Were you shocked to hear your three-year-old ask for a tablet after preschool today? Since the release of the first iPad in 2010, tablets have become more than just an office tool for adults.
But that doesn’t mean that all tablets are suitable for children. When purchasing a tablet for a child, you want something intuitive that won’t be a challenge to use and a device with safety nets in place, so they don’t end up viewing things they shouldn’t.
We’ve reviewed dozens of devices to create this list of the 10 best tablets for kids, so you don’t have to spend hours comparing specs. Our list includes options for toddlers to teens. We’ve reviewed and ranked these products based on their educational value, child-safety features, durability, ease of use, battery life, storage space, and affordability.
From reading tablets to drawing tablets to devices with all the capabilities of a cell phone or laptop — we’ve found the best device for your situation.
- 10 hours of battery life
- Weighs about 1.5 pound
- High-resolution imagery
- Single charge lasts for 6 weeks
- Wireless connectivity enabled
- 8.3-inch liquid retina display
- 10-hour battery life
- Apple Pencil compatible
- Dolby Atmos surround sound
- Robust battery life
- Ultra-lightweight at only 1.04 lbs
- One-year warranty
- Alexa hands-free enabled
- 12 hours of battery life
- 8.5-inch no-glare screen
- 3 different color options
- One extra battery included
- Includes age-appropriate lessons
- Volume control and automatic shut off
- 64GB built-in storage
- Bluetooth Connectivity
- 13 hours of video playback
- Built-in protective bumper
- Robust parental tools
- Built kid-tough and drop tested
- Premium parental control
- Android 10
- Durable silicone case
The Best Tablets for Kids of 2023
Whether you have a toddler or an older child, these are some great tablets to consider.
1. Apple iPad Pro
Best New Tablet for Kids
As the original tablet, the iPad will always have a leg up on its competition. As with any Apple product, the iPad Pro interface is intuitive — even for young kids. With this tablet, they’ll have independent access to a variety of apps, streaming services, and music options.
The tablet connects to Wi-Fi, but you can also connect it to cellular data if you’d like more opportunities for use. This is especially great for older kids who have research projects and homework portals on the web.
For younger kids, the tablet is compatible with the Apple Pencil, so your child can practice drawing or writing letters. If you’re concerned about how much time they spend on the tablet, the fingerprint ID system allows you to control when they start tablet time.
- Comes with 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB storage options.
- Ten hours of battery life.
- Four speakers for better audio.
- High-resolution imagery for FaceTime with family and friends.
- You’ll have to purchase a kid-friendly carrying case separately.
2. Amazon Kindle Paperwhite E-Reader
Best Reading Tablet for Kids
The Amazon Kindle is a product that’s been around for a while and continues to improve. While you can certainly download the Kindle app on a traditional tablet, there are benefits to getting your child a tablet for reading.
This Kindle is smaller than most tablets — only six inches by four inches. This makes it easy for kids to hold it for longer periods. Unlike traditional tablets, it’s designed to fight the sun’s glare, making it possible for your child to read at the beach or the park.
It’s Bluetooth enabled, so if your child has a pair of wireless headphones, they can listen to books as well as read them. The latest version also has a higher pixel count, making the screen easier on the eyes.
- Comes in two color options.
- A single charge can last up to six weeks.
- Wireless connectivity enabled.
- It’s waterproof, surprisingly enough.
- Only 4GB of storage.
3. Apple iPad Mini 64GB
Best Small Tablet for Kids
The iPad Mini comes with most of the awesome features of the traditional iPad but in a smaller size. With an 8.3-inch screen, it is much easier for younger kids to handle.
The tablet has a fingerprint sensor, so you can control who’s using the tablet and when. It has two 12-megapixel cameras, one for FaceTime and one for taking pictures and videos. With 64GB of storage, your child will be able to store a ton of data without worry.
For kids learning how to write, you can purchase the Apple Pencil to write, draw, or edit instantaneously. This will also help with any homework or research needs for older kids.
- Up to 10 hours of battery life.
- Comes in four color options.
- Option to buy a cellular network-enabled edition.
- Landscape speaker audio.
- Generous 12-megapixel front and rear cameras.
- Doesn’t come with a protective carrying case.
4. Samsung Galaxy Tab A7
Best Android Tablet for Kids
This tablet was designed with kids in mind and comes with a carrying case. By downloading parental control apps, you can set a time limit for use, monitor your child’s progress, and only allow access to predetermined content.
Despite having a wide screen that measures 10.4 inches, this tablet is surprisingly lightweight. The long-lasting battery and octa-core processor are a sure fit for heavy tab users.
- Dolby Atmos surround sound.
- Durable carrying case and 32GB memory card included.
- Robust battery life.
- Ultra-lightweight, weighing only 1 pound.
- No sim card slot.
5. Amazon Fire HD 10
Best Tablet for Older Kids
If you are an Amazon Prime member, this tablet is especially great for you. Prime membership gives your kids access to more free shows and books, which can be found through the app on the tablet.
Our kids love this tablet for so many reasons. Aside from offering Amazon content, the tablet also supports apps such as Netflix, Disney+, HBO Go, and YouTube. It’s compatible with social media applications for kids who want to stay in touch with friends.
Set up Amazon Kids on the tablet to provide a child-friendly, age-appropriate tablet experience, so you don’t have to worry about your little ones stumbling into the dark side of the internet. The program is free to use with any apps offered in the Amazon App store. It also offers the option of a child-safe web browser in which you can limit browsing to Amazon-recommended websites or your predetermined websites, or you can opt out of website browsing entirely.
If you subscribe to Amazon Kids+, your child will receive access to over 20,000 kid-friendly books, videos, and apps for a monthly fee.
The tablet also works with Alexa, making it hands-free and available for calling family and friends. For kids who love music, the Kindle Fire is manufactured with Dolby audio for high-quality sound.
- Choose between 32 and 64GB storage options.
- Multiple color options.
- Up to 12 hours of battery life.
- One-year warranty.
- Only 2GB of RAM.
6. Sunany LCD Writing Tablet
Best Drawing Tablet for Kids
This LCD tablet has an 8.5-inch screen, making it super portable and easy for kids to handle. Because they use a pen to draw on the screen, you never have to worry about a mess. It also comes with two pens, in case you lose one.
It’s powered by a replaceable battery, so you never have to find an available outlet. Once the kids are done using it, they hit the delete button and have a fresh screen to use. The magnetic strip on the back will let you store it on the refrigerator to use for notes or just to keep it out of the chaos.
- Easy to use for a wide range of ages, including toddlers.
- Comes in three different color options.
- The LCD screen has no glare.
- One extra battery included.
- No internet connection available.
7. VTech Little Apps Tablet
Best Tablet for Toddlers
This tablet is designed for kids aged 2 to 5 years. It came on the market after the VTech InnoTab Max was discontinued. It includes 12 learning activities that progressively get more difficult as knowledge develops.
Your child can practice typing on the touchscreen letters or even play piano on the keys. The apps offer lessons on counting, words, and letter recognition. There’s even an activity about daily life logistics, like checking a calendar.
The Little Apps tablet is powered by AA batteries, which means it will always be mobile-ready for kids on the move.
- Age-appropriate lessons that won’t overwhelm your child.
- Budget-friendly device.
- Volume control and automatic shut off to save battery.
- Includes a limited number of apps.
8. Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0
Best Tablet for Kids with Autism
Samsung products are, in my opinion, the most intuitive Android devices. For kids with autism, that’s an important feature.
The benefit of going with an Android is the range of software available for installation and the opportunities for learning life skills. If your child likes numbers, you can download Microsoft Excel. If your child likes art, there are applications for drawing or photo editing. If your child struggles with communication, there are apps to assist self-expression.
Most offices in the world still use Microsoft operating systems, which more closely resemble Android interfaces than Apple interfaces. Many kids with autism don’t like change. Training them on a widely-used system like Android will help reduce challenges in the future.
- Comes with 64GB of storage.
- A lot of processing power for kids interested in games.
- Bluetooth connectivity for wireless headphones or speakers.
- Opportunities to wirelessly share content with other Samsung tablets.
- Not able to connect to cellular networks.
9. LeapFrog LeapPad
Best Educational Tablet for Kids
We’re big LeapFrog users in our home. The brand is well-known for its line of educational products. These toys are designed to introduce technology to kids in a fun and age-appropriate.
The LeapPad is a suitable tablet for children ages three to eight years. We love that it comes with access to the LeapFrog library, containing over 700 games, books, and videos to increase your child’s problem-solving and creativity skills. With 16GB of memory, it can store a decent number of apps since the tablet doesn’t have a camera for video or photos.
If you have younger kids, you may want to introduce them to the internet without worrying about all the content out there. This tablet allows them limited access to pre-selected web pages designed for kids. They can practice the logistics of the web without wandering into spaces you don’t want them to be in.
- 16GB storage.
- Comes surrounded by a built-in protective bumper.
- Password-protected to ensure kids play only when you want them to.
- Can save multiple activities even without an internet connection.
- A bit smaller than most tablet screens, at 5 inches.
- Unable to connect to cellular networks.
10. 16 GB Kids Toddler Tablet
Best Cheap Tablet for Kids
If you’re looking for something that can provide an educational space for your child and won’t break the bank, this tablet is for you. It comes with pre-installed games and apps and access to the Google Play store.
The tablet is made with a durable protective case that will keep even the most accident-prone children from breaking it. Parental controls allow you to limit game time, choose content, and set goals for children’s work.
This product can be a great introduction to early education games for younger kids who are just learning how to use tablets.
- 16GB memory running in Android 10 OS.
- Dual cameras for taking photos and video.
- High-resolution imagery will protect kids’ eyes.
- 6 hours of battery life.
- Supports microSD cards.
- Low-quality speaker.
Should Kids Use a Tablet?
The debate over screen time ranks among the most heated of parent controversies — right up there with “breast vs. bottle” and “cloth vs. disposable diapers.” I’ve met countless moms who proudly proclaim that they “don’t do screen time” in their house.
But what does science say? These days, computer skills dictate the jobs we can get, how we run our households, and even how we socialize. If used correctly, tablets can be a learning tool that prepares children for the big, diverse world we live in.
On the other hand, many parents worry screens are keeping their kids from socializing and using their imagination. Others are concerned that tablets present an unrealistic world to our kids. If they offer experiences that are too stimulating, how will they learn to cope with real-life boredom?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children younger than 2 should have minimal exposure to media other than video chatting (1). Children between the ages of 3 and 5 can benefit from controlled access to games and videos.
If you’re interested in determining what’s appropriate for your child, you may want to check out this media planning tool for your family (2).
The truth is, we still don’t know a lot about how tablet time will affect the brains of this generation. Tablets are relatively new — there just hasn’t been enough time to monitor long-term impacts. As this generation grows older, science will be able to tell us more.
We do know one thing, however. Nothing is better for young children than real-life imaginative play. It keeps them active and allows them to practice physical and social skills. The more individual, peer-to-peer, and parent-supervised play a child can get, the better.
Guidelines for Kids Using Technology
In 2016, the United States Department of Education and the United States Department of Health and Human Services co-authored a report on technology. The report provides guidelines and best practices on the use of educational technology for children.
According to the report, parents and teachers should encourage children to use technology actively rather than passively (3). Passive use of technology is when kids consume content but do not interact with it in any way. By contrast, the active use of technology requires critical thinking, decision-making, and response.
Are you wondering if your child’s use of tablets is active or passive? You might want to check if you’re following the guidelines mentioned in the report.
- Technology is being used as a tool for learning.
- Technology is being used to strengthen the relationships in your family.
- Adults or peers are co-viewing the technology with your child.
In other words, using a tablet can be a great way to teach your kids something new. It can be a conversation starter and a tool for adult-child play. Using it as a tool to calm them at a restaurant, on the other hand, is probably not the most effective use.
How to Choose the Best Kids Tablet
There are many different kinds of tablets. Some brands are specifically aimed at younger children, like Kurio, VTech, or LeapFrog. Others are designed to encourage specific passions, like drawing, math, or reading.
Others, such as Apple and Samsung, are designed for adults but have some parental control options for when children are using them. Regardless of which kind you choose, here are a few features you may want to consider before purchasing.
What Apps Should I Download?
Once you’ve chosen a tablet, it’s time to pick which apps you want to download. If you’ve purchased a kid’s tablet, they often come with a selection of pre-installed apps. However, if you’re using a tablet designed for adults, you’ll need to download and perhaps purchase apps from an app store.
There are thousands of apps out there. So, how do you know which games or services to choose? Some of the choices will depend on your device’s operating system. However, there are a few broad themes you may want to consider.
1. Program Diversity
Let’s face it — sometimes, we use the tablet for entertainment. Whether you have to get dinner on the table or you need to make a work call, we all need to distract our little ones at some point. If that’s the case, you’ll probably want to download a few streaming apps for movies and television shows.
When choosing programs or movies, you may want to choose subjects that are really different from the things they see in their everyday lives. Doing this can give you the opportunity to talk to them about what they’ve watched and answer any questions they might have.
2. Learning Experiences
This process might be more child-driven than you realize. Older kids may hear about games at school and ask if they can try them. Younger kids just want to try different ones until they discover what they like.
Once you settle on a few apps, try them first yourself, so you can help your child learn how to play. Kids love to show you what they can do, and it can be a fun activity to play together.
If your tablet has a Bluetooth option, you can connect it to speakers. Then you can make a playlist for the house to help make chores or other activities more fun.