Amazon tablets lock out games until kids are done learning

The Amazon Kindle Fire locks distractions away until after the kids have done their reading or learning for the day.

Kids love tablets -- but with the lure of games and cartoons tugging at their sugar-addled little minds, your new slate might not turn out to be the educational tool you'd hoped. So Amazon is adding new features, which mean distractions are locked away until after the little'uns have done their reading or learning.

The FreeTime app on the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX and Amazon's other Kindle Fire tablets lets parents take charge of what their nippers are doing on the device.

In FreeTime you can set a daily goal for your kids, such as, say, 30 minutes of reading, or, for younger younglings, time spent with learning apps that teach counting, letters, or matching shapes.

By tapping the new Learn First button, all non-educational content is removed from your child's FreeTime library until they hit their set learning goals for the day.

The Time Limits feature, which lets you set a timer on how long your child can stare at the Kindle screen, has been souped up. You can now specify different time limits for weekends and weekdays, and set a nightly curfew for tablet use with the Bedtime feature.

Amazon also announced today in the same press release that Prime members using the Kindle Owners' Lending Library to borrow ebooks will soon be able to add borrowed ebooks to FreeTime, so you can check out books for your children. We'd probably be more excited about that if you could borrow more than one book per month, but you can't so we're not.

Do your anklebiters love your gadgets? What's the best way to ensure the little'uns don't spend all their time staring at screens? Tell more your thoughts in the comments or on our decidedly grown-up Facebook wall.

 

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