- Fun and educational, tablets can help your children learn and keep them entertained for hours on end.
- The best kids tablets have the appropriate content safety features and as well as device security measures to protect our children.
- This is why the best tablets for kids, in our opinion, is the 10.2-inch Apple iPad. It’s got the power, support, versatility, and security that kids need today.
Tablets have long been the educational tool of choice for children. Even dating back to the times before the inimitable iPad, kids’ tablets were available to help your little ones learn and grow.
The tablets of that time weren’t very useful. They had few preinstalled educational games and apps, and it was only a matter of time before the child outgrew them. Want to download something? Oops! They didn’t have app stores or even Wi-Fi.
Things are much different today. There are tons of apps available for modern tablets, thanks to app stores and the countless developers who work to fill those stores up. Many tablets can be customized such that the child gains more functionality from their tablet as they grow older with it.
It’s almost inconceivable that a kid could go without a tablet in this day and age. It can store all of their books, has tons of interactive, educational content, and keeps them quiet when you need a moment or two to get things done. Need help deciding which one to get? A kids’ tablet is ideally cheap, durable, and easy to use. We’ve poured our hearts into researching the best devices that fit this bill. Read on for our picks.
Here are the best tablets for kids you can buy:
- Best tablet for kids overall: iPad (10.2-inch)
- Best value tablet for kids: Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition
- Best tablet for toddlers: Leapfrog Epic Academy Edition
- Best kid’s tablet for Android apps: Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8-Inch
- Best kid’s tablet for school: Microsoft Surface Go
The best tablet for kids
The latest 10.2-inch iPad is fluid, versatile, powerful, and safe enough for children of all ages.
You may have guessed that a tablet made for kids might be the best tablet for kids, but I challenge that assumption with my personal experience. The iPad has been the only tablet that kids in my life care to use.
Apple’s ingenuity shines through with the latest 10.2-inch iPad. It’s not child-friendly out of the box, but it’s so simple to set up and use that your kids will catch on like wildfire. My nephew was using one just before turning three years old, for instance, and he knows how to power it on and launch the apps and games he wants to keep himself occupied.
After a brief setup process, you can head into the App Store and download countless amounts of fun games and educational content. Almost every service and app in existence has an iPad counterpart, so you won’t have any problems finding content for the new cartoons and shows your little ones love. Plus, the iPad Mini has more than enough power to play the huge collection of high-quality games available.
While not perfect, iPad has parental control features to help protect your child from bad content, accidental purchases, and sharing location information. You’ll still need to measure their time on your own, though the ScreenTime service helps.
The baseline current-generation iPad sits on Amazon with nearly five whole stars to its name on the strength of over 6,000 reviews. “My kids love their iPads, and have used them to play Fortnite, watch YouTube and watch TV,” said Amazon reviewer Jimmy Gorham. It’s even sitting atop our list of the best iPads.
Pros: Easy to set up and use, tons of apps available, sharp display, blazing performance, long-lasting battery, suitable for children of all ages
Cons: A bit more expensive than other tablets, parental controls could be better
The best value tablet for kids
A protective case keeps the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablet safe from your more destructive tykes, but its cheap cost makes it easily replaceable if it breaks.
We could point to the modest price tag and the inclusion of a kid-friendly protective case it ships with, and that’d be that. But, we can’t forget about the other qualities, including a big, sharp 8-inch HD display and the Fire operating system (OS), based on Android, that offers a fun and safe multimedia experience.
Amazon has spent years filling its own app store with an abundance of games, apps, books, and video content. Don’t want to spend a ton on apps? Check out FreeTime, a cheap monthly subscription to enjoy premium content from over 20,000 sources, including Disney, Nickelodeon, and PBS. Oh, and did I mention you get a full year of that for free with a new Fire HD tablet purchase?
Fire OS includes a wealth of great parental control features, including the ability to set screen time limits, education goals, and filtering out the bad stuff you don’t want your kids viewing. You could even enable an adult profile for yourself whenever they aren’t hogging the thing.
Reviews from 3,400 buyers average out to a 4.1-star rating. User BrookCom says, “Great value for a kids tablet that you don’t have to worry too much about getting broken.” Wired scored it 8/10, saying, “The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is a useful compromise of a device-durable, enjoyable, and at $130, way cheaper than an iPad mini.”
Pros: Affordable, comes with a protective case, uses Amazon’s intuitive and kid-friendly Fire OS, comes with a year of FreeTime Unlimited
Cons: Amazon app store updates lag behind Google Play and Apple’s App Store
The best tablet for toddlers
The LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition Android-based tablet grows right alongside your little ones.
Remember LeapFrog? This classic brand has been keeping kids entertained and educated for decades now. The company offers learning tablets, computers, toys, games, and more.
The company is still at it as of 2020 with the LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition. Based on Android, it’s not the most flexible device you will find, but LeapFrog uses its expertise in the field to deliver a tablet that children of all ages can figure out.
One big claim to fame is that the tablet grows the more your child does. From the suggested age of three through nine, parents can add new content once their kids have exhausted all the material appropriate for their age. Much of that content will come from LeapFrog Academy, a subscription-based service (three months included) that serves up thousands of educational activities and games. Kids can learn both academic (math, science, and more) and life skills through them.
They’ll earn certificates and cool rewards for their accomplishments, like clothes for their interactive avatars that live in the educational environment they’ll be exploring. As a parent, you can check in to see how they’re progressing, and you can add even more content through the App Center. A web browser with powerful parental control tools is available to keep your options open.
In a 4-star review, TrustedReviews concludes, “For under fives, the LeapFrog Epic is the perfect platform on which to begin a journey in tech, offering entertainment and education in a managed way.” One buyer at Amazon considered an iPad over it but was worried about the potential for their child to stumble upon inappropriate content. It’s “an incredibly affordable option to replace his iPad that eases my mind,” they say.
Pros: Comprehensive educational plan, access to fun apps and games, kid-friendly web browser lets your kids explore more without worry, doesn’t cost a fortune, comes with a protective case and stylus
Cons: Not as versatile as traditional tablets, some apps are too costly
The best kid’s tablet for Android apps
If you have a bunch of Android apps already, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 is a top-notch affordable tablet with access to the best Android app store there is.
Some of the tablets on this list don’t have Google Play, and that will be a deal breaker for some of you. Perhaps you had your own tablet or smartphone for the child to play games on and you decide it’s time for them to get their own, but you’ve already bought into the rich app ecosystem surrounding Android. Fear not: the Samsung Galaxy Tab A is here to save the day.
This is a legit 8-inch HD Android tablet whose brawn doesn’t quite jump off the charts (1.4GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage), but it certainly has enough power to fuel a kid-driven adventure. It doesn’t present itself as such out of the box, but it’s easy enough to work your way through the menus to set up a kids’ profile and home screen setup.
The Galaxy Tab A 8.0 is also an excellent option for older kids who need a more capable device for schoolwork and the “occasional” YouTube binge sessions. And if you want to limit that time, Samsung gives you ample tools for doing so. There are cameras on the front and rear for video calls and maybe even some social media shenanigans.
We’d sooner recommend an iPad for this scenario, but if you can’t quite stretch the dollars or it’s vital for you to have the Google experience, you can’t go wrong here. Just make sure you buy a nice case alongside it for the younger users in your family.
The Galaxy Tab A 8.0 is one of the best Android tablets available at its price point today. Nearly 500 customers at Amazon have propped it up to a 4.3-star rating, including Rebecca, whose kids are thoroughly entertained by it while she’s running errands. “I love this tablet. It’s the perfect size,” she remarks.
Pros: Access to tons of apps through Google Play, versatile enough for children of all ages, amazing battery life, support for multiple profiles makes it a family tablet
Cons: More expensive than other Android-based options, Android may be more complicated to use than other platforms
The best kid’s tablet for school
- Katie Canales/Business Insider
The Microsoft Surface Go can do a lot more heavy lifting than other tablets on this list, making it the perfect choice for school needs.
Need something a little scholarly for the back-to-school season? Check out the Microsoft Surface Go. This Windows-based tablet is perfect for those who are growing up fast. Microsoft Surface Go is powered by a stripped-down version of Windows 10. S Mode, as it’s called, limits the user to preinstalled apps, apps from the Microsoft Store, and whatever you can do on the modern web.
This sounds like a major drawback compared to other Windows tablets, but it’s a safer environment for a younger person who needs the tablet for schoolwork and just a little fun on the side. S Mode can be disengaged at will, too, so the tablet becomes even more useful once you decide it’s time to take off the training wheels.
Hardware-wise, the Surface Go sports a roomy 10-inch display, 4GB of RAM, and begins at 64GB of internal storage, an amount that can seem paltry for a Windows device, but feels entirely appropriate in the form factor of a tablet. Powering it is the dual-core Intel Pentium Gold, which won’t be all that useful for a lot of the cool games available for Windows. Then again, this is for school right?
The Surface Go is wholly positioned as a tablet out of the box, but its built-in kickstand can combine with a Surface Type keyboard cover to enable a laptop experience. That’s an added $80 expense if you’re looking to get serious with it.
TechRadar gave the tablet a glowing review. “it’s tough to beat this gorgeous machine that’s truly a computer in every sense of the word,” they said before awarding it 4.5 stars out of 5. Its 4-star rating at Amazon is thanks to happy purchasers like William, who says it’s ” a great little computer for a kid.”
Pros: Comes with Windows 10, handles most basic web browsing and application tasks with ease, beautiful design
Cons: Accessories are costly, not suitable for younger children