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best tablets for kids

Staff, Courtesy of Amazon

A great tablet can be one of the best entertainment devices, especially for kids. Unlike fully fledged computers or smartphones, tablets are comfortably limited in the amount of things they can do. This limited browsing experience, alongside a simple interface, make a tablet the perfect device for kids (and their parents).

But buying tech for a kid is very different from buying something for yourself, with entirely different considerations like parental controls and content filtering coming into play. We’re here to recommend some of the best tablets for kids—from Amazon tablets and iPads to Samsung tablets—and detail why they strike the perfect balance between awesomely high-tech and awesomely kid-friendly.

What to Consider

Shopping for technology with kids in mind adds a whole slew of considerations to make. Features like parental controls, multiple users, a restricted content library, screen monitoring, size, and overall durability are put to the forefront when compared to shopping for an adult tablet. For younger kids, it’s often smarter (and safer) to select a tablet offering a content-restricted, closed content library. For older kids used to browsing the internet freely, a more open device makes sense, though that leaves the screen-monitoring duties up to the adult in the room.

How We Selected

Many of these recommendations come from hundreds of hours of in-house use. For the products we couldn’t test ourselves, we performed intensive research, reviewing content from expert sources like Wirecutter, The Verge, CNET, Tom’s Guide, DigitalTrends, and others, as well as thousands of consumer reviews from online storefronts like Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart. As for the products themselves, we evaluated them on functionality, durability, and price.

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Best Overall

Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids

For most folks, Amazon’s Fire HD 8 Kids tablet hits the right balance between features, price, content, and parental-controls. 

For less than $100, you get a Fire HD 8 tablet, a very thick case with a built-in kickstand, a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+, and a two-year “worry-free guarantee,” an excellent value proposition all on its own. 

But the main reason this tablet is our overall recommendation is its closed content library: it can only access a limited amount of apps and content restricted by the Amazon Kids+ subscription. With plenty of fun games, books, and apps, alongside built-in parental controls, the Fire HD Kids is a great tablet for most kids.

  • Ample content-restriction and paternal controls
  • Included one-year Amazon Kids+ subscription
  • Durable case
  • Amazon user interface lacks polish
  • 720p display


Best for Big Kids

Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro



Built for slightly older kids, Amazon’s Fire HD 10 Kids Pro tablet still comes with a durable case, a year of Amazon Kids+, and a two-year warranty, but does not restrict content to solely hand-picked, Amazon approved sites. With a clever combination of Amazon filtering and parental controls, the 10 Kids Pro lets kids explore a wider range of content while still keeping on some guardrails, making this an excellent tablet for older kids. 

The Fire HD 10 tablet itself is no slouch either, with numerous upgrades over the Fire HD 8, like a full 1080p display, a faster processor, and better cameras. For slightly older kids, the Fire HD 10 Kids Pro offers a wider, more preferred experience compared to its pure Kids counterpart.

  • Improved 10-Inch 1080p display
  • Filtered content and robust parental controls
  • Included one-year Amazon Kids+ subscription
  • Amazon user interface lacks polish


Best Budget

Amazon Fire HD 7

If cost is your number one deciding factor, skip Amazon’s Kids editions and go for a normal Fire tablet, namely the Fire HD 7. For under $50, you still get a great entertainment machine compatible with tons of Amazon apps as well as popular apps like Disney+, Netflix, Zoom, and more. 

While the hardware is a bit dated, the Fire HD 7 still has enough features for younger kids to be satisfied with. Be warned, however, that without an Amazon Kids+ subscription, you lose out on much of the parental control features present in the Fire HD Kids tablet. You can always subscribe to Kids+ later, if needed.

  • Dated hardware
  • Amazon user interface lacks polish


Best Apple

2021 Apple iPad

The latest iPad doesn’t do a lot to break the mold of iPads past. This is a good thing, as the iPad has been one of the best tablets for kids (and adults) for a long time. This baseline model is Apple’s most affordable iPad option, and is more than enough for kids of all ages to enjoy. 

One of the biggest advantages the iPad has over other tablets is Apple’s IPadOS operating system. IPadOS makes the iPad incredibly intuitive to use and easy to enjoy, unlike many kids-focused tablets on the market.

When it comes to parental controls, Apple products require a bit more setup for parental oversight. We recommend following Apple’s handy guide for setting up basic restrictions, and adding the device to your Apple family sharing network for more advanced features.

  • iPadOS operating system
  • Amazing screen
  • Excellent hardware


Best Android

Samsung Tab A7 Lite



For parents seeking a more open content environment like the one found in an iPad, but trying to shy away from Apple-tier prices, consider the powerful-yet-affordable Samsung Tab A7 Lite. 

Unlike the sprawling size of an iPad, the A7 Lite is less than 10 inches tall, and is a more comfortable fit for a child’s hands. Utilizing Android 11, the A7 Lite is speedy and responsive, similar to IPadOS, if slightly less intuitive. Especially for bigger kids moving away from the controlled content found on Amazon Kids, Android 11 on the Tab A7 Lite is a great option. Just be sure to set up proper parental controls on the tablet and its apps before handing it over.

  • Android operating system
  • Affordable
  • Setting up effective parental controls can be tricky


Best Premium

2021 Apple iPad Mini

If you are seeking the best of the best for your kids tablet, consider Apple’s 2021 iPad Mini. To start, kids will find this iPad’s smaller form factor more comfortable to grip than the regular iPad. 

Adults, however, will no doubt notice the Mini’s incredible set of features: the gorgeous display, a cutting-edge CPU, stunning front and rear cameras, stereo speakers, USB-C charging, Wi-Fi 6—the list goes on. 

Perhaps the best feature is the 2nd generation Apple Pencil support, which attaches magnetically to the side, and allows kids to enjoy a ton of fun and creative drawing apps. As long as you pair the Mini with a durable case, it deserves consideration for its amazing hardware and software features.

  • Small form factor
  • Cutting-edge features
  • Gen 2 Apple Pencil support

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