These days, it’s hard to imagine the limited technology we had growing up. Some of our childhoods were spent completely unplugged with no internet access, while others lived in the dial-up era and lived to tell the tale. We’ve seen technology grow and expand throughout the years in ways wouldn’t have believed back then. From Nokia phones that could withstand an apocalypse, to massive and bright-colored Mac laptops, to phones shrinking to minuscule sizes and back up again. And we certainly didn’t know what it was like to play with a tablet as a child—but our kids sure do.
As we all know, it’s a different world these days—one where technology is ubiquitous and ever-evolving. One of the best ways technology has advanced, in my opinion, is all the ways it can be used for educational and developmental purposes. We now have more options than ever to encourage engagement and learning in our kids through technology and many parents buy their little ones tablets to facilitate this.
But with so many tablet options to choose from, it can be hard to nail down the best tablets for kids. That’s why we wanted to do the research work for you. If you’re in the market to buy your kiddo a tablet, you’ve come to the right place. Read on for six of the best tablets for kids—pros and cons included for each! Plus, our favorite tablet accessories to keep those investments working longer.
What to Consider When Purchasing a Tablet
When it comes to nailing down the best tablets for kids, you’ll want to consider what will work best for your family by looking into a number of factors.
Of course, tablets with parental controls are a must. The days of free rein internet access are (thankfully) behind us, and parents have more control than ever over what their kiddos have access to. Luckily, most tablets these days have parental control features worth a five-star level rating.
In addition to control, you’ll want to consider a tablet’s durability. Parents know all too well that fragility is not the name of the game when it comes to kids’ items. Between being dropped and getting messy, the tablet you choose will need to withstand a lot. That means we should look for a tablet and accessories, like a quality case, that has plenty of durability.
Content and Capabilities
There are lots of tablets designed specifically for kids. Along with that comes access to age-appropriate content and educational features. When picking out a tablet, you’ll want to look into what kinds of content your kids can access. Are they avid fans of Ms. Rachel, meaning Internet connectivity to stream or download episodes from YouTube Kids is a must? Or are they gamers who need enough RAM to play Roblox or Minecraft? How you expect your child to use the tablet is an important factor.
Lastly, like all good things, we’ll want to have budget considerations in mind. Tablets will range in price, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a quality option on the affordable side. Considering functionality along with budgetary restrictions is the way to go.
Here, we’ll dive into all of these considerations and more on the quest to find the best tablets for kids.
The Best Tablets for Kids
1. Amazon Fire 10
Parents are raving about the new Amazon Fire 10 for countless reasons. At just around $190, it was specifically designed for little minds. Best suited for kiddos aged 3-7, the tablet offers ad-free content, must-have parental controls, a 13-hour battery life, and 32GB of storage. All tablets come with a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+, which offers kid-focused content in the form of books, games, videos, apps, and Alexa Skills. Plus, being known as one of the best tablets with long battery life for kids is a huge bonus.
Because the tablet is best suited for ages 3-7, it may be something kids grow out of as time goes on. However, at a relatively decent price point, it’s not quite as much of an investment as some other options, making this a non-deal breaker for lots of families. Some reviewers have said that previous versions of the Amazon Fire tablet start to lose their battery life after two years.
2. Apple 10.2-Inch iPad
What parents seem to love most about the Apple iPad is its longevity. Many share that they have had their iPads for years and it has not lost any of its key capabilities. It, of course, comes with the Apple features we’re familiar with, like FaceTime and access to all of our favorite apps. It can also be purchased with or without a 5G mobile network. Purchased with 5G is definitely a bonus for families who travel frequently. Parents will have the power to utilize parental controls for apps, internet usage, and streaming. The iPad has an extensive amount of storage and can be a useful option for both kids and adults.
Like many Apple products, without a proper case, the iPad can be fragile. However, there are tons of quality cases and screen protectors that can be purchased separately. It is on the pricier side of the tablet options, but most believe the cost is justified by the longevity and usage of the product.
3. Amazon Fire 7
Budget, budget, budget! Parents love the affordability of this tablet which offers several of the same features as the newer, pricier models. Kids will have access to content through Amazon Kids+, including a one-year free-of-charge subscription. If a tablet is something your kiddo will only be using every now and then and you’re looking for affordable tablets for kids, this is the tablet for you.
Though it is one of the best budget tablets for kids, it does have its limitations. The $60 version of the Fire 7 does not come with a case, meaning one will have to be purchased separately. Versions with a case included are available for a higher price. It has less battery life and storage than the Fire 10, which can affect kids’ ability to download certain games.
4. LeapFrog Academy Tablet
This tablet is high on the list of the best tablets for toddlers, especially as their first tablet. Best suited for kids aged 3-8, the Android-based tablet was designed with education in mind and comes with 20+ educational apps. LeapFrog learning experts developed content intended to set little ones up for school success. If education is as important as entertainment in the tablet search, the Leapfrog Academy tablet is a great option. Educational tablets for kids aren’t necessarily hard to come by, but this might be one of the best tablets for young learners.
The Leapfrog tablet has much more limited capabilities and isn’t always seen as a “real” tablet. This means that users will be primarily limited to LeapFrog content. But as far as tablets with kid-friendly apps go, this one is up there with the best. With 20+ apps included, a free three-month trial of LeapFrog Academy, and a web browser with access to kid-friendly websites and videos, kids won’t know the difference! For these reasons, though, kids above 8 years old will likely get little use out of this type of tablet.
5. SAMSUNG Galaxy Tab A8
Coming in at the best tablet for older kids is the Samsung Galaxy Tab. With 128GB of storage, there is plenty of space for gaming, creating, and even using for school purposes. Plus, it offers a library of educational games and challenges that aid in learning. Perhaps most notable is its multi-screen capabilities, making it perfect for multitasking. Parental controls and access to the Samsung Kids library, including books, movies, and games, are features parents and kids love.
A notable con is a higher price point, and some users have reported a lag in response time during use.
6. Lenovo Tab M9
One of the best tablets for school-age children comes from Lenovo. It’s one of the best tablets for entertainment and education, especially with an attachable keyboard for schoolwork (sold separately). This is on the more affordable side of Lenovo tablets, a key benefit for buyers. Newer versions of the tablet—many of which do come with an attachable keyboard—sell for higher price points. Parents of kids who enjoy Roblox rave about the Tab M9, as it’s said to be the best affordable tablet for the online virtual universe game. For function and budget, the Lenovo Tab M9 is the way to go.
Buyers have said a primary concern is the potential inability to upgrade the operating system, meaning it could eventually become outdated.
The Best Tablet Cases and Accessories for Kids
Lightweight, flexible, and shockproof, this iPad case is a great option for the 10.2-inch 9th generation version. It comes with a foldable handle stand and in five great colors.
Made for the Amazon Fire 7, this case is durable enough to withstand plenty of bumps and drops. It’s equipped with a handle/stand and comes in three colors.
With a handle, stand, and screen protector, this bundle is all your kiddo needs for their Samsung Galaxy Tab A8.
Six colors available
Turn the Lenovo Tab M9 into a laptop with this attachable keyboard case.
- Headphones include wireless and wired capabilities
- Microphone for family FaceTimes
- Volume limit 85dB to keep little ears safe
- Wireless and wired capabilities
Durable stainless steel kids headphones
- Microphone for family FaceTimes
- Volume levels and volume limits set at 84dB/94dB
For traveling families, a portable charger helps avoid low-battery meltdowns.