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Kids love electronics. Give a kid a touch screen device, such as a tablet, and he or she surely will figure it out in no time at all — and may even teach you a thing or two in the process. But if you want the child to make good use of the tablet for a long time, the device you choose needs to offer fun things to do. Some kids love simple games, books, and videos. Others want a tablet that also offers internet connectivity and the ability to run many different apps. Finding a kids’ tablet that can meet the needs of each individual child who will use it can be a challenge. Fortunately, we at BestReviews are ready to help you figure out how to sort through the choices and find a great children’s tablet.
We pride ourselves on the detailed research we perform in each product category, including tech devices. We aim to provide readers with the trustworthy information they need to make a wise purchase. You can count on the recommendations and information in our shopping guide because we never accept free samples from manufacturers. Please continue reading to learn more about how to pick the best kids’ tablets.
Your first question might be, why should you purchase a tablet for your child? These devices provide a great mixture of fun and educational apps, and software that keeps kids entertained.
Some of these apps and software packages need a constant internet connection to function, while others run absent of any connection. Some kids tablets allow you to download content when you have an internet connection available, then access the content when you have no connection.
Plenty of apps and downloadable software allow youngsters to have fun while they learn. In fact, the best designs of educational software and apps ensure kids don’t even know they’re using an educational app.
If your tablet has a WiFi connection capability, it should find any available networks automatically for you. You may have to enter a password to connect.
Most kids’ tablets will run gaming apps. Kids who are serious gamers probably will prefer a portable, gaming-only device rather than a tablet. Some educational software is disguised as a game, which a lot of parents love.
Plug a set of headphones into the tablet, and youngsters can listen to her favorite music. Most available music in a kids’ tablet will run through an app, which may require a monthly subscription for music service.
Content commonly available on kids tablets includes games, digital books, music, and video.
Some kids’ tablets can run any app a standard tablet can run, but you’ll pay more for these types of tablets. They will more closely resemble tablets that an adult would purchase to use.
Tablets aimed at older kids will be able to run popular social media apps. These tablets also often contain a camera, so the child can shoot and share selfies or other photos.
Don’t settle for a kids’ tablet that has poor speed and performance levels. Kids are sure to become frustrated with these types of slow-to-respond tablets.
Many kids’ tablets can play movies and TV shows, either through a streaming service or through a download.
Your kids may enjoy these videos more if you have a tablet with a larger screen and a sharp resolution.
Some kids’ tablets ship with a set of apps pre-installed, that you cannot change or add to later. These tablets may not have WiFi connectivity options.
So, if you want an internet-enabled tablet, make sure the manufacturer included this feature, especially with low-price tablets.
Many kids’ tablets require that you hold down the power button for two to three seconds to power on the device. This prevents youngsters from accidentally turning on the tablet by bumping the power button.
A tablet made for children will offer some of the same features you find in a tablet made for everyday use. It’ll have a touch screen, with audio speakers and a headphone jack. You charge it through a USB connection most of the time.
However, you certainly will be able to find kids’ tablets for a lower price than you’ll pay for a full-power tablet aimed at adults. Kids tablets have lower quality processors, cameras, screen sizes, and screen resolution than their adult counterparts.
As a general rule, the more the kids’ tablet resembles a tablet designed for mainstream use, the more you’ll pay for it. We’ve compiled a list of common price points to expect for kids’ tablets.
These tablets have smaller screens and less processing power than more expensive tablets. However, for many young children, these tablets play all of the games and run all of the educational apps they want. Many of these tablets include sturdy cases with huge bumpers to protect the device from drops. Some have several pre-installed apps that run with or without an internet connection.
For watching movies, a high resolution screen will be important.
Some very popular kids’ tablets fit in this price range, offering a great mix of features. These tablets likely will be aimed at pre-teens. Many of them still look a bit like the lower price units mentioned earlier, containing huge bumper guard cases and cartoonish mascots. They may not run every app that a more standard adult tablet would run. Camera quality will be hit and miss in this price range, as will screen quality and resolution. However, you usually can pick up a really nice kids’ tablet in this price point.
These expensive kids’ tablets offer a great set of features that older kids will demand. They’ll look and perform more like a tablet that an adult would buy, featuring larger screens and the ability to run nearly any app. They also provide fast performance levels with good cameras, something that older kids want. When shopping for a kids’ tablet, if you see a model that you think you might like to borrow from the child on occasion, it’ll probably fit into this price range.
You can use a kids’ tablet while charging it, as long as the power cord’s length reaches an outlet.
Most people want to have some sort of parental control on the kids’ tablets they buy. We’ve put together a list of the different things that you may want to do with parental controls.
Each tablet offers different parental control options, so make sure whatever tablet you pick has the controls you need.
If you will have more than one child using the same tablet, some parental control features allow you to set up different control profiles for each child. This works well if the two kids are of different ages.
To gain the parental control features you want, you may need to download an app.
To keep the tablet screen clean, wipe it regularly with a microfiber cloth. For stubborn stains use a slightly water-dampened microfiber cloth, rather than an alcohol-based cleaner.
Some tablets allow you to disable the camera through parental controls.
If a child has internet access, you may not want to allow him to buy anything. You should be able to prevent in-app purchases through this feature, too.
You can determine whether the child can access the internet, download apps, or use social media through this feature. You may be able to limit access to certain games or apps as well.
You can determine whether your child has access to the tablet by setting up a security PIN or password screen. This forces the child to come to you when she wants to unlock the tablet.
If you only want to give your child a certain amount of screen time per day, a parental control that limits how long the child uses the tablet is a great feature. This control usually also can limit the times of the day during which the child may use the tablet.
Use this control feature to limit the child to watching and streaming video and music that only has certain content ratings.
Q. What can I do if my child changed the password/PIN for the kids’ tablet?
A. Kids sometimes will press buttons inadvertently on the tablet, making some random changes. They may even change the PIN or password on the tablet by accident. Many kids’ tablets have a PIN reset option, so look through the tablet’s user guide for these instructions. Or, if you’ve registered the tablet with your mobile phone number, you may be able to perform a reset with a mobile phone verification message.
Q. What should I do when traveling in the car with no WiFi connection available?
A. If your child would like to use the tablet while traveling in the car, you can perform a few steps to have content available without a WiFi connection. For example, you could download digital books to the tablet before the trip, so the content may be read without WiFi. You also may be able to download movies or TV shows ahead of time, depending on the streaming service you have.
Q. How can I lengthen the battery lifespan of my kids’ tablet?
A. The best way to prolong battery time is to reduce the screen brightness level. If the child will not be using WiFi, turn off the antenna to conserve battery power. Plug a set of headphones into the tablet, rather than using the speaker for audio. Turn on the tablet’s Low Power Mode, usually available on the Settings screen, to have the tablet automatically conserve power for you.
Q. How do I protect the kids’ tablet from being broken?
A. Set some rules for the kids about how they are allowed to use the tablet. Don’t let them run around with the tablet, for example. For smaller children, make use of a smaller tablet, that’s easier to hold and carry. Place the tablet inside a protective case that has plenty of shock absorption capabilities. Some tablets ship with a protective case, sometimes shaped like a cartoon character. Otherwise, you may have to purchase a sturdy case separately.
At BestReviews, we purchase every product we review with our own funds. We never accept anything from product manufacturers. Our goal is to be 100% objective in our analysis, and we do not want to run the risk of being swayed by products provided at no cost.