The 5 Best Tablets for Kids of 2022

The Amazon Fire HD 10 has a kid-proof case and parental controls

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Best Tablets for Kids

Verywell / Chloe Jeong

Tablets offer kids a whole world of entertainment—from exploring games and puzzles to consuming content and connecting socially. With educational and entertainment benefits, a tablet can be a helpful gadget for a child's development, if used in moderation. There’s plenty to consider if you choose to purchase a tablet for your child beyond durability and the number of apps.

Reviewed & Approved

With its convenient high-speed, long battery life, kid-proof case, and accessible parental controls, the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Tablet is our top pick. The Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Tablet is a great tablet for young children.

When picking the right tablet for your child, it's important to keep the American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP) suggested guidelines for screen time in mind.The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests. Toddlers from 18 to 24 months can start to enjoy some screen time with an adult. Children aged 2 to 5 should be limited to one hour of high-quality screen time a day, which includes computers, tablets, television, and gaming devices. Kids over 6 are recommended to have “consistent limits” on screen time. The AAP also recommends establishing screen-free zones, like the car or the dinner table, which should apply to all members of the family.

Whether you're introducing a tablet for the first time or are upgrading to a newer device for an older kid, features like variety of apps, battery life, durability, and, of course, parental controls are all important to consider. When reviewing tablets for kids, we researched popular options from trusted brands with these features in mind.

Here, our top picks for kid-friendly tablets.

Best Overall

Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Tablet

4.7
Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Tablet

Amazon

Pros
  • Long battery life

  • Parental controls

  • Kid-proof case

Cons
  • Limited app options

  • Pricey

Who else recommends it? CNET, Best Products, and Reviewed all picked the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Tablet.

What do buyers say? 85% of 39,200+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 5 stars.

Our top choice, the Fire HD 10, is Amazon's largest and fastest version of its popular kids tablet. The 10.1 inch tablet has charging power that lasts for 12 hours and its kid-proof case, built-in stand, built-in camera, and two-year guarantee make it pretty indestructible for little hands.

With this tablet comes a subscription to Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, which includes over 20,000 books, audiobooks, movies, TV shows, apps, and games that are all geared towards kids 3 to 12. For mom and dad, the easy-to-use parental controls manage up to four accounts and can limit access to the camera, web browsing, or any other tablet function. 

This tablet is a great option for most families. Although it costs less than an iPad, it's still pricey, so for younger kids, older model Amazon Fires may be a more budget-friendly choice. One complaint is that this tablet can only be purchased through Amazon, so Google Play and Android apps are not available. 

Price at time of publication: $200

Dimensions: 11.5 x 8.1 x 1.0 inches | Wi-Fi Capability: Yes | Battery Life: 12 Hours | Age Recommendation: 3 to 12 years old

Best for Toddlers

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Tablet

fisher-price-laugh-learn-smart-stages-tablet
Courtesy of Target.
Pros
  • Budget-friendly

  • Toddler-friendly

Cons
  • No headphone jack

  • Runs on batteries

If you are considering a tablet for your toddler, you’ll want one that’s inexpensive, easy to use, relatively indestructible, and age-appropriate. Leave it to the experts at Fisher-Price to come up with a very affordable toddler tablet that checks all these boxes.

With its “Smart Stage” technology, this tablet offers three levels of play. As your toddler grows, the capabilities scale up. Move from sounds and songs, to identifying letters and objects, to role play and imaginative games.

This is much more of a toy than a tablet, which at a toddler’s age is appropriate given that they shouldn't be exceeding one hour of screen time per day. It doesn’t connect to the internet or have any apps. While the 11 x 8-inch plastic device is virtually indestructible, it may have some drawbacks, especially if you plan to use it in the car or on a plane.

This gadget can’t be charged; it runs on three AAA batteries. There is no headphone jack, so that may be a deal-breaker for any frequent fliers, but it does have two volume settings. For those toddlers that are tech-obsessed and constantly stealing mom or dad’s phone or tablet, this could be a good alternative. Given the price, it’s a useful toy, but don’t expect it to grow with your child into elementary age. 

Price at time of publication: $24

Dimensions: 7.48 x 0.98 x 5.32 inches | Wi-Fi Capability: No | Battery Life: AAA Batteries | Age Recommendation: 12 months to 3 years old

Good to Know

Avoid letting your child use screens around bedtime. The light emitted from screens interferes with the sleep cycle and can lead to insomnia.

Best for Middle School

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0" Tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0-Inch Tablet

Amazon

Pros
  • Budget-friendly

  • Parental controls

Cons
  • MicroSD card sold separately unless bundled

  • Slower processor

Tweens have some unique tablet needs. They likely want to play, read, watch, and listen on the go. For this crowd, parents need a budget-friendly option that still has parental controls. The Samsung Galaxy Tab A fits everyone’s needs. It has a lot of horsepower, a medium price range, and the kids' mode provides parents with peace of mind.

You can add Microsoft Office to be ready for all the school work your middle schooler will bring home. The 8-inch screen is plenty big for movies, games, and reading. Many reviewers feel it's a great tablet for the price.

 Price at time of publication: $200

Dimensions: 0.31 x 4.9 x 8.27 inches | Wi-Fi Capability: Yes | Battery Life: 13 Hours | Age Recommendation: Not Listed

Best for High School

Apple iPad Air (2020)

4.9
iPad Air 4

Amazon

Pros
  • Liquid retina display

  • Top-notch camera

Cons
  • Expensive investment

High school students want to do it all: play games, video chat with friends, type up homework, take photos, write, draw, sketch, and stay organized. The iPad Air can do all of those things and more.

This advanced tablet is compatible with Apple's full-sized keyboard, which connects without pairing or charging. The feature essentially allows it to morph into a laptop, so it’s useful for all that high school homework.

The display is 10.5 inches and the iPad comes in three metallic colors. Wow your high schooler with the HD camera and video features. While this iPad is a major investment, it can work as an all-in-one tool for your high school student, and may just get used by the rest of the family too.

Price at time of publication: $600

Dimensions: 9.74 x 7 x 0.24 inches | Wi-Fi Capability: Yes | Battery Life: 10 Hours | Age Recommendation: Not Listed

Best for Reading

Amazon Kindle Kids

Kindle Kids Edition

Amazon

Pros
  • Access to Audible

  • Aimed at reading

  • Battery life

Cons
  • Reports of issues with parental controls

  • Only for reading

If your kid is an avid reader, they'll love the new Kindle Kids Editon. With no distraction from the internet, games, or any apps, this is the ultimate reading tablet.

With this model, Amazon has made some helpful upgrades while keeping the Kindle at a budget-friendly price. Your purchase will include one year of FreeTime Unlimited, allowing your bookworm to access thousands of books, including the full Harry Potter series.

This thinnest, lightest version has adjustable backlighting for indoor or outdoor reading, day and night. Since the battery isn’t powering tons of apps, it lasts for weeks, not days or hours.

If audiobooks are your kid's thing, the Kindle Kids Edition also includes access to Audible (with a membership), so they can switch between reading and listening via speakers or headphones. If your kid can't get enough of books or you want to encourage more reading in your family, there’s really no match for this tablet.

Dimensions: 6.4 x 4.7 x 0.5 inches | Wi-Fi Capability: Yes | Battery Life: 4 Weeks | Age Recommendation: Age 7 and Up

What Our Editors Say

"My 8-year-old is a reluctant reader and it takes some pushing to get him to practice. The parental controls and tracking features allow me to monitor his progress, set goals, and reward him when he reaches those goals. Also, the easy word lookup feature helps him expand his vocabulary and strengthen his comprehension skills as he reads." -Latifah Miles, Parenting Commerce Editor

Final Verdict

If you’re in the market for a younger child, check out the Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Smart Stages Tablet (view at Amazon). Move from sounds and songs to identifying letters and objects to role play and imaginative games.

There’s also the iPad Air (view at Amazon) which, while expensive, is worth the money in the long run if you have an older child. This advanced tablet is compatible with Apple's full-sized keyboard, which connects without pairing or charging, basically morphing it into a laptop.

What to Look for in Tablets for Kids

Durability

Most kids are rough on stuf,f so look for a tablet that’s built to take spills, drops, bumps, and everything else kids can dish out on electronic devices. Also, consider what kind of warranty a tablet offers. Some come with years of protection, including a free replacement, in case the tablet can’t keep up with your kid. Moreover, a tablet that comes with a tumble-resistant case is ideal and can save you a few dollars as well.

Parental Controls

You want to control what your kid does and sees online, but also keep in mind your own comfort when it comes to manipulating parental controls. Some tablets have built-in controls or offer simple ways for parents to select just what their kids can access, while other devices require some digging to figure out how to restrict certain content. Consider both the age of your kids and your own technological knowledge when choosing a tablet.

Age Recommendation

While some tablets are designed specifically for very young children, you’ll likely get the most bang for your buck with a tablet that offers more capabilities and can grow with your child.

However, when you are choosing a tablet that has a more open-ended age recommendation (like an iPad), keep in mind that this type of tablet will likely have more Internet access and the ability to download a variety of apps. So you'll likely need to spend more time setting parental controls and adjusting them as your child gets older.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • At what age should my child start using a tablet?

    For school-aged children, there is evidence that access to learning through a smartphone or tablet can improve learning outcomes across a range of subjects, including language and STEM. However, the age at which you introduce a tablet as a learning tool is important.

    For kids ages 2 to 5, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends one hour max of screen time per day; content should be educational and age-appropriate, and parents should view it alongside their kids. For children ages 6 and over, the AAP urges caregivers to encourage healthy screen time limits. 

    If your child is old enough to use their tablet unsupervised, ensure you have set parental restrictions and have discussed the basics of online safety.

  • How long should my child spend on a tablet?

    This depends on the age of your child. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends against screen time entirely for children under age 2, while the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests a limited amount of screen time could be appropriate for toddlers ages between 18 and 24 months, provided they are watching educational material alongside a caregiver.

    For children ages 2 and 5, the AAP recommends approximately one hour of screen time on weekdays and three hours over the course of the weekend. For children aged 6 and over, healthy screen time habits should be encouraged. 

    Regardless of their age, if your child’s tablet usage starts to affect their sleep, mental health, the amount of physical activity they are getting, or their access to other learning–such as through books or play–then it may be time to reconsider their screen time limits. Help your child impose some self-management skills by making certain areas of your home screen-free, such as their bedroom. You could even have screen-free windows of time where the whole family puts down their devices together.

  • How do tablets affect toddlers?

    If introduced too soon, a tablet may hinder rather than help your child’s development. According to a 2019 Canadian study that tracked screen time in correlation with the developmental milestones of children at age 2, 3 and 5, spending time in front of an electronic device was shown to have a detrimental effect on language and social skills.

    This is thought to be because toddlers and young children learn best through social interactions with other children and adults, such as talking and playing. 

    Another study found that toddlers who frequently use electronic media–such as smartphones and tablets–were at a heightened risk of suffering from emotional and behavioral problems by the time they turned 5.

Why Trust Verywell Family?

Maya Polton is a former marketing manager and current freelance writer who covers food, home, and parenting. She's a mom of a 9-year-old son, 6-year-old son, and 2-year old daughter. She was gifted a Kindle when her first son was born and has never looked back. The joy of reading one-handed in a dark room has forever changed her life. Her kids sneer at her app-free Kindle and prefer the lights, sounds, and games of an iPad. To each their own. 

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Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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