When you need to watch Frozen on the go, you need a tablet that’s kid- and parent-friendly. (In other words, they won’t crack the screen or start buying all the apps without your permission.) But how to know which one is best? We’ve rounded up the best tablets for toddlers and preschoolers below.
The Best Tablets for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Best Overall: Amazon Fire Hd 10 Kids’ Edition Tablet
For the parents: The setup is easy and the options for control are vast. After you link the device to your Amazon account, you can create up to four kid profiles based on the number of children in your clan. From there, you can set up screen-time limits and exactly what your kids have access to view—whether that’s carte blanche on Disney+ or parent-approved games and apps. Also included with a device purchase: a complimentary one-year subscription to Amazon’s FreeTime Unlimited, which features more than 20,000 books, movies, TV shows and games for kids ages 3 to 12. (At the end of a year, Prime members can continue their subscription for just $7 a month.)
For the kids: The battery life is 12 hours and the HD screen is ten inches, but perhaps one of the biggest benefits is the bumper that comes included. (There’s even a two-year warranty, so if it breaks or cracks, you’ll get a free replacement, no questions asked.) The basic model comes with 32GB of storage, but you can size up and get 64GB—pretty good if you want to download a bunch of content to view offline on the road.
Best On A Budget: Amazon Fire 7 Kids’ Edition Tablet
For the parents: It has the exact same parental controls (see above) and two-year warranty as the Amazon Fire 10, but it’s a fraction of the price. It also comes with the same complimentary subscription to FreeTime Unlimited for a full year.
For the kids: The battery life is shorter (7 hours) and the storage is smaller (16 GB). But you can still download a movie or two for offline viewing, and seven hours of life is probably more than enough for the toddler and preschool set.
Best For Parental Controls: Samsung Galaxy Tab A Kids Edition
For the parents: It’s hard to beat the volume of content filters parents have access to on the Samsung Galaxy Tab. You can set screen-time limits for overall use, and institute limits by category. (Say, allowing unlimited reading but not games.) You can even get selective about the type of content your children view, filtering either by age or skill type. We also love that this device does not allow in-app purchases, so you don’t have to worry about any accidental apps showing up. As for content options? The Tab comes included with a three-month trial of Samsung Kids+, a content library featuring more than 10,000 hours of books, games and videos— Caillou and Peppa Pig all included. (After the trial, it costs $10 a month.)
For the kids: This tablet comes with a whopping 13 hours of battery life, and kids love the bright and icon-based interface‚ which makes it simple to navigate. It’s also lightweight and easy to grip—important for toddlers––and you can set up multiple kid profiles, so it’s easy to share.
Buy It ($150)
Best For Educational Content: Leapfrog Epic
For the parents: One of the coolest parts of this device is the completely customizable kid profiles and content, which are tailored to your children’s ages automatically upon setup. Once activated, you’ll get about 30 pre-installed educational apps and games, art packages and more. (You can purchase more in the Leapfrog App Center.) Also included is a child-safe web browser, which doesn’t have an address bar, but instead a list of pre-approved URLs that can be set and managed by parents. You can add up to three profiles for kids and use the parental controls to manage how long everybody is allowed on the device and at what times.
For the kids: In addition to the pre-installed apps, kids have access to local weather, a calculator and a camera. They also each get their own home screen in the form of a town they can customize. (They can add stickers and change the colors of the houses.) Still, the content is what really makes this tablet sing. Think apps like Alphabet Stew, where kids find words by tapping nearby letters, or The Word of the Day, which offers a vocab lesson with definitions tied to visuals for easy learning. As for the battery life? It’s seven hours. Not bad.
$170 at Amazon
Best In A Bind: Apple Ipad
For the parents: Yes, the stakes are high should this device be dropped. But it’s also an all-in-one device that the entire family can use. (That said, you might want to invest in an iPad holder for car trips or plane rides.) As for parental controls? The newest version of the iPad allows you to set up user profiles and block specific content and iTunes and App Store purchases. You can also filter the web browser to allow access to specific websites only.
For the kids: The display is top-notch. Ditto the camera. And if you invest in the iPad Pencil, your child can put “pen” to paper and really create. The battery life on the 2019 iPad is 12 hours, so they’ll be able to use it without interruption. Sync it with your favorite apps and games, and they’re good to go.