There’s no doubt about it – our kids know more about technology than we do! Carefully selecting and purchasing the best kids tablet isn’t just an investment in your child’s entertainment, but also in their education. As a veteran teacher who uses both tablets and chrome books with my students, I can vouch for the benefits of giving kids time to use and explore technology. I can also shed some light on which products wear down quickly and which are built to last. I’ll let you in on my secret on the best kids tablet you can buy!
There’s a good deal of debate around how much time kids should spend in front of screens each day, but screen time doesn’t have to be a negative thing. In fact, research shows that gaming can improve academic and social skills.
I’m a mother of three (and teacher of ninety!) kids. Like any parent, I can picture this frustrating scenario: purchasing a new piece of tech for my kid, only to have it discarded or broken a week later. Similar to the best wireless headphones article, this buying guide will help you avoid the pitfalls of falling for the newest or most popular tablets on the market and focus on what qualities really make the best kids tablet worth it.
With the best kids tablet, children are capable of learning many different skills through play. Whether the game involves phonics, STEM, coordination, or cooperation, time in front of a screen can be time well-spent.
The Three Best Kids Tablets
Let’s get right into it, my top choice for the best kids tablet that will be a positive investment, and few close contenders that are also worth your consideration.
The Best Kids Tablets Winner: Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet
Got a big trip coming up? Tablets are amazing for keeping kids occupied in the car or on a plane if the battery lasts. The Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet allows kiddos to play, read, or watch Netflix for up to eight hours.
Never fear, when the battery starts running low you can charge it with a USB cord. Most planes and cars have convenient USB ports so your children can keep playing while the device powers up. Major kid melt-down avoided!
As you shop around for the best kids tablet, your top priority is probably finding one that can handle daily wear. If we’re being honest, kids can be careless and clumsy even with their favorite toys or most prized possessions. In my classroom, we have set rules and routines for using technology safely, but accidents still happen. With kids it’s unavoidable!
Luckily, the Fire 7 Kids Edition tablet comes with a kid-proof case. The tough rubbery case will protect the screen from even the hardest fall. I have seen it work in action! It’s also the perfect comfortable grip for small hands. I love that it is included with the tablet and does not require a separate purchase.
Amazon also includes a 2-year worry-free guarantee on their Fire 7 Kids Edition tablet, boasting, “If they break it, return it and we’ll replace it. No questions asked.” Replacement is free!
Maybe you really want to get some bang for your buck and purchase a tablet that your kids can share. At school, we can use this tablet for multiple kids and grade levels because it can manage up to four kids profiles.
There are other helpful parent control features such as the ability to set bedtime curfews, control of screen time and content. With the Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet’s Learn First control, parents can restrict access to videos and games until educational targets such as reading goals are met. Talk about homework help!
When using Amazon FreeTime, kids don’t have access to social media, the internet or Alexa. Concerned about racking up a bill with in-app purchases? No worries, kids can’t make any purchases without parental approval through parental control settings.
Screen Size and Camera
Amazon’s Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet has a 7-inch screen display with high-quality resolution. It’s not the on the smaller end for screen size, but still plenty big enough to enjoy movies and games. It’s smaller size also makes it more lightweight and easily portable.
Do your kids love to take pictures? The Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet has a front and rear-facing camera that can take high-quality photos and video. Perfect for when they want to capture their own moments on family vacations!
You might not think that storage would be a big issue for kids. After all, they aren’t using the tablet for work and taking up storage with emails, pictures, or documents. But you’d be surprised how much storage kids games and apps can take up! You also want to have ample storage for downloading a few favorite movies. These are great to have on deck when the family stuck somewhere with no Wi-Fi available.
The Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet comes with 16GB of storage and with the purchase of a separate memory card, is capable of up to 256 GB of storage. It even includes 1 GB of RAM for super fast processing and streaming.
One thing that separates a best kids tablet from a standard adult tablet is content. Kids tablets come pre-loaded with games and content just for kids. From a teacher and parent perspective, this is why I love the Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet. They have put together the most amazing and comprehensive collection of content available for kids!
The tablet comes with 1 year of FreeTime Unlimited which gives users access to more than 20,000 kid-friendly books, videos, educational apps, and games. Age filters on the tablet customize the content so that older kids aren’t “baby” games, and little ones aren’t seeing anything that might be too scary. As a parent, you can further customize these settings and content, like connecting to your Netflix profile. For more ideas try visiting the Amazon Parent Dashboard where you can discover even more books, videos, and educational games that your kids might enjoy.
With a never-ending amount of quality content, your kiddo won’t get bored with the Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet! Just like any other kids product you might purchase, you’re probably wondering how much set-up is required? None! Fire 7 Kids Edition is ready to use right away—no setup, no software to install, no computer required to download content. And all the parents said- Hallelujah!
Runner Up Best Kids Tablet: Kids Tablet Android 7.1
The Kids Tablet Android 7.1 runs on an AC & Battery power source and requires 1 Lithium Polymer battery to operate. The average battery life is 5 hours, slightly less than the Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet. It includes a USB cord for charging.
Similar to the Fire kids tablets, the Kids Tablet Android 7.1 also comes with a kid-proof case. It’s a lightweight and durable case, designed to protect the tablet from accidental bump and drops. Kids will be kids but this tablet will be safe. The case is made of soft silicone material, which is eco-friendly and kid-safe. Its smooth touch makes it a pleasant sensory experience for kids.
An 18-month warranty and lifetime technical support is also provided with the purchase of this tablet. In the event that something does get damaged (more of a when than an if) you’ll be covered.
The Kids Tablet Android 7.1 operates on a child lock system that you will appreciate if you want to be totally in control of the tablet settings. You can custom build your parental controls and manage apps and time by setting multiplication formulas or PIN codes. You choose the sites you’re comfortable sharing with your kids, and block and monitor specific apps and websites. Set limits and decide how much time a child can play on the tablet.
The child lock system is easy to set up and change. You can choose to alter or revise settings as your children grow. This will give them more access and freedoms. Do you want the tablet to be shared between siblings? You can configure up to eight unique profiles with different age-appropriate settings.
Screen Size and Camera
The Kids Tablet Android 7.1 has a 7-inch screen that provides a crisp, high-resolution display. It also includes a front camera for video chatting and a rear-view camera for taking pictures. Even young kids can appreciate clear display and love to take their own pictures!
This best kids tablet comes with 8 GB of memory, with the potential to expand to up to 32 GB. It operates best when the Google and Android apps are connected to wifi, but does have enough storage run major applications without wifi.
More and more classrooms are moving into the digital age and going paperless. Are your kids using Google Classroom at school? Maybe they are used to Google Suite and are even being assigned homework through a school Gmail account.
Unlike the line of Amazon Fire tablets, the Kids Tablet Android 7.1 gives users access to the Google Play store and all of Google Suite. So in addition to being preinstalled with a kid-friendly interface, it has the capability to grow with your child, meeting their educational and technology needs as they advance through their schooling.
Preset to Kid Mode, the Kids Tablet Android 7.1 allows kids to enjoy their own safe gaming playground, with a Children Friendly Interface that is super easy to use. You choose the fun and educational games they can have access to. All of the educational content will adapt to your child’s age and skill level. This means they’ll be challenged, playing and learning at the highest level!
The tablet comes pre-loaded with the Google Play store so your kiddos can start playing right away!
Honorable Mention of the Best Kids Tablet: LeapFrog LeapPad3 Kids
Unlike the Amazon and Android tablets, the LeapFrog LeapPad3 Kids runs on a lithium-ion battery that is included with the tablet. It’s easily charged with a USB cord or an AC adapter, and you’ll never have to buy another battery. The battery will last for about 6 hours before needing to be charged.
Built to withstand even the toughest kids, this tablet is literally drop tested – repeatedly! The LeapFrog LeapPad3 Kids is the perfect first tablet for young ones. You can let them tote it around, on the go without worrying about damage. It’s a true kids tablet, designed to be accident-proof with special impact zones and a shatter-safe screen. Around the device is a soft rubber case to insulate and protect the tablet. It’s basically indestructible!
The tablet has a limited two-year warranty, covering mostly hardware issues. This is a flaw but not a deal breaker. The warranty isn’t as robust as the ones of the top tablet picks, but at least it’s something!
The parental controls on the LeapFrog LeapPad3 Kids are top-notch, built strong because the tablet itself is meant for ages 3-9. You can customize your kid’s experience with content you choose, and you control what your child is able to access. By setting up a four-digit security code and working through the child profile manager, you can monitor all games, videos, and apps that are in use.
Screen Size and Camera
Slightly smaller than some of the other kids tablets, the LeapFrog LeapPad3 Kids has a 5-inch screen. This makes the overall weight of the tablet lighter and easily portable for little ones.
Kids can entertain themselves without games or apps just by taking pictures and video with their tablet! This one comes with front and back 2 megapixel cameras. It also has the ability to take videos on the 480p video recorder. The tablet is loaded with an Art Studio where kids can use cool effects on their photos and videos to create their own masterpieces!
The LeapFrog LeapPad3 Kids includes 4GB of storage. This is adequate for younger kids who won’t use up space with more complex apps.
A huge bank of kid-safe app, games, and videos have been developed that your kids will love. It is important to note that only apps from the LeapFrog App Center can be downloaded onto LeapFrog tablets.
LeapSearch includes over 1,000 hand-selected fun and engaging pieces of content, including videos, images, games, and web pages that are 100% kid-appropriate. Every content experience your child will encounter with LeapPad has been approved by LeapFrog’s team of learning experts.
The LeapFrog LeapPad3 Kids is meant to be a worry-free device that kids can use right out of the packaging without needing to set-up rigorous parental controls. Unless you really want to, parents don’t even need to set filters or search content to guess what is appropriate – it’s all been carefully screened already!
It’s called a learning tablet for good reason. The games automatically adapt to your child’s learning level and cover over 2,600 critical skills for development in reading, math, writing and more. Your kids are loving their tablet and learning while they play – best parenting award!
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Kids Tablet
The Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet is appropriate for ages 3 and up. It has the ability to grow with your child, so at age 8 or 9 the rubber case can be removed and replaced with a more ‘grown-up’ looking case. With access to FreeTime Unlimited, kids of all ages will never get bored with the content on this device. It also makes this device ideal for sharing between siblings who are different ages. Each child can customize their profile and find content that matches their interest and age level.
Kids Tablet Android 7.1 has the ability to offer much more web freedom. With access to the Google Play store and Android apps, it can have many of the same capabilities as an adult tablet. Parental controls will keep content clean for young ones, but this tablet is best suited for ages 5+. When you lessen the parent controls, this tablet can grow with a child through their teen years.
If you’re shopping for your child’s very first tablet, the LeapFrog LeapPad3 Kids is more appropriate. The target audience is preschool-2nd grade. Older children will see it as a ‘baby’ tablet. But the educational content developed by Leapfrog is award-winning. If your goal is to purchase a tablet to meet the needs of your little one and upgrade to a different device later, then this may be the right choice for you.
I spend a good deal of time in my classroom teaching my students about internet safety. It’s ridiculous how much adult content is easily within reach for kids on the open web. Keeping your kids safe online should be a major priority when choosing the right tablet for them.
Closely check out the details on the safety features for internet browsing on each tablet you are considering. Be aware that standard tablets, like the iPad, don’t come preset with kid-safe browsing measures, although you can configure your own parental controls after purchase.
The Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet comes with a Kid-safe browser, a web browsing experience that blocks inappropriate content by using a combination of Common Sense Media’s and Amazon’s expertise to collect over tens of thousands of websites and web videos that are kid friendly and restricting access to everything else. Parents can easily add any websites they would like to.
The LeapFrog LeapPad3 Kids operates a kid-safe web browsing experience called LeapSearch powered by Zui. All quality kids tablets have engineered some type of kid-safe web browser, in addition to parental controls. I wouldn’t let kids on a tablet that didn’t have this feature. Who knows what could be just one click away?
Consider how much you are willing to spend on a kids tablet. Keep in mind that the best kids tablet will last for years, so it’s worth an investment. To reap the benefits that a best kids tablet can offer – endless hours of entertainment and a serious boost in learning and development – you need to buy a quality product.
There are budget kids tablets on the market for $25. But many of these lack the kids content that makes the tablet so fun and educational. They do not have as rigorous safety and protection options, a feature you don’t want to compromise on.
Plan to spend between $50 and $150 for the best kids tablet that has all the features you need.
You want your kids to enjoy using their tablet, not stress out about possibly damaging it. Realistically, it will probably have an accident at some point. For these reasons, absolutely do not purchase a kids tablet that does not come with a minimum one year warranty. The more comprehensive the warranty is, the better. Some manufacturers offer a standard two-year warranty, which is really optimal.
The Best Kids Tablet Summary
I have spent years trying several kids tablets in my school classroom and at home with my own children. Having had a chance to test them for durability, functionality and safety, my top pick for best kids tablet is the Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet.
The content available is amazing, and it’s practical for sharing with siblings. The price is affordable, and the warranty is excellent. Even better, it ships for free with Amazon. Overall, it’s not just a great product, it’s a great experience for the family.
Frequently Asked Q&As:
Q: Can an adult use the Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet?
A: Yes. An adult or parent can log-in using their Amazon username and password. They can use the tablet and their Amazon account to access their apps and browse on the internet.
Q: How much GB do you need to stream movies and Netflix?
A: Watching movies or TV shows on Netflix uses about 1 GB of data per hour for each stream of standard definition video, and up to 3 GB per hour for each stream of HD video.
Q: What is a kid safe web browser?
A: It’s a kid-friendly search engine. The content is curated so that there this nothing inappropriate. It doesn’t restrict access to certain information, but instead, it funnels children towards child-friendly options.