In our increasingly connected age, it makes sense to acquaint kids with technology as soon as possible. To that end, picking up a tablet is probably the best starting point. Their touchscreen interface makes them easy to use and they can be filled with tons of apps that can both entertain and educate the tots in your life.
However, before you make your purchase, it’s worth bearing a few things in mind. First, parental controls are essential for any tablet for a child; the last thing you want is your young’un gazing at content that’s not age appropriate or emptying your bank account making numerous purchases in an app that’s riddled with microtransactions. On top of that, it’s worth investing in a tablet that comes in a sturdy case or cover, so your heart doesn’t plummet in the event of your kid tossing their tablet down the stairs.
So allow us to take the busy work out of your decision; here is a selection of the best kid-friendly tablets on the market at the moment.
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8 Kids Edition
Amazon had produced arguably the best kid-friendly tablet available. The Kindle Fire for kids arrives in a very solid bumper case. It doesn’t have a screen protector, but unless someone takes a hammer to it, the touchscreen should withstand the odd trip down the stairs. The screen offers an incredibly clear HD display and the two Dolby Atmos speakers provide very crisp sound.
On top of its sturdy design, this tablet boasts an 8-inch display, a 12-hour battery and 32GB of storage. That last feature is particularly useful since Amazon offers a veritable boatload of content for the Kindle Fire 8 Kids Ed including, books, shows, games and movies. The tablet also comes with a 12-month subscription to the Fire For Kids service package right out of the box.
Apple iPad Mini 2
If you have the financial outlay, the Apple iPad Mini 2 is one of the best tablets you could hand over to your children – provided they’re of suitable age. For the money involved here, we wouldn’t suggest giving one to a kid under the age of six; Apple’s products aren’t designed to be thrown against a wall, and even the most robust covers they have aren’t as sturdy as some.
However, if you trust your child is not of an age to be curious enough to see if a tablet can float in a bath, the iPad Mini 2 is a great option. iOS 9 has a large array of parental controls including web browser restrictions, a block on what apps can be installed and the ability to disable explicit and adult content. Oh, and since Apple’s been in the game since year dot, the iTunes store offers a ton of child-friendly games, books and other content.
One of the younger end of the scale, the Leapfrog Platinum is baby’s first tablet. Well, toddler’s first tablet at any rate. Incredibly robust in its design, boasting a shatterproof screen and a wraparound bumper, so it can certainly withstand most of the punishment a young’un may put it through.
On top of that, you’re looking at 8GB of storage, parental controls, a kid-friendly browser, front and back cameras and over five hours of battery life, which may not sound like much, but toddlers do tend to get distracted. You also gain access to a library of over 800 pre-approved (read: vetted) books, games, videos and more. The purchases may be a little on the expensive side, but then so are clothes for this age group.
7-Inch Kids Tablet PC Ainol Q88 Android 4.4
Aimed at kids aged between two and nine years of age (although we’re betting beyond six most will turn their noses up at it), this tablet arrives in a sturdy case that should guard against anyone who isn’t actively trying to destroy it. It comes with 8GB of storage and you can buy another 64GB if your tot runs out of space for all their videos and apps.
It’s not exactly hi-res in its display but it should certainly suit the needs of toddlers and kids under five. It’s also a cheaper option than most and it gives users access to a whole host of apps and programs on Google Play. For parents on a budget.
Fuhu Nabi 2S
While the Fuhu Nabi 2S is aimed at kids primarily, parents will be happy to know that it doubles as a rather decent Android tablet. It comes preloaded with educational software that helps children learn maths, writing and reading through playing games.
Parental controls are present and correct; it even gives you social media oversight on your kids’ browsing habits. Sturdily built, the Nabi 2S can easily survive drops and knocks. It also partitions modes between kids and parents, so you don’t need to worry about your children watching inappropriate material or spending loads of money on in-game purchases.