Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet – Review

My children (like most children of today) are quite addicted to their devices. While I am all for them being on the ball with the most recent tech, I also worry about the fact that I need to constantly monitor what they are accessing online and how long they are on their devices for. Luckily, I was sent the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet to review with the children and this allows me to have worry-free time while they are on it.

I’m not going to go into the technical details of the Fire HD 8 but instead give you our views on what we like about it.

Design

It is basically a Kindle Fire HD 8 so it has the similar functions and looks. But it comes in a Kids Edition Case that gives it a different look entirely. It looks more sturdy and it has more grip. Definitely something that kids will not be able to drop in a hurry.  It does not come with a screen protector but Amazon gives you an amazing 2-year no quibble guarantee on this. They break it – Amazon will replace it. No questions asked. Whew!

Performance

I quite like how it performs. There are no fancy graphics or high speed RAM. But it does what it needs to do. It’s perfect for playing on or accessing simple apps and it great for streaming videos too. So you can actually watch Netflix and YouTube without problems. It doesn’t have a fancy camera either but lets face it, we don’t normally go around taking photos with the tablet.

It comes with 32 GB storage which is pretty good and if that’s not enough you can extend it unto 256GB with a memory card.

Fire for Kids App

This is obviously the main reason for the tablet being a Kids Tablet. The Fire for Kids App allows you to create profiles for your children. You can then allow them to access age appropriate titles from Books, Videos, Apps, Characters and the internet. Within the app, you can also set daily goals and limits for the children. For example – read for 10 minutes everyday before accessing games.

I was pleased to see that there are a number of good titles that can be accessed with characters such as Harry Potter, Fireman Sam etc.

There is a standard kids profile or you can set a teen profile for children over 11 where they can access slightly older content.

You can set educational goals for them. There are discussion cards that help parents to engage with their kids – sample questions and summaries. There is also a Parent Dashboard that gives you a daily report of the child’s device usage – reporting on videos watched and for how long.

The Fire8 HD Tablet for Kids comes with 1 year of Fire for Kids Unlimited giving you access to all the content you need to keep the children entertained.

 

Other Apps

You can also download other apps like Netflix and CBeebies to the Fire HD. Since the children are back to school, I’ve been pleased to see some great educational Apps on there that are based on the National curriculum.

Mathletics Student – Free

My children get assignments set by their school so its great to be able to access it on the Fire HD. It’s free and the world’s leading educational resource for mathematics, created by the team behind the World Education Games. Over 4 million students in schools across the world are a part of their global learning community.

 

 

How to Draw: Cartoon Characters – Free

The children and I love to draw Cartoon characters so this one went down a treat. You can draw various Cartoon Characters from different films and animated movies like Sponge Bob, Fairy Tinker Bell, Superman, Spiderman, Dora and many more. Each drawing lesson is divided in 10 to 20 steps, and it’s extremely easy to follow.

 

 

Anitales – Free

 

This is a great app for getting children to think and create stories. It  encourages children to create a story by choosing a story location, adding personalised characters, recording voice-overs and animation to bring your story to life. This colourful and beautifully illustrated world is fun for the whole family and allows you to connect and share your stories with friends.

 

 

Disney Junior Play – Free

This needs no introduction and I’m sure this app is on almost all kids’ tablets. There are loads of exciting games, puzzles, sing along videos, dress-up fun and sticker book scenes. The ‘Disney Junior Favourites’ pack is free with download and features four games and a sticker book. Play jigsaw puzzles to encourage problem solving, placement games to support logical thinking, and dress-up games to inspire imaginative thinking.

 

Kids – Free

I have no worries that the kids are watching inappropriate videos. This free app provides the best videos from YouTube for kids! Thousands of fun and safe cartoon videos. Kids channels, cartoons, games, songs and music, dance and a wide range of learning videos to help get rid of that rust that comes from a summer of fun.

 

 

The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet is priced at £129.99 and the Fire 7 Kids Edition is priced at £99.99

There are available with covers in blue, pink or yellow.

We love this Kids Tablet and would definitely recommend it for children.

 

Schleich Tractor with Trailer – Review

We have been lucky to be sent quite a few products from Schelich for review. This time round it was the Tractor with Trailer Set and Ethan enjoys playing with it. When you see the features below, it’s no wonder he does.

The Tractor with Trailer set includes a tractor, a trailer, a farmer figure, a calf and a hay bale.

The front loader comes unattached to the tractor so you need to set it up.

 

The trailer is pretty cool – you can lower all the sides down to create a flat trailer and you can also remove the green horse box  to have just the trailer which is great for carrying a hay bale. The horse box can also be tilted sideways or backwards.

The calf is included with the set and it easily fits in the trailer. In fact, if you have other Schleich products like we do, you can add them to the set for a great playtime experience.

The Tractor itself is extremely well made and just like a real one. There is great attention to detail to make it lifelike and the door opens (something the kids love) to fit the farmer in the driver’s seat.

The front loader is movable and can be used to life the hay bale.

There are also stickers provided that need to be added to the set which all children seem to love.

The Tractor with Trailer playset is priced at £49.99 and the set is so worth the money as the quality of the product is outstanding. It also has so many cool features as mentioned above. Children are sure to enjoy playing with it.

It is a perfect addition to the rest of the Farm World sets and it fits in well with a lot of them.

Letts KS2 SATs Success Books – Review

The children know that when they come home besides doing their homework, they do some additional learning. Most often it’s just a little bit of Maths practice or some comprehension – nothing too taxing.

With Jadyn, I learnt that it is necessary to start preparations for national tests as soon as possible. Just so that there is no huge build up at the end and the child is able to cope with the pressure that is inevitable at the time.

I look at a range of workbooks for the children to practise from and we usually go with Letts.

We were recently sent these Letts KS2 books to review and they are perfect for preparing for the SATs. For parents whose children are in Year 6, I would suggest getting these books now and not at the last minute. Take the child slowly through the book in keeping with the pace of the school. Iron out any misconceptions or problems the child may have with any topics.

If you look at the curriculum, you will notice that the children build on what they already know so they just progress to bigger numbers in the same topic or maybe different ways of approaching the topic. For example my daughter in year 2 is doing place value and so is my Year 4 son. But of course, the material is suited to their age.

I was looking through these books and they are targeted to children aged 7 – 11. My son is 9 and he could actually work on some topics with ease. It would be a boost to his confidence too.

I love the new look Letts books. They are more children friendly and appealing and look fun. There is a guide for English and Maths with the corresponding workbook making it easy for a child to be taught at home.

I find it is becoming increasingly necessary for a follow up at home as schools cope with budget cuts and having to make do with one teacher for about 30 students. Since all don’t work at the same pace or indeed some may not understand a certain topic, it is necessary to work with your child at home.

Letts KS2 SATs success books are perfect for this. They follow the National Curriculum and explain the topics well. You can also download the audio book at www.lettsrevision.co.uk/ks2

The books are engaging and there are life examples taken to explain Maths problems.

The English Revision Guide teaches how to write effectively as well as the proper use of grammar in writing.

The books are priced at £5.99 each and are great value for money. Jadyn used these books(older versions) to prepare for her SATs and she was well prepared to take her exams.

As mentioned, I love the new look of the books and Letts has a competition on at the moment for the new face of Letts – http://www.letts-revision.co.uk/page/ks2/faces

 

 

L.O.L. Surprise Series 2 Doll Review

I’m sure you’ve heard of L.O.L. Surprise dolls – they are hugely popular. In fact, we were lucky to review one from Series 1 as well as the L.O.L. Lil Sister doll. This time round we were sent a doll from the new Series 2 dolls and Aeryn just loved it.

The doll comes in a sort of ball packaging and you need to unwrap each layer – there are 7 – to reveal a surprise. You get a secret message sticker, a sticker sheet, a water bottle charm, a pair of shoes, an outfit for the doll, an accessory and a L.O.L Surprise doll.

 

It’s much like a blind bag as you don’t know which doll it will be. This makes for even more fun.

We had a doll called Kicks. She belongs to the Athletic club and looks super sporty. She has a green sports t-shirt and black shorts and a green headband. Her hair is braided.

Aeryn loves these dolls and is super happy unboxing them to reveal which ones they are.

She can’t wait to collect more.

You can fill their little bottles/cups with water and then feed them and they wither cry or wee. Some even change colour when put in ice.

You can find out more about the range at L.O.L. Surprise 

Each collectible is priced at £9.99

You can mix and match their clothes and accessories which makes them playable across the range.

L.O.L. Surprise is available at all major retailers.