Best tablets for kids: 2015 roundup
by Tablets for Artists
What are 2015’s best tablets for youngsters and ones they can play with all 2016? It seems like kids’ digital gear is getting more like grownups’. For better or worse, children probably consume as much electronic media as adults. Quality educational content, password protection, user profiles for each child, a good amount of memory and speed, and of course, durability are all things to look for in choosing a mobile device for kids.
(On a budget? See our article Cheap tablets for kids)
Amazon Fire Kids
The Amazon Fire Kids Edition is an Amazon Fire with kids’ content. The Amazon Fire is a pretty nice tablet worth twice the price. You can even buy a sixpack for a discount. The browser is fast; movies open right away and play well. The Kids Edition carries a two-year “worry-free guarantee” that Amazon will replace the tablet if it gets damaged. (Warning: I had them replaced my damaged Kindle once and they sent me a refurbished one–not that that’s surprising, but they don’t tell you). The Kids Edition also comes with a year of Free Time Unlimited, Amazon’s children’s content. You can expand storage by adding microSD card of up to 128 GB. It has Wi-fi and Bluetooth. The price and quality make it in our book one of best tablets for kids in 2015, and Consumer Reports agrees. Parental controls let you oversee what goes on the tablet and open some content only after the youngsters have met their educational goals–quite a taskmaster.
This popular, durable kids’ tablet has strong parental controls, kid-safe browsing, and educational games common to quality children’s tablets. It has in interesting feature in that kids can create their own “worlds” with home screens featuring images and animations that they pick. The tablet sports Android 4.4 and a quadcore processor, and 16 MB of RAM with an expandable SD card, so it’s quite powerful. The Leapfrog Epic apps list is large and continues to grow. The Google Play store is not available on this, but adults can access the Amazon apps store; the company says the Amazon app store provided smoother integration. It doesn’t take cartridges, which is nice; you download games and other content instead. Aimed at kids ages 3-9.
Navi Dreamtab HD8 with Wi-fi
Fuhu developed the Navi Dreamtab 8 in conjunction with DreamWorks Studio, and brings kids into the world of Dreamworks and the Wings Learning System. Some users have experienced glitches, but I’m including the tablet here because of its pressure-sensitive Wacom stylus with palm rejection and accompanying Dreamworks art app. This is the only kids’ tablet I know of with Wacom; there aren’t details available about the levels, but if drawing is an important part of your child’s life and you want expand their toolbox into digital art, this gives them more of an art experience. It has an 8″ display Android KitKat 4.4 and an NVIDIA Tegra chip for real speed.
While it might not be thought of as the best tablets for kids because of its relative fragility, the iPad mini (pictured: Mini 3 Retina Display) can deliver plenty of great children’s content from the Apple app store. I wouldn’t recommend it for a toddler but more for a careful, gentle child… :-)… a good rugged case for kids would help a lot. If you combine it with the creative Osmo gaming system (below) for iPad, the kiddies will keep busy well into the New Year.
Osmo gaming system for iPad
Not a tablet, but a gaming system that goes with an iPad. The Osmo award-winning game system for iPad conjoins the digital and offline worlds. It’s an app that comes with a starter kit of 5 offline games, including the Tangram, composed of wooden pieces, as well as a drawing, words, and numbers games. It’s compatible with iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4 iPad Mini, iPad Mini Retina, and all versions of the iPad Air. Encourages learning, creativity, thinking skills, and playing with others; with features that appeal to all ages, the whole family can join in.
Also see Cheap tablets for kids
Looking for a tablet for any age? See our post on finding the best drawing tablet for adults.
end of Best Tablets for Kids 2015