They grow up so fast, don’t they? While your kid is growing like a weed, you are going to want to supplement their growing mind with as much education as possible, so they can become intelligent, and responsible young adults. A smart step you can take to facilitate that educational growth (as well as pacify them when they’re acting like tiny monsters) is with a tablet for kids.
While you’re seeking out the best kids tablet for your child, here are some things you should keep in mind:
- The best tablets for kids have unlimited access to educational content
- Kids’ tablets should have parental controls or account management capabilities
- Protective cases help your tablet last as long as possible
- Age should help you determine what tablet is best for your kid
There are options below such as the Leapfrog Epic or all the Amazon Fire Kids Edition tablets that are obviously tailored for children — and they are great choices. But if you have a kid who is, or is about to enter their teenage years, you might want to consider more adult options like the iPad Mini or one of Samsung’s many tablets. You can still manage profiles, and what they can access, it will just take a little more due diligence from you to set and monitor those parental controls.
Your kid is going to benefit from as much educational content you can toss their way. When you and your kid are ready for a top-rated tablet to help supplement their education, or simply let them watch Paw Patrol, check out our recommendations for the best tablets for kids below.
Amazon Fire 8 Kids Edition (2020)
Not much has changed from the previous year’s version, but it didn’t have to — the Fire 8 2019 edition was (and still is) the best tablet for kids. Now, you get a little bit more battery life, little better processing power and a year free of FreeTime Unlimited service. Oh, and let’s not forget two years of free replacements should anything happen to your Fire 8 Kids Edition. Yup, free replacements. That should take a bit of stress out of buying a new tablet for your child.
2. Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition
The Amazon Fire HD 10 offers a bigger screen for kids’ content, and a ton of parental controls for parents to manage how their children use the tablet. Parents can create screen limit times as well as set educational goals for their kids. And kids have access to over 20,000 apps, books, videos and even audiobooks. The tablet comes with a protective case to keep the tablet safe from . . . well, kids. It’s not only the safe choice, the Fire HD 10 is a smart choice.
3. Apple iPad (2020)
You think of the iPad as a premium tablet for adults, and you wouldn’t be wrong, but it’s also a great iPad for kids, too. We all know how easy iOS is to navigate. Everyone from kids to the elderly can navigate the simple iOS. But you can use your Apple ID to set parental controls for your kids to curb any unwanted digital behavior. And as they get older, the iPad will still be as useful and resourceful as ever.
4. Amazon Fire 8 (2020)
BEST NEW FIRE
When your kid is ready to graduate from the Fire 8 Kids’ Edition to a full-fledged Amazon Fire, they’ll have a powerful, speedy tablet with plenty of storage and entertainment. The Amazon Fire 2020 edition has 32GB or 64GB of storage depending on selection, and 2 GHz of processing power to open apps quickly and surf the web without interruption — and the kiddo will be able to surf all day with 12 hours of battery life (but don’t let them get too carried away now). But we only recommend this tablet for when you feel your kid is responsible enough.
5. Onn. Android Tablet (2020)
The Onn. Android tablet is a more affordable alternative to the Amazon Fire line of tablets. Onn. is Walmart’s house-technology brand, which makes budget-friendly TVs, tablets and other electronics. It might not be as “name brand” as the Amazon Fire, but there’s plenty to like including a crisp and sharp 8-inch display and overall speedy performance thanks to a quad-core CPU and 2GB of RAM. It runs a relatively stock version of Android 10 without a ton of bloatware and stuff you or your kid will never use. And best of all, the price is right.
6. Samsung Galaxy Tab A Kids Edition
ANDROID FOR KIDS
This right here is a Galaxy tablet with your kid’s safety at the forefront. With purchase, you get a free trial of Samsung Kids which features 10,000 + hours of kid-friendly content. You can also set timers to limit the youngster’s screen time. It’s made with a durable bumper around the edges to protect it from drops and bumps that are bound to happen. It’s a bit pricier than most, but a great stepping stone into the tablet world for your kids.
7. Amazon Kindle Kids Edition
Ok, so an e-reader isn’t necessarily a tablet, but if you have a little book worm on your hands, the Kindle For Kids is the perfect alternative to a tablet for kids. Encourage your kid to dive head-first into books with a year free subscription of FreeTime Unlimited which has thousands of titles. And as with the Fire 8 Kids Edition, it comes with a two-year warranty.
8. LeapFrog LeapPad Academy Tablet for Kids
BEST FOR THE YOUNG ONES
Kid’s stuff needs to be built like a tank. Thankfully, shatterproof glass and large protective bumpers help to reduce any accidental breaks. And with over 750 games, eBooks and other educational content, your child will have plenty to keep their little minds at work. This tablet is a great place to introduce technology to the young one and is specifically created for kids three to eight years old.
9. Lenovo Tab M10 Plus
With the ability to add multiple profiles to the M10, along with “Kid Mode,” you can adjust the parental settings on your kids’ profiles to keep them safe. There is even facial recognition on the tablet that can be used for multiple profiles, not only protecting your kids but the whole family if someone were to leave the tablet behind in a public place. It boasts a 10-inch screen that’s great for watching all types of content as well as storage expandable to 256 GB, so everyone can store what they want on the M10.
10. Apple iPad Mini
BEST FOR TEENAGERS
Not necessarily a “kids tablet,” although the Mini is compact and light enough for you to pack around, and for your kid to hold and operator with relative ease. Apple products are intuitive enough that even children understand how to navigate around, plus you can set restrictions to manage what your kids can access. And now with support from Apple Pencil, add a stylus into the mix and let your kid draw what’s on their mind. We recommend buying a case of course — Apple products are expensive.
11. Samsung Galaxy Tab 7
FOR KIDS 10 AND UP
When your kids get a little older and more responsible, and you feel you can trust them with an adult tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 is a solid offering to send along with them to junior high. It’s fast, sleek, lightweight and portable. And it has a great display for school use. It is expensive, so make sure that your kid is ready for the responsibility.
12. Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet
BUDGET AMAZON FIRE
If you’re really hunting for an Amazon Fire Kids Edition tablet, but you’re worried about spending too much money for a device for your youngster, consider the Fire 7. It’s a smaller screen, but it’s cheaper than both the 8 and 10. Plus, you still get a year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited. And it comes with a protective case to keep it safe from even the most careless of spills.
13. Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8
This can serve as a pretty decent kids’ tablet, as long as you’re willing to find some parental control software to download on your own, which Android has an abundance of. Speaking of the Google Play store, there are a countless number of educational apps you can flood the tablet with for your kids. Really, this is an adult tablet, but with a little bit of work, you can tailor it to be an educational wonder for your kids.
The Best Tablets for Kids: What You Need to Know
That is tricky to answer because everyone’s situation is different, as are every child’s needs. But as a general guideline, the American Association of Pediatrics says that you should avoid exposing children to tablets before they’re 18 months, actively participate in their screen time until they’re two or three years old, and supervise their screen time after that.
Again, this is dependent on a child’s needs, but as rule of thumb, the AAP says an hour a day of “high-quality programming” is an appropriate amount of screen time to start with for kids between two and five years of age.
After that, it’s up to the best judgment of the parent, but it’s generally recommended by multiple organizations, such as the American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, to limit screen use in the bedroom, at the dinner table, during homework and during family time.
When we’re talking about the best tablets for kids, we’re broadly considering devices intended for ages 3-6. As such there are a few features you’ll want to look for.
- A kid-friendly interface: This is two-fold. You want the interface to be easy enough to use that a child isn’t constantly confused by it, but also designed in a way that isn’t deceptive, addictive or exploitative.
- Solid parental controls: As mentioned earlier, screen time should be closely supervised with kids younger than six. Luckily, there are tools to both ensure that your kids aren’t looking at things they shouldn’t be, and also to monitor the things they are looking at. On top of that, the best kid’s tablets have management software that allows you to restrict when and how they spend their screen time.
- A good app store: The best kids tablets need more than just great hardware and an amazing OS. They need content in the form of apps, games and video, preferably . But on top of that, you probably want that content to have some educational or developmental value.
- Durability: Kids and electronics can be a potentially catastrophic combination, and tablets aren’t always the most durable devices to start with. This is why the best tablets for kids are generally designed to handle all of the drops, spills and other accidents that come its way.
Given that these are young children who primarily use these devices, they don’t need to be overpowered. But still, nobody, not even a child wants to deal with a device that is laggy, unresponsive and hard to read. As such, we think you should look for a tablet with these (approximate) specs:
- A display between seven and 10 inches with a resolution that is at least 1200x800.
- 32 GB of storage.
- 2 GB of RAM.
- 10 hours of battery life.