Kids growing up in 2019 have a vast amount of digital tools and entertainment at their fingertips – great but somewhat bewildering for parents.
Depending on how old your child is, you might not want them to be able to access all of the features that come readily accessible in today’s tablets.
In-app purchases linked to your credit card, for example.
As well as a focus on educational apps, there will also be age-appropriate limitations for children when it comes to content, putting parental minds at rest.
They’re also considerably cheaper, so you won’t be forking out hundreds on a gadget for accident-prone hands.
We’ve combed through some of the best around at the moment so you can find the perfect tablet for your children, no matter what age they are.
Best tablets for kids
1. Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition
When it comes to parental controls, Amazon have got the process nailed down tight.
You can impose usage limits or educational targets for your kids to reach and, of course, review everything they do on the device.
What’s more, the Fire 7 Kids Edition is pretty much a “proper” tablet that’s built on the Android operating system. Amazon has moulded the OS to make it more kid-friendly and it also restricts access to the internet and social media.
As for the bonuses, Amazon throws in a year’s subscription to Fire For Kids Unlimited, which provides a huge amount of content – from video and music to games that’re age-appropriate.
The tech giant will also replace each one with “no questions asked” if your little ones accidentally break it.
Price: £99.99, Amazon – buy here now
2. LeapFrog Epic Tablet
LeapFrog is a company that focuses on producing kid-friendly gadgets and this tablet is a colourful, easy-to-use option.
It’s based on Android software, but has been modified to limit content that LeapFrog hasn’t approved for children.
There are a range of different games which can be adjusted to fit the age of the child. They can also customise their home page to give it a bit of personalisation.
Shielding the tablet from knocks is the green plastic bumper and the screen is a 7-inch shatterproof display.
Price: £100.99, Amazon – buy here now
3. VTech InnoTab Max
This tablet is aimed at younger children, between the ages of three and six. It has a brightly lit selection of icons for the dozen or so apps that come pre-loaded onto the device.
It’s got a rotating camera at the top that takes incredibly basic pictures and a screen cover that also rotates backwards to become a stand for the tablet.
Vtech has also loaded it with the Kid Connect feature; that allows messages to be sent to it from iOS or Android phones, which can be a safe introduction to the world of instant messaging.
Price: £74.99, Smyths toys – buy here now
4. Kurio Tab Advance
The Kurio tablet is a pretty standard budget slate surrounded by a colourful plastic bumper to give it a bit of extra protection.
It gives parents plenty of controls to restrict how their kids use the tablet while still giving access to the Google Play Store and its vast range of children’s and educational apps.
The sticking point with this tablet is, that for a similar price you can get Amazon’s own offering which is faster to use and has a better display.
Price: £69.99, Maplin – buy here now
5. LeapFrog Rockit Twist
So it’s not quite a tablet, but the unique thing about this device is it’s almost a tablet and games console hybrid – using bright colours, buttons and spinners to engage children, from the age of four years old upwards.
There are 12 pre-installed, educational games to help your child as they develop their English maths and science skills.
An MP3 player is also included with the device, so children can guide different characters through puzzles and obstacles, all with their favourite songs playing.
This console is also the cheapest on the list, which isn’t a bad trade-off.
Price: £50, Argos – buy here now
6. Apple iPad Mini 4
Yes, it’s an iPad and yes, its way more expensive than the other options on this list. But, on the other hand, it’s a fully featured tablet that will stick with your child as they grow.
There are plenty of educational apps and services available on iOS. And parents can lock down certain features if they want to although the complexity of the operating system means they may want to familiarise themselves with it first.
It’s obviously got the best screen and camera of any of the other tablets on this list. Another side benefit is that you can use it after junior goes to bed.
Price: £387, Currys – buy here now
7. LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate
The third entry from LeapFrog on this list comes in a couple of different colours – the standard green and a bright pink option as well.
It’s got a 7-inch display and friendly physical buttons on the front of the device.
It doesn’t run on Android, but instead on LeapFrog’s own system – which has over a thousand age appropriate apps to choose from including educational programs for music, reading and computer programming.
Price: £89.99, Amazon – buy here now
8. Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids
If your child is a little bit older you might want to consider this affordable tablet from Amazon.
It’s designed for children and is an excellent option with a great screen and access to Amazon’s wealth of services. Of course, to get the best out of it you’ll really need to pay up for an Amazon Prime subscription.
Much better for media consumption than productivity, but at this price it’s hard to argue with it.
Price: £129.99, Amazon – buy here now
9. Apple iPad
Although this is bigger than the iPad mini mentioned elsewhere in this list – it’s also cheaper.
This is technically Apple’s entry-level iPad and comes with support for the Apple Pencil stylus. If your child is interested in art then this could be an excellent tool for them to use.
It’s obviously not suited to very young children but for teens it’s a good compromise between power, productivity and price. And because of features like Airdrop and Find My iPhone, it will fit in well if your house is predominantly iOS-based.
Price: £319.99, Currys – buy here now
10. Samsung Galaxy Tab A8
The Samsung galaxy tab isn’t specifically designed for children, but a host of benefits mean your children can enjoy it as much as the rest of the family.
The 8-inch screen and less than 350 gram weight ensure children can carry it with ease and adults can confidently hold it with just one hand, (just remember to get a case because accidents do happen).
A Kids Home app, allows a safe browsing experience for your child, where it is pin activated and has a host of parental locks you can adjust accordingly.
Price: £139, Argos – buy here now