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With so many choices out there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when shopping for the perfect tablet for your kid’s homeschooling and recreational activities. Whether you’re shopping for an accident-prone toddler or a precocious preteen, this curated list rounds up the five best tablets you’ll want to shop before they’re gone.
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Best for the youngest tykes: Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet
Durability: The Fire 7 has a two-year guarantee that states “if it breaks, return it and we’ll replace it for free.” Also, it comes with Amazon’s “Kid-Proof Case” made of BPA-free EVA foam.
Longevity: Your child may outgrow this tablet relatively quickly. But the shorter lifespan is offset by the less-expensive cost. The Fire 7 bills itself as a tablet for ages three and up, but in reality it’s geared more toward the younger set. Most pre-teens may find the design of this tablet too babyish, but it’s ideal for households with younger kids of varying ages.
Functionality:. The Fire 7 comes with one free year of “Freetime Unlimited” to stock up on tons of games, books and apps for children ages three through 12. The downside is you will lose access to all that content if you choose not to renew after the first year. For all-day use, battery life lasts up to seven hours before a recharge is necessary.
Parental controls: The Fire 7 Kids Edition has stringent parental controls, so you don’t have to worry when your little ones are browsing online. Kids are not able to access social media and all in-app purchases require approval.
Games/educational value: Parents can set educational goals, which block other entertainment on the tablet until pre-set learning goals are met. ABCmouse, a popular educational website for the six and under crowd, is easily accessible on this tablet.
Extra credit: The Fire 7 goes on sale often, so you can get a great bargain if you’re patient.
Best for kids under 10 years old: Samsung Galaxy Tab A Kids Edition 8”
Durability: Similar to the Fire 7 Kids Edition, this design features a rubber bumper case.
Longevity: This tablet can grow with your child for a few extra years because you can easily exit the kids interface using the saved password and move to the Google Store.
Functionality: With over 10,000 hours of kid-friendly content, this tablet is easy for your little ones to use right out of the gate. The device has an 8 MP rear-facing camera, a 2 MP front-facing camera and a battery that lasts up to 13 hours on a single charge.
Parental controls: Once you create a user profile for your child, you can edit their user settings according to your restrictions.
Extra credit: You’ll also enjoy a free three-month subscription to Samsung Kids for access to learning apps geared toward children under eight years old.
Best for budding artists: Apple iPad (10.2-Inch, Wi-Fi, 32 GB)
Durability: Get a case and a screen protector pronto. Apple’s thin, durable glass screen is beautiful, but vulnerable to cracks if dropped by tiny hands.
Longevity: This tablet easily has the highest level of longevity on our list. As one of the most advanced pieces of tech on the market, this newest iPad could easily be used for five years or longer, depending on how often you like to update your tech.
Functionality: The Apple design is intuitive to use, especially if your kids are already familiar with the iPhone. The Apple Pencil compatibility also makes this tablet ideal for drawing and taking notes, but be prepared to drop some extra funds for these accessories. This tablet has up to 10 hours of battery life, an 8 MP rear camera and a 1.2 MP front camera.
Parental controls: Parental controls are available, but they will require you to do about 20 minutes of set-up before handing off the tablet to your child. You can also create an Apple ID for your kid(s) if you plan on sharing the device.
Games/educational value: With over 200,000 educational and reference apps in the App Store, your child will never run out of learning opportunities. Here’s a list of the most popular and free educational apps you can install today.
Extra credit: Featuring one of the largest screens on the market, this is the tablet to have if your child needs a larger working space for creating, gaming or learning.
Best for students on the go: Apple iPad Mini (64 GB)
Durability: Similar to the full-size iPad, you’ll want to fortify this tablet immediately.
Longevity: Historically, Apple hasn’t updated their mini line as often as their full-size iPads and phones, which makes this model likely to be their leading mini model for a few years running.
Functionality: The small size makes this tablet ultra-portable, and it’s compatible with Apple Pencil for jotting down notes while out and about. Use for 10 hours of battery life before having to recharge and enjoy both an 8 MP rear camera and a 7 MP front camera.
Parental controls: Settings are identical to the full-size iPad.
Games/educational value: Educational apps and games are available using the general Apple App Store, similar to the regular iPad.
Extra credit: Apple’s “True Tone” display automatically adjusts to your lighting conditions, which is great for night-owl readers.
For more ways to upgrade your child’s learn-from-home setup, be sure to bookmark our Resource Center. We’ll give you our opinions on the best tech and the easiest ways to secure your home network and devices for younger users.
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Lisa uses years of experience in sales and customer service for internet-TV providers to inform her writing on broadband. Her work has been referenced by CNN and other national sources. … Read more