The best tablets for kids
Tablets aren’t just for adults – they’re a great learning and entertainment tool for kids of all ages. They’re versatile, portable, and they can encourage children to read more. Children’s tablets can also develop creativity, help with homework – and of course, are great for playing games and watching films. They usually feature parental controls to limit access to certain websites and apps, and plenty are designed to be extra robust.
If you’re looking for a tablet for your child, here’s a selection of perfect devices for little ones looking for entertainment.
A sturdy design
Even though they may look sleek and slim, tablets can stand the odd knock.
Choosing the right tablets for children means looking at details like exteriors; a sturdy tablet’s exteriors can be surprisingly hardy. The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 is 7mm thick, and has a tough glass front and aluminium frame to protect it at home and on the go. The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite also has a tough metal cover that’s designed to withstand bumps and slips.
Accidents can happen when you have little ones in the house. So when it comes to buying a tablet for your kids, make sure you’re familiar with what the manufacturer’s warranty will cover. It should cover you for any faults or issues you may have with the hardware or software, but may not include accidental or liquid damage.
Vodafone customers get a 24-month manufacturer warranty for all non-Apple devices, and we’ll top up additional 12 months for Apple devices on top of the 12 months which Apple offer. For extra peace of mind, you can always buy tablet insurance that covers damage, loss and theft.
If you’d like to add an extra layer of physical protection for your kids’ tablet, a tablet case and screen protector from a third party can help it withstand any knocks, drops and scrapes.
Parental security features
A children’s tablet can open up new worlds and horizons for your curious-minded little one, but a greater online exposure can come with some risks. You may want to set some safety features and personalise some settings. Parental controls can help keep your kids safe online by limiting access to websites and apps, setting a ‘safe’ list of approved contacts they can call or message, and ensuring that kids can’t purchase apps without your consent.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A8, Samsung Galaxy Tab A7, and Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite have Samsung Kids, a separate child-friendly home screen protected by a PIN. You can even add profiles for up to six different children. If you’re interested in more advice on online safety for kids, our Digital Parenting hub has everything you’ll need.
Set screen time limits
Tablets for kids can be a fun, educational way for kids to learn and play - but occasionally you might want to set a screen time limit to help to restrict digital usage. The limits you set may depend on how old your child is and how often they need to use their tablet - for example, on days when they use it for homework, they may want some extra time that evening for movies and games.
You can set screen limits on the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8, Tab A7, and Tab A7 Lite using the Samsung Kids log in screen for parents, and screen time limit settings are also available on iPad devices. If you need to briefly extend or shorten screen time, you can do this on your child’s device via your own log in.
Apps and games, plus memory to store everything
If you’d like your kids to be able to access apps and games, you’ll need a tablet with a large memory. The Galaxy Tab A7 and Galaxy Tab A7 Lite come with 3GB RAM + 32GB storage to save all their favourite apps and games. You can also save photos and files on Samsung Cloud, if you want to keep the tablet memory for apps, games and documents. If you'd like a little more storage space, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 comes with up to 4GB of RAM and up to 128GB of internal storage.
You can look for new apps for your child using Google Play for Samsung tablets, and Apple’s App Store for iPad. Some apps may be free, but others may have a small fee - especially games. If your child’s using an iPad and you’re willing to pay for certain apps, you can set up a Family Sharing group, add your child’s device and set up Ask to Buy to approve or deny their purchase requests. You can also set up purchase approvals on Google Play for Android tablets, including Samsung devices.
Help with writing, drawing and creativity
Tablets for kids are great for helping kids with research and keeping track of homework. They’re also versatile enough to help with handwriting, drawing, and developing creativity during their toddler and early years.
iPad 10.2 is compatible with 1st generation Apple Pencil (sold separately) which acts like a pen on the screen, so kids can easily write notes, draw and jot down ideas. Older children and students doing coursework can even use Apple Pencil to suggest edits for a PDF, create art and design projects, or edit photos.
The best tablets for toddlers and younger children can even let them practice their handwriting. Plenty of Apple and Android apps will allow them to practice tracing letters and words - you can even download finger painting apps for younger children.
Easy to use interface
If you’ve got younger children, they may need a lightweight tablet with a slightly smaller screen, a clear display and easily-recognisable apps.
The Galaxy Tab A7 Lite allows kids to use simple gestures for one-handed use - they can go back, see their recent apps and return to the home menu with a swipe of their thumb. Smaller children who have their favourite apps will also enjoy the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7, which saves and displays the apps on its home screen. If you’re using Samsung Kids on the Galaxy Tab A7 or Galaxy Tab A7 Lite, you can add the apps you’re happy for them to use from Galaxy Store for Kids.
High-definition screens for video and games
What makes the best tablet for older children? For those who love their games and can’t get enough of YouTube, you’ll need a tablet with a clear, high-definition screen.
iPad 10.2 has a backlit Retina display with True Tone to give entertainment a rich, truly immersive feel, adding drama to action sequences and a wealth of lifelike colour - and kids can view the screen comfortably in dim or bright light.
The Galaxy Tab A7's slightly smaller 10.4-inch display also packs a punch. The wide and dynamic display is paired with crystal-clear Dolby Atmos sound - perfect for when they’re not using headphones and they won’t be disturbing anyone nearby.
Long-lasting batteries for travel
Whether it’s a delay at the airport or a three-hour train ride, time goes faster when the kids are having fun - and a tablet with a long-lasting battery is essential. iPad 10.2 comes with all-day battery life¹, so kids will be able to create, play and game on the go.
If you’re planning a long journey, remember to fully charge their tablet before you set off, and try to encourage kids to turn the screen off when they’re not using it. You can also adjust the settings to conserve power - iPad settings can be toggled to reduce screen brightness and background apps from running, and you can also use power saving modes on Samsung Galaxy tablets to save battery life.
¹ Battery life varies by use and configuration. See apple.com/uk/batteries for more information.
Getting online with data or WiFi
If your plan is for your child to only use their tablet at home, a device without a data plan which uses your home WiFi will be fine. If you’re considering tablet use when you’re out and about (and not connected to public WiFi), you’ll need an LTE tablet which uses 4G data (like a smartphone does).
Getting a tablet for every budget
If you want to see all the Apple and Android tablets available and compare their features, you can browse our full range of tablets here. We also sell a range of great value refurbished tablets. They’re in pristine condition - the only difference is that they’ve been returned without being used by the original owner.
And if you’ve decided a tablet isn’t quite right for your little one, our roundup of the best phones for kids might be more what you’re looking for.
If you’re buying a tablet for a child and you’re an existing Vodafone customer, you can enjoy a 15% discount on selected additional devices and plans - log in to your My Vodafone account to apply the discount.
Find your perfect match
Apple iPad 10.2 (9th gen)
The new iPad has a beautiful 10.2-inch Retina display, powerful A13 Bionic chip, an Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage, and works with Apple Pencil and the Smart Keyboard.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A8
Keep your little ones entertained on the 10.5-inch screen with Dolby Atmos sound, and use Samsung Kids to create a safe space for them to learn and play. Keep going all day with the 7,040mAh battery and store what matters on the 4GB of RAM paired with expandable storage.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite
Simple to use and weighing just 371g, the Tab A7 Lite is perfect for kids. Watch and game on the 8.7-inch display with minimal bezel and use one-handed gestures to navigate in a flash. Set up Samsung Kids to shape a safe environment for kids to explore and let the 5100mAh battery do the heavy lifting.