The best tablet for kids isn't like finding the best one for adults. Generally, a dedicated kids tablet from Amazon or Samsung is a better option for young children than a fully-fledged iPad Pro that would suit adults.
Tablets for kids often tend to be a bit hardier than their adult equivalents, while also being cheaper because they use older or lower-specs processors. Despite the relatively lower specs of kids' tablets, such devices are still ideal for playing games, watching films, reading books, or listening to music - all the core activities your child is most likely to want to do with their gadget.
Even better, these tablets tend to come at a fraction of the price of a modern smartphone working out as a better deal for your little one. That's alongside offering crucial parental controls at the forefront of their design. If your kids are stuck indoors for long periods or on a long journey with you, these tablets should keep them happy.
Before diving into purchasing a tablet for kids, it's worth thinking about what your child is most likely to use their device for in case there's a more appropriate alternative out there. If they love to read, something like the Amazon Kindle Kids Edition might be better, while gaming fans may prefer a Switch Lite and there's always our guide to the best laptop for kids.
Best tablet for kids 2022
Amazon's Fire line has been around for ages, and has quite rightly cornered the market when it comes to cheap and cheerful tablets. The Fire 7 is one of the cheapest tablets around and comes in a range of bright colors, which makes it the ideal choice for school kids and teenagers looking for their first smart device.
You'll want to get to grips with the parental controls before handing it over to very young children and don't expect cutting-edge performance or exceptional battery life for the price, but it really is hard to think of any other tablet which can match the Fire 7 when it comes to price and sheer volume of content; Amazon's app store is stocked to bursting point.
- Read our full Amazon Fire 7 review
The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition (2020) is the latest version of Amazon’s kid-friendly 8-inch slate, and while it’s not a huge upgrade on the previous model it’s certainly the one to go for, as it has more power and storage than its predecessor, while still coming in at a low price.
Essentially it’s a kid’s version of the standard Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020), with the key strengths of this tablet including its durable, colorful shell, that will both appeal to children and withstand most accidents.
There’s also an adjustable stand built in, so children won’t have to hold the tablet to use it, and it comes with a one-year subscription to Fire for Kids Unlimited, giving you access to a wealth of kid-friendly apps, videos, and games.
The Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro is the biggest of the Amazon range of kids' tablets and it's ideally suited for older children. Not quite up to the standard of the iPad, it's considerably cheaper while offering some key benefits. These include a strong protective case and a more mature but age appropriate set of games and apps.
The 10.1-inch screen has a wider aspect ratio of 16:10 compared to the iPad's 4:3 and it's useful for any age. Perhaps best of all for some is that it's a Fire HD 10 underneath so adults can use it as standard when the kids are in bed. It's a device that genuinely works well for all ages.
The only real weak point is that the camera is fairly mediocre. It's fine but nothing more with the rear camera offering 5MP and a mere 720p for video recording. Other than that, it's mostly smooth sailing at this price.
- Read the full review: Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro
The iPad 10.2 is the cheapest tablet in Apple's range, and it offers a lot for the price tag. While it's an expensive purchase for your kids, iPadOS is full of fantastic tools and apps that mean it'll grow well with your children's needs.
If you want to sneak a go with the iPad 10.2, you'll be delighted with the performance thanks to its new processor. The tablet's 12MP front camera and Center Stage support means that FaceTime is a dream to use, keeping up with however active your child may be in front of the camera.
Just bear in mind that if you're worried about it getting damaged, you may want to buy a case for the iPad 10.2. This is far from the most durable option on the list, although it's able to withstand the needs of older children without much trouble.
If you've got an older child or fashion-conscious teen then they might not thank you for buying a tablet which comes with a brightly-colored bumper or crayon-like stylus.
If an iPad is still out of the question then Samsung's Galaxy Tab A8 could present the ideal middle ground; it's got a mature design and decent specifications but offers the option of adding parental controls so you can still have some peace of mind.
The best thing is that as your teenager gets older, they don't need to discard the Galaxy Tab 8 as you can remove the controls (assuming you trust them) and viola – it becomes a tablet for a grown-up (well, a grown-up child, at least). Samsung's reputation for quality and design shines through on this reasonably-priced slate, so it's well worth a look.
Amazon's 10-inch kids tablet offers a crisp IPS 1080p screen that's great for playing games and watching movies on, and also provides plenty of display real estate for kids who are just starting to find their love of reading.
Like several of Amazon's other tablets, the Fire HD 10 is available in a 'Kids Edition' package which slaps a massive rubber bumper on for protection and allows you to enable controls which prevent your children from viewing questionable content. The catch is that the Fire HD 10 is quite expensive, and that massive screen means an equally massive footprint, which some younger users may find too unwieldy.
However, you do get a year of Fire For Kids Unlimited, which provides free age-appropriate content for your precious ones.
- Read our full Amazon Fire 10 (2019) review
Kurio specializes in making tech for younger users so the Kurio Tab Connect is ideally suited for them. It can withstand a fair few knocks thanks to a protective bumper that means it can deal with any unexpected temper tantrum. Features wise, it has extensive parental controls so you can lock it down as much as you need to, ensuring your child is safe while using it.
Underneath that protective hood is a fairly capable Android-based tablet albeit one running on somewhat dated hardware. This won't win any prizes for speed but your child will appreciate being able to explore the Google Play Store as and when you allow it.
Don't expect a great screen or a good quality camera, but for the bare necessities, it's a competent enough tablet that will happily contend with the most physical of children.
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You also might want to check out the best phones for kids.