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. If you’re looking for a portable device, the Huawei MediaPad T3 10 is also ultra-slim, and its deceptively lightweight body is covered by a hardworking, strong aluminium case.
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 Mediapad T3 10 is perfect for the whole family, as children can have their own customisable login – giving you complete control over which features are available for each family member.
All iPad devices come with parental controls which can block or limit specific apps and content on your child's device, and 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 and Huawei 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 and Huawei 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 and iPad Pro 11 are both 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 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. One of the best tablets for toddlers and younger children is the Huawei Mediapad T3 10, which has an operating system carefully designed for intuitive and easy interactions. Most actions can be performed in a few simple steps, and their favourite videos, games and apps can be organised in an uncluttered presentation across its 9.6-inch display.
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 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 11 Pro and Huawei MediaPad T3 10’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 reduce power consumption on the Mediapad T3 10 by turning on low power mode. 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).
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.
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.
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.
Draw, learn and play on iPad 10.2-inch Retina display with front and back cameras. Shoot and edit video, enjoy fast responses thanks to the A10 Fusion chip and keep going all day with a long-lasting battery.
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.