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How to limit kids’ screen time on Amazon Fire tablets

Amazon’s Fire Tablets are perfect for kids for many reasons, but the excellent parental controls are one of the highlights. Here’s how to activate those settings to limit your sprogs’ screen time and set how many hours of play they’re allowed each day.

Tablets are a wonderful way to keep your kids entertained, either at home or when you’re away on family trips. Your little cherubs can stream their favourite shows, get learning with educational apps, read colourful ebooks and plenty more.

Of course, while short bursts on a tablet are fine, you don’t want your little darlings glued to that tiny screen for too long. You especially don’t want them buried away under their duvets, watching Paw Patrol until the sun rises.

Amazon’s Fire Tablets – the Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10 – are solid value for money, not to mention rather rugged, making them a great choice for children. Even better however are the parental controls, which allow you to set limits on how much your offspring actually use their device.

To start using these controls, you’ll first have to set up a separate child profile.

Related: Amazon unveils new Kindle for kids

How to set up a child profile on your Amazon Fire tablet

You’re given the option to create a child profile when you first setup your Fire tablet, but you can also do it at any time in the tablet’s settings.

  • Swipe your finger down from the top edge of the display and you’ll pull out the notifications tab and you’ll spy a cog-shaped icon – just give that a tap to open the settings menu.
  • Scroll down to Parental Controls and give it a poke.
  • In this new menu you’ll see the ‘Household Profiles’ option – tap this and then select ‘Add a child profile’.
  • All you need to do now is follow the instructions, entering your kid’s name and date of birth and choosing a profile pic – it’s a quick and easy setup.

Before getting stuck into those parental controls, you’ll also need to setup a security PIN. This will prevent your darling little sweethearts from jumping onto your profile from theirs, therefore bypassing all of the restrictions you’ve added.

You should be prompted to setup a PIN when you create your kids account, if you didn’t already have one in place. However, you can also create a PIN at any time in the tablet’s settings menu, by heading to Security & Privacy, and then tapping on ‘Lock screen passcode’. Choose a memorable 4-digit number that your little treasures won’t guess and you’re good to go.

Related: Best Tablet For Kids

How do you switch to the kids profile on the Amazon Fire tablet?

You can swap profiles at any time by dragging down the notifications bar from the top of the tablet’s screen. Near the top there’s an icon with the current user’s profile picture. Poke this and you’ll see a list of all registered users – just tap the one you wish to switch to. Note that your kids won’t be able to swap back to your profile on the sly, because they’ll be prompted to enter your PIN.

Related: Best budget tablets

How to set daily goals and time limits for kids on the Amazon Fire tablets

Once that’s all done, make sure you’re signed into the child profile and then head back to the Parental Controls menu in the settings. You’ll spy a toggle to activate these controls, just beneath ‘Household Profiles’. Tap this to turn on parental controls and begin the setup.

Immediately you’ll be asked to select a password. This is to prevent your darlings from slyly slipping into the settings and changing things up. Note that this password is different to your security PIN, and you’ll once again need to choose something memorable that’s tricky for others to guess.

With parental controls activated, you’ll have loads of options to play around with. The one we’re interested in is ‘Set restricted access’. Inside here, tap the ‘Restricted access schedule’ to ban your kids from using the tablet during a strict block of time (usually from bedtime to breakfast). You will still be able to use the Fire Tablet at all times by signing into your own profile with your PIN, but your kids will be locked out.

That’s far from your only option, however. Browse back to the ‘Household Profiles’ section of the settings and you’ll see the option ‘Set daily goals & time limits’. Prod this to open up lots more restriction features.

In here you can setup different limitations for weekdays and weekends. Just click the tabs near the top of the screen to switch between the two. You can set an overall time limit for tablet use as well as for individual groups of apps, so little Timothy or Tina doesn’t spend five straight hours watching YouTube. Otherwise you have the goals settings, which restrict your kids from watching video or playing games until they’ve spent a certain amount of time reading or using educational apps.

You can also block access to any apps you don’t want them using at all, such as the web browser.

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