The 6 Best Kid's Tablets
This wiki has been updated 28 times since it was first published in April of 2015. Your child can have fun while learning math, reading, spelling, and more with something from our selection of tablets for kids. And, of course, when all the "work" is done, many can also let them watch movies and TV shows, listen to music, and play games. We've included a good variety of models and ranked them by their ruggedness, battery life, and educational capabilities. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best kid's tablet on Amazon.
December 04, 2019:
There have been a few upgrades to popular models since the last iteration of this ranking, including to the lineups by Amazon and LeapFrog. The new Amazon Fire HD 10 and Amazon Fire 7 offer increases in battery life and overall performance, but the 7 only boasts 16GB of internal storage. Of course, this is expandable, but it is a step back from the older 8's 32GB.
Samsung also upgraded their kids tab from the E series to the Samsung Galaxy Tab A, which is more or less an adult tablet with kid-friendly software, and that offers some significant features like a 13-hour battery life and what is probably the best integration of the Android operating system on any children's model. That said, its rubberized silicone case is no match for Amazon's two-year guarantee against anything your kid might try to do to their device.
There are plenty of other models out there from strange companies that we frankly didn't think we could trust. The Dragon Touch model we'd previously included, for example, developed serious durability issues the longer it was used, and we didn't think it prudent to include similar, cheaply produced offerings that are liable to break down or run extremely slowly. This is a category where brand actually matters.
A Long Way From the iPad
And if you've got a full sized iPad, placing its weight, width, and worth in a toddler's hands is just terrifying.
No matter how you dress it up, there's something about the iPad that is distinctly not kid friendly. It's not that it's too complicated. I was once talking with a woman at the grocery store as her two year old boy swiped away at the iPad mini in the kart behind her. After some short pleasantries about the price of grape juice (it was on sale!), her boy began waving at her and tapping her on the arm, all the time saying, "Pahwud, pahwud!" That's two year old speak for "Password."
The little guy had navigated through the app store to a game that looked candy-like and undeniable, and had made it all the way to the point of purchase, with only his mother's password protecting her from surprise. So it's not an issue of complication.
Really, it's about cost and convenience. Most kids tablets are built to be mishandled and boast reasonable costs. That's a big difference compared to the hundreds of dollars lost when little Johnny suddenly decides to use your new iPad or Galaxy Tab as a fly swatter. And if you've got a full sized iPad, placing its weight, width, and worth in a toddler's hands is just terrifying.
So the market found a hole, and a dozen companies came along to fill it with bright colors, durable casings and apps designed to teach as much, if not more, than they were to entertain.
LeapFrog had already been designing its games just behind the curve of tech advancements for years, and their emphasis on education set them at a distinct advantage in software development.
But with a demographic most often under five, the need for hardware research failed to present itself to LeapFrog with the same urgency, and now companies like Amazon and Samsung are presenting higher resolution screens and systems with which a kid can grow well into grade school.
You Know, For Kids!
What differentiates a kids tablet from a regular tablet? Really, it's nothing much. Think about how a Mercedes Benz by Power Wheels is different than the real thing, and you'll start to understand.
But don't let that discourage you; remember what would happen if you let your kindergartener drive your car to school.
For starters, they're made a little more inexpensively. The resolutions aren't as high, the screens don't have as wide of a viewing angle, the processors are slower, and the batteries don't last as long. But don't let that discourage you; remember what would happen if you let your kindergartener drive your car to school.
Also, keep in mind that the specs on your iPad are what make it four to seven times the cost of these kids tabs, and that even the most durable of these products, in the hands of most well-behaved child has a limited lifespan. Odds are that, at some point, it will be dropped, kicked, slammed, flushed, blended, even burned. So don't fret too much about build quality.
That said, your kid deserves the best, I know. And you want to protect them, right? Well, that's where the important differences come in, and they're all software.
Kids tabs are going to have more comprehensive child safety mechanisms built into their software, as well as more child-targeted apps. You'll encounter options for multiple profiles (perfect if more than one monster is going to share one tablet), playtime limiters and tracking, content controls, and more. Plus, those kid friendly apps, especially if they're conveniently preloaded, are going to keep your babies entertained (and quiet?) while secretly teaching them a thing or two.
Buy It, Charge it, Swipe It, Like It?
A long time ago, there was a technological advancement that proved rather controversial, and a prominent voice of the time spoke out vociferously against it.
The thought was that if we came to rely on this new technology we would lose our ability to be truly present with one another, our capacity for memory and for original thought would be all but destroyed, and our collective intelligence would degrade at a pace hitherto unforeseen, perhaps causing – or, at least, signifying – our ultimate end as a species.
I'm not talking about tablets, or the internet, or computers.
I'm not talking about tablets, or the internet, or computers. I'm not talking about television.
The prominent voice speaking out against this new technology was Socrates himself, and the technology against which he railed was none other than the written word. Seriously, look it up.
All this is to address the looks of condemnation you're bound to get on that airplane or at that restaurant when some high-idealed Socratic type sees your kid with a tablet. And it is to say that there is nothing remotely inherently wrong with the technological advancement of our culture.
If this mean-spirited person (who probably doesn't even have kids) has the gall to say anything about it to you, all you need to do is ask them if they can read, if they enjoy the printing press, or if they make use of the telephone.
"Of course, I can read!" they'll defend. And you, knowing what you know of the value of the written word and the resistance it faced so long ago, can rest happily that this person is wrong, and that you're doing right by your babies.
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