We selected the best tablet for kids by targeting durability, age appropriateness, parental controls, hardware specifications, and battery life. Depending on your child’s age, durability and age appropriateness are going to be the two biggest factors as purchasing a tablet with too many advanced features or a more fragile design will render it impractical for daily use. Next parental controls help you to limit your child’s screen time and their exposure to questionable content. And finally, hardware specifications and battery life will dictate how effective your child’s tablet is at keeping them entertained on long road trips or flights.
Because of the above, we selected the Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet as our Top Pick. While it wasn’t as impressive in terms of storage or battery life as compared to the other items in our guide, it comes standard with a protective oversized case, built-in parental controls, access to the Amazon FreeTime network, and the ability to expand the memory up to 512GB with an external MicroSD card.
Top 4 Best Tablet for Kids
#1 Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet
Award: Top Pick
WHY WE LIKE IT: A simplified kid-friendly version of the popular Amazon Kindle Fire tablet that comes with a sturdy protective case, includes a complimentary year of AmazonFree and ample storage.
It can be nerve-wracking for parents as they begin to let their children independently use tech gear. Even under supervision, it’s easy for children to damage electronics or accidentally stumble onto questionable content. Amazon’s popular Kindle Fire offers a kid-friendly version of their Fire 7 Edition with our Top Pick selection. While this model offers the lowest battery life (7 hours) and smaller built-in storage (16GB) as compared to our other picks, there’s still plenty to love for the budding tech enthusiast in your home.
This seven-inch display tablet gives you the freedom to expand that to 512GB with an external MicroSD card. But you’ll also like that it comes with a sturdy tablet cover with a built-in stand and wide edges that are designed for little hands to safely grip. You’ll like the included free year of Amazon FreeTime that gives you access to over 20,000 apps, games, and media content. Parents will like that they can create automated screen time limits, filter content, and build educational goals too. This model also supports Wi-Fi access. It shares many of the features of the best tablets that we like.
#2 Apple iPad 10.2” Tablet
Award: Honorable Mention
WHY WE LIKE IT: A large 10.2-inch display pairs with front and back cameras, 32GB of storage, an impressive 10-hour battery life, and the intuitive functionality you’ve come to expect from Apple.
Apple customers tend to be very specific about their wants. And typically, they don’t cross over into other manufacturers once they join the Apple ecosystem. If you’re already an Apple user and are considering introducing your child to the iPad, you’ll want to consider our Honorable Mention selection, the 10.2-inch Retina Display 32GB Apple iPad. One of the biggest benefits of opting for an Apple iPad is that if you already own Apple products, is that parental control features are built-in through the screen time feature in Settings.
But aside from that, you’ll like the decent battery life (10 hours which is in the medium range), large storage, the crisp retina display, and the enhanced media output. This includes the stereo speakers, the eight-megapixel back camera, the 1.2 megapixels FaceTime HD front camera, and supported Smart Keyboard and Pencil Apple accessories. For really young kids, you can read about the best tablets for babies.
#3 LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition Tablet
Award: Best Tablet for Toddlers
WHY WE LIKE IT: A proprietary toddler-friendly tablet from LeapFrog that features learning apps, a kid-safe web browser, built-in parental controls and a case.
If you’re thinking about getting a tablet for a very small child such as a toddler or preschooler, it’s best to consider a truly kid-safe version that limits their ability to accidentally discover questionable content and is designed to stand up to their unintentionally destructive powers. The LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition is a seven inch shatter-safe LCD tablet with a proprietary interface that’s kid-friendly and gives parents peace of mind. While it offers a smaller memory capacity (16GB), that can be expanded thanks to the external MicroSD drive.
You’ll like that this Wi-Fi capable model comes with a kid-safe case featuring grips perfectly sized for smaller children to safely grasp. The kid-safe web browser will only offer access to preloaded or pre-approved websites, as well as letting you unlock a full browser as your child grows. You’ll also like the built-in learning apps to support your child’s educational needs — something we’ve come to expect from the LeapFrog brand. Built-in parental controls allow you to set screen time limits and create individualized parameters for up to three unique profiles. If you prefer a more mainstream OS, have a look at the best Android tablets.
#4 Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8″ 32 GB Wifi Tablet
Award: Best Battery Life
WHY WE LIKE IT: A long-lasting 8” tablet with 32GB of built-in storage, with a responsive display that is easy to use in any light levels, and an interface that easily integrates into an existing Samsung ecosystem makes this a smart choice for older children.
Finally, we round out our guide with the Samsung Galaxy Tab A eight-inch tablet. This model is probably best suited for older children because it’s a more expensive option and offers many features that might be too advanced for smaller preschool or toddler-aged children. However, it deserves to be on our list because it offers the most impressive battery life of up to 14 hours of video playback — perfect for travel.
Older children will appreciate the 32GB of built-in storage which can be expanded to 256GB thanks to the external MicroSD card slot. This model also features dual cameras with an eight-megapixel rear camera with HDR mode and low-light support and a five-megapixel front-facing camera. They’ll also like the three complimentary months of Youtube Red. And you’ll like the Bixby Home smart assistant that serves to coordinate access to your top apps based on predictive learning. Of course it doesn’t have the specs of the best convertible tablet, but your kids are getting a lot here.
How We Decided
Introducing a tablet into your child’s life can be a difficult task as you try to balance out appropriate screen time with intuitive functionality for a device that your kids will want to use. We looked at a range of criteria to determine the best tablet for kids. Specifically, we targeted durability, age appropriateness, parental controls, hardware specifications, and battery life.
Durability tends to go hand in hand with age appropriateness. Tablet models marketed as ideal for children are going to be far more durable than a traditional tablet such as an iPad or Galaxy Tab. While the latter can be made durable based on the case you choose, tablets designed for children usually come standard with sturdier cases and are made with shatterproof screens for added protection. You’ll see these features in our Top Pick and our #3 selection — as opposed to the Honorable Mention which is an iPad and our #4 choice which is also a Galaxy Tab.
Parental controls are the next major issue for two reasons. First, there are plenty of studies highlighting the dangers of excessive screen time. Next, for as wonderful as the internet is, it can also be a dangerous place full of questionable content and people who are only a few keystrokes away. All of the tablets on our list include built-in parental controls. However, our #3 choice, the LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition, is the only one that features a proprietary browser that’s already limited in the content it retrieves and allows parents to manually add websites at their discretion. And it also allows you to manage parental control settings for up to three unique profiles. For this reason, we selected it as our Best Quality choice.
With hardware specifications, we prioritized storage. This is going to be an important feature if you’re relying on a tablet to keep your kids occupied on long road trips or flights. You’ll note that the two “kid-friendly” options (Top Pick and Best Quality) have the smallest capacity with just 16GB. However, all except our Honorable Mention iPad give you the choice to expand your storage with a MicroSD card slot. For #1 you can expand up to 512GB, #3 failed to specify how much additional storage you could achieve, and #4 the maximum upgrade is 256GB.
And finally, we considered battery life. Of all of our tablet options, the #3 Best Quality failed to mention how long their batteries can last. However, our top choice for battery life is #4 — the Samsung Galaxy Tablet — with an impressive 14 hours of video playback. The iPad offers 10 hours, while our Top Pick only provides a maximum of seven hours.
Tablet for Kids Buying Guide
The Most Important Features to Consider
Anytime you’re shopping for children, you should always look for options that are designed to stand up to the punishment that a child can dish out. Even though you should buy a case to protect your investment, also look for models that are easy for children to hold, making it less likely that a tablet will slip out of their hands and shatter the screen against the floor.
- Parental Controls
Parental controls will be especially important when you’re buying a tablet for very young children. Smaller children can benefit from more proprietary kid-friendly tablets with built-in age-appropriate apps. But you’ll want to brush up on what parental controls are available for more traditional tablet models such as those from Apple, Android, or the Kindle.
- Hardware Specifications
Just like with adults, kids want a powerful tablet. Regardless of whether you opt for an Apple, Android or Kindle tablet, you want to get your child something that can keep up with their needs. Consider storage space. If your child likes to keep media and pictures on their tablet, then opt for a larger-capacity tablet with at least 16GB of space. Likewise, consider models that offer external storage options like a microSD card slot. And if your child is the type to run multiple apps simultaneously, RAM is going to be important. Opt for models that offer at least 1.5GB of RAM.
If you want a wireless charger that can do more than simply charge your phone, consider other electronics that include a wireless charging pad as part of the overall design. These types of options can include digital clock radios with charging pads on their top surface or even desk lamps with a built-in charging pad. These can add to the overall function and design of your home, and keep your smartphone close at hand in case you need to use it.
- Battery Life
Especially if you’re eyeing a tablet to keep your little ones occupied on road trips or long flights, battery life will matter. Look for tablet models that offer longer battery life — even if you still bring a backup external battery charger with you to be safe.
Kid Tablet FAQs
I’m concerned about my child discovering inappropriate content on Youtube, what should I do?
This is a common — and understandable — concern for parents. Your best bet is to familiarize yourself with the parental controls available through your tablet manufacturer. If completely removing Youtube isn’t an option, you can also check within the app itself to confirm what measures can be taken to restrict content that’s inappropriate.
I want to get my child a tablet, but I’m concerned about them breaking it.
Your best bet is to get a tablet cover or case for your child’s tablet. Children’s tablet cases are sturdier and designed for them to better grip the case as compared to cases created for adult use.
What should I consider if I’m getting tablets for toddlers or preschoolers?
Keep in mind that extended screen time for very young children isn’t advised. However, you might be better served with proprietary tablets that are pre-loaded with age-appropriate content. This will make it easier for you to monitor your toddler’s activity and also limit their screen time.
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