Are your kids spending too much time on games? What are they watching on their tablets — and is it age-appropriate? How can you ensure they don’t access content that isn’t suitable for children? Such questions can haunt a parent who is considering buying their child a tablet, but they needn’t do so. Tablets aren’t just for adults now, and there are plenty of mobile slates out there intended for kids, with built-in tools to help you keep track of what they’re doing and when.
The Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition is our pick of the bunch, as it’s durable and it comes with age-appropriate content you can keep track of. But it’s not the only option. Read on for the entire lineup of great tablets you won’t be afraid to give to your kids.
The best tablet for 5- to 9-year-olds
Jump to details
The best tablet for 10- to 12-year-olds
Jump to details
Show 3 more items
Simon Hill / Digital TrendsAmazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition (2021) The best
- Decent 10.1-inch screen
- Curated age-appropriate content
- Worry-free 2-year warranty for damage
- Granular, smart parental controls
- Long battery life
- Locked into Amazon ecosystem
- Some content requires internet
- Fire OS can be buggy
Why you should buy this: Created especially for kids, it’s durable, affordable, packed with age-appropriate content, and comes with a two-year free replacement program.
Who it’s for: Young children with parents on a budget.
Why we picked the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition:
If you’re looking for a tablet that’s safe and fun for young kids, the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition ticks all the boxes and then some. The parental controls are excellent, allowing you to define exactly how much screen time your kids can have, as well as what they can and can’t access, with Amazon Parent Dashboard allowing you to give kids access to apps like Netflix, YouTube, and more.
It comes with a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids Plus, which offers access to thousands of curated books, movies, TV shows, apps, and games that are suitable for children based on their age. It costs $3 per month thereafter. You can also set up multiple profiles with tailored content to suit each child’s age.
The tablet itself features a 10.1-inch 1080p Full HD strengthened aluminosilicate glass screen, 32GB of expandable storage, an impressive 12 hours of battery life, and USB-C charging.
You also get a chunky protective case available in Sky Blue, Aquamarine, or Lavender. If your little angel does manage to break the tablet, there’s no need to worry because Amazon offers a no-questions-asked two-year replacement warranty that covers accidental damage.
If you don’t mind a smaller screen, the older Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablet is also an excellent buy for just $75, with the same storage and battery life and an 8-inch screen with 1280 x 800 pixels.
The Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition won’t suit older kids, but it’s ideal for youngsters getting their first tablet. It’s a complete solution that’s quick and easy to set up and has everything your child could want out of the box. For the money, this is the best kids’ tablet around.
LeapFrog LeapPad Academy The best tablet for preschoolers
- Tough, kid-friendly construction
- 16GB expandable storage
- Easy to use parental controls
- Battery life isn’t the best
- Only suitable for very young children
- No color options to choose from
Why you should buy this: This tough tablet features great parental controls and plenty of educational apps and games to help your kids learn and develop.
Who it’s for: Very young children and parents looking for an educational option.
Why we picked the LeapFrog LeapPad Academy:
The strength of the LeapFrog brand has long been in creating educational software that’s tailored for different developmental ages, but is still fun for kids. The company usually limits devices to its own platform, but this is an Android tablet (and it’s better for it).
The LeapPad is aimed at children aged between three and eight, and it’s easy to tailor your child’s experience to match their age. We think it’s best suited to the lower end of that age range. You (or your child) can customize the home screen and there are over 2,000 games, puzzles, apps, ebooks, and more to choose from in the LeapFrog App Center. The tablet comes pre-installed with 20 educational apps and creativity tools to get started. You also get a free three-month LeapFrog Academy trial which engages your child in an interactive learning program. It’s worth noting here that you can’t download apps from the Google Play store.
Parental controls are intuitive and easy to use, allowing you to select which apps can be accessed and choose time limits for use. You get 16GB of onboard storage, expandable up to 32GB with a microSD card (not included), and around six hours of battery life, enough to keep little ones busy on road trips or commutes without running out of juice. The tablet allows you to save up to 24 activities to Favorites that your child can then play offline, great when you’re out of Wi-Fi range.
The LeapPad has a chunky protective bumper but only comes in one color: Bright green. There’s a built-in stylus that’s perfect for budding artists, a shatter-safe LCD screen, and a sturdy kickstand for hands-free fun.
Sadly, the tablet seems to suffer from being a bit slow and laggy, which can prove frustrating for wee ones and adults alike.
Overall, the Leapfrog LeapPad is still a solid choice for young children, especially since it has come down in price. The durable design and the educational software elevate it above some of the competition.
The best tablet for preschoolers
Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro The best tablet for 5- to 9-year-olds
- All the benefits of the Fire HD 10, with a few bonuses for older kids
- Amazon ecosystem
- Excellent parental controls
- Great battery life
- Limited app selection
- Not particularly powerful
Why you should buy this: This great-value tablet offers everything kids need, and it gives parents plenty of control.
Who it’s for: Elementary school kids with parents looking for the best tablet under $250.
Why we picked the Fire HD 10 Kids Pro:
This 32GB tablet, while boasting all the same specs as the Fire HD 10 Kids Edition, is a good choice for slightly older kids. The parent controls, Kids+ subscription, and other features all remain intact, along with the high-quality 10.1-inch screen, but there are several additional options here that make the Pro version better for kids that are growing up fast.
First, while the Pro version includes all the Kids+ content, it also has a separate Amazon-run digital store with a wide variety of apps created specifically for age ranges anywhere from six to 12 years old. Kids cannot buy the apps on their own — instead, they can send their parents specific requests for apps, and parents can choose to authorize a purchase or not. When the time comes, parents can also authorize specific non-sto