When it comes to a kid-friendly tablet, you don’t necessarily need top-of-the-line features or the most powerful processing for your young child. However, you also don’t want something that’s slow and frustrating for younger kids to use. You want a kids’ tablet that does everything they want it to, like play games, listen to music, watch movies, read books and access all kinds of kid-friendly apps and educational content. The best kids’ tablets can be used for schoolwork, email and video chats, too.
When you’re searching for the best kids’ tablet for your little one, it’s important to consider affordability, battery life, capacity for apps, durability and lifespan before buying. This is especially true if you’re shopping for younger kids. The best tablets for kids have robust parental-control features that let parents monitor their kids’ screen time and the content they can access. (You can go a step further and set parental controls on your Wi-Fi network.)
Many of the kids’ tablets on our list come preloaded with kid-friendly content and educational apps to facilitate learning alongside the fun entertainment apps. These easy-to-use kids’ tablets can also access quality educational content like apps, games, shows and more from trusted and effective edutainment experts, like PBS Kids. Interactive programming (like that offered from Sideshow Kids, PBS Kids and CodaKid, for instance) can be used in tandem with different educational app options on your child’s device, letting them get the hands-on learning experience your little one needs to have the best head start in the world.
There are even toys that work alongside a kid-friendly tablet (and sometimes also a smart keyboard) to teach children how to code. You want to put your child’s screen time to good use, and the best kids’ tablet for the young mind in your life will give you access (through the Google Play store or other app store, several specialized sites or even YouTube) to the building blocks you need.
And, since kids can be clumsy (and sticky for some reason), it’s a good idea to invest in a kid-friendly tablet with sturdy construction and a durable kid-proof case that can protect a delicate glass screen against any scratches or drops. You might also want to add a screen protector.
The Fire HD 10 Kids Edition is the kids’ tablet version of the Amazon Fire HD 10, with the largest display in the lineup of Amazon tablet options. Just like its 7- and 8-inch screen size siblings, this Fire tablet features a ton of parental control options and a rubberized bumper case to protect the device against drops. This 10.1-inch Amazon Fire tablet also includes a two-year “worry-free” replacement warranty and a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids Plus. Previously called Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, Amazon Kids Plus is a content library that gives kids access to plenty of books, games, app options and age-appropriate kid-friendly content whether you’re purchasing this Fire HD tablet for a younger child or older kid.
Amazon also offers another version of the child-friendly tablet, called the Fire HD 10 Pro Kids Edition, which has a slimmer case alongside more web browsing and app options for older children. It might be one of the best kid tablet options in this lineup to grow on, and it might be a good one if your kids’ ages vary widely, but your budget only allows for one shared kids’ tablet in your home.
The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is cheaper and 2 inches smaller than the 10-inch version of the kids’ tablet, but it includes the same bundle of parental controls, rubberized bumper case to protect the device, two-year “worry-free” replacement warranty and one-year subscription to Amazon Kids Plus. You can add a microSD card for additional storage. Compared with the Kids Edition of the Fire 7 tablet, the HD 8 Kids tablet costs more, but it’s got a higher-resolution screen, faster performance and more storage, making it a worthwhile upgrade.
Like the 10-inch version, the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition also has a slimmer Pro version for older kids. It is, however, a little bit pricier than the standard 8-inch kids’ tablet.
Read our Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition review.
The Amazon Fire 7 is the most budget-friendly “learning tablet” option out of the lineup of Amazon Fire Kids Edition tablets. This Kids Edition tablet does a decent job at most tasks and apps and includes the same bundle of parental controls, padded tablet case, two-year warranty and one-year subscription to Amazon Kids Plus. This is also the best kids’ tablet out of the lineup, size wise, for use as an e-reader. The kid-friendly dimensions make it comfortable for smaller hands. We might be tempted to think bigger is always better, but sometimes, the best tablet for a given purpose (like reading) comes down to the hands that hold it.
Like both the 10- and 8-inch options, the Fire 7 also has a kid-friendly Pro tablet for older children that features a slimmer case, more web browsing and app options.
Read our Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition review.
When it comes to a children’s tablet, Apple’s iPad definitely has the more recognizable name, and in-app purchases are easy on an iPad. However, handing over an iPad with endless app options to young kids — or even an older child — can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially considering that high iPad price. But compared with Amazon’s Kids Edition tablets, an iPad has more versatility in adapting to a growing kid’s changing needs in a tablet, making it one of the best tablet options for something your little one can grow with. The 2021 version remains the most useful iPad for the greatest number of people and can be found for as little as $250 if you wait for the right sale.
Read our Apple iPad (2021) review.
Read more: Best Car Seats for 2022