Many modern parents turn to technology these days when it comes to easing the load of child-rearing. As much as I’d like to give them my full attention the entire day, it’s just not possible to juggle work, house chores, and activities for the kids. all at once.
Today’s fast-paced, high-demand lifestyle means that in many households, most of the time, both parents hold either full-time or part-time jobs. This leaves parents exhausted and short of time, so much so that there is hardly any energy or moment left to think of or prepare activities that can stimulate and entertain children.
This situation may leave children bored, uninspired, and more prone to creating mischief out of their boredom, especially if they crave attention or stimulation.
Most parents make use of handheld devices like their cellphones or tablets. They may give their own handheld device to their kids and play a few nursery rhyme videos on YouTube to pacify their kids for a few minutes.
This often proves to be quite effective as it seems to keep most children still and quiet.
The downside to these devices is that they are not kid-friendly and might even pose some risks if used unsupervised.
The good news is that there are tablets nowadays that are made specifically for kids with child-safety and educational features that will safely entertain and stimulate learning in your children.
A few things to look for in a kids tablet before making your purchase
As with all things concerning children, safety is a paramount concern amongst most, if not all, parents. As adults, we know how important it is to tread lightly when exploring new things on the internet.
Unfortunately, kids do not have the same sense of precaution. This is why it is important for the tablet you choose to have safety features like timers and parental controls to keep them away from harm as they use their new gadgets.
This way, you can rest at ease or run your errands without worrying about your child while they enjoy themselves.
Like many of their favorite toys, you can expect a lot of rough handling from kids when it comes to their tablets. This is why you might want to double-check your chosen unit for durability.
You’ll want to look up reviews and specs to see how a particular tablet fares when being handled by little hands.
Sometimes, you can tell by the look itself if the tablet you’re eyeing is sturdy enough by how thick its boundaries are, whether or not it comes with a case, how its accessories look, or how the buttons are built.
3. Educational value
Any parent would want their kid to learn something with the purchase of a new toy. The same principle applies when purchasing a tablet. You would like something that entertains your kids and provides value to the time they spend on the screen.
Imagine the delight you would feel if your child learns a new word or sings a new rhyme to you after practicing it on the tablet a couple of times.
Fortunately, most kids’ tablets are made with educational songs, books, and videos so that kids can pass the time while learning something new along the way.
Our top 5 picks
Below are the five top-selling and top-rated Kid Tablets available online:
1. Learning Pad/Fun Phone with 6 Toddler Learning Games (18 Months to 6-Year-Old)
- A great faux tablet for very young kids. Pediatricians generally do not recommend screens for children below two years old. So if you have a very curious yearling who constantly reaches for your tablet and throws a fit if you don’t give in, this is definitely a great solution.
- It definitely has a tablet-like appearance, except that it is completely made out of plastic, so it can safely slip off those little fingers without incurring serious damage.
- Even if it can’t switch screens as a normal tablet would, it is definitely interactive since it has several buttons that make sounds and music.
- Your little one can learn about numbers, letters, songs, and stories.
- Not an actual tablet. If a real tablet is what you’re looking for your child, this might not be it. While it may be wonderful for younger kids, older kids may not enjoy it as much since it is more of a toy or a “pretend tablet” than an actual electronic gadget that you can switch screens and enjoy more sophisticated features.
- Also, since it is made out of plastic, it may get crispy over time with extended use, especially if you have a kid who enjoys throwing or banging objects, although a real tablet would go down a lot faster in such situations.
2. LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition
- It grows with your child. This tablet comes installed with its own program so you get a full set of educational apps your child can start with right off the box. Later on, as your kid grows out of the pre-installed programs, you can install new and more challenging ones through Amazon Apps so they can catch up with age-appropriate applications that would be more to their liking.
- You can also download movies through Amazon Prime or watch through Netflix, so it can be an added source of entertainment for prolonged periods such as long trips or busy days where you need your child to keep still for quite some time.
- Another important feature of this tablet is that it comes with excellent parental controls. You have control over which apps they can have access to and for how long they can access it. Beyond their allowed access, it will not work at all.
- If you do give unlimited access to your kid with this tablet, it can go for as long as six hours before dying out.
- It’s not quite the battery life of a regular tablet, but for something that constantly runs apps and videos, it is quite a decent battery life span.
- Not for kids younger than pre-k. Initially, when you get this tablet, it comes equipped with basic Leapfrog Academy apps. However, these apps are mostly for children at least 3 years old. Younger children may not take to it so you would be better off holding off on your purchase for the meantime while your kid is still toddling around.
- Another thing you may notice is that it has limitations to applications since it is only able to download apps from the Amazon App store and videos from Amazon Prime. Other platforms like Google are not supported so you may encounter some restrictions.
3. Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet, 8″ HD Display
- Tens of thousands of books, movies, games, apps, and shows are all at your fingertips. Your kid will surely enjoy this for a long time since it gives unlimited access to all these resources.
- It also comes enclosed in a child-safe case, ensuring that clumsy little hands would not be an issue. The case has its own built-in stand to let your child enjoy shows or movies hands-free.
- Its two-year warranty guarantees that you get your money’s worth and ensures a high-quality product overall.
- 32 gigabytes worth of storage lets you download a sizable amount of apps and videos.
- At the end of the day, it is still a kid’s tablet and it costs a lot cheaper than a regular tablet so you can expect that not all of its specs are at par with an adult gadget.
- Its sound and video quality may not be that refined or high-definition and its camera is definitely on the lower spectrum.
- Also, you can only play or download apps and videos through Amazon, which is a bit restrictive considering that Google and Apple provide a broader range of options.
4. Dragon Touch Y88X Pro 7-inch Kids Tablets
- Disney fans young and old can rejoice with this tablet since it comes with Disney storybooks and audiobooks which are sure to entertain your kids for hours on end with stimulating stories that are close to their hearts.
- This is also a great advantage for parents whose kids want an endless storytime during your bedtime routine. Reading popular Disney stories like Frozen for the 4th time tonight won’t be as exhausting since you got an audiobook to cover for you.
- It is also enclosed in its own tablet case so clumsy little handlers won’t be a problem.
- Your kiddo gets to pick between vibrant green, hot pink, or fresh blue case, so you can match the color according to their personality.
- The battery life in this tablet is not too impressive at only 3 hours. Some parents even report a shorter life span when in active use, and a few others complain that the battery drains out even when not in use.
- While you’re not supposed to leave your kids to use the tablet for so many hours in a day, you’d surely still want to at least maintain good battery life in case you need to run a long errand and keep your kiddo entertained.
5. Samsung Galaxy Tab A Kids Edition 8”, 32GB Wifi Tablet
- This is definitely a tablet built for students. It is a real quality tablet with all the perks of an adult tablet but made especially for kids.
- What sets it apart from other kids’ tablets is that it has a battery life of a whopping nine hours.
- It also has that big-kid look that is simply perfect for school-aged kids and up since it supports common core curriculums and STEM.
- It also has unlimited three-month access to Samsung Kids and has an expandable 8GB memory of up to 36GB through a micro SD card.
- Still, the internet is not a completely safe place even for bigger kids. That is why this tablet still comes equipped with parental controls that let you set a time limit, put boundaries to categories of apps that your child can access, and even monitor how your kids are doing with the tablet.
- A big plus with this tablet’s safety feature is that it does not allow ads and in-app purchases, especially since big kids are going to handle it and might surprise you with unwanted added cost.
- Compared to other kids’ tablets, you may notice the small internal storage that this one has. It is definitely expandable through a memory card, but many apps don’t go into external memory.
- Therefore, you might end up easily eating up what little memory you have after downloading a few apps.
- Also, you must be a bit ware when giving this tablet to younger kids since the case it is enclosed in is a bit thinner and lighter than other kids’ tablets. It wouldn’t fare well with impact compared to other kids’ tablets with thicker cases. You might want to consider purchasing a separate additional case that is much thicker if you think your kid may need it.
Verdict on the top 5 picks
We picked 5 of the hottest kids tablets on the market right now. If that’s still too many options for you, let’s make it even easier to pick. I’d personally narrow down the choice to depend on the age of my child.
Best kids tablets and accessories for specific needs
Sometimes a straightforward tablet just won’t cut it for your child. Maybe you have a child with special needs, and they need extra help to use a tablet to its best advantage.
Or perhaps you have a budding artist who needs a little push to further bloom their talent. Or maybe an avid and mature reader who might quickly get bored with kids stuff after a while.
The good news is that several products meet specific needs to solve your dilemma and cater to your child’s unique talent and personality. Here are some of the hottest kids’ tablet-related items that you might want to check out.
Best for kids with dyslexia
Reading can be such a chore for some kids. That is why, early on, parents are encouraged to ignite the love for books and reading through activities like bedtime stories.
Unfortunately, while reading is a chore for some, it can be a nightmare for others. That is the struggle that kids with dyslexia have to face constantly.
However, thanks to technologies like Kindle, reading has become more manageable for kids with dyslexia.
Kindle is powered with immersion reading that is synced with a text’s audio version so that as a text is read in audio, the text read on the screen is highlighted.
This mechanism is similar to a parent pointing to a word as it is being read, facilitating better recognition of the shape and identification of letters.
You can read more about how homeschooling parents use Kindle to help dyslexic kids learn to read better here.
For multiple special needs
Multi-Sensory TacScreen Learning Screen
Another accessory you can add to your tablet is a multi-sensory screen. It is multi-use in a sense that it is not only great for kids with dyslexia but also other special needs like ADHD, Dysgraphia, Autism, and limited cognitive function.
The TacScreen is a bumpy film that attaches to your kid’s table screen and provides tactile stimulation with its built-in bumps.
Kids with sensory problems might have difficulty swiping on a squeaky glass surface, so the rough patch that the TacScreen provides is a welcome relief.
There have been lots of credible positive feedback on the TacScreen. They come from childhood development experts and special education teachers that swear by the profound effect it has had on a child’s willingness to learn and practice.
Grows with your child
Fire HD 10 Kids Edition Tablet
As mentioned by the Top 5 Verdict above, there is a certain age divide when it comes to tablets for kids. However, as a parent, especially if you are budget-conscious, you would want something that can generally last them their entire childhood, or at least up until they reach school age.
The smaller Amazon Fire and LeapFrog models can be a bit limiting and too baby-friendly for bigger kids. On the other hand, the Samsung A8 or the iPad mini is too “grown-up” and too expensive to hand over to a three-year-old.
The in-betweener in these tablet models is probably the Amazon Fire HD 10. It is still very much a kid’s tablet with tight parental controls, kid-friendly apps from Amazon, and a thick bumper protector. You can easily transition it into a big kid’s tablet because of its heavy-duty specs.
It comes with an octa-core processor, 32GB of internal storage, a full HD screen for quality viewing, and 12 hours of battery life. On top of that, its full size is less kiddie than its smaller counterparts.
Best for drawing or sketching
Wacom Intuos Draw
The perfect starting tool for any budding digital artist, the Wacom Intuos Draw is like a replacement for your mouse and mouse pad.
If your child has access to a Mac or PC with drawing software, they can use the pad with its pen to create their masterpiece without limits.
With this drawing tablet, you won’t need an entire arsenal of art supplies. It acts as a drawing canvass, and the pen can create pencil, paint, pen, and brush strokes.
The pen is pressure-sensitive, and the tablet is responsive, so your child can still learn to make darker marks with light touches and lighter marks with soft strokes.
iskn The Slate 2+ Pencil & Paper Graphic Tablet
If your child is a hardcore fan of pencil and paper and you would like to encourage it further but want to inspire them by keeping digital copies of their work, The Slate is just the right tool for you. All you have to do is attach paper onto The Slate and pen down anything you want.
Your child can use papers of up to 7mm thick using their favorite pencils, and the tablet will still pick up their beautiful drawing.
Afterward, you can easily save and transport your child’s work into digital images. The great thing about The Slate is that you can pair it with any device or use it as a stand-alone when you are out and about.
Best for educational purposes
Amazon Fire Kids Edition Collection
Amazon has made an entire tablet collection that is fit for the whole family. What’s great about them is that they built an entire kid-friendly assortment of tablets for children: the Fire7 kids edition, Fire HD8 kids edition, and Fire HD10 kids edition. It only goes to show that they are dedicated to cater to their younger customers too.
The kids edition tablets have FreeTime Unlimited, where you and your kids can choose from over 20,000 books, movies, TV shows, apps, and games. The inclusions in the FreeTime Unlimited content with the Amazon Fire kids edition are all kid-friendly and safe.
They doubled up the safety of their kids tablets with a full assortment of child-friendly content and a broad option for parental controls.
The content has options for age ranges for children between 3 to 5, 6 to 8, and 9 to 12. The kids edition Fire tablet is surely made to last your kid’s entire childhood.
To ensure quality child-friendly content, Amazon Fire has paired up with some of the most trusted names when it comes to entertainment for kids: Disney, Nickelodeon, Sesame Street, PBS Kids, and Cartoon Network.
LeapPad from Leap Frog Academy
The LeapPad is surely built especially for kids and with kids in mind. The company makes learning tablets that are appropriate for children ages 3 to 8.
Their learning tablets come pre-loaded with a couple of educator-approved applications that tackle different learning subjects such as math, reading, writing, creativity, and problem-solving.
As your child graduates from the pre-loaded apps, the company offers plenty more from their selection of higher-level learning applications.
The great thing about the LeapPad is that you can also download and purchase android apps, which exponentially expands your child’s choices when it comes to entertainment, activity, and education.
Best Android tablets
Samsung Galaxy Kids
With great graphics and processor performance, the Samsung kids’ tablet takes the top spot among the best android tablets for kids. As with other non-kid Samsung tablets, their kids’ edition boasts of durability and long battery life.
Lenovo Tab M8
Its comfortable 8-inch size is just right for little hands. At the same time, its full metal back makes it more sturdy and more durable than other mini android tablets.
You can easily pair it with a rubber case for extra protection against bumps or falls, and you can also add in a screen guard to prevent it from scratches and cracks.
Like the Samsung model, the Lenovo Tab M8 has a battery life that can last all day for prolonged use.
What is indeed unique about this model is that it cares for the eyes. Its screen is built to emit lower levels of harmful blue light, which can cause eye strain and early damage to young eyes.
Because it is an android tablet, first and foremost, you have instant access to the familiar Android apps you love as well as Google and all of its extensions. Younger kids can use it for fun and entertainment, while older kids can use it for school and research.
Dragon Touch Y88X Pro
THe Y88X comes pre-installed with ebooks and audiobooks from Disney that your little one will surely love. What’s more, it gives you and your kids unlimited access to an endless array of Android-friendly and kid-friendly apps through KIDOZ.
Don’t be deceived by its dainty appearance because it is built tough enough to withstand rough handling by clumsy little hands. It is made for kids between 2 to 10 years, so your little one can enjoy it for a long time. Siblings of varying ages can also share it.
What’s more, the Y88X is not just a kid’s tablet but also a fully-functioning android tablet that can give you full access to Google services such as Gmail, YouTube, Drive, Maps, and the Play Store. It really is a tablet for the whole family.
Having a tablet is an excellent opportunity for kids to explore the use of technology. It also gives them educational input at the touch of their fingertips. I personally love how kid-customed tablets like those made by LeapFrog are so child-friendly and educational.
On top of being a learning tool, tablets made especially for kids give parents the peace of mind they need to handle other responsibilities while their kids are learning and growing safely.