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Using Technology to Minimize: Kindles for Christmas

Christmas always comes with challenges in the gift-giving arena.

What do we give those closest to us that doesn’t clutter up their lives or cause a burden to them?

We have greatly reduced the amount of toys that we have when I got rid of the toys and we’ve been very careful about bringing any more into our home.

The kids do much better without a lot of toys. Today, for example, along with home school, they built themselves new “bedrooms” from some boxes, made a bunch of “people” from our large duplo set and helped me cook in the kitchen. These things have taken up their entire day.

This year, my husband and I have decided to get them kindles for Christmas. Click here to buy a Kindle Fire. I’m not big on screen time at all. But I’ve discovered that we can seriously cut back on the amount of home school supplies and paper we need to keep around, if we move to technology.

So, for my younger kids (ages 5 and 6) we are getting kindle fires. Most of it’s use will be in school related activities, but I know they will enjoy having their own “computer” to work on, especially while mama works on hers. Being a blogger, this is something I do frequently, and they are always trying to emulate my work.

  • Kindles come with a great app: Free Time, for controlling time limits. Which means that the child can sign on and the kindle locks them out of programs I don’t want them using.
  • We can purchase school related programs that don’t require space in the house.
  • One thing I really like, is that I can purchase the app once and it will work on both of the kindles at the same time.
  • Books- I can store their reading books on the kindle, which means we don’t have to fight to keep bookshelves clean (which is a good thing, considering I don’t have any!) and books put away.
  • Video games- if this goes the way I’m hoping, we’ll be able to get rid of our video game console and all the games, meaning it will definitely clean up our TV cabinet! AND the kindle games will probably all be educational. Score!

We limit screen time already, so it’s not something that is argued over. Right now they get 20 minutes of “video game time”, so bringing electronics into school activities is going to be a pretty serious highlight for them. Since they already know our screen-time boundaries, we’ll just set new ones with the kindles and school related activities.

I don’t expect the kindles to get rid of all our school projects (they still need to learn to use a pencil!) and I know a big highlight will be that they can play their “video game time” on their kindles.

For the older kids (and mom and dad) we are getting a year membership to our local YMCA. I will have stockings with a few things: new toothbrush, homemade lip balm and some healthy snacks. And that’s it. We limit our gifts and we try to keep Christmas simple and just enjoy each other, our traditions and help those around us as much as possible.

Click here to buy your own Kindle Fire.


About the author, Rachel

Hi there! I’m Rachel Jones, and I founded Nourishing Minimalism in 2012 at the beginning of my minimalist journey. If you're looking for encouragement in your journey, I go live in my FREE Facebook Groups every weekday- feel free to join me there: Nourishing Minimalism Facebook Group


  1. Eleanor James on 12/11/2013 at 1:32 AM

    I really love your approach to Christmas! I’ve only had the iPad tablet, but I’m contemplating the kindle after reading your post. My toddler is nearly three, but can already write the alphabet by tracing letters with her finger and plays a couple interactive games/books, and does the bulk of her drawing on the iPad (she could not care less about crayons, sadly). Is the cost why you’ve chosen the kindle or other reasons too? Would love your input. 🙂

    • Rachel on 12/11/2013 at 2:56 PM

      A friend of mine has kindles for her kids, and I was able to see/play with them to figure out how they work, how the kids did with them and just get familiar with it.
      So, not a seriously researched based decision. 🙂
      It also seemed easier than the Nook my older son has and I’m already quite familiar with Amazon.

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