When it comes to the best tablets for kids in 2020, you've got a wealth of good options to pick from: your children will be quietened down in no time once you've got one of these devices set up and running at home.
From screen size to build quality, you've got several important factors to weigh up, but in this comprehensive guide to the best tablets for kids we've explained everything you need to know – all the specs, all the features, and just how much you can expect to pay.
The good news is that these tablets are cheaper than you might think, so even if you've got several offspring to look after, you won't have to part with your entire life savings just to find the best tablets for them.
How to choose the best kids' tablet for your child
When it comes to buying the best tablet for kids, what you're looking for is going to be different compared to when you're buying your own tablet. Raw power matters less than good parental controls and long battery life, and exterior design doesn’t matter so much when it's going to spend all its time covered in crumbs.
For younger children we think parental control options are paramount: it's all too easy for a child to stumble upon content that's utterly inappropriate on popular sites such as YouTube.
If you’re considering an Apple, Android or Amazon tablet then the choice of apps isn't an issue, but with proprietary tablets the selection is much more limited and sometimes much more expensive.
We'd also recommend thinking about what your child is likely to want in a year from now, not just today: a child that's quite happy with Peppa Pig clips now may well be a proficient platform gamer just months later.
With that in mind, you might want to look for a tablet that can grow with your child so it doesn't end up gathering dust. Without any further ado, let's find the best tablets for children of all ages.
Our pick of the best tablets for kids to buy today
1. Best tablet for most kids: Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition
A superb kids' tablet that kicks all the boxes
Reasons to buy
Amazon knows how to put together a kids' tablet (check out the 8-inch and 10-inch models as well) – the chunky build, the bright colours, the easy and accessible software... everything you could want as a parent is right here.
The specs aren't fantastic, but then they don't need to be. You get a two-year warranty, a year of the Fire for Kids Unlimited service (giving you access to a wealth of apps, books, games and more), and easy-to-use parental controls. If you don't love it, you can return it inside 30 days for a full refund from Apple.
Amazon is promising seven hours of battery life, which should be enough for the longest car journeys, and offline support is good too for when your kids are away from Wi-Fi. This is hands down one of the best tablets for kids on the market right now.
2. Best premium tablet for kids: Apple iPad
One of the best tablets is also one of the best tablets for kids
Reasons to buy
The entry level iPad is a great tablet full stop, but it's also a great tablet for kids – albeit a bit more expensive than many of the other options we've listed here. It's also less robust and more delicate than the dedicated tablets for children made by Apple.
Why should you consider it as a tablet for your kids? Well, you get Apple's excellent iPadOS software, plus access to the huge Apple App Store. If you connect the iPad up to your Apple account, you can easily put parental controls and screen time limits in place, so your children won't exactly be able to do whatever they please.
This is perhaps a better option for older kids, and it will grow up as they do – remember you've got plenty of accessories to pick from here as well, from the Apple Pencil stylus to a variety of clip-on keyboard covers.
3. Best budget tablet for kids: Kurio Tab Connect
A solid rival to the Amazon Fire tablets
Reasons to buy
With a 7-inch screen, chunky rubberised casing, and custom Android tweaks, the Kurio Tab Connect is similar in a lot of ways to the Amazon Fire Kids Edition tablets – though if you shop around you might be able to get the Kurio device even cheaper.
Kurio installs its own suite of parental controls on the tablet, making it easy to limit your children to the apps and the sites you want them to be using. Underneath though this is just Android, which means a whole host of educational apps, games and tools are available, all through an intuitive, kid-friendly interface.
You don't have to go hunting for apps as soon as you turn on the device though, as Kurio pre-installs a decent selection in advance. The tablet also supports multiple profiles, so if you have more than one kid using the Tab Connect, they can keep their stuff separate (handy for easing sibling tensions).
4. Apple iPad Mini 2019
A compact if expensive choice for the best kids' tablet
Reasons to buy
Now that Apple has seemingly remembered about the iPad Mini again, it's actually a decent device for those with small hands who want a bit of premium hardware to play around with. The A12 Bionic chip inside this 7.9-inch tablet is going to cope with everything your kids can throw at it and then some.
This being Apple, it's expensive of course – this is going to cost you significantly more than an Amazon tablet, but then you might consider the extra software slickness and choice of apps worth the outlay. There's no doubting the quality of the apps available on Apple devices, or the slickness of iPadOS.
It really depends how old your kids are and exactly what they want to do with their tablet, but if they're more about video watching and app usage and less about scribbling with crayon all over their devices, the new iPad Mini is worth a look. They can get more creative now too with added Apple Pencil support.
5. Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition
Something slightly bigger than our pick for the best tablet for kids
Reasons to buy
Much of what we said about the 7-inch Fire tablet for kids applies to this 8-inch version as well – it's just slightly bigger and therefore slightly more expensive, which is why it's not out top pick (check out the 10-inch version on the Amazon website too).
The battery life is significantly better, with Amazon promising 10 hours between charges rather than the seven quoted for the smaller model (maybe something to think about for those extended trips away from home). On-board storage gets a boost compared to the 7-inch model as well, up to 32GB from 16GB.
As with every Fire tablet for kids, you get the two-year warranty, and the very capable parental controls, and the year of Fire for Kids Unlimited with all its apps and books and other content (just remember it's £1.99 a month after that, if you have Prime).
6. Samsung Galaxy Tab A8
A more grown-up tablet for kids
Reasons to buy
If you feel like your kids need less hand-holding and would benefit from a tablet that's actually an adult's tablet as well, then give the Galaxy Tab A8 from Samsung a look – just from the design you can see that this is a much more serious device.
You'll probably want to get some form of parental control software installed, but Android has plenty of options in that regard – and of course you and your kids have access to thousands of apps, games and educational tools through the Google Play Store. All the well-known apps are available here.
The spec and screen resolution isn't the best on the market but then it doesn't have to be, and you can pick up the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 for not much more than one of the Amazon options. Definitely one of the best tablets for kids at the moment.
7. Lenovo Tab E10
The best kids' tablet for screen space
Reasons to buy
Another tablet that's perhaps more suited to older kids who won't be as likely to spill milk all over their personal devices, the Lenovo Tab E10 offers a large 10.1-inch screen – more room for watching movies, playing games, and doing everything else that kids do when presented with a tablet.
The screen isn't the only bit of the design that impresses, because it's thin, and light, and it has some fairly decent speakers as well. The base model comes with 16GB of internal storage space on board, which should be enough for most kids. There are some parental controls built in, with lots of good alternatives on the Google Play Store too.
Given Lenovo's track record in laptops, phones, tablets and most other types of consumer electronics, you can be confident that you're getting a quality bit of kit here – and as your child grows up, this tablet will continue to be useful.