If you’re tired of giving your kids your tablet to play with when waiting in a waiting room for an appointment, in the car during long rides, or whenever they’re stuck at home and bored, it’s time to think about buying a kid-appropriate tablet they can call their own.
Fortunately, there are lots of tablets suitable for kids these days, from tablets designed for younger kids with durable rubber casing and lots of built-in safety features to affordable tablets for older kids when they’re ready for the next level but not quite ready to be responsible for a pricey gadget.
Once you’ve decided that it’s time to get your child a tablet, you may be overwhelmed by all the choices out there. We recently reviewed dozens of tablets to find the ones that will best fit your lifestyle and needs. We looked at factors like durability, ease of use, availability of parental controls, battery life, expected lifespan, and affordability. All of these top-rated tablets can be purchased online at Amazon.
We’ve identified the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Tablet as the best overall tablet for kids. It has all the capabilities kids need in a tablet, plus it comes with a kid-proof case to withstand daily wear and tear.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Tablet for Kids
|Best Tablet for Kids Overall||Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Tablet||4.5|
|Best Tablet for Young Kids 5-10||Vankyo MatrixPad Z1 Kids Tablet||4.3|
|Best Budget Tablet for Kids||Amazon Fire 7 Kids Tablet||4.6|
|Best Tablet for Toddlers||LeapFrog LeapPad Ready for School Tablet||4.4|
|Best Tablet for School||New Apple iPad||4.8|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change.
Best Tablet for Kids Overall: Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Tablet
If you’re looking for an all-around quality tablet that your kids can enjoy for years, choose the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Tablet. It’s easy to use and has a kid-proof case so it can stand up to even the toughest kids, plus it comes packed full of all the content kids want. You’ll find over 20,000 books, TV shows, educational apps, games, and Audible audiobooks, plus you can always download others anytime you like.
This is a tablet built to last, as it has 32 GB of memory that’s expandable by up to 400 GB, with unlimited cloud storage for Amazon content purchases. Kids will enjoy the fast performance of the 1.3 GHz quad-core with 1.5 GB of RAM, along with up to 10 hours of battery life.
Parents enjoy peace of mind with this unit, as it has easy-to-use parental controls and a kid-safe browser that keeps out inappropriate content. Parents can manage and customize kids’ experiences with up to four individual child profiles on one machine. Set bedtime curfews and employ tighter controls on screen time and content. Parents can also block access to videos and games until after the educational targets are met.
The kid-proof case is designed to protect against drops, bumps, and other typical outcomes of kid use, and if something happens to the tablet, Amazon will replace it for free for up to two years from the date of purchase.
Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Tablet Key Features:
- Comes with a kid-proof case and 2-year replacement guarantee
- Has over 20,000 books, TV shows, educational apps, games, and more
- Parental controls allow parents to set limits and manage kids’ experiences
- 32 GB of memory expandable to up to 400 GB
- Up to 10 hours of battery life
Best Tablet for Young Kids 5-10: Vankyo MatrixPad Z1 Kids Tablet
If you’ve got younger kids about ready for their first tablet, the Vankyo MatrixPad Z1 Kids Tablet may be your best bet. It has a 1.5 GHz quad-core processor and 32 GB onboard storage that’s expandable to up to 128 GB. Lightweight and with a shock-resistant bumper to resist damage, it has a 7-inch HD display complete with an eye health mode that filters out blue light.
Kids will enjoy access to a range of age-appropriate and up-to-date fun content including games, videos, paintings and educational apps, and kid-safe websites designed to help them develop math, reading, and music skills. It also has “PaintBox” available, which allows kids to draw or paint lines, shapes, and patterns or to play coloring pages. The tablet is easy to use, and of course, kids can take pictures and videos with the 2MP front-facing camera and rear camera.
Go into the parental control mode to create and customize profiles for each kids’ account, plus you can hand-pick content for your kids, control screen time, and make sure they’re browsing only safe websites. The battery lasts for up to 8 hours, and it has a built-in stand/handle for adjusting to the perfect viewing angle or carrying it along on trips.
Vankyo Matrix Pad Z1 Kids Tablet Key Features:
- 32 GB onboard storage expandable to 128 GB
- Build-in handle/stand
- Allows access to a range of kid-friendly content
- Parental controls provide peace of mind
- Educational programs help kids develop math, language, music, and creative skills
Best Budget Tablet for Kids: Amazon Fire 7 Kids Tablet
If you aren’t ready to shell out over $100 for your kids’ tablet, you can still get your kids a quality product with the Amazon Fire 7 Kids Tablet. As with our best-pick, you still get a year of free Amazon FreeTime, which gives kids access to over 20,000 apps, games, books, videos, audiobooks, and educational content. (After the year is over, the subscription continues at $2.99/month plus tax unless you cancel it.)
This one also comes with a Kid-Proof Case, built-in stand, and a 2-year worry-free guarantee, which means if it breaks Amazon will replace it for free up to two years from the purchase date. It doesn’t have quite as much internal memory—16 GB—but you can expand that with a microSD card for up to 512 GB of storage. It has a quad-core 1.3 GHz with 1 GB of RAM and provides up to 7 hours of battery life.
The camera is the same too—2 MP front and rear-facing cameras so your kids can experiment with pictures and video. Easy-to-use parental controls allow you to limit screen time, set educational goals and curfews, and manage content for up to 4 children. Choose from three different colors: pink, blue, and purple.
Amazon Fire 7 Kids Tablet Key Features:
- Similar to the Amazon Fire 8 for about half the price
- Comes with over 20,000 apps, games, books, and other kid-friendly content
- Easy-to-use parental controls allow you to limit screen time and set educational goals
- About 7 hours of battery life, with up to 512 GB add-on storage
- Kid-Proof Case and 2-year no-worry guarantee
Best Tablet for Toddlers: LeapFrog LeapPad Ready for School Tablet
The AAP recommends parents avoid screens for infants up to about 18 months of age, but then some children may be ready for some exposure. If you have a little one just begging to start learning with something like a tablet, we recommend the LeapFrog LeapPad Ready for School Tablet.
This tablet includes $100 worth of free school-readiness apps, plus apps featuring reading, music, problem-solving, and creativity. Kids will also have access to a library of content including award-winning apps and cartridges featuring kid-favorite characters. A kid-friendly web browser provides access only to pre-selected websites all approved by learning experts.
The 7-inch screen is shatter-safe, and the tablet has a built-in stylus and energy-absorbing bumper for durability. A music player comes pre-loaded with 10 songs, and the dual front and back cameras let kids play with photos and videos.
Parental controls include password protection, time limits, and customized experiences. Finally, the LeapFrog Just-for-Me learning technology personalizes the content in select learning games by adapting the curriculum based on right or wrong answers and remembering your child’s progress across various games, to further challenge kids as they go.
LeapFrog LeapPad Ready for School Tablet Key Features:
- Perfect for young kids 3-6 years old
- Includes free school-readiness apps and access to a library of kid-friendly content
- Built-in energy-absorbing bumper for durability
- Parental controls allow you to set time limits and to customize your child’s experience
- Just-for-Me learning technology challenges kids as they grow
Best Tablet for School: New Apple iPad
Once your child starts to get serious about schoolwork, it may be time to upgrade to a New Apple iPad. It’s the highest-rated product by reviewers, but it does cost quite a bit more than the other products listed here, so you want to consider it only for older, tech-savvy kids. This tablet doesn’t have a kid-friendly case either, so it’s suitable only for kids that will treat it with care, though Apple does say that it’s built to be durable so you can take it anywhere.
Kids are likely to love the large 10.2-inch retina display, 8MP camera, and up to 10 hours of battery life. The machine combines the power and capability of a computer with the ease and use of a tablet and allows kids to use multiple apps at once. Edit a document while making a FaceTime call, for example. You can add on a smart keyboard to turn it into a laptop, and/or the Apple Pencil to create, draw, paint, and sketch.
The Apple App Store provides thousands of educational apps that help kids get a leg up in geometry, learn a new language or even practice composing music. Downtime is even more fun with the A10 Fusion chip which delivers amazing gaming performance. Pair an Xbox, PlayStation, or MFI controller to create the ultimate portable game console. Apple also provides the Apple Arcade, a game subscription that gives kids access to over 100 new games.
Kids can even turn this iPad into a TV with the Apple TV app, gaining access to television shows and movies. Finally, parents can still set up parental controls on this machine. Apple includes a robust set of controls that let you turn off apps and stop kids from downloading and buying new apps. Apple also includes a built-in website filter to keep adult content off the iPad without the need for special software. Simply go to the Settings>General>Restrictions and tap “Enable Restrictions.”
New Apple iPad Key Features:
- Best for older kids who are tech-savvy and serious about schoolwork
- Beautiful 10.2-inch retina display and up to 10 hours battery life
- 8MP camera
- Built-in parental controls
- Access to Apple App Store which provides thousands of educational apps
- Up to 10 hours battery life; built to be durable
Tips for Setting Technology Usage Guidelines with Your Kids
Screen time can be a difficult thing for parents to manage. How much screen time is too much, and when should I introduce my kids to a tablet? There are a lot of things to consider. On the positive side, tablets can help keep kids busy and quiet when parents have to attend to other urgent matters. They allow kids access to games, animation series, movies, music, books, and apps that can help entertain them and even cheer them up. Parents and children can play games together, too, which gives them both something fun and interactive to do together.
Tablets can also be helpful educational tools. Many games are designed to help children learn, and simply operating a tablet can help younger children figure out how to navigate this new world of computerized gadgets everywhere. For older kids, tablets can be an important tool to use to complete homework assignments, do research, or make presentations, particularly for kids who are taking online classes or otherwise completing school work at home.
Tablets are often easier for kids to use than computers, as well, because they’re smaller, easier to tote around, and typically last a long time on a battery charge. Parents like that they tend to cost much less than a laptop or desktop computer, as well. Plus parents can install apps on the machines that help them keep track of where their kids are.
So, there are a lot of good reasons to get a tablet for your child. It is important for parents to set rules, however, and to properly supervise children’s use of tablets. Too much screen time can be detrimental to a child’s growth.
One recent study of children age three to five found that those with higher exposure to screens had poorer expressive language and did worse on tests of language processing speed than those with lower exposure.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has some guidelines to help:
- Set limits on the use of the tablets.
- Know what platforms, software, and apps your children are using, and what sites they are visiting on the web.
- Encourage playtime without screens, including outdoor activities.
- Make sure at least some of your child’s screen time is spent with a parent, to encourage bonding and learning.
- Be a good role model by limiting your own screen time.
- Avoid digital media for toddlers younger than 18-24 months other than video chatting.
- Create tech-free zones, such as the dinner table and children’s bedrooms.
- As children get older, warn them about the importance of privacy online and the dangers of predators.
All of these tablets are quality products that will work for your kids, depending on their age and level of technology experience. Plus you can enjoy peace of mind when your kids are using them, as they all allow you to set parental controls. For more guidance on fun gadgets for kids, see our Best Walkie-Talkies for Kids and Best Telescopes for Kids.