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The best kids’ tablets for homework, gaming and creativity
Packed with fun and productive features along with parental controls, these kids’ tablets are perfect for youngsters, article bookmarked.
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Points were awarded for age-appropriate devices that had plenty of content to keep kids busy
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From helping with homework to promoting fine-motor skills, a tablet is a fantastic device for kids to learn on. There are tablets for kids of every age, and content for every type of interest.
According to various surveys , more than half of 12- to 15-year-olds own devices, and 49 per cent of five- to 15-year-olds own a tablet device. These screens are popular with the kids, and for good reason. Not only are they entertaining, but research shows tablets can boost children’s language skills using apps that teach them phonics, rhyming and letter recognition. It will also give them an aptitude for technology , which we all know is going to be vital for them in later life.
Pretty much all devices come with parental controls, and it’s good to be wise to what your kids are accessing, for how long, and also who’s contacting them. You can monitor all these things, using parental controls on tablets, and all devices we tried had some form of control included.
“It’s never too early to start educating your child on digital safety ,” says a spokesperson for the NSPCC. “However, a big factor to consider when we’re talking to children is age as well as their cognitive ability. Our Positively online quiz is a non-judgemental quiz designed to be taken as a family that can help guide the conversation about digital safety.”
They continue, “Children can see things online that make them feel upset, angry, or cause low self-esteem. If this happens, encourage them to mute or block accounts that do this. They can also use settings that prevent words, phrases, or posts they don’t want to see cropping up. Encourage them to make their online space a positive one. If you’re still worried then there are plenty of parental controls you can set up, on their tablets and phones as well as streaming services and gaming consoles.”
How we tested.
We let our mini testers loose (within very set boundaries, of course) with all the tablets we’ve included in this round-up. We wanted to check that kids young and old were entertained safely, and had apps they genuinely found useful and/or enjoyable.
As parents, we wanted to keep a close eye on usage of the tablet, and just how long our kids were spending online. Points were awarded for age-appropriate devices that had plenty of content to keep kids of all ages busy. We also looked at battery life, display and sound quality and how robust they were, where appropriate.
The best tablets for kids for 2023 are:
- Best overall tablet for kids – Amazon Fire HD 8 kids tablet: £149.99, Amazon.co.uk
- Best tablet for the whole family – Microsoft Surface go 3 2-in-1 tablet: £369, Amazon.co.uk
- Best tablet for younger kids – Amazon Fire 7 kids tablet: £114.99, Amazon.co.uk
- Best kids tablet for value for money – Lenovo Tab M10 gen 3 tablet: £209, Lenovo.com
- Best kids tablet for older kids – Amazon Fire HD 8 kids pro tablet: £149.99, Amazon.co.uk
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Amazon Fire HD 8 kids tablet
- Best: Overall
- Screen size : 8in
- Internal memory : 32GB
- Colours : Blue, Purple, Red
A whole inch bigger than the Amazon Fire 7 kids tablet (£114.99, Amazon.co.uk ), and according to our kids the bigger screen is more appealing. It also has more internal memory than the Fire 7 with 32GB, or you can opt for the 64GB. The Fire HD 8 kids has the same option to bolster this to 1TB using a microSD card, but you’ll need to fiddle with settings and getting the cover on and off to achieve this. Speaking of which, the cover pretty much makes the tablet bounce and is super grippy, meaning we weren’t worried about leaving our preschoolers with it to drop at will. And Amazon has made this with preschoolers up to tweens in mind (they say three to seven-year-olds).
Another step up from the 7 Kids is the HD screen. Did our testers notice? Not really, but perhaps if they were watching a lot of films or TV they might. Content-wise, the tablet comes with a year’s subscription to Amazon Kids+, which offers a whole host of entertainment – and educational stuff too. They’re going to while their screen time away with apps from LEGO, the BBC, Disney and the ever-present Blippi.
Using the parental dashboard you can set kids’ ages (you can manage up to three kids’ separate profiles on the tablet) individually, so it shows content that’s appropriate for them. If they try to download anything that is not appropriate for their age, the person with parental control will get an email and you can allow or deny them the ability to download it. You can also set the tablets to a younger-child theme, which is designed for pre-readers.
Apple iPad 10th gen tablet
- Best: For teenagers
- Screen size : 10.9in
- Internal memory : 64GB
- Colours : Silver, blue, pink, yellow
Not every parent is going to want to fork out for an Apple iPad, but for those who are looking for something that is going to grow with their kids, the iPad 10th gen is hard to beat. It comes in a range of colours to appeal to everyone and we also tested ours with an Apple Keyboard (£279, Apple.com ) and Apple Pencil (£109, Apple.com ), for the full experience.
Our testers found this made the iPad completely frustration-free. The Apple Pencil let them work on creative projects that required fine accuracy, and the keyboard sped up writing and general use like nobody’s business. This made it great for both fun projects – creating super-slick Tik Tok vids, for example – and home learning tasks too. It basically becomes a laptop with these additions. However, it’s not drop-friendly, and so therefore is safer in older kids’ hands in our opinion.
Apple doesn’t allow you to switch between profiles on a device, meaning it’s quite tricky to share it across a household especially if you want parental control on their profile and not on yours. Plus, the parental controls will apply across all devices linked to the Apple ID – so, you wouldn’t be able to apply thes restrictions on the iPad and not have it on your phone. However, if your child is ready for the responsibility of their own iPad, then you can log them into their own Apple account on the device and tweak your parental controls as you want, monitoring screen time, content, website access and purchasing.
Contentwise, you can basically access anything your heart desires via the App Store from CBeebies to social media and all the streaming services, plus video-editing apps and everything in between. The iPad isn’t the answer for everyone, but for an all-singing, all-dancing tablet for an older child, it’s basically impossible to beat.
Samsung Galaxy tab S8 ultra
- Best: For huge screen size
- Screen size : 14.6in
- Internal memory : 128GB
- Colour : Black, silver, pink
With more than 14 inches of screen to gaze at, this tablet is huge . That, along with the price tag, puts it firmly in the late teens category we’d say and it’s designed for that too. It comes with a snap-on keyboard with trackpad, and an S pen. With these peripherals, it’s easy to switch between editing Tik Toks and doing the hard graft of homework.
The humongous screen is going to satisfy screenagers whether their vice is YouTube or gaming and the AMOLED display is excellent too, handling dimly shot gritty content so we could see everything in detail. The S pen slots into the cover to charge, the keypad keeps the tablet safe when moving around, and yet it’s incredibly lightweight. Basically, everything about the Samsung Galaxy tab S8 ultra all feels extremely slick (apart from the mouthful of the name).
You can still keep track of your child’s usage via the Google Family link, which is essentially a parent dashboard. This will let you set time limits, locate the device on a map, manage the content they have access to, and much more. It is a bit faffy to set up, but between you and a teen it should take no more than 30 minutes or so. Overall we were really impressed by this Samsung tablet but for the price tag, you’d hope so!
Microsoft Surface go 3 2-in-1 tablet
- Best: For the whole family
- Screen size : 10.5in
- Colours : Silver
One of the great things about the Surface go 3 is that you can customise the build of it to suit your needs. You can use it as a laptop with a keyboard, tablet with a built-in kickstand, and add a Type cover (a keyboard cover) or Surface pen if you like. We tested with a Type cover and a Surface pen for the full experience.
This is a great tablet for sharing across a family, no matter the age. Granted, it’s not great for little kids as it’s not super robust, but if you’re a family made up of tweens, teens and adults it’s going to work well for you. You can even add on a family subscription to Office 365, so up to six accounts can use their own versions of Teams, Word, Excel and the rest of the Office suite. Handy for remote work and learning. We were also impressed by the Microsoft Family app, which allows you to set screen time limits, apply filters, find your family on a map – it even tells you how they’re driving. And you can also sync up family calendars and share notes. You’ll never need to ask “what do we need from the supermarket?” again.
We were super impressed by Microsoft’s parental filters – it does basically everything you could ever want. And the pen and keyboard made lightwork of everything we tried with testing. As well as creative and work projects, Xbox gamers are going to love it as you can access your Xbox Library here. The screen quality is excellent too. A fantastic all rounder.
Amazon Fire 7 kids tablet
- Best: For younger kids
- Screen size : 7in
- Internal memory : 16GB
- Colours : Blue, purple, red
Designed for kids aged 3-7, this 7in screen is great for little hands. It comes with a child-proof bump case that will protect it from even the most savage drops. If the worst does happen, the Fire kids tablets come with a two-year warranty for total peace of mind. They also come with a year’s worth of access to Amazon Kids+.
Having tested Amazon’s former iterations of Fire Kids previously, we were impressed by the updates Amazon has made to this model. It seems to move with more zip, which was appreciated by both impatient parents and kids. The whole user interface is easier to navigate too, including the parental controls. During the super-speedy set-up, we were able to set up kids’ accounts with their ages, screen time limits and set when the tablets automatically power down every day. You can also use the Amazon Parent Dashboard to pause the tablet remotely. This was handy when our screenagers were reluctant to put down their tablets.
During testing we found the battery life to be decent, offering hours of use on a single charge – Amazon claims 10 hours. There’s 16GB of internal memory, or you can opt for a beefier 36GB. And there’s an option to whack it up to 1TB using an external memory card. This is quite tricky though, in our experience. We’d say this tablet is great for younger ones, and will last them until their tweens, offering decent value for money.
Lenovo Tab M10 gen 3 tablet
- Best: Value for money
- Screen size : 10.6in
- Colours : Grey
Those who favour Android and Google are going to feel at home with this Lenovo Tab, as it is indeed an Android device. From a parent’s perspective, this means you have access to Google Kids, which intelligently provides content based on your children’s interests. If you have kids of different ages, fear not – each can have a login on the device.
Setting up the tablet for kids means it looks kid-friendly and keeps them within a safe boundary, showing them only content that’s age appropriate. You can also use Google’s Family Link to monitor usage and what access your kids have to content. This is a great bridge tablet between the world of drop-proof tablets that some kids may feel they’ve outgrown, and the sophisticated world of grown-up tablets. The price of the Lenovo may also be more palatable for those doing the purchasing too!
HP Chromebook x2 11 2-in-1 laptop
- Best: Hybrid tablet
- Screen size : 11in
Not sure whether your kid needs a grab-and-go tablet for fun or a more serious laptop for work? Well, a hybrid such as the Chromebook x2 11 is just the ticket. It comes with a snap-on keyboard and an integrated stand in the cover, so you can set it up in a laptop configuration, but at 11 inches the screen is still very much tablet-sized. It’s not the zippiest of movers – gamers might find this frustrating – but for streaming and browsing, and dare we say homework, it’s going to do the job nicely. And you can run Microsoft Office or Google Workspace on this tablet, so it should be fairly frustration free.
As this uses a Chrome operating system, it also makes use of the Google Family Link app. Via this app you can monitor and limit your child’s screen uses, as well as find the device. If you have multiple users accessing the Chromebook, everyone will need Google Accounts and although this isn’t rocket science to do, it’s going to be more suitable for older children to flick between accounts than young kids. While not as flashy as the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8 (£1,199, Samsung.com ), this HP number packs a punch and is a great option if you want something grown up but aren’t part of the Apple ecosystem.
Amazon Fire HD 8 kids pro tablet
- Best: For older kids
- Colours : Rainbow universe, hello teal, cyber sky
Check out those colour way names. It’s a dead giveaway that the Fire HD 8 Kids is designed for slightly older kids than the others on this roundup. Indeed, Amazon says it’s ideal for 6-12 year olds, and we tend to agree. The cover is more grown up, for one. It’s less bouncy and more sleek – with added rainbows. The slim case is a welcome relief if you often take your kids’ tablets out and about with you – it fits much more easily into a bag than those big bumper covers. But the cover still has that useful stand that we love to see on Amazon’s kids’ tablets.
Again, this tablet comes with a year’s subscription to Amazon Kids+. After that you’ll need to stump up £6.99 per month to get access to it – it doesn’t come included in Amazon Prime, either. However, you’ll probably be sucked in. Or should we say your kids will be sucked in and you’ll just be footing the bill. And as it has an 8in HD screen, no matter what they stream – be that Star Wars, Sonic or Harry Potter – it’ll be in decent quality. There’s also good sound quality thanks to built-in Dolby-Atmos sound. You can also add other apps such as Tik Tok or iPlayer, if you grant access.
The Parent Dashboard on Amazon’s kids’ tablets is one of the best parent control centres we tested. We felt in control and aware of everything our testers were doing on the tablet. It gave us total peace of mind, allowing us to block websites and apps. You can also see their activity and monitor their calls and messages from this dashboard.
The verdict: Tablets for kids
We really rate the Amazon Fire HD 8 kids . It’s excellent value for money with great display quality, long battery life, and it’s robust enough to withstand even a severe drop/chuck from a child. It is, however, more suitable for slightly younger kids. If you have an older child (and the budget), the iPad 10th gen is absolutely second to none – it’s got everything your teen is going to want, and then some.
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- Raising Kids
The Best Tablets for Kids, Picked by Parents, Therapists, and Tech Experts
Homework, gaming, and calling the grandparents just got a lot more fun.
In This Article
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Parents / Marcus Millan
Whether you’re looking for road trip entertainment or just need a diversion so you can take a shower, tablets for kids can be a very helpful tool for modern parenting. And while it’s important to note that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does warn against the use of screen time in toddlers under the age of 18 months old, it also admits that there can be some potential benefits to interactive screens (read: tablets) for kids over the age of 18-24 months.
- Nokia T10 Tablet is 24% off at Walmart
- Apple iPad (9th Generation) is 24% off at Amazon
- Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 is 25% off at Amazon
Some of those benefits include learning new words and communicating with loved ones over video chat or messaging. And for parents, your kid’s tablet time is a chance for you to sneak in a phone call or drink your coffee while it’s still hot. Nothing replaces human interaction of course, but if you’re considering investing in a tablet for your child, there are some considerations to keep in mind .
We evaluated the best tablets for kids based on a variety of factors, such as what your child will be using it for—games or reading? What about drawing or designing?—as well as features like operating systems, graphics quality, parental controls, battery life, and storage . Whether you’re looking to start with a basic tablet for around $50 or spring for a professional iPad Pro ($1,200), there are tablets that can fit any budget.
To find the best tablets for kids, we spoke with real-life parents, online safety experts, and a therapist to learn more about safe technology use and the tablets their kids love.
Amazon fire hd 10 kids tablet.
Why We Like It: This tablet offers a free year-long kid-friendly subscription to games, movies, and educational apps. It also has an easy-to-use parental control system and a really durable case.
But Take Note: Kids over age 7 probably won’t be impressed.
If you want a virtually indestructible kids’ tablet, you can’t go wrong with the Amazon Fire Kids 10 tablet—it comes with one of the best water-resistant, scratch-proof, drop-proof cases. My kids have now owned three of them, so I can personally attest that this tablet can withstand anything your kid can throw at it.
We also love how easy the Amazon Fire Kids tablet is—it comes preloaded with everything you need on it through Amazon Kids+, a subscription that includes e-books, games, and apps. (The tablet comes with a free year of access.) There’s also a parental dashboard that you can use to set your child’s age to filter content, program time limits or goals, grant access to other apps, or monitor what they’ve been up to. Grant, who dubbed this a “pretty nifty overall” tablet, notes that it hits his recommended potential benefits a tablet can provide, including additional learning resources for kids with special needs, alternative learning styles, or deficits/gaps in their proficiencies.
The battery life of the Amazon Kids Fire 10 is advertised for 12 hours with standard use, though of course, that will vary based on what your child actually does on the tablet. And if your kid does end up breaking this tablet, there’s a two-year warranty to get a free replacement, which is pretty convenient.
“My kids received an Amazon Fire tablet for Christmas three years ago and still use it!” Schuh says. “They come with a protective case, making them very durable, and they’re easy to navigate once you get going.” St-Esprit agrees, adding that she appreciates the parental controls.
Price at time of publication: $200
- Display: 10.1-inch, 1024 x 600 (171 ppi)
- Size: 8.2 x 10.6 x 1.1 inches
- Weight: 15.1 ounces
- Storage: 32 GB (expandable by up to 1 TB)
- Operating system: Fire OS
- Battery life: 12 hours
Amazon fire 7 tablet.
Why We Like It: For just under $60, you get plenty of storage, 10 hours of battery life, and a simple setup that includes content for everyone.
But Take Note: The performance of the Fire 7 can be slower compared to more expensive models.
Designed to be an affordable option, the Amazon Fire 7 still gives you everything your kids want out of a tablet, including access to Netflix, Hulu, social media (if that’s your thing, of course), Zoom, Alexa, and even Amazon Kids. They can browse the web, watch TV or movies, listen to music, play games, or listen to podcasts—just on a smaller, more budget-friendly tablet.
“We got the Amazon Fire 7 for our kids,” says Atlanta-based travel writer and mother Karon Clark Warren . “I loved it because it came with a two-year, no-questions-asked replacement policy, so if they dropped it, spilled something on it or whatever, we got a free replacement in a matter of days.”
The only caveat is that Google Play is not supported on this tablet, but on the plus side, it does have a headphone jack, unlike some of the newer, “fancier” models.
Price at time of publication: $60
- Display: 7-inch, 1024 x 600 (171 ppi)
- Size: 7.11 x 4.63 x 0.38 inches
- Weight: 9.9 ounces
- Storage: 16 or 32 GB (expandable by up to 1 TB)
- Operating system: Fire OS
- Battery life: 10 hours
Best for Toddlers and Young Kids
Leapfrog leappad academy kids tablet.
Courtesy of Walmart
Why We Like It: Built-in educational apps help with skills like reading and writing for kids aged 3-8.
But Take Note: It’s not a “real” tablet, so you’re primarily limited to LeapFrog content.
If you want to grant younger children the excitement of a screen without access to a regular tablet’s capabilities, the LeapPad offers the best of both worlds. It’s an actual tablet that comes pre-loaded with 20 LeapFrog apps, a free three-month trial to LeapFrog Academy, and a web browser that shows kid-friendly websites and video results. While the tablet primarily holds LeapFrog content, you can also add other Android apps.
Reena B. Patel, LEP, BCBA, a psychologist and licensed educational board-certified behavior analyst, recommends LeapFrog tablets for parents looking to use a tablet as a “supportive education tool in conjunction with parent supervision and interaction.” Note that while the pre-loaded apps are free, you’ll have to pay to access the more advanced Academy content after your trial is up.
Price at time of publication: $140
- Display: Not listed
- Size: 8.54 x 5.94 x 0.6 inches
- Weight: 1.61 pounds
- Storage: 16 GB
- Operating system: N/A
- Battery life: 9 hours
Best for Older Kids and Teens
Samsung galaxy tab a8 android tablet.
Why We Like It: It has tons of storage, which is especially ideal for kids who are into gaming or creating.
But Take Note: Some reviews noted a lag time that can be frustrating.
We’re fans of this Samsung tablet’s clear, bright screen, along with its super-fast processor, 128 GB of storage, and fast-charging battery. Its advanced technical specs make it ideal for older kids who are into gaming or teens who need lots of storage for school. Plus, multitasking kids can have multiple tabs and windows open at once.
While it’s best for older kids, you can still use this tablet with younger kids thanks to Samsung’s Kids Mode. This lets you filter content and set parental controls. The tablet also comes with the Samsung Kids library, which has age-appropriate games, books, movies, and more. We also like its "smart switch” feature, which lets you sync and move files between devices and operating systems—so, you can transfer photos or permission slips between your kid’s tablet, your phone, the family laptop, and more.
Available in rose gold, silver, or dark gray, the tablet can be purchased with 32 GB, 64 GB, or 128 GB of storage.
Price at time of publication: $230
- Display: 10.5-inch, 1920 x 1200 pixels
- Size: 6.37 x 0.27 x 9.72 inches
- Weight: 1.12 pounds
- Storage: 32 GB, 64 GB, or 128 GB
- Operating system: Android
- Battery life: 8 hours
Nokia t10 android tablet.
Why We Like It: It’s an affordable pick that’s small and lightweight.
But Take Note: It can lag at times, and the display resolution isn’t the sharpest.
A lightweight, portable option, the Nokia T10 works for the whole family: for younger kids, you can enable a kids’ mode and parental controls, but as they grow older, it can be transformed into a fully functional tablet. It operates on Android 12, the second-newest version of Android.
The tablet boasts Google’s Kids Space, a mode that provides age-appropriate content, including games, videos, and books. Kids can even pick their own character to navigate them through the content. You can also download additional apps through Google Play.
With Family Link, caregivers can set up parental controls, including which apps can be downloaded, how much screen time is allowed, and more. Families will also appreciate that the tablet’s security is upgraded monthly (for three years), so there’s one less thing to worry about.
The 8-inch display isn’t the clearest, and the device itself can lag sometimes. Though it’s not our top pick for older kids, it’s a practical, functional option for younger kids or families who want a very simple tablet. And at $170, it’s a pretty budget-friendly pick.
Price at time of publication: $170
- Display: 8-inch, 1280 x 800 pixels
- Size: 8.19 x 4.85 x 0.35 inches
- Weight: 13.2 ounce
- Storage: 64 GB
- Operating system: Android
- Battery life: 24 hours
Best for Reading
Amazon kindle paperwhite kids.
Why We Like It: There’s no harsh blue light to potentially interfere with sleep.
But Take Note: It’s an e-reader only.
E-readers have come a long way, and this Kindle designed specifically for kids is proof of that. Not only does the tablet come with a free year’s subscription to Amazon Kids+, giving your kids access to thousands of age-appropriate, ad-free books, but it also specifically incorporates OpenDyslexic, which is a font that can be helpful for some children who have dyslexia.
Plus, kids who are learning to read can benefit from supportive tools like Vocabulary Builder and Word Wise, which are built right into the e-reader. These tools can help them develop a love of reading and improve their language skills all around. The Kids Kindle is also water-resilient and will hold up if it’s accidentally submerged in water, so beach reading is no problem. (You also get a two-year guarantee if something does happen.)
- Display: 6-inch, 300 ppi
- Size: 5.1 x 6.9 x .5 inches
- Weight: 11.32 ounces
- Storage: 16 GB
- Battery life: 10 weeks
Best for Drawing
Apple 12.9-inch ipad pro 2022 (6th gen).
Why We Like It: It’s large, has a high-resolution screen, and comes with an Apple pencil for drawing and designing.
But Take Note: It’s a big investment.
Budding Picassos or emerging graphic designers will benefit from the iPad Pro’s screen, which measures nearly 13 inches. This is the largest iPad Pro that Apple offers, so it comes with a premium experience. For instance, the iPad Pro now comes with its own iPadOS operating system, which Apple says can run more apps at once, allowing kids to seamlessly switch between drawing and writing or easily edit and share photos. And of course, the technical specs mean the graphics are top-notch too.
It also has an incredible amount of storage—up to two terabytes—so your kids can store all of their drawings, selfies, videos, and more. Plus, the battery life will last all day, so you don’t have to worry about the times your tween will (inevitably) forget to charge it.
Olivia Howell, a New York-based mom of two kids, 7 and 9, prefers using iPads for her children, beginning with an older version of her own and always using a “very strong” case. She explains that she likes using iPads because of the wide variety of quality games available and because she knows how to use them herself so she can provide tech support.
“A lot of the stress of learning something new, which normally falls on parents, was easier when I already know the product,” she notes. She also likes that her kids can use the iPad to FaceTime family members or send iMessages, so there’s no need to purchase a separate phone.
Price at time of publication: $1,199
- Display: 12.9-inch, 2048 x 2732 pixels
- Size: 11.04 x 8.46 x 0.25 inches
- Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB or 2TB
- Operating system: iPadOS
Best Battery Life
Lenovo tab p11 plus.
Why We Like It: The Lenovo Tab P11 Plus offers sharp visuals and audio, and it can last up to 15 hours after a single battery charge.
But Take Note: It’s an Android 11 operating system, which is somewhat outdated.
The Lenovo Tab P11 Plus is a tablet that can also double as a computer in functionality, thanks to an included, detachable keyboard. And because our kids are growing up in the Information Age, the tablet is also fully operable with a touchscreen. The relatively high price tag of this tablet is in line with its high-quality specs, built for entertainment and gaming—for instance, it features 2K resolution and four speakers for a surround sound experience.
But the real star of this tablet is the battery power. Along with an 11-inch screen and top-notch audio and visuals, the P11 Plus still manages to boast impressive power. According to the brand, it will run up to 15 hours of streaming with only a single battery charge. It also has 128 GB of storage to fit all of their homework assignments, pictures, and games.
Price at time of publication: $340
- Display: 11-inch, 2000 x 1200 pixels
- Size: 10.17 x 6.42 x 0.3 inches
- Weight: 1.08 pounds
- Storage: 128 GB
- Battery life: 15 hours
Apple ipad (9th generation).
Why We Like It: Weighing just over 1 pound, the 9th generation iPad offers an impressive display, long battery life, and an abundant amount of storage.
But Take Note: It’s a bit dated in design, so tech-savvy kids may recognize its age.
This is the most affordable iPad available, and it still has all of the essential functions of an Apple product. Plus, it’s very lightweight—it barely weighs more than a pound—and can be tossed easily into a backpack or carry-on to take on trips, to school, or to a friend’s house. Though iPads might seem a bit fancy for kids, they’re surprisingly durable and come with features they won’t grow out of, so over time, you may actually end up spending less than if you purchase more kid-friendly tablets first.
For instance, you can use this iPad to entertain younger kids with a show on a long flight. When they’re older, you can add a keyboard and Apple pen for drawing, schoolwork, gaming, and more. And just to add to the cord confusion in your house, note that this version of the iPad still uses a Lightning connector, not a USB-C charging cord.
Price at time of publication: $329
- Display: 10.2-inch, 2160 x 1620 pixels
- Size: 9.8 x 6.8 x 0.29 inches
- Weight: 1.07 pounds
- Storage: 64 GB or 256 GB
Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet (2022)
Why We Like It: It’s a compact, lightweight tablet that still boasts a vibrant screen and impressive battery life.
But Take Note: The interface for non-Amazon apps can be poor.
Similar to the Amazon Fire 7, the Fire HD tablet offers full performance in a more compact and budget-friendly version. Google Play is not supported, but kids can access Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, social media, Alexa, Zoom, and a camera for taking selfies. (Very important in kids’ worlds.)
Plus, like all Amazon tablets, caregivers can access Amazon Kids for free or subscribe to Amazon Kids+ to access a larger content library. You can also set up separate profiles so both parents and kids can use the same tablet if they’d like—or get set up on separate tablets for side-by-side entertainment.
Price at time of publication: $100
- Display: 8-inch, 1280 x 800 pixels
- Size: 7.94 by 5.40 by 0.37 inches
- Weight: 12.5 oz
- Storage: 32 or 64 GB
In order to select the best tablets for kids, we considered a wide range of uses, such as the best tablets for younger vs. older kids, or tablets for drawing vs. reading. We also looked at value and durability, considering each tablet’s shelf life and construction against its cost. We also evaluated important features of all the tablets, including parental controls, quality display, storage, what apps they support, and their ability to withstand rough-and-tumble use by kids.
We also interviewed real parents as well as experts on digital technology and health for children, including:
- Don Grant , Ph.D., MA, MFA, DAC, SUDCC IV, National Advisor of Healthy Device Management for Newport Healthcare
- Shelley Delayne , chief mom at Pinwheel, a kid-safe phone company. In her role at Pinwheel, the Austin-based mom collaborates with researchers and institutions such as the Digital Wellness Lab to help create products and content that help parents of digital natives navigate the complexities of technology.
- Dana Oliver , founder and president of Adventure Kids Playcare
- Liesl “Darr” Schuh , a Texas-based mother of three daughters, and author of The Girl Dad
- Olivia Howell , CEO of Fresh Starts and a New York-based mom of two kids, ages 7 and 9
- Meg St-Esprit , a journalist and mom of four kids
- Reena B. Patel , LEP, BCBA, a licensed educational psychologist and board-certified behavior analyst
Factors to Consider When Buying Tablets for Kids
Delayne recommends a layered approach to tablets for all devices your child may use, tablets included. “Because every approach has gaps and glitches, layering them creates a more reliable system,” she explains.
Layering means using different methods to configure the network, manage and monitor the device, limit app functions, and prepare and guide the child. For instance, with her own family’s devices, she uses a Gryphon router with Apple ScreenTime, carefully chosen apps, and “constant open conversations” with her children.
“The guidance you give your child is what will go with them to protect them when they are outside the home around other people’s devices,” Delayne notes. “The other tools can make your home more relaxed, like locking your front door helps you sleep more peacefully.”
The display may not be as important for younger kids, but if you plan on using the tablet long-term—or want to do a lot of movie-watching on it—the visual display quality, as well as screen size, may be features to look for. As kids grow older, they may need higher display quality for completing their homework or for hobbies, such as drawing and gaming.
Consider what your child’s tablet will be used for—if you want the option to download a lot of games, apps, movies, or books, you’ll want a decent amount of storage. Many of the tablets on our list, like the iPads, can be purchased with varying amounts of storage based on your preferences. (Price does go up with more gigabytes of storage.)
Alternatively, using a cloud-based subscription like Amazon Kids+ means you don’t need to store things directly on the tablet. Some models also give you the option of purchasing extra storage if you have a selfie king or queen on your hands.
Operating System and App Availability
If you already are an Android or an Apple family, you’ll want to consider if your apps will sync to a new device. Some features, like device location or photo syncing, may only be possible with devices that operate on the same operating system. Conversely, if the tablet you’re choosing is different from your adult devices, but your child will primarily be using it in the short term for movies or games, it might work just fine.
In general, the durability of a tablet will matter in direct reverse correlation with your child’s age, meaning the younger the kid, the more you want it to be able to withstand. Of course, that’s not a firm rule, and some tweens and teens may need more rugged tablets—or at least cases—to take on the go with them.
“It is beneficial to check how easily the tablet could break, be damaged by a spill or temper tantrum, how long it is expected to last, and facility and ease of operation for both parents and kids,” Grant notes. We appreciate that our top overall pick, the Amazon Kids HD 10 Tablet, comes with a water-resistant case to help elongate its shelf life.
Schuh suggests spending no more than $150-$200 on a kids’ tablet, as well as searching for deals during major sales like Prime Days or Cyber Monday. “Deep discounts make them extremely affordable,” she notes.
While this makes sense for younger kiddos, it is also worth considering an investment in the long run. Maybe it’s worth spending more on a tablet if the whole family will use it, or one that will last until your kid is in high school and needs it for homework. Just like there is no “right” age to get a tablet for your family, there’s no one “right” price either—every family is different.
How to Safely Use Kids’ Tablets
As the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) acknowledges, screens are now a part of nearly every child and family’s life. So the conversation is no longer about avoiding all screens entirely, but rather, how to incorporate a screen into your child’s life in a healthy way.
The AAP still strongly discourages parents from introducing screens of any kind before a child is 18 months old, but after the 18-24 month mark, there could be some benefits from some screen time, such as communicating with loved ones and learning new words.
However, full evidence of the impact of using screens—including tablets—with young children is ongoing, so here are some tips to keep in mind if you plan on introducing a tablet into your family soon.
Establish Family-Wide Rules
In addition to digital “basics” like blocking access to adult websites, limiting the use of devices to particular times, and using parental controls, Patel recommends creating digital rules that the entire family follows.
For instance, ban screen time during meals and family time and keep all devices out of the bedroom. She also suggests establishing a central charging station where the entire family charges all devices together.
“As with all behaviors, parents need to try to be the best role models possible for their children,” Dr. Grant adds. “Practice healthy device management yourself, never reject a bid for your attention from your child in favor of engaging with your devices, and teach them how to strike a balance between on- and off-screen time, activities, and real-life experiences, some of which may only present themselves once.”
Communication Is Key
While laying down the groundwork for digital rules is a good place to start, Grant adds that communicating about devices is crucial. “Understand that our children are very savvy though, and the more control we try to have over their devices, the more they try to ‘jailbreak’ them all,” he explains.
“I haven’t yet found a perfect app that can prevent all device-centric risks or not be disabled by our youngsters,” he adds.“Thus, it remains important to have continued conversations with your child about the importance of online safety, healthy device management, good digital citizenship, and your expectations of them.”
The Type of Tablet Matters
The AAP notes that interactive, rather than passive, screen time may have more benefits for children. That means that using a tablet kids can touch and play on may be more beneficial for learning than just watching a video. However, even interactive apps meant for learning can be overstimulating to very young children. Reading apps that have a lot of additional resources may also distract a child too much.
In general, try to keep it simple, and whenever possible, interact with your child as they use a tablet to help them get the most out of the experience.
“Digital literacy is much more than tapping around on a device and getting it to do things,” explains Delayne. “Kids are curious and learn through experiences, so they can and will tap on everything. Using the device alongside them at first is a good way to help them learn what they really need: how to close ads if any are present, how to flip it face down and get an adult if anything unexpected pops up on the screen, and how to decide what to do next.”
Maintain Tech-Free Connections
Delayne has an approach called “R.E.A.L” to help with this. “If you focus on what’s R.E.A.L., you’ll find your family’s tech limits naturally,” she tells Parents .
The framework of using R.E.A.L. includes:
- R = Rest . “Children need slow-paced wind-down time in the evening before bed, and to get sufficient sleep. Protect their developmentally-appropriate sleep needs,” Delayne says.
- E = Emotions . “For emotional well-being, children need eye contact and smiles and hugs and human engagement. They also need to be supported through their feelings and learn to self-regulate without reaching for the escape of a device every time,” she notes.
- A = Activity. “Physical development requires ample physical activity every day: exercise, play, big movements, fine motor skills, and a variety to keep them strong and developing properly,” she adds.
- L = Life skills. “Making a pizza in an app is not the same as learning the feel of well-kneaded dough,” Delayne points out. “Include real-life skill development in their daily routine. Even very young children can help wipe tables and pick up clutter.”
Technology is here to stay, and it’s become “an integral part of the workplace as well as the classroom,” says Oliver. So, it’s important that kids have a “fundamental understanding of tech and computers early on, but there needs to be some sort of balance.”
Nothing Beats Real Life
While tablets can have some benefits, the AAP warns that for young kids, especially, nothing compares to the impact that real-life human interaction has on children’s development. So though using a tablet may be a part of your lives, don’t forget to unplug and connect as a family. Delayne recommends “post-processing” with your kids after tablet use whenever possible.
“After they do anything on their tablet, take a moment to connect with them,” she says. “Treat it as you would if they had gone out somewhere. Ask how it went, what they discovered, how they liked it or didn’t, and if there’s anything they would want to show you or play with you sometime. Notice their emotional state. This helps ensure you are as involved in their digital life as you are in their physical one, and that’s important.”
Your Questions, Answered
What is the right age to get my kid a tablet.
While there is no concrete “safe” age to get a screen for a child, the AAP recommends that parents avoid screens with children younger than 2 years old. Additionally, the organization adds that parents consider the potential risks of screens under age 5 as well.
How much do kids’ tablets cost?
Tablets for kids can range in cost from anywhere around $50 to several hundred dollars based on the tablet’s features. Our top budget pick, the Amazon Fire 7, costs $60, while the priciest tablet on our list, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, costs over $1,000 with its deluxe features and capabilities.
How much time should kids spend on tablets?
The AAP recommends a daily limit of one hour of screen time for kids older than two years old. Additionally, they note that screen time should not occur within an hour of bedtime or at meals.
Chaunie Brusie, RN, BSN is a registered nurse and mom of five kids from Michigan. Her 4-year-old is probably on a tablet at this very moment, but she’s learning Spanish through an app, so it’s totally fine, right?
COUNCIL ON COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA, Hill D, Ameenuddin N, et al. Media and young minds . Pediatrics . 2016;138(5):e20162591. doi:10.1542/peds.2016-2591
American Academy of Pediatrics. Beyond screen time: help your kids build healthy media use habits .
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The best tablets for kids, according to parents
For busy parents, tablets have become a viable asset to keep kids entertained during long car rides, when you need to get some work done, or simply when you need a break. However, parents are naturally hesitant to spend hundreds of dollars on a device that their kid(s) will surely put to the test . The good news is you don't have to spend a fortune to get a decent tablet.
Also: The best smartwatches for kids
You can find a device that offers plenty of educational content along with entertainment options and parental controls like limiting screen time so kids aren't glued to tech devices. Our top pick is Apple's iPad , but we included other options from brands like Amazon, Samsung, and more that both parents and parenting experts recommend.
The best tablets for kids in 2023
Apple ipad (9th generation), best kids' tablet overall.
- Solid performance
- Long battery life
- Ample app support
- Apple's Family Sharing
Apple iPad (9th generation) t ech specs: Display : 10.2-inch with True Tone | Processor : A13 Bionic chip | Storage : 64GB or 256GB | Biometrics : Touch ID | Colors : Silver and space grey | Cameras : 8MP f/2.4 back, 12MP Ultra Wide f/2.4 front | Weight : 1.08 pounds | Dimensions : 9.8 x 6.8 x .29 inches | Connections : USB-C, Smart Connector | Battery life: Up to 10 hours
Apple's tried-and-true tablet, the base model iPad, is great for kids. After testing, ZDNET's Jason Cipriani said Apple had "perfected the tablet equation" with the 9th generation model. You get all of the same features as the more expensive iPad Pro and iPad Air models but in a lightweight form factor with a 10.2-inch display that has True Tone .
Although there's a newer iPad model, the 9th generation has pretty much all of the same features and costs less than the 2022 model at $330. (I don't recommend spending $449 for the newer model for your child to use and abuse unless you plan to share it with them.)
Review: Apple iPad (2021) review: If it's not broken, don't fix it
Early education experts agree with Cipriani's assessment that the 9th-gen iPad is kid-friendly.
Troy Portillo , director of operations of Studypool , an online learning platform for students, said that if you have younger kids in need of a tablet, you can't go wrong with Apple's iPad: "Your kid doesn't need the more expensive iPad Air or even the iPad Pro."
"You can still get all the great security features that come standard with Apple products and customer support. You can also easily monitor your kid's activity online, limit screen time, and use parental controls for specific apps," he said.
Parents can control their kids' iPad experience through Apple's Family Sharing feature, which lets them limit screen time for specific apps, notifies them if a child is trying to buy an app, and sends reminders for events like family game night, among other things.
Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro tablet
Best kids' tablet with a large display.
- Better and brighter display
- Great price point
- Amazon's Appstore is slightly limited
Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro tablet t ech specs: Display : 10.1-inch 1080p Full HD display | Processor : Octa-core 2.0 GHz | Storage : 32 (expandable by up to 1 TB) | Memory: 3GB | Colors: Happy Day, Mint, and Nebula | Cameras : 5 MP front and rear-facing cameras with 1080p HD video recording | Weight : 23.21 oz | Dimensions : 7.5 x 10.1 x 0.7 inches (with kid-friendly case) | Connections : 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C 2.0 | Battery life: 13 hours
For bigger kids (ages 6-12), there is Amazon's new Fire HD 10 Kids Pro tablet. New to this generation is 25% faster speeds, higher quality 5 megapixel cameras, and 13 hours of battery life instead of 12 hours.
Thanks to the 10.1-inch display, you'll get a larger screen without adding much to the overall cost, and the resolution is better than previous generations with a 1080p Full HD brighter display. It comes with a protective case, a two-year worry-free guarantee, and a year subscription to Amazon Kids+.
It comes with a slim, kid-proof case, as well as preset age filters for kids age 6-12. Even with all these improvements, this model is still $10 less than the previous generation at $190.
Lenovo Tab P11 Plus
Best kids' tablet for battery life.
- Full Android
- Great display
- Keyboard not included
Lenovo Tab P11 Plus t ech specs: Display : 11-inch display | Processor : MediaTek Helio G90T | Storage : 64GB or 128GB | Memory : 4GB or 6GB | Colors : Slate grey | Cameras : 8MP front and 13MP rear | Weight : 1.1lbs | Dimensions : 10.2 by 6.4 by 0.3 inches | Connections : USB-C, microSD | Battery: Up to 15 hours
Lenovo's Tab P11 Plus is an attractive tablet that's not overly expensive. The 11-inch 2K display looks fantastic, and the battery life will keep your child entertained for hours. The battery life is perhaps the best part of this tablet: Lenovo touts up to 15 hours of video streaming, and ZDNET tests can back that claim up. Plus, it runs Android 11 out of the box.
One downside to the Tab P11 Plus is that it lacks a headphone jack, so if you want to keep your child's cartoons or games quiet, you'll have to invest in some kid-friendly Bluetooth headphones.
Review: Lenovo Tab P11 Plus
Moderately priced at $250, the Lenovo Tab P11 Plus is easy to recommend and very competent. In ZDNET's review, June Wan said, "It's hard to argue against how much value you're getting with this tablet."
Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Tablet
Best kids tablet for littler kids.
- Kids edition has many perks
- Easy to use
- Performance will be an issue
- Amazon's Appstore is hit or miss
Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids tech specs: Display: 8-inch display | Processor: Hexa-core 2.0 Ghz | Storage: 32GB or 64GB (expandable by up to 1 TB) | Memory: 2GB | Colors: Blue, purple, Disney Mickey Mouse, or Disney princess | Cameras: 2 MP front and rear-facing cameras with 720p HD video recording | Weight: 18.3 ounces | Dimensions: 8.7 x 7.1 x 1.1 inches| Connections: 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C port | Battery life: 13 hours
While similar to the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro tablet, the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids tablet is made with littler kids in mind. It comes with a colorful kid-proof case built to withstand 3 to 7-year-olds, since it protects against drops and bumps, and it comes complete with an adjustable stand so your kids can go hands-free.
It also comes with a free one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+, an Amazon FreeTime Unlimited subscription, which grants you access to thousands of kid-friendly ad-free books, as well as movies, games and other kid-friendly and educational content .
"The Fire HD 8 Kids tablet is a well-built, entry-level tablet that comes with a sturdy kid-proof cover and features useful parental controls," says ZDNET's Maria Diaz, who bought the tablet for her kids.
Review: I bought this Amazon kids tablet instead of an iPad and wasn't sorry
"Its 13-hour battery life means that you'll need to charge it less often than other competitors, and the combination of a durable case and screen ensures the integrity of the Fire tablet for years to come," she says.
However, Amazon offers you a two-year worry-free guarantee in case the tablet does succumb to playtime
Samsung Galaxy Tab A8
Best samsung kids' tablet.
- Samsung Kids experience
- Expandable storage
- Great tablet for simple entertainment
- Sluggish performance
- Battery life isn't as great as other options
Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 t ech specs: Display : 10.5 inches | Resolution: 1920 x 1200 | Processor : Octa Core Unisoc T618 | Storage : 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, microSD up to 1TB | Cameras : 8MP rear, 5MP front camera | Weight : 1.12lbs | Dimensions : 9.72 x 6.37 x 0.27 inches | Connections : 3.5mm headphone jack, USB 2.0 | Battery: 7,040mAh (About 6 hours)
If you'd rather your kid have a proper Android tablet with full Google support, look no further than the Galaxy Tab A8.
"This tablet is packed with features that make it the perfect choice for parents looking to keep their children entertained and informed while they are away from home," parenting expert and creator of Parental Questions Mo Mulla told ZDNET.
Mulla also speaks highly of Samsung Kids, which parents can access from any Samsung tablet, as it lets parents give their kids access to specific contacts and apps, provides learning challenges for kids to avoid mindless scrolling, and even includes interaction with Samsung-specific animated characters.
"Its kid-friendly content has been explicitly created with kids in mind and includes educational apps and games to help entertain them and keep them active during playtime," he said.
While the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 won't blow you away with overall performance, it can run your favorite apps, handle light gaming, and stream movies and shows. In addition, its expandable storage capacity ensures there is never a shortage of space on the device for downloads or extra materials when needed.
What is the best tablet for kids?
Apple's base iPad is the best kids' tablet that money can buy. It offers the complete package of performance, battery life, app availability, and widespread accessory support. It's a great option for kids who need a reliable device for schoolwork, gaming, or streaming content. However, if you prefer Android OS or a better price point, there are plenty of solid alternatives on the market.
Which is the right tablet for your kid?
Picking the right kids' tablet comes down to a couple of questions you must ask yourself. First and foremost, you need to have a set budget in mind. Once you decide how much you will spend, you can begin narrowing down your options. Then, determine if you want a tablet made by a specific company.
How did we choose these tablets for kids?
While I've used some of these tablets myself, I don't have any kids, so I turned to experts for their thoughts. I also researched tablets from renowned brands and paid attention to parental controls and kid-friendly programs that can come with a tablet.
- Durability: Having a tablet that can last is especially important when kids will be using the device, so I looked at the durability of tablets in what they are made of, kid-friendly cases and warranties available.
- Ease of use: A tablet for kids needs to be simple, so I looked at factors such as large screens, built-in apps, and operating systems that are easy for kids to learn.
- Parental controls: Your kids' safety and privacy are #1 when it comes to tablets, so I looked at what kind of parental controls each tablet offers, including features like screen-time monitoring and app restrictions.
- Cost : Kids tablets run the gamut in price, so I included tablets in both low and higher price points, depending on what you need and what features are most important to you in a tablet.
What features should I look for in a tablet for kids?
You have to think about different things when you're buying a tablet for kids compared to buying a tablet for yourself.
Tim Dikun, dad and Teaching.com COO and VP of Product, has some advice when it comes to what parents should prioritize in a kids' tablet.
"Look for granular parental controls, including if specific apps can be blocked and/or unlocked around certain times," he said. "For example, Amazon's FreeTime app allows parents total control over how children use the tablet by setting learning goals, limiting time spent on gaming apps, or locking gaming apps until learning goals are met."
Dikun also said to pay attention to a tablet's durability, since, well, kids will be kids. If a tablet isn't exactly durable to bumps and drops (like the iPad), be sure to invest in a kid-proof case.
What should parents know about tablets and screen time?
Rebecca Mannis, PhD., learning specialist at Ivy Prep Learning Center , referred to The American Academy of Pediatrics' new guidelines, which recommends no consistent screen exposure before 18 months of age, one hour tops of screen exposure for ages 2 through 5, and limiting screen use to two hours after age 5.
"In considering preschools and primary schools, it is helpful to know their policies -- both to see how their philosophies match your family values, and so you can reinforce their rules at home," she said.
Mannis added that while kids often learn to read these days through a tablet, thanks to reading apps, it's essential to switch up how your child reads.
"Researchers have found that the brain processes content that we read online in a different way - and one that is not as skilled," she said. "So, as great as online reading is, give your kids lots of opportunities to hold books in their hands to maximize their literacy skills growth. Or 'cross train' their reading between devices and traditional print books to see if you as a parent notice a difference."
Can my kids use YouTube on Amazon's Fire tablets?
Not officially. Amazon customizes the base version of Android and turns it into Fire OS, forgoing any Google certification in order to make Google's apps available on the tablets.
You won't find the official YouTube app available in the Appstore, but you can use Amazon's Silk browser to access the YouTube website to gain access to the video platform.
Are there alternative tablets for kids worth considering?
There are plenty of tablets on the market that can be kid-friendly. Be sure to look for features like parental controls, long battery life, and ease of use. Here are a few other options to consider.
Best alternative for a smaller tablet
Apple ipad mini.
Apple's iPad Mini is a powerful, more portable option for kids who prefer iOS.
Best alternative for smaller kids
Amazon fire hd 10 kids.
Amazon's new Fire HD 10 Kids model also got some upgrades including better battery life, a higher quality camera, and a kid-proof case, plus, preset age filters for kids age 3-7.
Best alternative for Microsoft users
Microsoft surface go 3.
The Microsoft Surface Go 3 is a versatile option for kids who want to use it for entertainment and schoolwork.
Best alternative for little kids
Contixo kids tablet.
Children aged 3-7 will enjoy this kid-friendly tablet with built-in educational apps from the Google Play Store like Khan Academy for Kids, Duolingo, ABC Mouse, etc.
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The Best Tablet for Kids
The best tablet for your pre-K to middle-school kids is usually the one you aren’t using anymore. But we’ve spent hundreds of hours testing tablets; if you need to buy one, we recommend Apple’s 9th-generation iPad , which has the best combination of ease of use, performance, kid-appropriate app selection, and price. It can do anything your kid might want, from schoolwork to games, and it should still be usable three or four years from now.
Everything we recommend
Apple iPad (9th generation)
The best tablet for your kid.
Apple’s entry-level iPad has the best combination of ease of use, performance, app selection, and price—whether you’re an adult or a kid. The 64 GB version is a good buy unless you plan to download a lot of high-end games or 4K video.
You save $20 (7%)
Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition (2022)
Slow but cheap, and good for video.
The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is slower than an iPad, with a worse screen and a much more-limited app selection, but it’s inexpensive, includes a childproof case and an accidental-damage warranty, and it has good parental controls.
The iPad is a fast, well-made tablet with a great screen, but its app selection may be its best feature. You can, of course, also use it to download or stream video from just about anywhere, including Netflix , Hulu , Amazon Prime Video , and YouTube Kids . But Apple’s App Store offers a huge range of educational apps and games for kids of all ages, as well as tons of apps for creating and editing art, video, and audio, which can nurture a child’s creative impulses. An iPad isn’t cheap, but it will last for years—thanks to great hardware and to frequent system and security updates—and the app library means an iPad will stay useful as your kid grows and their interests change.
If you want a tablet mostly for kid-focused video, books, and music, Amazon’s Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is less than half the price of an iPad, and it’s a decent 8-inch tablet that includes a protective case and a year’s subscription to Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, which has an extensive library of kid-friendly content. The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is much slower and more difficult to use than an iPad, and it has far fewer apps and games, but its smaller size may be more comfortable to hold for younger kids, it supports multiple user accounts, and it’ll survive a drop better than an iPad. And if your child does manage to break it, the two-year accidental damage warranty will get you a no-questions-asked replacement.
Should kids use a tablet, the best tablet for your kid is your old one, what about buying used or refurbished, how we picked and tested, the best all-around tablet: 9th-generation apple ipad, cheap, durable, and good for video: amazon fire hd 8 kids edition, what to look forward to, the competition.
Tablets aren’t just small screens for putting cartoons in front of your kid. They can also be educational tools, toys, and gaming devices. Your kid can stay entertained on long car rides or plane trips, use educational apps provided by their school, practice math and verbal skills, use their musical and artistic creativity, and much more.
Not everyone wants to give their kid a screen, but many experts agree that above a certain age, screen time isn’t inherently negative as long as you carefully control and supervise it. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against screen time for kids younger than 18 months except for video chatting, and it advises that kids aged 18 to 24 months do all screen time with a parent; the organization recommends limiting screen time to an hour per day for kids 2 to 5.
According to Common Sense Media , not all screen time is equal—more passive activities like reading or watching videos are different from communicating with others or playing games. Based on the organization’s usage surveys and the AAP’s recommendations, Common Sense Media encourages parents to make sure their child is “using high-quality and age-appropriate content, their behavior is positive, [and] screen time is balanced with other parts of life like sleep, connecting with family and friends, and time outdoors.”
Assuming you want or don’t mind your child using a screen sometimes, a tablet is easier to use, offers much more space for apps to work with, and costs less (often substantially less) money than a smartphone. A tablet’s larger size also makes it easier to monitor your child’s use, and the lack of cellular service (for the models we recommend) makes it simpler to manage what they’re doing on it. (The New York Times, Wirecutter’s parent company, has a guide on how to limit kids’ tech use .)
Before you buy a tablet for your kid, ask yourself whether you already own one you don’t use much. If you do, chances are it will work well enough for your kid. At the other extreme, if you use your tablet regularly, consider buying a new one for yourself and handing down your old one. Win-win!
iPads make especially good hand-me-downs, and you have plenty of case options to make them more childproof. Apple currently supports every iPad since 2017’s 5th-generation iPad with regular software updates, so even those older iPads will be compatible with all the apps and games that your kids will want to run, and they should still be quick enough for most apps (though you shouldn’t go out and buy a 4- or 5-year-old iPad if you don’t already own one). And any iPad that can run the current version of iPadOS (version 16 at the time of publication) should be fast enough to handle all but the most demanding kids games.
Amazon’s Fire tablets, on the other hand, aren’t particularly good candidates for hand-me-downs, especially if the tablet is already a couple of years old. Amazon does provide software updates for three or four years after a device is released, but Fire tablets have much less-powerful hardware than the iPad. So by the time it’s ready to hand off to a child, the Fire will struggle with newer games. And Fire tablets—especially the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition that we recommend—are inexpensive enough that it makes more sense to buy a new one with a fresh, kid-resistant warranty than it does to reuse an old one.
Older hand-me-down smartphones can also be a good alternative to a tablet. Although smaller than even the Fire HD 8 or an iPad mini, larger-screen iPhones and Android phones will run most of the same games, video-streaming apps, and educational apps. And if you use them over Wi-Fi without a SIM card, they won’t add anything to your phone bill.
You can try to save some money by buying a used tablet, but you need to be careful. Buying from third-party sellers on sites like Amazon or eBay can be a bit of a crapshoot, and if something goes wrong, you don’t have a lot of options. Reputable resellers of used devices, such as Gazelle , sell used iPads that have been fully inspected and offer a 30-day return policy. These companies can also be useful if you want to sell an older tablet or phone that you’re no longer using.
Most people are best served by buying the newest iPad, though buying a refurbished version of an older iPad can save you some money—and if you buy a refurb directly from Apple , you get a full one-year warranty.
Another thing to keep in mind with older iPads and iPhones is storage space, since you can’t add more storage later. In general, 64 GB of storage is tolerable if you don’t want to download and store a ton of videos, but Apple’s only storage upgrade for most iPads is 256 GB, which adds over $100 to the price. Luckily, most kids don’t need more than 64 GB.
We generally recommend against specialized kids tablets, since they tend to be underpowered and have fewer app options, but kids do need different things from a tablet than adults do. We’ve spent countless hours testing iPads and Android tablets , but to better apply that testing to this guide, we surveyed eight parents on staff to get an idea of what parents (and kids) needed from a tablet. We then took another look at the models we’ve tested for our iPad guide and Android tablet guide to come up with parent-approved recommendations for which tablets to buy and how to shop for them.
Most of our respondents had kids under 8 years old, though we also got responses from parents with kids between 9 and 13. In rough order of importance, these parents told us they want:
- a durable tablet that can stand up to normal wear and tear—either because the tablet itself is durable or because it has many options for cases and screen protectors
- a wide selection of apps, especially for education, video streaming, gaming, and reading
- robust parental controls for limiting what kids can do
- a good amount of storage for downloaded games and videos
- good enough performance to play relatively demanding games
Most of our respondents indicated that they want a tablet to last for at least three years, and that they would like it to cost around $300 or less (though around a third of respondents said they’d pay more if necessary to get the right device).
Our respondents told us that cameras for taking photos, videos, and video chatting are firmly in the nice-but-not-necessary category. They also agreed that their kids would primarily use a tablet at home, not at school.
We spent additional testing time (both for this guide and for our guide to parental controls on smartphones ) using the parental-control features on the various tablets we considered.
Apple’s 9th-generation iPad is the best kids tablet for many of the same reasons that it’s the best tablet for most people : It’s the cheapest way to access Apple’s huge library of educational, video, gaming, and reading apps. Plus, it’s fast and responsive, and the display is sharp and bright enough to use indoors or out. The biggest downsides are that you can’t create multiple accounts for multiple kids—if they need to share the tablet with anyone, they end up sharing everything—and iPadOS’s parental controls , although powerful, can be difficult to use. You also need a durable case to protect the iPad’s aluminum and glass body from cracks and dents, but because of the comprehensive range of iPad accessories, you have plenty of options.
The best thing about the iPad is the plethora of apps available in the App Store. If you have a younger child, you’ll appreciate the wide selection of age-appropriate games from developers like Toca Boca and educational and licensed apps such as the ones from PBS Kids . Older kids will enjoy all the different sources of ebooks, apps with Apple Pencil support for drawing, and video- and audio-creation apps like Apple’s own iMovie and GarageBand . The 9th-generation iPad also supports the 1st-generation Apple Pencil, which artistically inclined kids might enjoy.
The iOS app store also has tens of thousands of games, many of which debut on iOS or run only on iOS. And, of course, kids of all ages will appreciate video-streaming apps like Netflix , Hulu , Amazon Prime Video , and YouTube Kids , all of which run perfectly on the iPad. If that’s not enough, Apple has its own streaming service and the option to purchase downloadable video content.
Apple’s parental controls are powerful; they give you a lot of control over what your kid can do and when, while still allowing them to ask your permission if they want more time or want to buy an app or a game. The Screen Time feature can set off-limits hours for iPad usage and time limits on particular apps; parents on Wirecutter’s staff also said they appreciated the ability to disable the home button to keep younger kids from accidentally (or purposely) closing their game or app.
While the iPad’s parental controls are not as easy to use as Amazon’s, the company has worked to improve them in the latest iOS 16 release . For example, you can configure the iPad simply by bringing it close to your iPhone, and the Quick Start feature lets you set restrictions in a few taps. Screen Time extension requests also route to the Messages app for easy approval (or denial). However, changing content settings for Apple’s various features, like Game Center, Siri, and Safari, requires digging around in the Screen Time settings on the tablet.
The iPad runs on Apple’s A13 Bionic chip, which debuted in 2019. Even though it’s a few years old, the A13 is still much faster than the budget MediaTek chip powering Amazon’s Fire tablet. The iPad can run high-end games (including some that were originally designed for gaming PCs), play 4K video, and even multitask with ease. It has more power than your child probably needs, but that means it will still be fast in a few years as apps and iOS itself become more demanding.
Apple’s 9th-generation iPad lacks the mini-LED and OLED screen technology of more expensive tablets, but the 10.2-inch 2160×1620 Retina LCD looks crisp and gets bright enough to be usable even in bright outdoor lighting. The 10th-generation iPad offers a slightly larger 10.8-inch screen with a higher resolution and narrower bezels. However, the roughly $120 price increase is not worth it for a kids tablet.
One drawback of the iPad for smaller kids is its size: The large screen gives young fingers larger targets to tap on but also makes the tablet more of a challenge to hold. One Wirecutter parent recommended a case with a built-in stand, especially for use on a plane. If size is a concern for you, Amazon’s Fire HD 8 Kids Edition, our budget pick, is smaller and lighter, and it comes with a grippy case and integrated stand. Apple does offer an iPad mini, which has all the same features in a more manageable size, but it’s much more expensive (about $500) and includes some add-ons that aren’t necessary for kids, including support for the 2nd-generation Apple Pencil and a faster processor.
How much storage do you need?
If your child will mainly use apps and stream video, the 64 GB version of the iPad will likely be fine. That will give you enough space to install apps and store some content offline in case you end up somewhere that doesn’t have Wi-Fi for streaming. If you want to load the tablet up with high-definition video and large games for slightly older kids, a $150 storage upgrade gets you 256 GB of space. We don’t recommend spending that much—Apple’s storage pricing is designed to nudge people to choose more-expensive models. Still, keep in mind you can’t upgrade the internal storage in an iPad after you buy it, so you may want to consider how your kid’s needs will change over the next few years.
Amazon’s Fire HD 8 Kids Edition isn’t as powerful or versatile as even a years-old iPad, but if your child will mainly be watching video and you don’t need a wide variety of apps, the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition costs less than half as much as Apple’s cheapest iPad. And it has some interesting features of its own, including a colorful (if bulky) protective case, a two-year “worry-free guarantee” that covers even accidental damage, Amazon’s robust parental controls, and a one-year subscription to the extensive Amazon FreeTime Unlimited content library of (as Amazon puts it) “kid-friendly books, movies, TV shows, educational apps, and games.”
Although the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition includes only 32 GB of storage, you can easily expand that using cheap microSD cards (Apple does not support microSD cards on the iPad). The tablet is also smaller than a full-size iPad, which may make it more comfortable for small hands to hold, and Amazon’s Fire OS supports multiple user accounts to facilitate easier sharing between multiple kids (or kids and adults)—each user gets their own settings and usage restrictions.
The 8-inch screen may be easier for kids to handle, but the resolution and brightness are much lower than the iPad. It may not be as easy to read in bright lighting conditions. And the MediaTek MT8169A processor is less powerful than the A13 Bionic chip in Apple’s iPad, so don’t expect the same level of responsiveness.
The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition works best as a video-streaming device. In addition to Amazon’s extensive video library, you can get Netflix and Hulu , as well as kid-specific apps from Disney , Nickelodeon , and PBS Kids . There are a couple of notable absences: If you have Apple devices, you can’t access your Apple media library on Fire tablets, and the lack of any Google apps on Amazon’s tablet platform means no easy access to YouTube Kids (and you’re stuck with the web interface for standard YouTube, which means you have to unblock the entire web browser in the parental controls). Confusingly, Amazon’s Fire TV device has some Google apps, but not the Fire tablets.
The selection of educational apps and simple games isn’t bad, but it’s nowhere near as varied as what you can get on an iPad. Although the one-year FreeTime Unlimited subscription does give you access to most apps at no additional charge, you’ll have to pay once that subscription expires: Amazon Prime subscribers pay about $48 a year for a family plan that covers up to four kids, while non–Prime members pay about $79 a year for the same plan. It’s a good deal if your kid is always trying new apps, games, videos, and books—though as we mentioned, the selection isn’t huge—but it may not be worth the cost if they’re using the tablet just as a screen for watching Netflix.
One area where the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition bests Apple’s tablets is in parental controls . Amazon’s Fire OS offers not just parental-control options but also a completely separate user interface for child accounts that removes ads and puts the focus on Amazon-vetted books, apps, and games based on the age and gender of the child using the tablet. Apps running in a child’s account don’t send location data to those apps’ developers, the Alexa voice assistant is disabled, and age-based content filters are automatically enabled. You can even use time restrictions to reward kids—for example, letting them play games only after they’ve spent a certain amount of time reading or using educational apps.
Amazon announced two large Fire tablets for kids, the Fire HD 10 Kids and the Fire HD 10 Kids Pro . The Pro is designed for kids ages 6 to 12, and the regular Fire HD 10 Kids for ages 3 to 7. Both have 10.1-inch 1080p screens, bigger than the Fire HD 8 model we currently recommend. Like the Fire HD 8, they promise up to 13 hours of battery life and come with 12 months of Amazon Kids+ included. Both tablets are available for pre-order starting at $190, $10 cheaper than the last generation of Fire HD 10 Kids models (which were released in 2021), and will ship next month. We will update this guide with their testing results as soon as we have them.
The 10th-generation iPad released in 2022 has an updated design with smaller bezels around the screen, gesture navigation, and vibrant color options. It also runs on a newer Apple A14 processor. However, none of these things make it better than the 2021 model as a tablet for kids. The 10th-generation iPad is also much more expensive than the 9th-generation model—the 10th-gen is about $450—and it has the same 64 GB of storage in the base model.
Apple still sells the 8th-generation iPad in its refurbished store, which was a previous pick in this guide. Refurbished devices aren’t as reliable as new ones, but Apple’s store includes a one-year warranty, and you save about $60 compared with the 9th-generation iPad. However, the 8th-generation model is a year closer to running out of update support, and it takes a small step down in performance and camera quality.
The 6th-generation iPad mini is close in size to the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition, but the design, internals, and display are all more refined. The iPad mini has historically been a more budget-oriented tablet, but the current model is even more expensive than the 9th- or 10th-generation iPads, at around $500. It has an 8.3-inch display, an A15 processor, 64 GB of storage, and support for the improved 2nd-generation Apple Pencil. The $170 premium over the 9th-generation iPad doesn’t get you anything that will make a difference to kids, though.
Apple’s iPad Pro tablets are faster and have better screens and cameras than the 9th-generation iPad, but those aren’t features that kids would notice or care about. The iPad Pro models are also at least twice as expensive as the base model iPad, significantly more money than any of the parents we surveyed would want to pay for a child’s tablet. iPad Pro tablets are nice for demanding grown-ups, but they’re overkill for children.
Amazon also sells Kids Edition versions of its two other Fire tablets: The Fire 7 Kids Edition and Fire HD 10 Kids Edition each include the same childproof case, two-year warranty, and FreeTime Unlimited subscriptions as the Fire HD 8. But we don’t like either of these tablets as much as the Fire HD 8. The Fire 7 model is a bit cheaper, but it’s slower and equipped with a noticeably less colorful, lower-resolution screen, while the Fire HD 10 model costs significantly more without offering many benefits beyond a larger screen.
You can find plenty of Android tablets , but you shouldn’t buy any of them for your kids over an iPad or a Fire tablet. Although they run most of the same games and video-streaming apps as the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition, and they have easy access to apps for YouTube and other Google services, the devices themselves aren’t available in kid-specific editions with similar perks. And to get a really good Android tablet, you have to spend at least as much as it costs to get an iPad, which is faster and has a larger library of apps.
We haven’t tested educational tablets sold specifically for younger kids, such as LeapFrog’s series of tablets . These devices are designed to be durable and have app catalogs specifically curated for kids, but they can cost roughly as much as our Fire HD pick but with inferior screens and slower processors that may frustrate kids and parents when using some apps. More important, their selection of apps is limited compared with what Apple and Amazon offer, focusing mostly on educational apps for kids age 7 and younger. Many of these apps are advertised as educator approved, but if your kid gets bored with them or outgrows them, you don’t have Apple’s or Amazon’s variety of popular games, video-streaming apps, or even educational apps for older kids that can extend the tablet’s usefulness.
The latest version of this article was edited by Caitlin McGarry and Arthur Gies.
Where We Stand: Screen Time , healthychildren.org , November 1, 2016
How Much Screen Time Is OK for My Kid(s)? , Common Sense Media , March 11, 2022
Meet your guides
Andrew Cunningham is a former senior staff writer on Wirecutter's tech team. He has been writing about laptops, phones, routers, and other tech since 2011. Before that he spent five years in IT fixing computers and helping people buy the best tech for their needs. He also co-hosts the book podcast Overdue and the TV podcast Appointment Television.
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The 9 Best Tablets for Kids to Make Screen Time Safer and More Fun
Find out which tablets offer the best parental controls, features, and value
We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more .
Tablets offer kids a whole world of entertainment: They can explore games and books, do schoolwork, consume content, and connect with friends and family. With these educational and entertainment benefits , a tablet can be a helpful gadget for a child's development when used in moderation. If you choose to purchase a tablet for your child, there’s plenty to consider when making your pick.
Early Black Friday Deals
- LeapFrog 2-in-1 LeapTop Touch is 25% off right now at Amazon
- Apple iPad Air (5th Generation) is $100 off at Amazon
- Apple iPad Mini (6th Generation) is $100 off at Amazon
Whether you're introducing a tablet for the first time or are upgrading to a newer device for an older kid, consider durability, parental controls, age recommendations, and your kid’s particular needs when picking the best option for your family.
When reviewing tablets for kids , we researched popular options from trusted brands and considered recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) . A pediatric psychologist on our Review Board also reviewed the contents of this article for accuracy and how to evaluate appropriate tablets for kids. We also spoke with Dr. Lyndsey Garbi, MD, a pediatrician and the co-founder and chief medical officer of Blueberry Pediatrics.
How Much Screen Time Is OK for Kids?
When selecting the right tablet for your child, it's important to keep the AAP's suggested guidelines for screen time in mind:
- Toddlers from 18 to 24 months can start to enjoy some screen time with an adult.
- Children ages 2 to 5 should be limited to one hour of supervised educational screen time a day, which includes computers, tablets, television, and gaming devices.
- “Consistent limits” on screen time are recommended for kids over 6.
The AAP also suggests establishing screen-free zones, like the car or the dinner table, which should apply to all family members because good habits start with good examples , after all.
- How Much Screen Time Is OK?
- How We Selected
- What to Look For
Why Trust Verywell Family
Best overall, amazon fire hd 10 kids tablet.
Long battery life
Limited app options
Our top choice, the Fire HD 10 , is Amazon's largest and fastest version of its popular kids' tablet. The 10.1-inch tablet has charging power that lasts for 12 hours , and its kid-proof case, built-in stand, built-in camera , and two-year guarantee make it pretty indestructible for little hands.
With the tablet comes a year-long subscription to Amazon Kids+ , which offers thousands of age-appropriate movies, books, games, TV shows, and more that are all geared toward kids 3 to 12 years old. Caregivers can use the Amazon Parent Dashboard to give children access to apps like Netflix and Zoom if desired, while the easy-to-use parental controls manage up to four kids’ accounts and can limit access to the camera, web browsing, and in-app purchases, among other tablet functions.
This tablet is an excellent option for most families. Since it is an Amazon device, Google Play and Android apps are not available.
- Dimensions: 8.2 x 10.6 x 1.1 inches
- Wi-Fi Capability: Yes
- Battery Life: 12 hours
- Age Recommendation: 3 to 7 years old
- Weight: 25.2 ounces
- Display: 1920 x 1080 Pixels
Price at time of publication: $200
Best for Toddlers
Leapfrog 2-in-1 leaptop touch.
Has tablet and laptop modes
Helps develop important skills
Does not connect to Wi-Fi
No headphone jack
No touch screen
This basic educational tablet is a great introductory device for toddlers. With its five learning modes —the alphabet, numbers, messages, games, and music—the tablet helps little ones learn important skills in an engaging way. Plus, with role-playing activities like emailing Scout, they’ll develop communication and nurturing skills as well.
The tablet also functions as a laptop. To convert between the two modes, simply flip the screen up or down. Since it does not have Wi-Fi capabilities, parents need not worry about kid-proofing this device. Caregivers can also customize the battery-operated tablet to help their little ones learn to spell their own names.
- Dimensions: 10.04 x 6.06 x 1.26 inches
- Wi-Fi Capability: No
- Battery Life: Uses 3 AA batteries (included)
- Age Recommendation: 2 to 5 years old
- Weight: 1 pound
- Display: Not listed
Price at time of publication: $28
Avoid letting your child use screens around bedtime. The light emitted from screens interferes with the sleep cycle and can lead to insomnia.
Best for Middle Schoolers
Samsung galaxy tab a7 lite 8.7” tablet.
Slim, lightweight design
Connects with other Samsung devices
Comes with a two-month YouTube Premium subscription
Cover sold separately unless bundled
Tweens have unique needs when it comes to tech and gadgets. For this crowd, parents need a more advanced option that still has parental controls , like the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite , which lets tweens play, read, watch, and listen on the go. This tablet has a durable metal frame, tons of storage, and a slim design that easily fits into a backpack. Plus, you can add a variety of apps to be ready for all the work your middle schooler will bring home.
If you’re a Samsung family , you’ll appreciate this tablet’s ability to connect seamlessly with the brand’s other devices , so your kid can start watching a show on a Samsung smartphone and pick it up in the same spot on their tablet. Caregivers will also appreciate the parental controls, available through the Google Family Link app , which allow them to set screen time limits , filter content, and more. If a younger sibling is using the tablet, the Samsung Kids app provides a safe, family-friendly environment for kiddos to explore the device. Bonus: This tablet comes with two months of free YouTube Premium.
- Dimensions: 4.91 x 0.31 x 8.37 inches
- Battery Life: Not listed (5,100 mAh battery)
- Age Recommendation: Not listed
- Weight: 0.81 pounds
- Display: 1340 x 800 Pixels
Price at time of publication: $160
Best for High Schoolers
Apple ipad air 2022 (5th gen).
Liquid retina display
Top-notch front and back cameras
Touch ID for security
Keyboard and pencil sold separately
While anyone parenting a high schooler may simply want to see their teen succeed , students themselves will want a tablet that can do it all: play games, video chat with friends, type up homework, take photos, write, draw, sketch, and stay organized. The iPad Air can do all of those things and then some.
This advanced tablet is compatible with Apple keyboards (which attach magnetically and connect automatically) and with the second-generation Apple Pencil for easy drawing and sketching . These features essentially allow the iPad to morph into a laptop , so it’s useful for all that high school homework.
Available in five metallic colors, the iPad’s display is 10.9 inches (diagonally) . The HD front and back cameras, video features, and stereo speakers will impress your high schooler, while the Touch ID feature offers additional privacy and security. (As with any aspect of your teen's life, be sure to discuss boundaries before giving them handing over this tablet.) While it is a major investment, this iPad can work as an all-in-one tool for your high school student , and it may just get used by the rest of the family, too.
- Dimensions: 9.74 x 7.02 x 0.24 inches
- Battery Life: 10 hours
- Weight: 1.02 pounds
- Display: 2360 x 1640 pixels
Price at time of publication: $599
Best for Reading
Amazon kindle kids (2022).
Access to Audible and Amazon Kids+
Designed for reading
Only for reading
Audible membership not included
If your kid is an avid reader, they'll love the Kindle Kids . With no distraction from the internet, games, or any apps, this is the ultimate reading tablet.
This thin, lightweight tablet has adjustable backlighting for indoor or outdoor reading , and the high-resolution display is glare-free for sharper text and images. Since the battery isn’t powering tons of apps, it lasts for up to six weeks , not just days or hours. The tablet can help grow your kid’s reading skills with the Vocabulary Builder and Word Wise tools , and there’s also an option to read in OpenDyslexic, a font that may be helpful to some readers with dyslexia .
In addition to the device, your purchase will include one year of Amazon Kids+ , allowing your bookworm to access thousands of books and audiobooks, including the full Harry Potter series. There’s also a Parent Dashboard that allows you to adjust age filters, add new books, view your kid’s reading progress, and set a bedtime. The included tablet cover is available in three fun designs: Ocean Explorer, Space Whale, and Unicorn Valley.
If audiobooks are your kid's thing, the Kindle Kids also includes access to Audible (with a membership), so they can switch between reading and listening via speakers or headphones. While this tablet doesn’t connect to the internet , there’s really no match if your kid can't get enough of books or if you want to encourage more reading in your family.
- Dimensions: 6.3 x 4.5 x 0.53 inches
- Battery Life: Up to 6 weeks
- Age Recommendation: Age 7 and up
- Weight: 9.03 ounces
- Display: 300ppi
Price at time of publication: $120
Amazon fire 7 kids edition tablet.
Kid-proof case included
Comes with a free one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+
May be too small for some kids
Tablets can be expensive, and you may be hesitant to take the plunge and buy one if you aren’t sure how much your child will use it. This is where a more budget-friendly option comes in handy, like the Amazon Fire 7 Kids Tablet . At $110, it’s not cheap, but it’s more affordable than most other high-quality, full-featured tablets on the market. It’s designed specifically with kids in mind.
The tablet comes in a kid-proof case (available in multiple colors) with a built-in kickstand to withstand bumps and spills. For added protection, Amazon offers a two-year worry-free guarantee and will replace a broken tablet free . It also comes with a year-long subscription to Amazon Kids+ , a service with access to thousands of ad-free books, games, videos, apps, and other content. The Parent Dashboard lets caregivers filter content that isn’t age-appropriate, set educational goals and screen time limits, and give access to extra content from Netflix, Disney+, and Zoom.
Due to its size, the Amazon Fire 7 Kids Tablet is best suited to younger kiddos , and it’s a great budget-friendly starter option for children who are newer to owning electronics.
- Dimensions: 6.4 x 7.9 x 1.1 inches
- Weight: 15.1 ounces
- Display: 1024 x 600 pixels
Price at time of publication: $110
Best Battery and Charging Speed
Lenovo tab p11 (2nd gen).
Front and rear cameras
Split screen mode
Heavier than other tablets
Only one color option
Best for older kids on the go, the Lenovo Tab P11 2nd Gen features an 11.5-inch (measured diagonally) touch screen with 2K resolution. The sound is quite impressive, thanks to four speakers with Dolby Atmos surround sound technology for top-notch audio quality when listening to music or watching a movie (but it also has a headphone jack, just in case).
Its battery life averages 10 hours for video playing and web browsing, but what's truly remarkable is how fast you can charge it and get browsing again. Unlike other tablets that require five hours or overnight charging, the Tab P11 2nd Gen is ready to go after only three hours , which is helpful if your kiddo forgets to charge it before school. Another feature we love on this tablet is the split screen mode , which allows kids to work on and display two apps at once . Schoolwork will be a lot easier now that kids can read information on the internet and take notes at the same time on the split screen.
This Lenovo tablet comes preloaded with basic Google apps, including Google Kids Space (a library of over 10,000 teacher-approved apps and games, and hundreds of free children’s books), Google Docs, YouTube Kids, and more. Parental controls can be activated through Kid's Mode , which is part of the tablet's built-in software. An ergonomic keyboard and digital pen are available, but they're sold separately or can be purchased as a bundle with the tablet for $350. Parents should know this device is heavier than other tablets and only comes in gray.
- Key Specs: Dimensions: 10.6 x 6.7 x .3 inches
- Battery Life: Up to 10 hours
- Weight: 3.7 pounds
- Display : 1080 Pixels
Price at time of publication: $270
Apple 2021 iPad Mini (Wi-Fi 64GB)
Not as expensive as other iPad models
Still an investment
With an 8.3-inch screen (diagonally), the iPad mini is a smaller tablet, making it great for little hands to hold. It has many of the same features as the larger iPad models , including a liquid retina display, high-quality front and back cameras, landscape stereo speakers, fast processing, and parental controls. The tablet is also available in multiple metallic colors.
What sets the iPad mini apart is its small footprint, ideal for your elementary schooler or middle schooler to read, play, and draw on. It also comes in handy for caregivers, who may want to use it to play music or refer to recipes while cooking without taking up much precious counter space.
The iPad mini is still an investment, but it’s more affordable than the larger iPad Air . While we wouldn’t recommend it for a high schooler who uses their tablet to do schoolwork, if you’re looking for an introductory iPad for a younger kiddo or a device that is easy to throw in your bag and carry around , this is a high-quality option.
- Dimensions: 7.69 x 5.31 x 0.25 inches
- Weight: 1.32 pounds
- Display: 2266 x 1488 pixels
Price at time of publication: $499
Contixo v8 kids tablet disney edition.
Case available in seven colors
Pre-loaded with Disney e-books
Comes with kid-proof case and screen protector
Shorter battery life
Android operating system limits some apps
It’s pretty amazing that for under $60 , a family can purchase this Android kid's tablet. Geared for kids 3 to 7 years old , the 7-inch screen tablet is on the smaller side, but conveniently includes a silicone case and a shatter-safe touch screen display with protector . We love that the tablet comes pre-loaded with 50 Disney e-books appropriate for kids up to 4th grade. It also features access to Google services and the Play Store, which opens up the world of Android apps. Some may find this operating system somewhat limiting if you're used to Apple or Amazon devices, but if Android is your preferred operating system, this is a great choice.
Parental controls are easy to implement, and caregivers can create profiles, limit screen time, and block and monitor content. For the price, this is an excellent device for younger kids, but the six-hour battery life is limiting, which may be an issue for long car rides or other activities when access to a plug is difficult.
- Key Specs: Dimensions: 7.17 x 4.84 x 0.38 inches
- Battery Life: 6 hours
- Age Recommendation: 3 to 7 years old
- Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Display: 1024 x 600 Pixels
Price at time of publication: $57
How We Selected the Best Tablets for Kids
To select the best tablets for kids, we started our research by looking at the AAP's recommendations on electronic devices for kids. We also interviewed experts, parents, and kids to see what they look for and value most in a tablet.
With these insights in mind, we studied dozens of tablets on the market and narrowed our list down to these nine picks that offer the best value, features, and parental controls. The tablets on our list vary in price from $28 for a toy tablet, like the LeapFrog 2-in-1 LeapTop Touch , to $600 for the Apple iPad Air , which we recommend for older, more responsible high schoolers (although its price is steep, it can save you from having to buy them a laptop!).
As parenting editors and writers, we personally own most of these devices and feel comfortable recommending them and allowing our children to use them.
We spoke with Dr. Lyndsey Garbi, MD , a pediatrician and the co-founder and CMO of Blueberry Pediatrics, to discuss healthy screen time use, internet safety, tablet durability, and more. We also consulted guidance from the AAP and the World Health Organization on appropriate screen time limits for different age groups.
What to Look for in Tablets for Kids
- Durability: Most kids are rough on stuff, so look for a tablet that’s built to withstand spills, drops, bumps, and everything else kids can do to electronic devices. A tablet that comes with a tumble-resistant case included, like the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Tablet , is ideal and can save you money down the line. Also, consider what kind of warranty a tablet offers. Some come with years of protection—even a free replacement—in case the tablet can’t keep up with your kid.
- Parental Controls: For caregivers and parents, technology can present unique challenges now more than ever. You want to control what your kid does and sees online, but also keep in mind healthy boundaries and your own comfort when it comes to manipulating parental controls. Some tablets have built-in controls or offer simple ways for parents to select just what their kids can access, especially tablets designed particularly for kids, like the Amazon Fire 7 Kids Tablet . Some other devices require a bit of digging to figure out how to restrict certain content or may need you to download an app to set up parental controls. Consider both the age of your kids and your own technological knowledge when choosing a tablet.
- Age Recommendation: While tablets that are designed specifically for young children are likely to have age-appropriate features right out of the box, tablets with more capabilities may offer additional options and can grow with your child. When choosing a tablet with a more open-ended age recommendation (like the Apple iPad Air ), remember that this type of device will likely have more internet access and the ability to download a variety of apps. This means that you'll likely need to spend more time setting parental controls and adjusting them as your child gets older.
Frequently Asked Questions
The appropriate amount of screen time is “different for every family,” depending on kids’ ages and interests, Dr. Garbi tells Verywell Family. For children ages 2 and 5, the AAP recommends approximately one hour of screen time on weekdays and three hours over the course of the weekend. For children ages 6 and over, the AAP urges caregivers to set healthy screen time limits.
When navigating screen time, keep in mind kids’ other developmental needs. “Parents should optimize the time kids spend interacting with their friends and themselves at home,” says Dr. Garbi. “[They] should be active and outdoors. Downtime when a child may be ‘bored’ is a wonderful time for them to have the chance to fill time with [activities that promote] their imaginative and critical thinking skills.” Great alternatives to screen time include STEM (or STEAM) activities , imaginative play, board games , sports, and more.
There is no particular age at which kids should start using a tablet, Dr. Garbi says. “They won't be left behind if they don't start when others do. Screen time use for FaceTime [video calls] with family is a nice reason to use a tablet when young.”
For school-aged children, there is evidence that access to learning through a smartphone or tablet can improve learning outcomes across a range of subjects, including language and STEM. However, the age at which you introduce a tablet as a learning tool is important.
While there is no recommended age at which a child should start using a tablet, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends against screen time entirely for children under age 2. On the other hand, the AAP suggests a limited amount of screen time may be appropriate for 18-month-olds, provided they are watching educational material alongside a caregiver.
To ensure that a child stays safe when using the internet and electronic devices, “Limit their access to apps, stay involved in what they are using, and use features that give you control over these parameters,” Dr. Garbi advises. Many kids’ tablets come with parental controls already built in, and many other tablets offer parental controls or the option to download a related app.
This is specific to each kid, Dr. Garbi says. “You can use screen time as a reward for finishing all chores or tasks,” she suggests. She also proposes giving children a set amount of screen time for the day and letting them choose how and when they want to use it.
You may also want to set screen time limits with mealtime and bedtime in mind. “In general, kids shouldn't use screens an hour before going to bed or while eating,” Dr. Garbi says.
According to Dr. Garbi, “studies have shown that screen time may cause eye fatigue, blurriness, and dry eyes.” To combat these potential symptoms, she recommends taking frequent screen breaks, remembering to blink, and positioning screens appropriately.
When it comes to protecting a child’s eyesight, “Some experts recommend the 1/2/10 rule—1 foot for mobile devices, 2 feet for tablets and laptops, and 10 feet for TVs,” Dr. Garbi notes. “The American Optometric Association recommends the 20/20/20 rule: Look away from the screen every 20 minutes, then focus on an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.”
Tablet use “certainly puts strain on different muscular groups of the body,” says Dr. Garbi. “If your child is complaining of muscle pain or is displaying poor posture, study how they engage with screens to see if changes need to be made.”
If introduced too soon, a tablet may hinder rather than help your child’s development. According to a 2019 Canadian study that tracked screen time in correlation with the developmental milestones of children at ages 2, 3, and 5, spending time in front of an electronic device was shown to have a detrimental effect on language and social skills. This is thought to be because toddlers and young children learn best through social interactions with other children and adults, such as talking and playing.
Another study found that toddlers who frequently use electronic media—such as smartphones and tablets—were at a heightened risk of suffering from emotional and behavioral problems by the time they turned 5.
When introducing tablets and other electronic devices to your toddler, ensure that you are following screen time recommendations from your child’s pediatrician or reputable organizations like the AAP and WHO. Make sure to purchase an age-appropriate tablet for your toddler, such as the LeapFrog 2-in-1 LeapTop Touch , which is designed for kids ages 2 to 5.
Maya Polton is a former marketing manager and current freelance writer who covers food, home, and parenting. She's a mom of a 9-year-old son, 6-year-old son, and 2-year old daughter. She was given a Kindle when her first son was born and has never looked back. The joy of reading one-handed in a dark room has forever changed her life. Her kids sneer at her app-free Kindle and prefer the lights, sounds, and games of an iPad. To each their own.
Phoebe Sklansky is Verywell Family’s Associate Commerce Editor. As a commerce writer and avid shopper herself, she enjoys helping readers find the best products for their unique needs. Prior to joining the Verywell Family team, Phoebe Sklansky was a freelance writer for multiple home and entertainment outlets. She holds a B.A. from Vanderbilt University. When she’s not at her desk, you can find her taking a walk on the West Side Highway, catching up on reality TV, or attempting to cook in her countertop-less kitchen.
American Academy of Pediatrics. Where we stand: Screen time .
LeBourgeois MK, Hale L, Chang AM, Akacem LD, Montgomery-Downs HE, Buxton OM. Digital media and sleep in childhood and adolescence . Pediatrics . 2017;140(Suppl 2):S92–S96. doi:10.1542/peds.2016-1758J
World Health Organization. To grow up healthy, children need to sit less and play more.
Haßler B, Major L, Hennessy S. Tablet use in schools: a critical review of the evidence for learning outcomes. J Comp Assist Learn . 2016;32(2):139-156. doi:10.1111/jcal.12123
Madigan S, Browne D, Racine N, Mori C, Tough S. Association between screen time and children’s performance on a developmental screening test . JAMA Pediatr . 2019;173(3):244. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.5056
Niiranen J, Kiviruusu O, Vornanen R, Saarenpää-Heikkilä O, Paavonen EJ. High-dose electronic media use in five-year-olds and its association with their psychosocial symptoms: A cohort study . BMJ Open . 2021;11(3):e040848. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2020-040848
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Best tablet for kids 2023: 6 top options we’ve tested and reviewed
Picking the right tablet for kids can be quite a challenge. You know how it goes – the tablet they want might not be the best fit for their age group.
Imagine your five-year-old begging for an iPad Pro “just like mummy and daddy’s”. That wouldn’t be a smart move. Apart from the extremely high-end price tag, even the most well-behaved kid could easily break it during a tantrum.
And don’t be tempted by those cheap tablets that seem perfect for streaming Netflix either. They might not keep your tween or teenager happy in the long run or be suitable for their schoolwork. Based on our experience digging through the lesser-known tablets on Amazon, sometimes it’s worth splurging a bit for a reliable brand that offers solid software and reliable customer support.
If you’re on the hunt for a tablet to keep the kiddos entertained during those never-ending car rides, you have to consider elements like audio quality and battery life. Unfortunately, you can’t really judge those things from a spec sheet alone.
But that’s where we at Trusted Reviews come in. Our team of experts have put together a killer list of the best tablets for kids, covering options for different age groups, budgets, and needs. Need a rugged tablet that can survive your little tornado while you work from home? We’ve got it. Want a top-notch tablet for your 10-year-old to safely surf the web and get homework done? We’ve got that too.
Rest assured that our team of experts have thoroughly tested each entry on our list, putting them through lab experiments and real-life situations to see if they can handle your little ones. We’ve ranked them based on important elements like battery life, parental controls, durability, app support, and price. So you can trust our recommendations and make an informed choice.
If you’re after a device for an older teenager, or a shared family tablet, and you can’t find what you’re looking for here, check out our best tablet , best Android tablet and best iPad guides.
Best tablet for kids at a glance
- Best overall: Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids – check price
- Best small: Amazon Fire 7 Kids – check price
- Best iPad for older kids: Apple iPad 9 – check price
- Most powerful small: Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Pro – check price
- Best small iPad: iPad mini 6 – check price
- Best Android tablet for older kids: Realme Pad – check price
- Best tablet for teens: Amazon Fire Max 11
How we test
Every tablet in this list has been thoroughly tested and used for an extended period of time by one of our product experts. We categorically do not recommend a product unless it’s been put through our lab tests and used by the reviewer as their main tablet for at least a week. Lab testing includes colourimeter checks to gauge screen accuracy and max brightness levels, synthetic benchmarks to evaluate graphics and general performance, and battery drains to assess average discharge rates for basic schoolwork, streaming video and gaming. Our reviewer will then move on to consider the tablet’s performance for everyday use. This will see them use it as their primary tablet and enact common tasks such as movie streaming, gaming, web browsing and video calling. We’ll then attempt to review how an age-appropriate child finds using the device to gauge if it’s worth considering for this list.
- Super-chunky case offers a lot of protection
- Excellent parental controls
- Worry-free guarantee
- Bright screen
- A little expensive
- Limited app library
- Easy to carry
- Excellent warranty
- Brilliant parental controls
- 8-inch version better value
- Slow processor
- Wide selection of optimised apps
- Very good front camera
- Sharp screen
- Design feels a little tired
- Doesn’t work with newer Apple accesories
- Good core hardware
- Slim but solid protective case
- Effective parental controls
- Kid-friendly software and browser
- Dull, flat colours on the screen
- Not fast enough for demanding apps and games
- Can’t push content from Amazon Prime Music or Video without installing apps
- Great new design
- Works with the second-gen Apple Pencil
- Super-speedy thanks to the A15 Bionic chipset
- 5G option makes for great portability
- Odd storage sizes
- Some iOS elements are too small
- Fantastic build quality
- Detailed screen
- Powerful speakers
- Not the most powerful device
- Screen isn’t that bright
- Much more premium design than other Fire tablets
- Great all-day battery life
- Solid 11-inch 2K display
- Limited app availability
- Very slow to charge
Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids
The best tablet for young kids.
The Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids 2021 is the tablet we’d recommend for children aged seven and below. The main reason for this is that it’s impressively rugged. The 10-inch tablet sits inside a bumper case, which comprises a shockproof foam and plastic outer shell.
The case is a little chunky, and likely means most older kids wouldn’t be caught dead walking around their school with it – as confirmed by former Editor-in-Chief Alastair Stevenson’s god-daughter, who told him she’d “rather not have a tablet” if that was what she’d get when offered one. However, the exterior here also makes the tablet the only one on this list that we can 100% confirm will survive a full-blown toddler tantrum. During testing it survived everything from animated throws across the room to a game of tug of war with a dog without issue.
In addition, Amazon offers this tablet with a guarantee and kid-specific extras that make it a perfect option for younger kids. The most significant is its returns policy, which will see the company replace any broken Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids (2021) free of charge, no questions asked, for two years after purchase.
For adults and older kids, though, we found the HD 10 Kids FireOS software a little prohibitive – which is was the case with past Amazon tablets we’ve tested, too. The OS here is a custom version of Android that swaps Google’s traditional Android UI and app store for Amazon-specific equivalents. It pushes Amazon Prime shopping, Video, Music and Kindle to the forefront of the UI, actively encouraging you to shop.
However, based on our time with the device, the customised version of the software for kids on this tablet works very well given its intended audience. For young kids, who we’d really rather didn’t have access to a completely unrestricted app store or media library, the locked-down nature of FireOS is actually a blessing.
In tests, we were seriously impressed with the intuitiveness of the device’s parental controls. Within minutes of launching and completing the setup process – which takes about 10 minutes and requires a live Prime subscription – we were able to easily filter content, restrict or block in-app purchases, and set limits on how much screen time the tablet allowed each day.
Using the bundled one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+, our test subject toddler was able to find numerous age appropriate videos, books and games to keep them entertained for at least half an hour. The only time we experienced any issues related to the device’s hardware, which can cause some frustration, even for younger users.
The 10-inch LCD screen is more than sharp enough for kids, although compared to an iPad, it undeniably looks a little washed out. The MediaTek CPU at the heart of the device is very low power, which means that certain apps do sometimes chug. While an adult might have the patience to see through any delays, we found that it could occasionally cause frustration in younger users, with our toddler tester occasionally slapping the device or throwing it when a slowdown caused them to lose a game.
This, plus its design and locked-down ecosystem, is the reason we recommend parents invest in a higher-cost tablet such as a non-Pro iPad or a reliable Android tablet for older kids.
Battery life also leaves little to be desired. During our tests we found it is all too easy to drain the battery life in less than four hours when streaming video or playing games. This means you’ll need to invest in a battery pack if you want the tablet to make it through longer car or train journeys, without risking a tantrum when it dies mid-way through an episode of Paw Patrol.
Reviewer: David Ludlow Full review: Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Review
Amazon Fire 7 Kids
Best small kids’ tablet.
We’ve already recommended the larger Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet in this list, however the smaller (and let’s not forget much cheaper) Fire 7 Kids is a fantastic pick if you want a more portable slate for the kids.
Like all of Amazon’s Kids tablets, this one comes with a bumper case available in a number of colours, a year subscription to the Kids Plus service, and a worry-free guarantee that’ll allow you to get the tablet replaced if it’s damaged within two years.
Our reviewer said his younger kids preferred the form factor here compared to many other kids tablets for travelling, as the smaller size meant it was much easier to pack inside a rucksack. Of course, the smaller 7-inch screen might put some off as it could be harder to see.
Battery life is around 10 hours, performance is fine for basic tasks and Amazon’s software allows you to really tweak what content your kids can view.
Reviewer: David Ludlow Full review: Amazon Fire 7 Kids Review
Apple iPad 9
The best ipad for older kids.
If you have a tween or teenager who wants a cool playground-worthy tablet on which they can complete schoolwork, then the iPad 10.2-inch is our tablet of choice.
Although it’s undeniably pricey compared to Amazon’s Fire range of devices, the tablet hit the sweet spot for technical performance, long-term software support and price during our tests.
The tablet doesn’t have the modern stylings of the iPad Air 2022 or current-generation iPad Pro, which come with far smaller bezels around their screens and are slimmer too. However, in tests we found the slightly retro design was still great for kids. The aluminium frame proved suitably rugged to survive being slung into a satchel, and capable of surviving the odd drop.
Hardware-wise, the iPad 10.2-inch is also a significant step up on the Fire HD 10 Kids Edition and most of its Android competitors. Putting it head-to-head with the Fire tablet and Xiaomi Pad 5 – which is the tablet we recommend to most people in our best Android tablet guide – the iPad’s display performed well.
But the hardware isn’t the main reason for us to recommend the iPad over competing, similarly priced tablets such as the Xiaomi Mi Pad 5 or the Realme Pad . It’s the tablet’s iPadOS software. The fact is, Apple is much more stringent about the services it will run on its platform. Every app is security checked and it’s far more difficult to sneak malicious software onto Apple’s iPadOS than on Android, so kids won’t so easily be able to download malicious data-scraping apps onto the device, or stumble on a duplicate app laced with malware.
As an added bonus, the tablet will also offer software support for longer. Apple tends to update its devices to new versions of iPadOS so long as the hardware can handle it, making it a much better investment than most Android tablets, which only tend to receive 1-2 years of support based on our experience.
This, coupled with its significantly more developed tablet app library that features all the stuff any kid will need for school, a selection of family-friendly games and all the streaming services you can think of, make the iPad 10-inch the safest and most flexible choice for most youngsters.
Add to this the optional folio keyboard, and within seconds of setting up the device we were able to install every app and feature any tween or teen would need for entertainment and to complete homework.
Reviewer: Max Parker Full review: Apple iPad 9 review
Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Pro
Most powerful small tablet.
If you want a tablet for a tween that’s both rugged and offers slightly better performance than most kid-focused tablets, the Fire HD 8 Kids Pro is one to consider.
The core tablet within the rugged case is actually the same as the standard Fire HD 8, though the overall look and feel are different.
That starts with a rugged case that’s not quite as chunky as the Fire HD 8 Kids measuring in at a slightly reduced 17mm thickness that gives the tablet more of a ‘grown up’ look while still offering all-round drop protection including raised lips around the display. The helpful carry handle is also present and accounted for.
There’s also a change to the buttons and USB cutout, with easier access than the standard Kids tablet, and Amazon will offer a complete replacement if yours breaks within the first two years of ownership.
The 8-inch display has a fairly low 1280 x 800 resolution that won’t be competing with the likes of the iPad and high-end Android tablets anytime soon, but it’s more than fine for watching kids’ TV shows, cartoons and movies via the likes of YouTube and Netflix. It’s plenty bright at 477 nits, although that brings about a problem with contrast, with images and videos not looking quite as punchy as on alternative tablets.
Where the Fire HD 8 Kids Pro tablet really differentiates itself from others in the Amazon family is in the software department, with a revised version of Amazon’s Kids UI. It’s essentially split into two tabs, with the first offering a rejigged version of the Kids UI with big, square buttons to take you to apps, games, books and video content from the Kids Plus service.
The second provides something closer to the regular Fire OS Home screen with access to the likes of Audible and Amazon Music and a custom version of the Fire OS browser, Silk.
You’ll also get a year’s subscription to Amazon’s Kids Plus service when you purchase the tablet to further sweeten the deal.
In terms of parental controls, you can control which sites your kids can visit by using a blacklist to block forbidden sites, and the default Bing search has Safe Search permanently turned on. You can also install additional apps for your kids upon request via email, and a similar system for paid-for content too.
Don’t expect to run demanding games like Genshin Impact or PUBG on the tablet, with it featuring the same processor as the standard Fire HD 8, although it’s more than powerful enough to keep things running smoothly on most basic apps. It will last around 13-hours on a single charge however, with the caveat that it takes 5-hours to fully charge.
Reviewer: Stuart Andrews Full review: Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Pro (2022) review
iPad Mini 6
The best small ipad for kids.
We’d recommend the iPad 10.2 for most kids, since its larger screen makes it a better device on which to watch films, play games and complete school work. However, if you child wants a more compact device then the iPad Mini 6 is the best option.
As we noted in our best tablets guide, the iPad Mini 6 is the best small-form-factor tablet we’ve tested. While its smaller size proved a bit of a pain for adults wanting to use the device for work, or to get the best movie-watching experience possible, for parents simply wanting a small tablet that could easily and safely fit into a kid’s rucksack, it was a blessing.
The compact 8.3-inch slate easily slotted into our 8-year-old’ test subject’s Ben 10 bag. To our surprise, it also proved sufficiently rugged with the official Apple case attached to survive a full week of use, including trips back and forth to school, without any noticeable scratches or signs of damage. The robust parental controls are identical to those found accompanying the larger iPad 10.2, which offered peace of mind when letting younger kids use the tablet unsupervised during testing.
Among older kids, Mini 6’s design has enough playground street-cred to make it desirable to most teenagers. It looks like a shrunk-down iPad Air 5, which is our current recommended tablet for most adults.
Performance-wise, while it isn’t powerful enough for most adult power-users, or older kids looking for a laptop replacement or tablet on which to digitally paint or edit video, the Mini’s hardware is up to scratch.
Note that the A15 Bionic chip running the device isn’t Apple’s latest, and during synthetic benchmarks – simulated tests to gauge a product’s performance in key areas such as web browsing, gaming and content creation – it didn’t come anywhere close to matching the iPad Air 5 M1 chip ’s scores.
But our test subject didn’t experience any issues with the Mini’s performance, nor did they make any complaints about using it – despite being different to the more expensive hardware being used by their sibling. Based on our experience, the tablet remains fast enough to play every game on Apple Arcade and the App Store. The only time we suffered any issues was when attempting more demanding creative work, such as large-scale vector graphics projects in Procreate.
The more serious issues stem from the Mini 6’s size. While younger kids may appreciate the more compact dimensions, it does come with a few drawbacks. For starters, older kids who want to use the device for schoolwork will struggle with the iPad Mini’s lack of support for an official Apple keyboard dock. This is one of the main reasons we recommend the 10.2-inch iPad over the Mini for most older kids.
Battery life also isn’t quite up to scratch for prolonged, heavy use. In tests, the iPad Mini struggled to survive a full day of heavy use. Streaming video on loop, the tablet lasted only 5-8 hours, which will be an issue if you plan to use it to keep kids entertained during long journeys or camping holidays.
Reviewer: Max Parker Full review: Apple iPad Mini 6 review
Best Android tablet for older kids
If you want a tablet for your tween or teenager, but aren’t a fan of Apple devices, then the Realme Pad is the best option we’ve tested to date.
Despite costing less than $250/£250, the 10-inch tablet offers fantastic build quality and a decent enough experience to keep kids entertained during long car trips, as well as for happily streaming video or playing games at home.
Out of the box, we were immediately surprised by the tablet’s build, with it featuring a robust, distinctly iPad-looking aluminium body. The body isn’t quite as rugged as that of the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids edition, and we’re not certain it would survive a full-on tantrum. However, for older kids, the chassis is suitably scratch-resistant, the device surviving a week’s back and forth to school without issue.
Although there were a few grumbles from our test subject about wanting an iPad, once the Realme Pad was set up and their favourite streaming services and games installed, there were no problems.
Using the device for entertainment, the tablet performed well. The 10.4-inch panel doesn’t offer the best-in-class screen quality seen on more expensive tablets such as the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. In addition, head-to-head with the iPad 10.2, colours on the Apple slate were slightly more vibrant and blacks deeper. But for the money, we’re yet to find a better panel, with screen quality still being a clear step up on Amazon’s Fire tablets. Note, too, that we didn’t experience any performance issues streaming shows from Netflix and Disney Plus.
The Realme Pad also has a key selling point that differentiates it from the iPad: it features a microSD card slot. This may not sound significant, but it’s a big deal if you want to locally save an emergency stash of your kids’ favourite TV shows, books or comics to appease them when away from a Wi-Fi connection. This lets you expand the tablet’s built-in 128GB of space. Prior to going on a holiday, we were able to cram multiple series of SpongeBob SquarePants, an entire library of comic books, and more games than the kid could ever want onto the tablet by taking advantage of the feature.
For such situations we also found battery life to be generally okay, with the Realme Pad matching the 10 hours of video playback we recorded on the iPad 10.2.
The only real downside is the Android software. Android isn’t optimised to run on a tablet-sized screen in the way iPadOS is. As such, many apps appear blown up on the tablet; they don’t look as polished on an Android tablet as they do on an iPad. Key examples include everything from Twitter to Disney Plus.
However, the bigger issue is the OS’ long-term software support. Apple famously pushes software updates to its devices so long as the hardware can handle it. Android, meanwhile, has a pretty poor track record when it comes to software updates, with past experience showing us that the majority of tablets will at best receive one, maybe two upgrades to new versions of the operating system.
This isn’t ideal, since the tablet won’t get access to new features year-on-year. It also means the Realme Pad may not receive security updates for as long as it should, potentially leaving you in an awkward position where you need to get your kid a new tablet in only a couple of years – which diminishes the Realme Pad’s long-term value for money. This is one of the main reasons the iPad 10.2 sits higher on this list.
Reviewer: Ian Morris Full review: Realme Pad review
Amazon Fire Max 11
Best tablet for teens.
The Amazon Fire Max 11 is Amazon’s top-end Fire tablet designed to take on the productivity market with its large display, improved performance and all-day battery life. We think this makes the Fire Max 11 a solid option for teens in need of a cheap tablet to stream, scroll through social media and play games.
When it comes to its design, the Fire Max 11 looks a bit more premium than Amazon’s other Fire tablets. In fact, it bears more resemblance to the 10th gen iPad with its flat edges and similar-sized bezels, while Amazon claims the glass is three times more durable than that of the iPad 10.
The tablet has an 11-inch IPS LCD display with a 2K resolution that we found to be pin-sharp and packed with detail. The screen also offers excellent contrast and a wide viewing angle that makes it possible for multiple people to view content at once.
The Fire Max 11 is compatible with Amazon’s keyboard case, which includes a trackpad and stylus. We found the keyboard to be solid in everyday use and the trackpad offers gesture support for scrolling, zooming and swiping to move between apps.
Inside the tablet, you’ll find an octa-core processor with 4GB of RAM and up to 128GB of expandable storage. These aren’t the best tablet specs we’ve ever seen, but the processor offers decent enough performance during everyday tasks for a budget device.
The main drawback – as with other Amazon Fire tablets – is the lack of Google services. Amazon uses its own UI, browser and app store, which means you won’t find YouTube, Gmail, Drive, Docs or Sheets on the Fire Max 11.
There are a decent amount of popular streaming services, social platforms and games available in Amazon’s app store and Microsoft 365 can be accessed on the tablet, but if you want to access Google services you’ll need to turn to the web.
All-in-all, the Amazon Fire Max 11 is a solid budget-friendly tablet for anyone looking to stream content, play games and post on social media. However, those who rely on Google’s productivity apps for work should check out the other tablets in this list.
Reviewer: Lewis Painter
Full Review: Amazon Fire Max 11
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Whenever you allow kids access to the internet, there are some steps you should take to ensure they’re safe. Most tablets come with specialist parental controls that let you do key things such as allowing only age-inappropriate content, blocking app downloads and in-app purchases, and limiting screen time. We’d recommend any parent take advantage of them before handing over a tablet to younger users.
The answer to this depends on the age of the child and the purpose for which the tablet will be used. If you’re simply looking for a tablet on which a toddler can watch Paw Patrol, there’s no point spending big. Instead, opt for a cheap, well-made device. If the tablet is for an older child for school work as well as watching TV, it’s worth spending a little more ($200/$400) for a device with decent keyboard cover support.
For younger kids, consider lengthy battery life, decent parental controls and rugged build quality. Hell hath no fury like a three-year-old whose tablet dies halfway through an episode of Paw Patrol on a long car journey. Despite good work by Apple and Android, app stores still aren’t safe places for kids to navigate without guidance. Build quality is key, since most premium tablets aren’t designed to survive full-on tantrums or being launched in a fit of rage.
We also considered…
Still the best Apple tablet for most people
An impressive device, ticking all the right boxes for basic productivity and entertainment use
A big tablet with a few shortcomings
Trusted Reviews test data
The table below details all the test data we collected reviewing the products included in this list. The iPad 10.2 is clearly the most powerful tablet in the guide, offering superior benchmark scores and screen quality. But it’s perks cost a premium and for younger users the rugged nature of the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids makes it our recommended device for ages 7 and below.
The table below offers a full breakdown of the specifications of all the tablets in this list. Once again, while Apple’s iPads remain the highest specced and most powerful options with A15 Bionic chips, their premium price means younger children aren’t likely to take advantage of that added power. As such, the Fire tablet may be a better option for younger users.
Lewis is the Mobile Editor of Trusted Reviews with plenty of phone experience, from the Nokia 3210 to the iPhone 14 Pro Max. He has been in the tech industry writing about phones, headphones, tablets,…
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The best tablet for kids 2023: top tech from Apple, Samsung and Amazon, plus HUGE savings in Black Friday sale
Whether it's for homework, gaming or just keeping them occupied, the best tablet for kids will entertain and educate with tailor-made, age-appropriate content. And with early Black Friday discounts slashing prices by up to 30%, now is the time to buy.
By Gemma Lumley | Last updated Nov 13, 2023
The best tablet for kids will differ from the one most suitable for adults. A child-friendly tablet should score high for durability, provide fun and education and allow parents to set a range of limits and parameters to keep their child safe.
The price is important too. It’s not a good idea to spend just short of £1000 on a high-specification tablet and then put it into the sticky hands of a toddler. Whatever your child’s interests, from downloading the latest Pixar movie and taking photographs of the dog with the built-in camera , to drawing beautiful pictures and completing their homework or online tutoring , there’s a kids' tablet out there to suit their needs.
The best tablets for kids: early Black Friday deals LIVE NOW
15% off Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro
Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro with kid-friendly case
30% off Samsung Galaxy A8 Tab
Samsung Galaxy A8 Tab 32 GB
16% off Lenovo P11 Tab
Lenovo Tab P11 2nd Gen
We know how difficult it can be to choose the right kids' tech, particularly when it can feel like a major investment. To make life easier for you and to ensure we're helping you choose the right tablet for your child and their needs, we've thoroughly researched all the kids' tablets listed in this guide, either by testing them ourselves or by ensuring that they come highly recommended by Mumsnet familes.
We took these recommendations and cross-referenced with devices approved by tech expert and completed our own rigorous reviews where possible to compile our guide to nine of the best tablets for kids you can buy in 2023. If you're on the hunt for a tablet yourself, check out our best Black Friday tablets deals page, and check out some of the best early deals on kids' tablets below.
The Best Tablets for Kids: tried and tested by Mumsnet
Overall Best Kids' Tablet
Amazon fire hd 10 kids pro tablet, best budget kids' tablet.
Amazon Fire 7 Kids Tablet
Best iPad for Kids
Apple iPad 2021 10.2-inch
Read next : Be sure to check out our guides to the best board games , best gaming consoles and best laptops for kids for more tech must-haves for children.
Overall best tablet for kids
What we like.
Suitable for school-age kids
Long battery life
Easy-to-use parental controls
What we don't like
The camera could be more powerful
Delivery on this, while free, can take a while at the moment, so we'd recommend buying as soon as possible
Price on writing: £210 | Screen size: 10.1 inches | Battery life: 12 hours | Parental controls: Yes | Platform: Amazon | Storage: 32GB (expandable storage also available) | Resolution: 1920 x 1200 pixels | Weight: 714g | CPU: Helio P60T Octa-core 2.0 GHz | Cameras: 2MP front-facing camera and 5MP rear-facing camera
What Mumsnet users say
Our testers were impressed with the long battery life, robust parental controls, 2-year worry-free guarantee against faults and accidental damage and the one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+ on the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro, which takes the top spot for the best tablets for kids.
Not only topping our list of the best tablet for kids, the Amazon Fire HD Kids Pro is a winner of the coveted Mumsnet Rated badge. Out of our 25 Mumsnet testers, an impressive 100% said they’d recommend the tablet , with all testers also saying they’d purchase it in the future if it was on sale at a price acceptable to them.
The Fire HD Kids’ Pro features dual cameras and has a more streamlined ‘grown-up’ look than other versions of the tablet, but still has a tough, durable case and bright colour options. In addition, the easy-to-use controls are excellent. With them in place, your child can request extra content from access to thousands of educational games to streaming services such as Netflix, make calls to approved contacts and surf the net without coming across inappropriate content. The excellent battery life also means there's a whole lot which can be done in a single charge,and there's up to 1TB of expandable storage.
Read our full Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro Tablet review
The tablet was easy to set up, super fast, and after being dropped - survived without any issued - the case is so well designed - just brilliant, the apps loaded quickly, the sound quality was so crisp and clear, there are so many apps available which will mean it will be so loved and used.
Amazon Fire HD 10 Pro Kids Tablet
10.1-inch, 32GB £210
Amazon Fire Kids 7 (2022)
Best kids' tablet on a budget.
Great for young children
Durable kid-proof case
Good battery life - noticeable improvement from the previous model
Camera could be better
Reviewers say it sometimes lags
Price on writing : £115 | Screen size: 7 inches | Battery life: 10 hours | Parental controls: Yes | Platform: Android | Storage: 16GB (32GB available too) | Screen Resolution: 1024 x 600 pixels | Weight: 429g | CPU: Quad-core 2.0 GHz | Cameras: Rear and front camera - 2MP
Whilst it's not the most grown-up design, the Amazon Fire 7 Kids’ Edition is an affordable tablet that also wins the award for best tablet for kids aged under eight (making it a great gift option if you're looking for the best toys for 4-year-olds ). It has a tough bumper case that protects it from rough and tumble, and comes with a 2-year worry-free guarantee against faults and accidental damage.
It has 16GB or 32GB of storage, which is enough for little ones, and the compact, lightweight design makes it easy for them to carry the tablet around. We love that the Parent Dashboard allows you to place screen time limits, control the apps they use and generally manage the content your child sees, which is great for peace of mind.
The Fire 7 has up to 10 hours of battery life which, paired with the best kids' headphones , makes this tablet ideal for travel alongside your stock of the best travel games . It also comes with a one-year Amazon Kids+ subscription to view thousands of kid-friendly apps, a wide range of games, educational content, books and gives your child access to videos from CBeebies, Nick Jnr and Disney.
Read next: We compared the Amazon Fire 7 Kids with the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids to see which one came out on top.
We bought our first Amazon Fire 7 Kids (9th generation) when our eldest child was around four or five, and were so impressed with it, we bought a second for our middle child a few years later. They are now primarily used by our four- and six-year-old for long journeys, waiting rooms and camping trips.
Jenny Wonnacott, Mumsnet Content Editor and reviewer
Amazon Fire 7 Kids
7-inch display, 16GB £115
Samsung Galaxy Tab A8
Best tablet for kids age 10+.
Great middle ground between a kids' and adult tablet
You’ll need to buy a protective cover separately
Price on writing: £144 | Screen size: 10.5 inches | Battery life: 7,040 mAh battery - normal hours not specified | Parental controls: Yes | Platform: Android 11 | Storage: 32GB | Screen resolution: 1920 x 1200 pixels | Weight: 476g | CPU: Octa-core | Cameras: Rear camera 8MP, front camera 5MP
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 is the best tablet for kids aged 10+. It has a minimalist design, no bright coloured bumper cases, and lots of sophisticated features they will love exploring, including dual cameras. It is also great value, rivaling the Fires in terms of cost effectiveness. It feels well-built and robust, despite being lightweight and compact enough to slip easily into a school bag or take on holiday.
Despite the grown-up feel, the A8 allows you to add restrictions if needed with Samsung Kids, a reassuring feature for parents. The Octa-core processor is fast and reliable too, so your kids can watch TV, read and learn without interruption.
Related : Looking for more Mumsnet-approved tech for your children? We've got you covered with our guides to the best phone for kids and best kids' smartwatch .
Apple iPad (2021)
Best ipad for kids.
Compatible with Apple Pencil
Good technical support in Apple stores
Lots of apps available
Good for older kids
You’ll need to buy a protective case separately
Price on writing: £317 | Screen size: 10.2 inch | Battery life: 10 hours | Parental controls: You can limit certain things through settings | Platform: IOS | Storage: 64GB | Resolution: 2160 x 1620 (264 ppi) | Weight: 487g | CPU: A13 Bionic | Cameras: 8MP wide back camera, 12MP ultra-wide front camera
If you're more of an Apple than an Android, we think the iPad 2021 is one of the best tablet for kids you can invest in. The ultra-wide front and back cameras take excellent photos and produce high-quality video audio. The battery lasts an impressive 10 hours and comes with a lightning connector for the charger and other accessories.
The Apple iPad 2021 is an excellent option for older kids who want to use it for writing, drawing, surfing the net, and watching videos, as it has a large ‘True Tone’ LCD screen and a super-fast processor. However, this is a more expensive option; it's strongly advised that you buy a screen protector and case to protect it from damage.
This iPad base model has 64GB of storage, which is ample for kids. In addition, you can buy an Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard , which will help with homework, but this will up the overall cost of the device. We also like that it has a robust yet lightweight design and will work in conjunction with other Apple devices in the home.
The downside? While you can limit your kids' access to certain content and purchases from the app store, this tablet wasn't made specifically for youngsters like the Fire Kids' models, so it's not the best option for younger children if your main concern is robust parental control. If you do want to limit content on an iPad, Apple has this handy guide on how to do that.
Related : Are you looking to encourage your child to read more or simply on the hunt for their next favourite book? Check out our guide to the best books for 8-year-olds here.
Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Tablet
Best kids' tablet for travel.
One year subscription to Amazon Kids+
Robust, kid-proof case
The camera could be better
There are newer models available
Price on writing: £150 | Screen size: 8 inches | Battery life: 10 hours | Parental controls: Yes | Platform: Android | Storage: 32GB | Screen Resolution: 1280 x 800 pixels | Weight: 355g | CPU: Quad-core 1.3 GHz | Cameras: Rear and front camera - 2MP
Winning the award for best tablet for kids on the go, Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids has a larger, 8-inch screen, extra storage and a faster processor than the previous models. It also has fantastic stereo speakers and built-in Alexa that works even when the screen is off.
Fire tablets for kids are brilliant if you already have Amazon technology, such as an Echo , in your home, as they will connect seamlessly. The Fire HD 8 Kids Pro has a sturdy bumper case to prevent it from being damaged easily. There are several bright, cheerful colours to choose from, and the ridged texture makes it easier for little hands to grip while playing games.
It also has a 10-hour battery life after a full charge – ideal for keeping little ones entertained for playing games on the go. The screen is bright too and measures eight inches, which is a good size for watching films and videos to liven up the most boring of car or plane journeys.
Related : Looking for more must-haves your little ones will love? Our guides to the best toy cars and best dinosaur toys have got you covered.
Read next: Discover the differences between the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids tablet and its Pro version in our review.
The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids is an excellent kids’ tablet. Aimed at children aged 3 - 7 (but perfectly capable of handling the basic needs of an older child's profile, just with slightly more limits than may be useful for school work) it is a brilliant tool for education and entertainment.
Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids
8-inch, 32 GB £150
Lenovo Tab P11
Best tablet for kids to take to school.
Keyboard and pen not included
Price on writing: £189 | Screen size: 11 inches | Battery life: 15 hours | Parental controls: Yes | Platform: Android 10 | Storage space: 128GB | Resolution: 2000 x 1200 pixels | Weight: 490g | CPU: Qualcomm 2.2 GHz | Cameras: Rear 5MP and front 8MP
This brilliant tablet is designed not to cause eye strain, so you can confidently allow your child to focus on it for a few hours. The rechargeable battery lasts for up to an impressive 15 hours from a full charge too.
The Lenovo Tab P11 is the best tablet for kids to use for schoolwork - making it a fab option for the best toys for 10-year-olds if you're looking to splash the cash on their first double digit birthday. It has super-clear Dolby audio and a bright, detailed screen that is perfect for watching videos on.
It’s also great for homework as it has a fast and powerful processor. It comes with a range of Google Apps including YouTube and it's compact and light enough to be carried in a school bag , though a screen protector and tough case are advisable – extras you’ll have to factor into the overall cost.
Admittedly, it's more expensive than some other options, and if you want the latest version, the newer Lenovo Pro P11 Pro Gen 2 is an upgraded version featuring a bigger screen and better resolution.
Related : Looking for more ways to boost your child's learning? Check out our guide to the best online learning resource as approved by Mumsnet parents.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8
Best android tablet for kids.
Easy to navigate
Easy set up
Pen can easily fall off
Some report issues with Wifi dropping
Price on writing: £599 | Screen size: 11 inches | Battery life: 12 hours | Parental controls: Yes | Platform: Android | Storage: 128GB (64GB available too) | Resolution: 2560 x 1600 pixels | Weight: 500g | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 | Cameras: Front-facing camera 8mp. Rear-facing camera 13mp + 6pm Ultra Wide.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Tablet is by far the most expensive option on this list, and at this price point, we’d place it as the best tablet for kids who're well into their teen years. One of its best features is its super-fast Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, which allows multiple apps to run with ease. John Lewis also does a good deal on this model, offering £150 for trading in your old tablet and 12 months of Disney+ for free if you buy with them.
It has all of the up-to-date, competitive features accompanied by a sleek, stylish and lightweight design. No brightly coloured bumper case here. Although, we recommend getting a protective case and a screen protector just to be on the safe side.
Other amazing features include excellent storage, a reactive touchscreen that boasts high-quality graphics and the inclusion of a Bluetooth S Pen. Also, if you already own a Samsung product, reviewers note that transferring files and data to your new device is simple and straightforward.
Related : Birthdays looming? Toy stock in need of a refresh? We've got you covered with our essential, Mumsnetter-approved guides here: Best toys for 5-year-olds , best toys for 6-year-olds and best toys for 7-year-olds .
Apple iPad Mini (2021)
Best premium tablet for kids.
Great screen quality
Price on writing : £528 | Screen size: 8.3 inches | Battery life: 10 hours | Parental controls: You can limit certain things through settings | Platform: IOS | Storage: 64GB | Resolution: 2266 x 1488 (326 ppi) | Weight: 293g | CPU: A15 Bionic chip | Cameras: 12MP wide back camera, 12MP ultra-wide front camera
iPads are expensive, but their build quality, ease of use, quick connection to other Apple products and vast range of apps available from the app store makes them worth the extra spend. The cameras, both front and back, are fantastic too.
The Mini is a great kid-friendly tablet for those who have just started school as the compact size and light weight are perfect for little hands. In addition, the 8.3-inch screen has True Tone so films look fantastic on it. However, you pay more for the convenience of the smaller size.
This model has 64GB of storage, which is more than enough for everyday use. It will also work with the Apple Pencil 2, a writing and drawing accessory that all kids will love and is ideal for completing homework - making this a great all-rounder if you're looking for the best toys for 9-year-olds .
If you want to go even more luxurious and high spec, and your budget allows the eye-watering price tag, the other option is the Apple iPad Pro. We still think the Mini does a fantastic job though.
Related : Looking for ways to keep little hands busy? Don't miss our guides to the best lego sets and the best fidget toys as approved by Mumsnetters.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite
Best tablet for kids who like to draw.
Includes a stylus
Needs a protective cover bought separately
Price on writing : £349 | Screen size: 10.4 inch | Battery life: Up to 13 hours | Parental controls: No | Platform: Android 12 | Storage: 128GB | Resolution: WUXGA+ 2000 x 1200p | Weight: 467g | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G Octa-core - 2.3 GHz / 1.7 GHz | Cameras: Rear-facing camera 8 MP, front-facing camera 5 MP
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is, we think, the best tablet for kids who love drawing, as it comes with a high-quality S-Pen stylus. In addition, it’s light and slim, so it’s convenient to carry around as a digital sketch pad.
The screen is bright and detailed and can be customised to suit the available light. The Dolby surround sound speakers also deliver crisp audio.
With a full charge, the battery will last 13 hours, so it's also a contender for the best tablet for kids on the go.
Related : Don't miss our guides to the best nintendo switch games for kids and the best toys for 8-year-olds if you're on the hunt for new tech and games for your school-aged children.
What is a good age for a kid to get a tablet?
Knowing the right age to give a child a tablet is hard. But, you know your child best, and as long as it has parental controls in place, has a protective case, and they aren't glued to it every hour of the day, it should be OK from the toddler years, so long as you select an age-appropriate model and content.
Many sources say that children shouldn’t use tablets regularly until the age of two – and that, before that age, their use of screens should be very limited . This age limit is also worth bearing in mind when you're shopping for the best tablet for kids.
Whether we like it or not, screens and technology are now an intrinsic part of life. So teaching your little one about responsible use from a young age is a good idea. For younger ones, child-specific tablets are great as they are designed around small hands and rough and tumble. They will also have comprehensive safety features and be pre-loaded with fun and educational games and apps.
Related: The best school bags to buy, as rated by Mumsnetters
What to look for in a kids’ tablet
Child-specific models: A kid-specific tablet will have a brightly coloured tough case, robust parental rectrictions, safe web browsers and pre-loaded child-friendly apps and games. They may also come with a warranty that covers accidental damage.
Budget: It’s tempting to treat your little darlings to the best of the best, but buying a three-year-old an iPad Pro is pointless. They won’t appreciate the higher specifications, and it’s unlikely to survive the rough treatment they will give it. So instead, choose one of plenty of options of affordable tablets and only stretch your budget if the tablet in question will last for several years, for example, a kids’ edition that can transform into a tablet more suitable for a teenager.
Operating system: If your home already has many Amazon devices, your kids will likely enjoy the connectivity of an Amazon Fire tablet . Similarly, if you’re a Google home, you’r e more likely to opt for an Android tablet. Apple iPads are more expensive, but they offer the broadest range of apps and will connect to existing iPhones and Homepods.
Camera: If your kids love taking photos and making funny videos, look for a tablet that has front and back cameras with the option for wide angles. The higher the MP (megapixel) number, the better image the camera will produce.
Parental controls: Child-specific tablets will have comprehensive controls or a parent dashboard. These will allow you to limit screen time, choose which apps and games your kids download, limit any communication options to approved users and set safety parameters on the web browser to avoid unlimited access.
Specifications: A tablet with impressive specifications isn’t necessary for most kids. Look for a RAM of at least 2GB, so their apps launch quickly and prevent glitches and time lag.
Battery life: A long battery life of around 10 hours means the tablet will be more suitable for travel, and your child won’t have to constantly use their tablet while it is plugged in and charging. Some tablets, like Amazon Fire, only charge via USB, whereas others can be plugged into the mains.
Screen: A small child will struggle to hold a 10-inch tablet– it will be too heavy and awkward for little hands. For toddlers, look for a model with a seven-inch screen and for teenagers, a 10-inch adult-size screen is ideal. Pay attention to pixels too – a 1,280 x 800-pixel screen is the minimum you need for a good quality still or moving image. OLED 2K tablet screens are only found on expensive tablets, but if your child is watching movies on their tablet, it might be worth the investment.
Warranty: One of the elements that make the Amazon Fire the best tablet for kids is the two-year warranty against faults and accidental damage. It’s a handy bonus when you’re planning to give one to a rambunctious toddler with no respect for the fragility of technical devices.
How much storage do I need for a kids' tablet?
For most children, storage specifications aren’t a priority. 32GB should be ample, but if they want to keep lots of photos, download music or enjoy having many apps on their tablet, 64GB is a better option.
If you’re investing in a tablet that you hope will last your child for a few years, consider one with a microSD card slot to increase the storage capacity should you need to.
Read next : Take an in-depth look at Mumsnetters' favourite family board games with our reviews of Ticket to Ride , Carcassonne and Dobble .
Should kids be using tablets?
Tablets can offer a world of problem-solving games, apps, books and homework programmes which can absolutely boost learning for children. Tablets can boost creativity by allowing children to create beautiful artwork, provide resources for schoolwork and encourage learning with educational games and apps.
Having said that, the best kids' tablets will allow the parent to control how much screen time their child has as well as place limitations on what they can access.
What tablet is best for a 6-year-old?
It depends on your budget, but we like the Amazon Fire Kids tablets for this age - and if you're not keen to splash out on the high-end Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids , the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids is a great option. Marketed for age 3 - 7, it comes with durable case and you can also get the Pro version for the same price if you want something a little slimmer.
Amazon Fire Kids Edition or Fire Kids Pro – what’s the difference?
We took a detailed look at the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids and the Fire HD 8 Kids Pro to explore the differences.
When it comes to Amazon children's tablets, there’s not much difference between these two versions – the general rule is that the Amazon Fire Kids Edition is better for younger children (three to seven), whereas the Pro is better for school-age children (six to 12). Here are some of the features of each model:
Amazon Fire Kids Edition
Has a tough, hard-wearing case in a variety of colours.
The content on the Amazon Kids+ subscription is aimed at children between the ages of three and seven.
Comes with a two-year accidental damage and faults warranty.
The bumper case can be removed to look more like a ‘grown-up’ tablet.
It has the option of being used without parental controls.
Amazon Fire Kids Pro
It has a sleek, less babyish design.
The content on the Amazon Kids+ subscription is aimed at children between the ages of six and twelve.
It has a flip-out stand so it can be placed upright.
There’s the option to allow older children extra autonomy over what they watch while still having comprehensive parental restrictions.
Which is the best tablet for buy for kids?
The Mumsnet Rated Badge-winning Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids' Pro Tablet is our pick of the best tablet for kids. It has a sophisticated design that older kids will appreciate and top-of-the-range parental control software. In addition, we were impressed by the fast processor, long battery life and sturdy construction. Thanks to the bright screen, clear audio and subscription to Amazon Kids+, this is the perfect tablet for work and play. The two-year guarantee is reassuring too.
How we chose the best kids’ tablets
To ensure we are only recommending the best of the best, we always do our research thoroughly and ensure every product comes carefully assessed, vetted and with honest recommendations.
Recommendations from real parents
The most valuable reviews consistently come from parents who have been there, done that. But, particularly when selecting a kids' tablet, you may want to hear real feedback before investing your hard-earned money. So before recommending any new product, we always investigate what our trusted Mumsnet users think as they deliver the most honest and impartial advice on our Talk boards.
We scrutinised the recommendations of technical and educational experts so you can rely on the products we suggest. We then researched each product thoroughly to ensure it would meet your needs.
We also scour the internet, seeking authentic, genuine reviews from parents who have bought the products themselves, noting any positive and negative feedback. This helps us to ensure every product we recommend has great reviews, and allows us to evaluate the merits and disadvantages of each product thoroughly.
About the author
Mum-of-two Gemma Lumley writes consumer content for Mumsnet with a focus on home and lifestyle. She has been a content writer for several websites and online magazines with a specific focus on all things parenting as well as travel, fitness and the outdoors. She lives in York with her husband, son and daughter.
Why you should trust us
Mumsnet has been helping parents make their lives easier since 2000 and, in that time, we've investigated, tried and reviewed thousands of products.
We strive to provide in-depth advice you can trust, and we spend hours scouring the Mumsnet forums and online bestseller lists to find amazing products that real parents love.
Best kids tablets in 2023.
Tablets have many uses — here are the best ones for kids
Technology is everywhere, and it's not unusual to see kids holding tablets these days. The best tablets for kids allow them to enjoy their favorite cartoons, play their favorite apps, and even handle schoolwork and home learning. With plenty of reasons to get your child a tablet, the only question is which are the best for those who haven't yet hit adulthood.
Plenty of options out there balance cost with the features your kids will actually use, making them excellent tools to have in your arsenal. Our top choice is the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids because it's made explicitly with kids in mind, makes an excellent media-viewing tablet, and has a pretty affordable price point.
Our collection of the overall best Android tablets has more options if these are aren't quite what you need. Plus, we have guides for the best fitness trackers for kids and the best Chromebooks for kids to help you get them exactly what they need.
Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids
Samsung galaxy tab a8, lenovo tab m10 plus, samsung galaxy tab s6 lite 2022, amazon fire hd 8 (2022), lenovo tab p11 plus, apple ipad (2022), amazon fire hd 10 kids pro 32gb, the best tablets your child will love in 2023.
Best features and price for kids
If you're looking for something sturdy and dependable for your kids, it's hard to beat the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids. It's wrapped in a very spongy case that's easy for your child to hold and will protect the tablet from damage. Add in a free year of an Amazon Kids+ subscription and Amazon's bevy of child-friendly content at your fingertips, and it's a tablet you'll be happy to hand over to your child.
- Wrapped in a very protective case
- Comes with an excellent two-year warranty
- Access to lots of kid-friendly content
- FireOS is a bit more limited than Android
When handing a tablet over to a kid, one of your first thoughts is likely imagining just how many ways it can break. Sure, you can always buy a tablet and protect it in a nice heavy-duty case, but the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids tablet has an awesome soft-to-the-touch and easy-for-your-kids-to-hold build, all while remaining tough enough to handle a little bit of punishment. Plus, Amazon actually offers a stellar two-year warranty which will see them replace the tablet if it breaks. How's that for peace of mind?
Armed with the same 3GB of RAM and an Octa-core 2GHz processor of the standard Amazon Fire HD 10 , this version will definitely feel a bit sluggish if you're trying to do too much on it; however, it's perfect for running simple apps our watching kid-friendly content on your favorite streaming services. FireOS may not be as robust when it comes to app support as Android, but Amazon sweetens the deal with a free 12-month Amazon Kids+ subscription giving you access to a ton of kid-friendly content right out of the box.
This tablet often enjoys a deep discount, and at the time of writing it's $60 off the regular price. That brings it down to $130, which is very manageable when you consider what you're getting. You can always check out our deals roundups if you're wondering what else is currently on sale.
10.5-inch display with Android 13
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 is one of our favorite Android tablets due to its ability to run Android 13, reasonably affordable price tag, and big 10.5-inch display. It's not much of a workhorse, but it's a perfect fit for streaming videos, surfing the web, or doing some light gaming. It's dropping in price as it ages, but it's still a premium device for kids.
- Runs Android 13
- Affordable price
- Decent battery life
- Gorgeous 10.5-inch display
- A bit laggy on basic actions
- A bit heavier than other options
Sometimes the best kids' tablet is just a great tablet. That's the case with the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8, which currently holds our top spot for the best cheap Android tablets . Unlike some tablets at this price point, the Galaxy Tab A8 is constructed well and felt really sturdy when we tested it out, so it should be able to survive a little bit of roughness. The bezels around the entire sides of the nice and big 10.5-inch LCD will give your kids the ability to hold on to the tablet without blocking the screen. Its sturdy construction does make it weigh a tad more than some other kid-friendly tablets (about 1.12 pounds), so just make sure you keep that in mind if you're handing it over to a young child.
The Galaxy Tab A8 really provides value by offering a tablet that's compatible with Android 13, giving you access to a whole slew of Android-compatible apps. Watching Netflix or other streaming platforms, playing some casual games, or even taking the odd video call is all pretty easily handled by the Unisoc Tiger T618 powering the device.
However, the Tab A8 isn't meant to be powerful, so don't be surprised if it feels a bit sluggish even with basic tasks. If you want to mitigate this a little bit, there is the option to spend a bit more and get a version with 4GB of RAM, which should help things feel a tad smoother. In our Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 review , AP's Conor Cawley remarked that "Compared to other budget options, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 is cheaper than Apple's budget iPad by a notable amount, and it's more powerful than the Amazon Fire Tablet HD 10, making it an ideal middle-ground option for deal-seekers who don't want to miss out on a baseline level of performance."
Big screen with a big battery
For having a large 10.6-inch screen, it's impressive that the Lenovo M10 Plus (3rd gen) can get up to 14 hours of battery life — that's screen on time, which is even better. Besides that, the M10 Plus offers excellent value by providing some decent performance (with the model with 4GB of RAM) and very reasonable prices.
- Large 10.6-inch display
- Excellent battery life
- Great starting price
- Now getting Android 13
- The model with 3GB of RAM can be sluggish
- Bloatware is annoying
In our Lenovo Tab M10 Plus (Gen 3) review , we noted that it's a great option "if you want a premium content viewing experience with a budget under $200." The main drawback was its lack of Android 13 , but it does appear that the update is slowly rolling out to those who have a Tab M10 Plus (Gen 3).
The Lenovo Tab M10 Plus indeed impressed us when we reviewed it, all thanks to its premium build quality that quickly becomes apparent from the moment you pick it up. It's mostly made of metal, but a portion of the back is soft-touch plastic that feels nice and improves signal reception. Not to mention the gorgeous 10.6-inch display. Sure, it only has a 60Hz refresh rate (like most tablets at this price), but a 2000 x 1200 resolution is perfect for watching content.
Surprisingly, that big screen makes the battery life suffer too much, as you can actually eke out about 14 hours of battery life surfing the web or around 12 hours of video streaming. But, if you take into account more average use with some idle time thrown in the mix, there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to make it a full day without charging the 7,700mAh battery. Thanks to high-efficiency (if slightly underpowered) components, it manages to eke out 14 hours of battery life under the right conditions, which is a lot better than most of the competition.
We aren't a fan of the annoying bloatware, and if you want Android to run a bit more smoothly we'd suggest looking into the model with 4GB of RAM. But at this price, the Lenovo Tab M10 Plus (3rd gen) is a great option for kids.
S Pen comes included
If you have a kid who likes to draw, sketch, scribble, or doodle, the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite comes with the S Pen, a stylus that is one of the stand-out features of this tablet. The Snapdragon 720G inside gives you a little more power, so basic tasks should be no problem. It's excellent for young students or to have around the house when your kids aren't using it.
- S Pen included for quality inking
- Snapdragon 720G offers more power
- 64GB of base storage
- A little pricier
- May want a case for best protection
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite (2022) sits right in that sweet spot, below the costly, high-end tablets that lack helpful features like headphone jacks and above the sluggish entry-level tablets best for casual use like the Tab A8. It's one of the best Samsung tablets around, and its big claim to fame is to include an S Pen, a stylus that can do helpful stuff like jot down notes and make lists, or some awesome creative tasks like drawing. Plus, its 10.4-inch LCD is perfect for viewing content, making it a win for all types of kids.
While a bit more expensive than some other options on the list, the S6 Lite offers more power thanks to the Snapdragon 720G chipset, and its battery life is outstanding. If you're using the tablet with a standard mix usage, there's no reason you shouldn't be able to make it to the night of your kids' day before you need a charge. The 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage in the base model is a step up from the Tab A8, too, so you can enjoy more space for your kid's app or favorite content and have a smoother experience moving around the Android software.
We recommend checking out a case for this tablet, as it's not quite as hardy as some other options due to the large display and premium build quality.
Fine for streaming, but not much else
As the cheapest option on our list, the Amazon Fire HD 8 is best for watching content via YouTube, Netflix, or another service. When you try to get it to do anything else, you'll be severely limited by its low-powered hardware. Still, its often sub $100 price point with sales makes it a compelling choice as a tablet you can hand off to your kids when it's time to watch their favorite shows.
- Compact size
- Very affordable
- Great for streaming and casual work
- Very low power
- FireOS is not as versatile as Android
Sometimes the best tablet for your kids is something cheap that they just need to play their favorite cartoons, shows, and other content when it's time for them to have some downtime. That's where the Amazon Fire HD 8 (2022) does its best work, thanks to its compact size and 8-inch screen. It should be relatively light and easy for kids to hold due to its smaller size, making it a great e-reader as well. We reviewed the Amazon Fire HD 8 , coming to the conclusion that it's a great upgrade for those who want something a bit larger than a phone for "watching videos, browsing the web, checking your email, reading eBooks, playing casual games, and shopping [...]"
The downside to Fire HD 8 is its limited hardware. With only 2GB of RAM (or 3GB if you opt for the Plus model), FireOS doesn't run very well, and you'll have no real power to do anything other than the most basic tasks. Still, if all you need is a streaming device for your kids, it's hard to ignore the $100 price tag, especially when it's often on sale for even less.
If you want a tablet that can do work
Best suited for older kids, the Lenovo Tab P11 Plus offers some serious power that makes it a compelling choice for completing tasks and schoolwork. Its 11-inch screen and keyboard make it feel almost like a laptop, and with 4GB or 6GB of RAM, it will smoothly move through Android.
- Big 11-inch display
- Comes with keyboard
- Great performance
- More expensive than other options
- Keyboard isn't the best
While we aren't suggesting you pick up a Lenovo Tab P11 Plus for your toddler, it does make an excellent tablet for older kids going through school. Thanks to its included keyboard, large 11-inch display, and up to 6GB of RAM available if you want to upgrade over the base model, the Lenovo Tab P11 Plus is a very capable tablet. Its display has a 2K resolution that's great for watching content, so your teenager will have no problem watching their favorite material after finishing their work.
Much like the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro , this tablet is built well and sturdy, meaning you may only need a case if you want to be extra careful that your kids don't break it. For everything included with the tablet, its price is pretty reasonable, but since it costs at least $300, there are better options if you only need something basic.
Great parental control software
We would be remiss not to mention the iPad (2022) in our list because if you have another Apple device, it works so seamlessly together. The screen is large and beautiful, it has a ton of power to get all your tasks done, and you can set up some fantastic parental controls to ensure your kids don't access anything they shouldn't.
- Great 10.9-inch screen
- Excellent parental controls
- A ton of app support
- Apple Pencil stylus is extra
Like it or not, Apple has been dominating the table space for a long time, and the colorful iPad (2022) is a perfect, albeit pricey, option if you're looking for robust parental controls or if you already have some device in the Apple ecosystem. Its gorgeous 10.9-inch screen may not be laminated, but boy, does it look amazing for watching your favorite videos. Plus, whether it's your kids or you using the tablet, the A14 Bionic that powers the entire device is incredibly fast and able to handle anything you throw at it. We called it "a fantastic blend of value and performance" in our Apple iPad 2022 review .
The iPad (2022) can also be made extremely kid-friendly when you start setting up the proper parental controls or restrictions, which are highly customizable and easy to change, interact with, or track your kids' activity if you happen to have another Apple device handy. Apple's biggest strength in the tablet market is all the app support it receives, meaning you'll almost always have apps that are optimized for use on tablets, which is something Android can't really compete with. This is no cheap product, and if you want to keep it safe, you'll also need a case to go along with it. Not to mention if you want a keyboard, or to use the Apple Pencil, that's all at an extra cost as well.
Slimmer case for a more mature crowd
Love the idea of kid's tablet with built-in case but have a child who's grown out of the regular Fire HD 10 Kids tablet? The Pro model slims down the case but otherwise offers the same base hardware, warranty, and Kids+ subscription. It even costs the same as the non-Pro model, making it perfect for those aged 6 to 12.
If you love the idea of the Fire HD 10 Kids tablet but want something just a bit more mature, the Pro model is also available for the same price. It still has a built-in case, but it's much slimmer and should suit children from about age 6 to age 12. The Pro model has the same 10.1-inch 1080p display, octa-core CPU, 32GB of storage space, 3GB of RAM, and about 12 hours of battery life, as well as a robust two-year warranty to protect your purchase. You can even get it in different colors compared to the non-Pro version.
The tablet has a USB-C port, 3.5mm audio jack, and volume controls on the side, with a decent 2MP camera for video conferencing with friends and teachers. Parental controls are easy to set up, and you get a year's subscription to Amazon's Kids+ service that offers an almost countless number of games, books, videos, and beyond. If your child is using the tablet for homework, you can add a Bluetooth keyboard for about $30. It works great with the tablet's built-in stand.
As you can see, there's a wide range of tablets available to best suit you and your kids at many different price points. Our best advice is to make sure you get the tablet that's within your budget and that will do what you intend to use it for - no sense in getting a tablet that only does half of what you want or more than what you need.
Since the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids is built with kids in mind, it's an easy recommendation for any parent looking for a basic tablet for their kids. With a ton of kid-friendly content right out of the box, a nice 10-inch screen to watch movies, cartoons, or TV shows, and the rugged design of the device, you can rest easy knowing it's not going to break right away.
If you prefer something just a little more useful, and you want to spend a little more money, we really like the value the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 provides. It has Android 13 instead of FireOS, which means better app support and a bit more versatility, and its 10.5-inch full HD is awesome for watching content. Plus, while it may not be as rugged as our top pick, it's still built really well, so you shouldn't have to baby it too much. And if you'd like some of the best value around, the Lenovo Tab M10 Plus (Gen 3) is now seeing Android 13 updates, putting it back in the top running as a tablet for a younger audience.
Built with kids in mind
If you're looking for something sturdy and dependable for your kids, it's hard to beat the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids. Wrapped in a very spongy case that's easy for your child to hold and will protect the tablet from damage. Add in a free year of an Amazon Kids+ subscription and Amazon's bevy of child-friendly content at your fingertips, and it's a tablet you'll be happy to hand over to your child.
Best tablets for kids in 2023
These are the best tablets for kids, based on our research and testing
- Best for older kids
- Best for young kids
- Best Android
- How to choose
- How we test
1. The list in brief 2. Best for older kids 3. Best for young kids 4. Best value 5. Best iPad for kids 6. Best Android tablet for kids 7. Battery life chart 8. How to choose 9. How we test
Editor's Note: Amazon quietly announced new Fire HD 10 , Fire HD 10 Kids and Fire HD 10 Kids Pro tablets are coming October 2023 during its recent Amazon event . These are minor upgrades over the current models and we are testing and reviewing them currently, so stay tuned!
We think the best tablets for kids are durable, affordable and versatile. Finding the right one for your needs can be tricky because every kid is different, but in general, we recommend you look for a tablet with decent screen quality, excellent battery life, good parental controls, and solid durability (accidents happen!) at a reasonable price.
To help you decide which tablet is right for you, we test all of the top devices in our lab and in the real world. I personally review some myself every year, and I help oversee a team of experts who review the rest.
In general, we've found that Amazon tablets are great for kids and anyone on a tight budget. If you can afford to pay a bit more, iPads are excellent tablets for students and creative kids. In fact, we have a best iPads for kids guide that will help you choose between them. And if your kid wants an Android tablet, Samsung's slates typically compete well with iPads yet cost significantly less money.
Based on key factors like battery life, build quality and parental controls, these are the best tablets for kids we recommend right now.
Alex Wawro is a lifelong journalist who's spent over a decade covering tech, games and entertainment. He oversees the computing department at Tom's Guide, which includes managing laptop coverage and reviewing many himself every year.
The quick list
Here's a brief overview of the tablets on this list, along with quick links that let you jump down the page directly to a review of whichever slate catches your eye.
The best tablet for older kids
The Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro is one of two kid-friendly versions of the Fire HD 10, and we recommend it because it's durable, specifically designed for kids ages 6-12 and comes with a one-year Amazon Kids+ subscription and comprehensive 2-year warranty.
Read more below
The best tablet for younger kids
The Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids is effectively a version of the Fire HD 10 that's tailored for kid-friendly use — specifically, kids ages 3-7. Like the Pro version you get a great well-made tablet with a 2-year warranty, a year of Amazon Kids+ included and a colorful kid-friendly case for added protection.
The best value
If you're looking for a cheap slate you can give to a child that won't break the bank, the $60 Amazon Fire 7 tablet is a great choice. It's a decent Fire tablet with none of the kiddy trimmings or extra frills of the first two slates on this list, but it's still governed by Amazon's FireOS—which has great parental controls.
The best iPad for kids
The 2021 Apple iPad is our top recommendation if you want a cheap iPad for kids because it's cheaper than the latest iPads yet offers nearly all the same features. Every other iPad is more expensive yet offers nothing extra in the way of kid-friendly features, so get this one if you can and save some cash.
The best cheap Android tablet
Samsung's Galaxy Tab A7 offers a sweet mix of price and performance. At $229 it's cheaper than an iPad yet delivers competitive performance and better battery life. It's not the cheapest or newest tablet Android tablet you can buy, which is why it's great for kids.
The best tablets for kids you can buy today
Why you can trust Tom's Guide Our writers and editors spend hours analyzing and reviewing products, services, and apps to help find what's best for you. Find out more about how we test, analyze, and rate.
1. Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro
Our expert review:
Reasons to buy, reasons to avoid.
The Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro (2021) is the best tablet for kids overall. It's effectively the same, hardware-wise, as the Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet : it has the same octa-core processor, 3GB of RAM and vivacious 1,900 x 1,200 display. The big difference is that it's designed specifically for use by older kids ages 6-12, so it comes with a one-year Amazon Kids+ subscription, a colorful kickstand case, and a comprehensive, no-questions-asked 2-year warranty that covers accidental damage.
If you're in the market for a kid-friendly tablet, few competitors can match what the Fire HD 10 Kids Pro offers for $199, particularly with that generous extended warranty. Sure, it has all the same weaknesses as every Fire tablet — most notably, no access to the Google Play Store — but if you're planning to give this to a kid anyway, that's less of an issue. Amazon also sells a variant aimed at younger kids, the Fire HD 10 Kids, with the same $199 price tag.
Read our full Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro (2021) review .
2. Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids
The Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids is effectively a version of the Fire HD 10 that's tailored for kid-friendly use — specifically, kids ages three to seven. The Fire HD 10 Kids is a great tablet for kids because it sports a bright display, a durable kid-friendly design, and excellent battery life. Plus, the detailed built-in parental controls give you a lot of control over what a child does on the device, with little risk of them going astray.
Sure, the lack of Google Play Store apps limits what you can do with this tablet, but that's hardly a problem if you're planning to give it to your 5-year-old so they can have something on which to watch videos. If you want a durable, affordable tablet tailored to young children, the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids is a great choice.
Read our full Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids review .
3. Amazon Fire 7
If you're looking for a great sub-$100 slate you can give to a child, the $50 Amazon Fire 7 tablet is a great choice. It delivers pretty good performance thanks to its snappy quad-core 1.3 GHz processor, which helps a child navigate apps and browse the web faster than you'd expect from a tablet this cheap.
Just don't expect any frills that come with more expensive tablets. The Fire 7 tablet’s sub-HD screen is not sharp enough for anyone used to an iPad, and its lock screen is filled with ads unless you pay extra. Still, it's a great pick for kids looking for a media consumption device. Plus, Amazon tablets have some of the most comprehensive parental controls of any tablet on the market, and they work just as well on the Fire 7 as they do on the Fire HD 10 Kids tablets higher on this list.
Read our full Amazon Fire 7 review .
4. Apple iPad 2021
The 2021 Apple iPad is a solid all-around tablet that runs just about any app from Apple's App Store with ease, and we recommend parents looking for a cheap iPad to give a child purchase the 2021 model because it's the last iPad Apple sold at a starting price of $329, before jacking the price up over $100 with the $449 2022 model.
Admittedly, the newer iPads have faster chips inside a sleeker design with thinner bezels and no headphone jack, but the newer design and speedier processer doesn't change much about the moment-to-moment experience of using the tablet. If you want to give a kid an iPad the base 10.2-inch model is the cheapest option you have, and it's a great tablet thanks to its beautiful display, speedy performance and good battery life.
Read our full Apple iPad 10.2-inch review .
The best Android tablet for kids
5. samsung galaxy tab a7.
If you want to give a kid an Android tablet, the Galaxy Tab A7 is a great choice because it's a decent iPad competitor that costs nearly $100 less. It's a great tablet to give an older kid, and it's also great to share among a family because Android lets you set up multiple profiles and set parental controls on a per-profile basis, ensuring you can filter and control what kids of content your kid(s) can access.
Plus it's got endurance to spare, lasting 13 hours and 13 minutes on the Tom's Guide battery test. Oh, and it's also got an iPad Pro feature that Apple makes you pay a lot for: facial recognition to unlock the device. And just like Apple's pricier tablets, the Galaxy Tab A7 charges over USB-C, so you shouldn't have too much trouble replacing lost or damaged charging cables. And while it's not as fast as the iPad and its screen isn't as bright, neither is a serious problem at this price — especially when Samsung gives you true Android with the Google Play app store, and not the watered-down Amazon Fire tablet experience.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 review .
How to choose the best tablet for kids
Still not sure which tablet is right for the kid(s) in question? Here are some important things to consider, things we also consider when choosing which tablets to add to this list from the many we review every year.
Screen size: Tablets come in a variety of screen sizes ranging from 7 to 10 inches. If you expect your kid to be watching a lot of videos, they'll want the biggest, nicest screen possible, so consider the Fire HD 10, the iPad, or the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7. But if you just want a tablet a kid can use to browse the web and read ebooks, a smaller display, like those on the Fire 7 or Fire HD 8, will be more than enough for your needs.
Battery life: Every tablet we recommend on this list lasts at least 8 hours or more in our battery tests, so you can count on good battery life. But if you want something that can really go the distance, look for tablets that last 12 hours or more in our testing, like Samsung's Galaxy Tab A7 or Amazon's Fire 10 Kids tablets.
Budget: You can spend anywhere between $50-$800 on a tablet for kids, or more if you splurge on extras like a stylus or keyboard cover. Generally we recommend you not give a child something more expensive than you're willing to pay to replace when they break it. So the older and more trustworthy they are, the more you may be able to justify spending. The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 is great for older kids since you can often find it on sale for under $200, and the 2021 iPad costs under $400 new if you can find it, though the more expensive newer models (which start at $449) are also faster.
Younger kids might be better served by the $200 Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids or HD 10 Kids Pro tablets, since they come with kid-friendly extras like durable cases and 2-year warranties. If your budget is in the $50-$100 range, the $50 Fire HD 7 or the ~$100 Fire HD 8 are good, no-frills Amazon Fire tablets that offer decent performance and Amazon's in-depth parental controls.
Age: How old is the person you're buying this tablet for? Obviously if it's for you and your family, buy whatever you like, but if you're getting a tablet for a specific child, there are a variety of kid-friendly options depending on their age. For those ages 3-7, the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids offers decent performance, great parental controls, and a colorful drop-resistant case. The Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro offers effectively the same benefits for the same price, but it's aimed at older kids in the 6-12 range. And if the person you're buying for is older than that, they should be well-served by the standard Amazon Fire HD 10, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7, or the basic iPad.
How we tested these tablets
First, we run as many benchmarks as that tablet will allow, to see how fast they are in ways that can be compared directly against competitors. We say "will allow" as some tablets, like Amazon's Fire slates, have trouble with side-loaded Android apps. We then use colorimeters and light meters to measure how colorful and bright these tablets’ screens can get. After that, we put them through our in-house battery test, which times how long it takes — while surfing the web with brightness at 150 nits — to drain a tablet of a charge.
After that, we do the same things you do — browse the web, watch YouTube, play games, compose emails — and then a lot more. We also try and write some (or all) of our tablet reviews on the tablets we're testing, especially if there's a keyboard attachment available.
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Alex Wawro is a lifelong tech and games enthusiast with more than a decade of experience covering both for outlets like Game Developer, Black Hat, and PC World magazine. A lifelong PC builder, he currently serves as a senior editor at Tom's Guide covering all things computing, from laptops and desktops to keyboards and mice.
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