Tired of handing over your iPad so your child can watch reruns of their favorite shows? Wish that you, too, could play endless games on your tablet during that long flight, but know that you’d better give that tablet to your child first, lest the entire plane loathe your family?
Why still share a tablet with your child when you don’t have to? Today, you can find tablets on the market that suit children of all ages, with durable hardware, educational components and safeguards to watch over what they’re doing online or prevent them from getting online completely). You no longer have to fear giving your child yet another screen.
A kid-friendly tablet can be just the thing to keep your child entertained and keep you sane all at the same time— without having to sacrifice your own tech in the process.
But how do you go about picking the perfect tablet for your child? To help you choose, we’ve pulled together a list of the 10 best kids’ tablets.
Things To Consider As You Make Your Choice
Before you begin shopping around for a tablet of your child, you might want to stop and consider a few things. You want this tablet to last, right? And you definitely don’t want to spend tons of money on a piece of tech that’s going to meet a horrendous, screen-cracked fate days after you place it in your child’s eager hands. On the flip side, you also want to make sure the tablet is sophisticated enough to meet your child’s needs and grow along with them (and their maturity level).
So, before you add that tablet to your online shopping cart, here are a few things to consider.
How durable should my child’s tablet be?
The answer to this question will differ based on your child’s maturity level and age. If you have a toddler or preschool-age child, then they’ll likely need a tablet with a little more padding. Look for a tablet with a rubber, plastic or otherwise tough and resilient case.
For older children, though, even if you think they’re not quite mature enough to protect a high-dollar piece of tech, you likely want to steer clear of any bright, colorful, bulky tablet cases. If they think the tablet looks too “babyish,” they’re just more likely to continue stealing your tablet instead.
Is my child old enough for a tablet?
As you peruse our list of the best tablets for children, you’ll see that some are rated suitable for children as young as 12 months. However, it is worth noting that the American Academy of Pediatrics advises avoiding screen time for children under 18 months of age. Beyond that, some screen time is okay, so long as it’s limited (the Academy also advises limiting screen time to one hour per day until your child is five years old). If you think a tablet is the best way for your child to get in that screen time, it’s your call.
Overall, don’t make the assumption that all screen time is bad for children. It can be very educational and enriching when monitored properly.
What kind of parental controls does a tablet come with?
When purchasing a piece of technology for any child, parental controls are a must. You don’t want to risk your child’s safety just because they balk at the idea of mom and dad being able to see all of their browser history.
Look for tablets with built-in controls that can help you access things like tablet history and usage. For younger children, you may want a tablet that allows you to block off certain websites or apps. For the youngest children in the family, you may even want a table that doesn’t even offer WiFi access at all.
How much storage space does my child need?
In general, kids don’t need that much storage space or the latest, greatest internal specs. However, if you frequently travel or your kids are spending a lot of time in the car or elsewhere, it might be prudent to go with an option with plenty of storage space for downloads. This ensures they’ll have something to watch and keep them occupied, even if the WiFi goes out.
What kind of battery life does my child need?
In a word, lots. You know your child isn’t likely to remember to charge their first tablet, and if you find yourself in a stressful situation, such as on a long commute, the last thing you want is for your child’s tablet to die in the middle of Paw Patrol. So, more battery life is better.
Will your child be using the tablet for school?
Lastly, you’ll want to consider whether or not your child will be using their tablet for any schoolwork. If so, you want to ensure that the tablet can run all of the apps their school uses to assign and complete homework.
Ready to start shopping? Here are our 11 favorite tablets for kids.
Tablets for Toddlers
These tablets are great for the littles in your family.
For the youngest children in your family — think preschool and younger — this tablet from AILA is just the thing. It’s completely unlike any tablet you’d buy for yourself, as it’s made with education and kid-friendliness in mind. In fact, some of the preloaded, kid-friendly content is even rated suitable for 1-year-olds. There are frequently updated lessons, games, entertainment and easy functions, but no internet access.
Think of it as baby’s first tablet.
Another toddler-friendly option, the LeapFrog LeapPad Academy Tablet is incredibly educational, offering all kinds of content to help little minds grow (and as your child exhausts the tablet’s initial content and needs new challenges, the tablet provides that new content to keep things interesting).
Beyond the LeapFrog content, there’s also a kid-friendly web browser, front and back cameras, Bluetooth capabilities and storage. The battery life isn’t as great as what you’ll find with some of the other tablets on our list, at seven hours, but it’s enough to get you through the day. Just don’t forget to charge it.
Tablets for Elementary-Age Kids
For the school-agers who are balancing a whole new way to learn, check out these tablets for elementary-age kiddos.
For tablets made exclusively for kids, look to Amazon. The brand’s Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet is great for younger kids who need a protective case that can stand up to bumps, scratches, drops, wear and tear. Plus, with a 10-hour battery life and a large screen, it’s great for long car rides or flights. It even comes with a two-year warranty that keeps you covered no matter what kind of shenanigans your child ends up in.
The tablet features lots of great parental controls, allowing parents to block purchases and limit screen time. The tablet also comes with an Amazon Kids+ subscription, which features lots of kid-friendly media and educational apps, so you don’t even need to worry about what your child is finding on Netflix while your back is turned.
If you think the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Tablet is a little too bulky and kid-geared for your elementary-age child, you might want to upgrade them to the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro Tablet. This option is a bit sleeker and thinner, so it doesn’t look so much like a toy. It also allows for web surfing and streaming, as well as a great picture quality. Child users can feel like the big kid or Mom or Dad while using it (but still take advantage of all the great programming via the included one-year Amazon Kids+ subscription, which doesn’t come with Amazon’s Fire tablets for adults).
If you know your child just cannot be trusted with anything that costs more than $100, you might go with the Pritom tablet. It’s less than $80 and is outfitted with Android capabilities and, for the price, is a steal.
It comes preloaded with kid-friendly apps, and the parental controls allow you to fine-tune your child’s experience — including blocking usage after a certain amount of daily screen time. Whether your child wants to watch hours of toy unboxing videos on YouTube or they want to play their favorite games, this tablet allows it on the cheap.
If you have a hunch your child will end up using their tablet for more reading than watching YouTube videos and the like, consider going with an e-reader instead of a traditional tablet. The Amazon Kindle Kids Edition comes with the Amazon Kids+ platform, just like Amazon’s kid-geared tablets, to give them access to family-friendly content, but it also allows you to add both audiobooks and library books to your child’s Kindle.
Tablets for Preteens and Teens
As your child gets older, their technology should get an upgrade, too. These picks are perfect for your young adult.
If you think your child is mature enough to use their tablet with fewer parental controls, you might want to consider an Apple iOS product. Just keep in mind that you likely don’t want to buy the biggest and best (and most expensive) new iPad for your 12-year-old. Kids are still kids, after all, and while you might trust your child not to drop the iPad in the pool, that doesn’t mean their friend won’t.
So, to save you the heartache that would result from a child dropping a $1,000 tablet into five feet of water, consider the more affordable Apple iPad mini, the best iPad for preteens. At under $500, it’s still a bit of a splurge, but a more palatable one for older children — especially if they’ll be using the tablet for schoolwork.
Does your preteen or teen love the idea of an Apple iPad, but your budget just can’t afford it right now?
Consider the much more affordable Samsung Tab A7 Lite Android tablet. At under $200, it comes with all the features and functions that a teen wants, such as access to an app store, social media apps, streaming apps and more. Just note that the parental controls are somewhat lacking, so this is really an option that’s best suited to the trusted teen.
The hardware for this tablet is impressive, too, with up to 64 GB of storage (depending on what version you buy) and 13 hours of battery life.
Yes, the iPod still exists! If you want to give your child something that’s not quite an iPhone, not quite a tablet, the Apple iPod Touch fits the bill.
At under $200, it’s affordable, and it comes with all the functionality a preteen might need for enjoying apps, games, social media and a bit of web browsing. Again, you can expect all of the parental controls that normally come with Apple products, so just keep that in mind as you decide on what tablet is the best fit for your child.
Much like Samsung and Apple, Lenovo makes tablets that are for, technically, adults-only, but this option could be a good pick for your preteen or older child. At a great price, small screen size and admirable parental control options, as well as a splash-proof screen, it checks a lot of boxes when you’re shopping for a tablet that won’t embarrass your older kids.
Picking the Perfect Piece of Tech, from Toddlers to Teens
Outfitting your child with their first (or a later) gadget is never easy. You want to do what’s right for your child while also enabling them to explore the world and have a little fun, too. When it comes to picking a tablet, though, if you take your child’s needs and maturity level into consideration, you should have no problem picking an option that they’ll love and that you can feel good about, too.
You might also be interested in: mSpy Review [Everything You Need To Know About Cell Phone Tracking]
10 Best Tablets for Kids:
- Animal Island AILA Sit & Play Preschool Learning System
- LeapFrog LeapPad Academy Tablet
- The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition
- Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro Tablet
- Pritom 7-Inch Kids Tablet
- Amazon Kindle Kids Edition
- Apple iPad min
- Samsung Tab A7 Lite
- Apple iPod Touch
- Lenovo TAB3 7 Essential Tablet