With the Christmas season around the corner, many kids will be fortunate enough to open a shiny new Kindle Fire. The excitement over getting a device that is so adult-like is probably huge, and they are anxious to download content. Before you can do that though, you’ll have to establish an Amazon account. There are a few things you’ll want to consider before you get started.
Take a minute to read through our guide for Kindle for Kids
Should you have separate or shared Kindle Accounts?
Parents that already own a Kindle of their own already have an account established with Amazon that allows them to purchase books directly from the device. In order to do this, you must have the 1-click Buying option activated and attached to a form of payment. You can imagine that this could cause a problem if your child suddenly goes on a buying spree.
This can be managed by deactivating any credit cards attached to the account and then establishing the 1-click buy option with a gift card. The adult will then have to enter the cc billing information anytime a purchase is made and you don’t want to use the gift card balance.
Kindle Parental Controls
There is no parental control check box on the Kindle device itself, or in the Kindle store. That can be a big problem.
If you choose to simply add another Kindle device to your current account, another problem can pop up. All of the content that you currently own in your library, and anything you buy in the future, will be visible and readable on your kids Kindle as well. For instance, if you have purchased any romance novels (or other ‘adult’ books), they will show up in their library on their Kindle as well. On the other hand, if the two of you like to read the same Young Adult books, it could be a plus because you wouldn’t have to buy the book twice or use your one lending option.
Thinking long term though, once your child matures to an age when you don’t need or want to share an account, those books will stay in your library. They won’t be able to take them and shelve those books in their library like they would be able to take a physical book.
How to set up a child with their own account?
Amazon’s official policy
Amazon.com does not sell products for purchase by children. We sell children’s products for purchase by adults. If you are under 18, you may use Amazon.com only with the involvement of a parent or guardian.
So how do you set up an Amazon kindle for kids account? Lie about their age? No, that is not recommended! The best way to go about this is to create another account in your name. Amazon doesn’t let you create two accounts with the same email address, so you will have to use a secondary email for this account. They are perfectly okay with you having two accounts, as long as you submit two different emails. You may have to initially connect this account to a credit card, but then you can switch it over to use only the gift card balance. This way, you have control over how much is being spent.
What you don’t have control over in any option is the content that is searchable and downloadable. If you have been looking for the Kindle Parental Controls option, you won’t find it because it isn’t there. However, you won’t be completely clueless as to the books they are reading. As soon as a purchase is made, there is a receipt sent to the email address that is registered to the account. From this you can remotely monitor the books they are downloading to their Kindle.
If you do find that a purchase of theirs is unacceptable, you do have the option to return it. Simply contact Amazon within 7 days of the purchase. Once the refund is issued, you will not be able to read the book any longer. It will disappear from your Kindle library.
This option also makes it easy for the kid to truly ‘own’ the ebooks that they have purchased forever. When they turn 18, it is easy enough to simply change the email address on the account. Then you won’t be forever monitoring the books they read on the Kindle.