The best tablets for kids

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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.

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 Alcatel 3T 10 comes with an easy-to-use Kids Mode, which includes non-disturbance controls to keep noise to a minimum, and parental passwords help you oversee your child and keep them safe. You can even set a list of safe websites you’re happy for your child to visit.

All iPad devices come with parental controls which can block or limit specific apps and content on your child's device.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 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 A7 and Galaxy Tab S6 Lite using the Samsung Kids login 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 login.

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 S6 Lite comes with 4 GB RAM + 64 GB 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. iPad Pro 11 comes with up to a whopping 1TB of memory – great for the whole family. What’s more, Apple users get 5GB of free iCloud 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 Pro 11 is compatible with 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 with iPad Pro 11 to suggest edits for a PDF, create art and design projects, or edit photos.

The Galaxy Tab S6 Lite also comes with a pen-like stylus called the S Pen, which lets kids write, doodle or annotate homework, and saves their work to the Notes app.

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 Alcatel 3T 10 comes with a 10-inch Fast-Access Display which gives kids fast and easy access to the pages and apps they use the most. The 3T 10’s Kids Mode is designed to have a child-friendly interface which makes it easy for kids to use, and allows them to set up their apps in a way that suits them. There's also a library of science, technology, engineering, arts and maths content to keep them learning and having fun.

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, 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 Pro 11 has a backlit 11-inch Liquid Retina display with ProMotion and True Tone to give entertainment a rich, truly immersive feel, adding drama to action sequences and a wealth of lifelike colour.

The Galaxy Tab S6 Lite’s slightly-smaller 10.4-inch display also packs a punch - the combination of minimal bezel and up to 16 million colours makes for a gaming experience they’ll love. Plus, sound quality is maximised with its two speakers engineered by AKG, featuring Dolby Atmos - 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. The Galaxy Tab S6 Lite has around 13 hours of video playback time, and the iPad Pro 11's batteries can last for around 10 hours, even with heavy use. 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.

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).

Browse our full range of LTE pay monthly tablets, and discover our Unlimited data plans that will let your child stream and game to their heart’s content.

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 nearly new 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.

Want to find out more? Here are the tablets we recommend for kids.

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

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

This lightweight tablet boasts a high-definition 10.4-inch display that shows every detail, complete with Dolby Atmos Sound. Draw and sketch with the S Pen, or annotate homework that saves automatically.

Galaxy Tab S6 Lite
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7

Galaxy Tab A7

Enjoy films and games on the 10.4-inch display with Quad Stereo Sound, use the 32GB of internal storage to store films and photos the family loves, and use Samsung Kids to keep kids safe while they learn.

Galaxy Tab A7

iPad Pro 11

iPad Pro 11 can be used with pencil, keyboard, mouse or trackpad - perfect for creative kids. Take epic ultra-wide shots on the dual rear cameras and enjoy truly immersive films and gaming on the 11-inch Liquid Retina display.

iPad Pro 11