The best tablets for kids in 2019

Attempting to keep your tot away from screen time is a worthy cause, but in 2019 it’s hard to delay the inevitable. Whether you’ve found your iPad covered in sticky fingerprints too many times, or had your phone data guzzled up by repeat viewings of Baby Shark on YouTube yet again, you’ll know when it’s time to invest in a dedicated tablet for your child. And the choice on offer is surprisingly pleasing – you’ll find an impressive range of kids’ tablets on the high street at a fraction of the price of an Apple iPad.

The latest designs give instant access to age-appropriate apps and feature parental controls for safe web browsing and monitoring. You won’t have to worry about your child stumbling across inappropriate content online, or downloading paid-for apps without your say so, either. Some tablets designed for kids will also let you set time limits and exchange messages with their device direct from your smartphone.

With help from a few under 10s keen to get stuck into limitless screen time all in the name of research, we put the latest kid-friendly tablets to task. We pay particular attention to speed, versatility, design and special features aimed at parents.

WIRED Recommends is your definitive guide to the best technology. Head to our best gadgets guide for our top picks in every category we’ve tested.

WIRED Recommends: Kurio Tab Connect

Pros: Advanced parental interaction, great value for money
Cons: 7-inch screen might be too small

Unlike tablets we’ve tested from the likes of LeapPad and VTech, this 7-inch device looks and acts more like a grown-up tablet, which went down well with the older kids in our test. With a lightweight, splashproof body – one of the sleekest we’ve seen – the excellent Kurio Tab Connect (£100) runs off Android 6.0 Marshmallow, with 16GB of storage and a pretty big 2,580mAh battery that lasts seven hours. For kids it feels more like the real deal.

With a welcoming and bright homescreen that has a range of colourful icons, the Tab Connect comes preloaded with a good selection of content to get them started, and it’s easy for kids to delve straight into games, ebooks, YouTube Kids and more with access to the Google Play Store. Although it’s unlikely they’ll want to share, you can create up to eight different child profiles for individual siblings.

What makes this affordable tablet particularly impressive is its brilliant parental controls. Using the Kurio Genius portal you can manage which apps and websites your child sees via filters. Plus you can set time limits of how long they play, adjust the volume and even turn the tablet off remotely using your smartphone, which, quite frankly, is worth the Kurio’s weight in gold.

You can also adjust the blue-light filter on the good-enough-for-kids 1024 x 600 resolution screen remotely, and – using the Kurio Connect app – talk, send messages and pictures, and play games from your phone to the tablet. The novelty soon wore off in our test, however, as the kids wanted to get back to playing without any interruption from parents.

Price: £100 | Check price on

Best Tablets for Kids Summary

WIRED Recommends: Kurio Tab Connect
Fun and practical with remote parental controls
Price: £100 | Check price on
Best kids tablet for battery life: Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition
Good specs for the price and lasts all day
Price: £130 | Check price on
Best tablet for younger kids: LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate
A neat, little learning centre
Price: £110 | Check price on
Best kids tablet for added extras: VTech InnoTab Max
Tons of apps, tons of features
Price: £115 | Check price on
Best tablet for older kids: Kurio Smart 2 in 1
Your kids’ first tablet laptop hybrid – sorted
Price: £180 | Check price on
Best kids tablet for big screen: Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition
An Amazon all-rounder perfect for long car trips
Price: £200 | Check price on
Best kids tablet for adventure: Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
A scuff and scrape friendly Samsung tablet
Price: £439 | Check price on

Best kids tablet for battery life: Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition

Pros: Good parental controls, Amazon for Kids subscription
Cons: Very Amazon centric, not much offline content

Amazon’s Fire HD 8 (£130) is slightly better specced than the Kurio Tab Connect, with an 8-inch, 1280 x 800 screen, quad-core processor, 32GB of storage and a battery that lasts all day. So it’s also a very good option to consider.

Like the Fire HD 10 Kids (below), the parental controls are very easy to get on with filters for online browsing, via the Fire for Kids Browser, and screen-time limits. There’s also the excellent Amazon Fire for Kids service for access to thousands of educational apps and games – the price of the Fire HD 8 Kids includes a year’s subscription and then it’s £2 a month after that.

The only real downside is that this isn’t a full Android tablet, so you are locked to (and heavily encouraged to use) all of Amazon’s services, whereas Kurio’s Tab Connect has its own range of games and ebooks on top of the Google Play Store.

Rounding things out, there’s the handy childproof bumper – in blue, pink or green – decent stereo speakers and, this could really swing it, you get a two-year guarantee that includes accidents.

Price: £130 | Check price on

Best tablet for younger kids: LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate

Pros: Impressive range of educational apps, protective bumper
Cons: Some games are expensive

For children that have had experience smoothly swiping away on an iPad, this 7-inch tablet can feel quite clunky in comparison. But the LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate (£110) is fuss free in design and comes with an attached stylus, a shatter-resistant screen and protective bumper that makes it suitable for younger children.

We found the power button to be a little on the small side and tricky for little fingers to turn on and off. But once logged on and registered, your child gets instant access to preloaded content including a calculator, ebook library, games and a music player. It includes a decent 8GB internal memory with an ample six hours of battery life.

And you’ll need it if you want to download any of the vast range of apps on offer in the LeapFrog app centre. These all have strong emphasis on learning and include those designed to hone in on maths skills, reading, music, puzzles and creative arts. They can, however, be a on the pricey side – a Disney Pixar Finding Dory Mathematical Memories game will set you back a further £20, for example.

Price: £110 | Check price on

Pros: Kid-friendly camera, creative tools, ergonomic cover
Cons: Slightly fiddly navigation

This tablet is aimed at three- to nine-year-olds, and it’s a good entry into the world of screen time. The VTech InnoTab Max (£115) comes with a handle and a choice of either vibrant pink or blue hard screen cover, which doubles up as a table stand.

Its vibrant 7-inch interface is simply laid out with illustrated icons for access to ebooks, games, the art studio, music and more. Then there’s the 2MP camera that rotates 180 degrees and features over 60 photo effects for stills and video. While it won’t produce Instagram-worthy shots, a young child is unlikely to complain. The response time when loading each app may also feel a little hit and miss for adults, but will probably also go unnoticed by a child.

We found the touchscreen control with stylus and in-frame button controls a slightly confusing mix for younger children to master. There is, however, a narrator on hand to efficiently prompt and guide your child through the menu.

Parental controls are easy to set up here, and they let you manage downloads and web browsing. The Kid Connect feature, that lets you and your child send and receive voice messages, photos and drawings to and from iPhone and Android smartphones is particularly nice.

Once you’ve registered, you can make use of the library that features more than 700 VTech and Android ‘Learning’ apps or insert a software cartridge – sold separately – that are branded with kids’ favourite characters. The PJ Masks Maths game, which teaches numbers and counting, patterns, shapes and addition, went down particularly well in our test.

Price: £180 | Check price on

Best tablet for older kids: Kurio Smart 2 in 1

Pros: Child’s first laptop, wireless keyboard, expandable storage
Cons: Not ideal for younger kids

Like the Kurio Tab Connect, the Smart 2 in 1 (£180) also comes with advanced parental controls, so you can manage the apps your child views, control screen time and ensure they are browsing safe websites. These security settings can be adjusted as your child grows with content tailored to their age.

The quad-core processor makes for swift web browsing, downloading and music streaming, but whereas the Tab Connect is expandable to 32GB with a microSD card, the 16GB 2 in 1 expands further to 128GB. The Kurio also runs on the latest Android 8.1 Oreo version for a smoother experience.

Essentially, this device looks and feels like a child’s first laptop as the 10-inch 1280 x 800 IPS touchscreen device links wirelessly to a detachable Bluetooth keyboard. It comes with a thin magnetic protective case, which makes it highly portable and easy to slip into a child’s bag.

Once they’ve had their fill of playing games, which can be accessed via Google Play Store, the Office Apps section is ideal for helping out with school homework, too.

Price: £180 | Check price on

Best kids tablet for big screen: Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition

Pros: Great all-rounder, good screen, top battery life
Cons: Limited to Amazon’s offering

The older kids in our test enjoyed using the 10-inch Full HD screen of Amazon’s Fire HD 10 Kids Edition (£200), that features a pink or blue foam bumper. This can be discarded once they outgrow it, when you can also choose to give them access to the standard interface.

It includes up to 256GB of expandable storage and Amazon’s user-friendly navigation tools, but what makes it stand out from the crowd, like the 8-inch edition, is the impressive 10 hours of battery life. This makes it portable and ideal for long journeys in the car and holiday travel.

Its price includes a year’s access to Amazon Fire for Kids Unlimited, which is then £2 a month for Amazon Prime members. This gets you access to over 5,000 age-appropriate books, videos, educational apps and games.

Parental controls let you limit the amount of time your child uses the Fire HD 10, and you can even set a bedtime curfew, for example, and monitor which games and apps you want them to see. There’s also access to safe web browsing via its Fire for Kids Browser, which has the option to ‘allow’ or ‘remove’ individual websites. The only real downside is that you’re locked into Amazon’s offering, so you can’t access the Google Play app store.

Price: £200 | Check price on

Best kids tablet for adventure: Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2

Pros: Rugged, S-Pen included, Kids mode
Cons: Clunky design, heavy

It may not have a colourful bumper, but what sets this 8-inch tablet apart from its peers is its ability to withstand a host of extreme activity – and we’re not just talking about the odd toddler tantrum or milk spillage.

The Galaxy Tab Active 2 (£439) has military-standard durability, with a shockproof, dust-proof body that is water resistant up to 1.5 metres. It can also withstand temperatures of -20°C to +60°C and drops of up to one metre. This makes it a good buy for on the go as kids can hold onto it when their splashing around in muddy puddles, or on holiday and sitting by the pool without fear of it getting wet. It even has a specific Glove and Wet Touch mode that means it can be easily used with, well, gloves on or when wet.

Its sharp 8MP camera is impressive, and with up to 16GB of internal storage and up to 256GB of expandable storage, there’s plenty of room for photos and videos. Battery life is ample, too, with up to 11 hours of video playback time, and it also comes with a replaceable battery for when you’re far from a charger.

We found the Active Tab 2 equally enjoyable to browse for adults, as well as kids. Its speedy 1.6GHz octa-core processor is ideal for multi-tasking and lets you run two apps at the same time. To access kids content, however, you’ll need to first download the Kids mode on the Galaxy app store, so they can play securely. It’s here that parents can monitor downloaded apps, set time limits and avoid in-app purchases.

Price: £439 | Check price on

  • If you enjoyed this guide, read our guides to the best tablets and the best Android tablets for more options. When you buy something using the retail links in our stories, we earn a small affiliate commission. This does not impact the products we recommend.

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