Let’s face it: we live in an increasingly technological world. As such, we are perhaps more connected than at any other time in the history of our planet, and while that can be and is amazing, that connectedness also means that we are more primed to receive all of the bad news of the world at once. But, like it or not, the internet and mobile devices are here to stay, and as we progress further and further along this route, it also means that today’s parents will have to adapt to the social cues their children will grow up around—even if they themselves had completely different childhood experiences.
That’s why smartphones and tablets for younger children have become such a hot-button topic in the past few years. While many parents want to limit their child’s access to technology and understandably monitor their child’s online habits, these devices can also be a wonderful gateway to a variety of learning opportunities as well as fun!
If you’re thinking of making the jump and investing in a tablet for your young one, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll give you our top picks for tablets specifically designed with toddlers and young children in mind.
If you’re hesitant about investing in a tablet for your child, you’re not alone. When parents think of a tablet, the first thing that likely comes to mind are expensive (and often fragile) electronic devices that shouldn’t be anywhere near a clumsy, messy child.
And while that may have been true 10 years ago when tablets and things first started gaining popularity, in today’s world they actually have a wide range of tablets designed especially for children. Think of durable designs and security features like parental controls so you can monitor your child’s online behavior and restrict content that may be inappropriate due to their age. And many are very affordable, with plenty of options under $200.
With all of this in mind, a tablet can be a great investment for your little one to help keep them occupied and engaged—perfect for long trips or for other times when you just need a little extra time to yourself!
If you’re looking to jump into the world of smart devices, the following is our list of the top tablets for toddlers:
- Best Overall Tablet: Kindle Fire HD 10 Kids
- Best Learning Tablet: LeapPad Academy
- Best Affordable Tablet: DragonTouch Y88X
- Best Android Tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite
In the following sections, we’ll talk about each of these tablets more in-depth and hopefully help you find the perfect one for your child’s needs!
Best Overall Tablet: Kindle Fire HD 10 Kids
If you’re looking for a functional tablet that has great storage capability, strong battery life, and that also comes with a durable kid-proof case in a variety of colors, look no further than the Kindle Fire HD 10 Kids Tablet by Amazon.
Not only does this tablet come with different types of enforceable parental controls (meaning you can set different limits for different activities, allowing unlimited access to e-books, for example, but limiting streaming sites like Netflix), but it also comes with a free one-year subscription to the Amazon Kids+ App, which provides thousands of ad-free books, games, videos, and apps. But your child isn’t limited to what’s only available on the Amazon store. This app also has the ability to download and make use of a variety of other popular apps like Disney+ and Hulu!
This tablet is best for kids ages 3-8 and has a battery life that lasts up to 12 hours, making it perfect to take along on an errand day or for any other situation where you may need to find a way to entertain your child for some time.
It’s also lightweight and comes equipped with strengthened aluminosilicate glass for added durability, as well as a 2-year worry-free guarantee—meaning if it breaks for any reason, just return it and Amazon will replace it with no questions asked! It’s definitely on the pricier side, coming in at just under $200, but if you’re looking for a fully functional tablet designed specifically for kids, the Fire HD 10 is right up your alley.
Best Learning Tablet: LeapPad Academy
If you want to give your child a tablet-like experience, but are still wary of investing in a full-fledged tablet like the one mentioned above, perhaps we can direct your attention to the LeapPad Academy Learning Tablet.
This tablet is specially designed to help your little one’s developing mind, with 20 educator-approved apps that help build your child’s math, reading, and science skills as well as help them explore their creativity already comes pre-installed on the device. It’s also advertised as being kid-friendly straight out of the box, with a stylus, tough bumper with a built-in kickstand, and a 7” shatter-proof screen to help protect it from everyday bumps and bruises.
Parent controls can be utilized at any time to set time limits as well as expand the type of content your child can have access to. As an added bonus, LeapPad Academy also includes a free three-month trial of “LeapFrog Academy,” an interactive learning program that guides children along on “Learning Adventures” across more than 2,000 different educational games and activities!
With this tablet, your toddler can learn skills from spelling and reading comprehension to earth and space science and even coding! If you’re looking for a tablet that will quench your child’s needs for an electronic toy but also helps aid in their development in a positive way, then the LeadPad Academy tablet would likely be a perfect choice! At about $125, it also costs a bit less than the Fire tablet mentioned above.
Best Affordable Tablet: The DragonTouch Y88X
If you’re looking for a tablet that’s designed especially for kids and also won’t break the bank, look no further than the DragonTouch Y88X Tablet!
At just $80 for the 16 GB model, it’s one of the most affordable tablets for children on the market today. Considering that this is also a fully-functional tablet and not just a toy, the device is almost a steal at that price!
The tablet also comes pre-installed with the KIDOZ app, which has content in over 30 different languages—including video clips, games, websites, and thousands of premium apps for kids to help them watch, explore, play, and learn! The case it comes with is designed to cover the back, frame, and extends over the screen, and offer full round impact-resistant protection, while parental controls can help you set time limits to lock your child’s device at bedtime and allow you to monitor and filter the content your child has access to.
While it comes in both 16 and 32 GB models to start, a microSD card can enhance its storage capabilities up to 128 extra GB, and it comes with both blue and pink cases so you can pick whichever color your child is drawn to the most!
Best Android Tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite
While a few of the tablets on this list use Android as their primary operating system, if you’re looking for one that’s slightly more powerful than the other options listed here but still insist on using an Android-powered machine, then look no further than the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite!
With it’s compact 8.7” screen and overall slim design, it’s perfect for tiny hands, and the sturdy metal frame means it’s perfectly designed to withstand the occasional drop from clumsy hands. While this tablet isn’t specifically designed for kids, per se, it’s definitely a solid choice if you’re looking for a tablet that can also be used by other members of the family.
While it comes with 32 GB of memory already installed, it can be expanded up to 1 TB, meaning you’ll have more than enough space for any kind of app or game your child may want to download onto it. It also boasts a long battery life and super fast charging for when you need to juice up your device in a pinch! And since it’s a fully functioning tablet and not just a toy for kids, that means you also have access to the entire Google Play store at your disposal—which has both entertainment and education for the kids, as well as a few apps that you as a parent can enjoy on your own. Coming in at just around $100, it’s also a steal of a device for the price!
If you’ve been thinking about buying a tablet for your toddler, you’re in good company! With continued advancements in technology over the past decade, children today are growing up around tablets and smart devices more now than at any other time in human history, and it’s natural for them to be drawn to these devices, and sooner or later it’s very likely that they’re going to come across these types of technology for their entire lives.
In that respect, investing in a tablet for your child is a great idea—and one that will likely help them develop skills they’ll use again and again. Hopefully, the information here helps you find the perfect tablet that works best for both you and your child!