From helping with homework to promoting fine-motor skills, a tablet is a fantastic device for kids to learn on. There are tablets for kids of every age, and content for every type of interest.
According to various surveys, more than half of 12- to 15-year-olds own devices, and 49 per cent of five- to 15-year-olds own a tablet device. These screens are popular with the kids, and for good reason. Not only are they entertaining, but research shows tablets can boost children’s language skills using apps that teach them phonics, rhyming and letter recognition. It will also give them an aptitude for technology, which we all know is going to be vital for them in later life.
Pretty much all devices come with parental controls, and it’s good to be wise to what your kids are accessing, for how long, and also who’s contacting them. You can monitor all these things, using parental controls on tablets, and all devices we tried had some form of control included.
“It’s never too early to start educating your child on digital safety,” says a spokesperson for the NSPCC. “However, a big factor to consider when we’re talking to children is age as well as their cognitive ability. Our Positively online quiz is a non-judgemental quiz designed to be taken as a family that can help guide the conversation about digital safety.”
They continue, “Children can see things online that make them feel upset, angry, or cause low self-esteem. If this happens, encourage them to mute or block accounts that do this. They can also use settings that prevent words, phrases, or posts they don’t want to see cropping up. Encourage them to make their online space a positive one. If you’re still worried then there are plenty of parental controls you can set up, on their tablets and phones as well as streaming services and gaming consoles.”
How we tested
We let our mini testers loose (within very set boundaries, of course) with all the tablets we’ve included in this round-up. We wanted to check that kids young and old were entertained safely, and had apps they genuinely found useful and/or enjoyable.
As parents, we wanted to keep a close eye on usage of the tablet, and just how long our kids were spending online. Points were awarded for age-appropriate devices that had plenty of content to keep kids of all ages busy. We also looked at battery life, display and sound quality and how robust they were, where appropriate.
The best tablets for kids for 2023 are:
- Best overall tablet for kids – Amazon Fire HD 8 kids tablet: £149.99, Amazon.co.uk
- Best tablet for the whole family – Microsoft Surface go 3 2-in-1 tablet: £369, Amazon.co.uk
- Best tablet for younger kids – Amazon Fire 7 kids tablet: £114.99, Amazon.co.uk
- Best kids tablet for value for money – Lenovo Tab M10 gen 3 tablet: £209, Lenovo.com
- Best kids tablet for older kids – Amazon Fire HD 8 kids pro tablet: £149.99, Amazon.co.uk