The new tools are designed to help parents manage their children’s screen time better

'Avoid the dreaded one-word response'

Amazon has added two new features to its Fire for Kids service, both of which are designed to help parents make conversation with their children.

Discussion Cards suggest a number of questions for parents to ask their children, based on the apps, books, videos and games they’ve been accessing on Amazon Fire for Kids.

Examples for Billionaire Boy, a story about the richest boy in the country’s struggle to make friends, include, “Why do you think people say that ‘the best things in life are free’?”

Discussion Cards also provide an easy-to-digest summary of content and offer up ideas for real-world family activities. 

As Len Spud, the father of the titular character, made his fortune through toilet roll, one of the activities suggested for parents of Billionaire Boy fans is, “Come up with some fun ideas for new inventions, just like Mr Spud’s toilet tissue in the book.” 

Amazon says Discussion Cards are available for “thousands of the most popular titles”, and has promised to keep adding more each day.

They sit within another new feature, called Parent Dashboard.

This delivers a daily report to parents, detailing all of the videos, books, apps, games and websites their children have accessed, as well as how many minutes they’ve spent on a particular title. 

It even explains how their behaviour may have changed over the course of a week, with Amazon saying all of this data helps parents understand how to manage their children’s screen time and daily education goals.

“As kids learn and play more independently with their tablets, we want to provide parents with more ways to join in that digital discovery,” said Kurt Beidler, the director of Amazon’s Kids & Family division. 

“Discussion Cards equip parents with information about an Amazon Fire for Kids book, video, educational app, or game their child is enjoying, and provide open-ended questions that parents can ask kids to spark conversations – and avoid the dreaded one-word response.”

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