.
How to set screen-time controls on the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids tablets
It's pretty easy to set controls over your child's content:
Select the child's profile from the people symbol in the top right corner
When it comes up with a 'Grown-ups' tab, tap on Time Limits
Tap your name and enter your PIN
You will then have the option to toggle on 'Daily Goals & Time Limits'
From here (should look like the above image) you can set screen time limits, educational goals, restrictions, etc.
Is Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids a good kids' tablet?
Yes, the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids is an excellent kids’ tablet. Aimed at children aged 3 - 7 (but perfectly capable of handling the basic needs of an older child's profile, just with slightly more limits than may be useful for school work) it is a brilliant tool for education and entertainment. My favourite feature is the ability of allowing up to four kids’ profiles, meaning our kids take it in turns and there are minimal arguments over someone messing up someone else’s game, etc.
I also love the fact that you can control screen time, set content goals and restrictions (ie they must spend 30 mins on reading, maths and educational video content before they can access the less educational content). While this may not be such a handy feature for long-distance travel, it’s ideal for everyday use.
Not everyone loves the Fire tablets and there are some excellent alternatives available from Apple, Samsung, Lenovo and more so it's definitely worth doing your research to figure out what you are looking for from a kids' tablet. For us, the Fire series does the job - they aren't too expensive considering how well they last, they support the changing educational needs of the child and they are incredibly reassuring for peace-of-mind.
What is the difference between Fire HD 8 and kids?
The Fire HD 8 and the Fire HD 8 kids are essentially the same tablet, with differences being the Kids’ tablet has added restrictions and tailor-made kids’ content, parental controls and the kid-proof case. The Fire HD 8 is also cheaper.
Can you get Netflix on Fire HD 8 Kids tablet?
Yes, but this can only be installed via a parent account and you will need a subscription to Netflix. You will also need to set up your parental controls via your Netflix account as it isn’t part of the Amazon Kids+ subscription.
Can Amazon Fire Kids tablet be used as a normal tablet?
Yes, you can use this tablet as a normal one through the adult profile. However, the normal Fire HD 8 tablet is actually cheaper, so if you’re looking to purchase a tablet, you might as well get the regular version. If you’re looking to re-purpose a kids’ tablet, there’s no reason why you can’t use the Fire HD 8 Kids as a regular tablet (you can even keep the chunky rubber case if you’re accident-prone!)
Can I use the Fire kids tablet without a subscription?
Yes. If you choose not to renew your Amazon Kids+ subscription after your year of free access runs out, you can still use the tablet but you will no longer have access to the Amazon-curated kids’ content. You can use it with other streaming services such as Disney and Netflix, and can download other apps and games through the App Store.
If you do choose to continue the Amazon Kids+ subscription, it costs £38 per year (£3.99 per month) for Prime members and £68 per year (£6.99 per month) for non-Prime members.
Final Verdict: Are the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids and Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Pro tablets worth it?
Overall rating: 5/5
Yes. In terms of kids’ tablets, the Amazon Fires just tick so many of the boxes that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to others.
Sure, if you’re not buying while there’s an offer on the initial cost is quite high (though lower than most other kids' tablets) and you will need to pay per month or year if you want to carry on the Amazon Kids+ subscription, but as my family can attest, the tablets last really well (our 7s are still very much a back-up option, just not when the WiFi is down!) The separate child profiles are a great way of ensuring each child has tailor-made content for their age and stage of development, and the parent dashboard ensures you can make sure they’re only accessing material you’re happy with.
About Mumsnet Reviews
All Mumsnet product reviews are written by real parents after weeks of research and testing – this includes recommendations from the Mumsnet Talk boards. We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust. Sometimes, we earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. However, we never allow this to influence our coverage.
About the author
Mum-of-three Jenny Wonnacott is a Content Editor for Mumsnet, specialising in writing, editing and optimising pregnancy care and child play content pages.
Before joining the content team at Mumsnet, Jenny worked as a journalist for newspapers, radio, TV and b2b trades magazines for over a decade. She is also a bestselling sci-fi author (writing as J M Briscoe) and parenting blogger.
As a parent of three primary school-aged children, Jenny is passionate about making Mumsetters' lives easier through rigorous research of all items recommended in buyers' guides and reviews such as this one, as well as sourcing expert advice on all things pregnancy and child play related.