In Our Summer Suitcase

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Remember the days when travel meant lounging on the beach with a good book? When you travel with little kids it is nearly impossible to get into a good book on the beach. Between applying sunblock, watching them near the water and making sure everyone is happy—who has time to read? But if I am not making reading a priority—my kids won’t either. I found that setting the example always works. If my kids see me doing it—they’ll be more inclined to do it, too. I have started reading more books on my device! Since we are always on-the-go it’s hard to lug around books for everyone, so I have been loading up our tablets with plenty of reading for the kids.

Whether we are doing school drop offs and pick-ups all the way uptown and back downtown, heading to the grandparents on the weekends, quick road trips in the car or big trips on planes and boats—we are on-the-move a lot. There are only so many snacks and eye-spy games we can play before I bring out the big guns—digital distraction- but these days the kids are hardly zoning out! They are reading and loving every minute of it!

Gemma absolutely loves reading, and has now joined her brother and sister in finding fun and exciting adventure books to read. We also like to travel light so being able to load the tablet with books and other fun reading games is key.

Our go-to tablet for the kids is an Amazon Fire Kids Edition tablet. The 8” display is large enough for viewing movies and videos but compact enough for travel and there are kid-proof cases in fun colors. With an Amazon FreeTime Unlimited subscription there are so many educational games and books for the kids to read that I feel much less guilty handing it over. I actually encourage it.

Amazon FreeTime Unlimited is an all-in-one subscription that gives kids access to thousands of kid-friendly books, movies, TV shows, educational apps, and games. The Parent Dashboard is pretty amazing and allows us parents create up to four profiles with age filters, time limits (MAJOR!) and category restrictions. We can also set educational goals. I love that my kids can only access the fun content once they have met their educational goals.

With the Parent Dashboard we basically control everything, you can even remotely pause the device—a digital dream come true! We can monitor how much time our kids spend reading, we also get to read summaries of each book with Discussion Cards listing questions and activity ideas. Reading is so much more fun when it can be a group activity and it helps them with their comprehension and storytelling.

I am currently packing for a weekend trip and you can bet that our Amazon Fire Kids Edition tablets will be in each of my kids carry-on bags! Would love to hear some of your children’s favorite reads in the comments below!

photography by Lauren Kara

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18 thoughts on “In Our Summer Suitcase”

  1. Having access to all of those books and programs sounds awesome. These are going to be super nice for car rides and vacations!

  2. Oh wow. I’ve never heard of this before but I wish they had these when my daughter was little. I’m definitely letting my family members with young kids know about it though. The kids can have fun and the parents can feel safe in what the kids are doing.

  3. Those tablets look great. Looks like they have some good apps on there too. Love the covers for them, they’re beautiful colors.

  4. What a great idea you have come up here. I guess it’s almost difficult to stay kids away from their gadgets all the time. I think many parents will also consider this.

  5. I love to read and so do my children. My son loves to read anything to do with cars. When my daughter was younger she enjoyed the Harry Potter series.

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