Best Tablets for Kids 2021
Look at these fun things!
A tablet for younger kids that offers access to Amazon’s vast library of kid-friendly content.
Tablet upgrades are nicely balanced with parental controls for ages 6-12.
From art activities to puzzles, this tablet encourages kids to have fun while building valuable skills.
TEST. Test for noindex. The best tablets for kids can be convenient and portable activity stations to incorporate into your child’s allotted screen time. When designed with kids in mind, these small handheld smart devices are a gateway to educational programming and skill building.
It might seem tempting to share your tablet with your child or simply buy another tablet people of all ages can use. After all, you can install parental controls on many devices, not just ones customized for kids. However, the best tablets for kids simplify your life by putting what you want your kids to discover front and center, with extra-durable cases to withstand frequent and frenetic use.
How We Selected These Products
Buying the right tablet for your child means paying special attention to features they may never notice but are must-haves for your peace of mind.
Design: We looked for tablets with cases with surfaces that are easy for kids to grip and are built with the understanding they’ll be dropped or otherwise roughly handled. Most of our choices also have built-in stands for hands-free viewing.
Educational Content: Any WiFi-enabled tablet can access educational content through the internet. In our research, we focused on companies that make tablets designed to feature their own proprietary content, like Amazon Kids and Leapfrog Academy. These brands make it easier for parents to find age-appropriate activities and entertainment.
Brand: Purchasing electronics from lesser-known brands can be a way for adults to save money. However, kids are less likely to notice if parental controls aren’t working, or to catch red flags relating to security or privacy. We recommend selecting a kid’s tablet only from well-known and trusted brands.
The Best Tablets for Kids: Reviews & Recommendations
Best Overall: Fire HD 8 Kids Tablet
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Why It Made The Cut: This mid-priced model is a smart choice for fans of the vast Amazon Kids+ content library who want recent generation tech without going over budget.
- Display Size: 8 inches
- Storage: 32 GB (can be expanded up to 1 TB)
- Ages: 3-7
- Bumper-style case
- Curated web-browsing
- Headphone jack
- Lower resolution than Fire HD 10 Kids
- Quad-core processor
Don’t be confused by the numerical difference between the Fire HD 8 Kids and the Fire HD 10 Kids tablets. The Fire HD 8 Kids is a 10th generation release that came out in 2020, just one generation behind the Fire HD 10 Kids which was released in 2021. For many parents, this lower-priced device still has plenty of powerful features for you and your kids to enjoy at a substantial savings.
Younger kids in the age range this tablet is geared toward likely don’t need the best cameras and processing speeds on the market. However, it is worth noting that the screen on this tablet is slightly smaller than the Fire HD 10 Kids (8 inches versus 10 inches).
Parents can create up to four kid profiles with the custom parental controls, and the device comes with a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+ for new subscribers. For this age group, web-browsing is also restricted to sites pre-approved by Amazon and those you personally choose to add.
Best for Older Kids: Fire HD 10 Kids Pro Tablet
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Why It Made The Cut: This top-of-the line model offers an upgraded rear camera and processor, more RAM, and better screen resolution than other Fire models, in addition to parental controls.
- Display Size: 10.1 inches
- Storage: 32 GB (can be expanded up to 1 TB)
- Ages: 6-12
- Full HD screen
- Kids can request permission for additional content via the digital store
- Slim protective case
- High price
Amazon’s Fire tablets have been popular since the launch of the Kindle Fire in 2011. The 2021 Fire HD 10 Kids Pro Tablet made the top two of our list because it’s so similar to the 2021 Fire model for adults without compromising on kid-friendly details.
While this tablet is geared towards ages six to 12, kids at the older end of that range will likely get the most out of the upgraded features. Like the regular Fire HD 10, it has an octa-core 2.0 GHz processor, 3 GB of RAM, and a 1920 x 1200 HD screen resolution. Teens interested in making their own media will appreciate the 5 MP (megapixel) resolution of the rear-facing camera (as opposed to 2 MP in earlier models).
Parents will like the filtered web browser, and the ability for kids to make WiFi voice and video calls to pre-approved contacts that have the Alexa app or an Alexa-enabled device. This tablet comes with a one-year subscription to Amazon’s Kids+ (for new subscribers), and your child can request permission from you to purchase additional content they select in Amazon’s digital store. For parents who feel like a filtered web browser doesn’t offer enough protection, web browsing on the regular Fire HD 10 Kids (non-pro version) is restricted to sites curated by Amazon or added by you.
Best Educational: LeapFrog LeapPad Academy Kids’ Learning Tablet
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Why It Made The Cut: This tablet helps kids focus on educational content and is ideal for parents looking for learning materials outside of Amazon’s ecosystem.
- Display Size: 7 inches
- Storage: 16 GB (expand up to 32 GB with microSD card)
- Ages: 3-8
- Storage for playing activities offline
- Free 3-month subscription to LeapFrog Academy
- Comes with a stylus
- Free subscription only 3 months long
- On the smaller side
If your number one priority in buying a tablet for your child is finding a way to add educational enrichment to their day, the LeapFrog LeapPad Academy Kids" Learning Tablet stands out. Educational toy maker LeapFrog is a California-based company founded in 1994 with their own curriculum tailored to specific ages and life stages (i.e. toddlers or grades 2-3).
The LeapPad Academy tablet has front and back cameras with 2 MP resolution and its own kid-friendly web browser. However, it’s helpful to think of this device first as proprietary hardware that puts LeapFrog’s skill-building games and activities in science, math, and reading front and center during screen time.
Some parents may prefer accessing LeapFrog content through other WiFi-enabled devices that have additional features. For example, LeapFrog Academy subscriptions work on most iOS and Android tablets and phones — and even on Amazon Fire. However, this tablet already comes with over 20 apps kids can use right away, and it also includes a case with grippy side handles, a built-in kickstand, and a stylus.
Best Budget: Fire 7 Kids Tablet
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Why It Made The Cut: It’s hard to compete with the sheer amount of content Amazon has curated for kids, as well as their friendly return policies. This earlier model still delivers both.
- Display Size: 7 inches
- Storage: 16 GB (can be expanded up to 512 GB)
- Ages: 3-7
- Bright blue, hot pink, or purple cases
- Weighs about a pound
- Front and rear-facing cameras
- Lowest battery life among Fire tablet models
With most products we research, there’s a clear budget choice on the market that we can recommend while sharing the limitations (if any) of what you’ll get at that price. Because of security and privacy concerns, we didn’t find a tablet priced substantially lower than our top picks that could compete with purchasing an Amazon Fire Kids Tablet on sale.
For budget-conscious consumers generally, we recommend first keeping an eye out for price drops on Amazon’s Fire HD 10 Kids or Fire HD 8 Kids to get the best value for your money. However, the Fire 7 Kids (for ages three through seven) or the Fire 7 Kids Pro (for ages six and up) are still excellent choices on the lower end of the price spectrum.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention that the Fire’s operating system across all models does not support YouTube Kids, which is a popular kid-friendly content source with its own parental controls. If downloading that app is your top priority, look for tablets with Android operating systems that allow purchase of YouTube Kids from the Google Play Store.
Best for Play: LeapFrog My First Learning Tablet
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Why It Made The Cut: For parents with toddlers entranced by grown-up devices, this simple educational toy is a fun tablet alternative that only connects wirelessly to your child’s imagination.
- Display Size: Device is 6.83 inches W x 7.89 inches L
- Storage: N/A
- Ages: 1-3 years
- Touch screen
- Kids can tap and swipe
- Role-play games with cute character, Scout the dog
- Not WiFi-enabled
When kids observe adults scrolling, clicking, and tapping on smart devices they can get very curious — and want to borrow the devices. If they’re too young for full-featured tablets that connect to the internet, the Leapfrog My First Learning Tablet can help them feel included.
Instead of annoying notifications and work-related apps, this “tablet” features over 20 songs, attention-grabbing lights, and 25 “app” icons with content on educational topics like counting and shapes. The screen layout looks very similar to that of a tablet, complete with pretend battery and WiFi icons. Swiping across the screen triggers sounds and lights, and kids can also tap on the individual icons for activities.
Best of all, when your child activates the phone or camera icons, they are engaged in pretend play with zero risk that they’ll accidentally dial your ex or send a picture of the dog’s butt to your boss.
Things to Consider When Buying the Best Tablets for Kids
Purchasing a tablet for your kids may seem like a complex and high stakes undertaking. However, if you answer some key questions about your goals ahead of time, it will be much easier to select a tablet that you and your kids will feel good about.
Tablets designed just for kids can be a big plus for parents of younger children. In addition to strong cases and favorable return policies, kids tablets often put educational content front and center. For tweens and teens, these features may not matter as much since parental controls and educational apps are also available on regular devices.
Many tablets come with a free subscription to content created especially for kids. It’s important to review the subscription terms to factor in any future monthly costs. Will you want to upgrade what’s offered? When you look at the online app store for the brand you’re considering, how much will you likely want to spend on additional apps to get the most out of your purchase?
Before selecting a tablet, it’s a good idea to evaluate how much space your child will need to store educational content, games, photos, videos, and music. You can add storage space to some tablets with a microSD card after purchase, but be sure to check the device's specifications to see if this is allowed and whether additional storage is limited.
Q: What age should I give my child a tablet?
Determining the appropriate age for your child to have a tablet depends on multiple factors. Your pediatrician is a great person to ask about what is recommended for your child’s stage of development. If you do give your child a tablet, supervising their use and encouraging educational and interactive play can help them make the most out of limited screen time.
Q: What’s the difference between a kid’s tablet and a regular tablet?
With the exception of electronics like the LeapFrog My First Learning Tablet, which are toys designed to look like tablets, the main differences between a kid’s tablet and regular tablet are case durability and more convenient access to kid-friendly content. Many come with free subscriptions to movies, games, and educational content curated for specific age groups.
Q: What tablet is best for kids?
There is no one tablet that is best for kids. Selecting the right tablet for your child will depend on your budget and parental control preferences as well as their age range and overall interests.
We think that several Amazon Fire tablets designed for kids, especially the Fire HD 8 Kids and the Fire HD 10 Kids Pro tablet, are excellent choices for many parents to maximize all that a tablet has to offer. However, for parents focused more on educational curriculum than entertainment, the LeapPad Academy Kids’ Learning Tablet is an exciting alternative.
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