Best tablets for kids 2020: Great devices for children of all ages

Devices which are safe, educational and fun.

kids playing on iPad
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The summer holidays are in full swing and while the British weather appears to be behaving itself there’s no doubt it will take a turn soon.

Keeping children entertained over the holidays can be a tiring task - especially when playing outside isn’t an option. So it’s always good to have a trick up your sleeve for lazy and rainy days. A tablet is a great option for learning and fun, not to mention there are plenty of types to choose from depending on your priorities.

From high-quality screens to ample storage, each product has its own standout features and many come with a plethora of parental controls so you can know exactly what your child is engaging with. We’ve rounded up some of the best tablets for kids - each with their own USPs...

Best value tablet for kids: Pebble Gear Kids Tablet

best tablets for kids - pebble gear tablet

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Key featuresKey reasons to buy
7-inch screen16GB280 g7 hours battery lifeOver 500 additional games and appsNo in-app adverts or purchase

Overall verdict: The Pebble Gear tablet range offers devices for children which are educational, fun and safe. Currently, there are two different designs to choose from: Frozen 2 and Toy Story 4. It’s been crafted so kids can access content safely, with 500 games and apps which have no in-app adverts or purchases. Kids can enjoy a whole host of Disney content with games, e-books and more. Parents are guided easily through the initial setup process and can add up to four profiles on the tablet. Each one can have its own separate access times and limits - so this can vary depending on different ages of children.

In the parental area you can see how long kids have been spending on each app, which is handy for monitoring screen time for younger children. The tablet comes with a kid-proof bumper case - so is ready for any knocks or drops. There are also a number of accessories which can be purchased along with the tablet, such as a carry sleeve and a carry bag. Each device comes with its own 1-year GameStore App Junior guarantee (but afterwards there's a charge) as well as a 2-year service guarantee.

BUY IT NOW: Pebble Gear Kids Tablet, £99.99, Pebble Gear

Kurio Tab Advance, £98.89

best tablets for kids - kurio advance

Credit: Amazon
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Key featuresKey reasons to buy
7-inch screen250g16GB4 hoursApp managementUp to eight profiles

Overall verdict: For those not wanting to splash out, this tablet is a great one with well-thought out software. It comes with preloaded apps, games and educational content, including favourites like Subway Surfers and Berry Rush. Other apps, such as You Tube, can be downloaded from the Android Google Play store -  as well as Netflix and NowTV - but a parent must enable/approve the installation.

It's worth pointing out that battery life is shorter than similar products on the market, but this isn't a problem if you're looking to limit a child's screen time. One reviewer commented,' The battery life is great but it is about 3 to 4 hours and to be honest it's all my kid needs for the day. It's small and handy the start up on this one is quick about 2 minutes compare to others and I don't think that's bad.'

Parents can customise their child's tablet experience in a password-protected area. They can also set time limits on each child's use, manage which apps are allowed in each child's profile and create a list of specific 'approved' and 'blocked' sites or categories when browsing the web. The device boasts a headphone jack and Micro USB and there’s also a hidden aperture for a microSD card, once you remove the case.

BUY IT NOW: Kurio Tab Advance, £98.89, Amazon

Lenovo Tab E10, £99.99

best tablets for kids - Lenovo tablet

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Key featuresKey reasons to buy
10.1-inch screen522g16GB storage6 hour battery lifeGreat large display

Overall verdict: This tablet is great value for money so it’s likely you’ll be less worried about accidents, compared to more expensive alternatives. Even so, it’s probably better suited to older children. Ultimately, it is a tablet built for adults, but it’s easy to create a child’s profile with parental controls on it. Each member of the family can have a dedicated profile with their own customised settings and with 16 GB of storage there's plenty for everyone. This device is also great for its sound quality, with two front speakers fitted with Dolby Atmos technology. Weighing just 530g and being just 8.9 mm thin it's also perfect for taking on-the-go.

The 7-hour battery life also makes it a great companion for road trips or long journeys. In terms of customer satisfaction, value for money, size and weight come out on top for this product. One Amazon customer commented the product's child-friendly nature, saying, 'Not bad tablet, with good size screen but picture quality and sharpness a little on lower side. Not the fastest but not bad for our daughter.' It also comes with a manufacturer's guarantee of one year.

BUY IT NOW: Lenovo Tab E10, £99.99, Currys PC World

Best kids tablets for educational resources Amazon Fire 10 Kids, £199.99, Amazon

best tablets for kids - amazon fire kids 10

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Key featuresKey reasons to buy
10.1-inch screen32GB storage12 hours battery life778gComes in blue, pink, purple or yellow bumper caseRobust designGreat storageMost premium large-scale tablet Amazon makes1 year of Amazon Fire for Kids unlimited

Overall verdict: Amazon has a great range of kids' devices so it can be difficult to know which one to pick - but, in terms of visuals, it’s worth pointing out that this one has the largest display. What sets this tablet apart is its access to Amazon's outstanding parental controls, as well as Amazon Fire for Kids Unlimited - which is free for an entire year and offers apps, games, videos, books and audiobooks, including content from Disney, Nickelodeon and Sesame Street. This device is ideal for playing games, streaming videos, listening to audio books, reading digital comics and browsing the web (with parental locks on, of course) - in fact, it pretty much offers everything you could possibly want in a kids' tablet. Amazon uses a special version of Android, called Fire OS, which has fewer apps but the quality is still there.

It also comes with a 2-year guarantee, which means if a child breaks it a parent simply needs to return the tablet and Amazon will replace it for free. Commenting on this, one reviewer said, 'The two year "no questions asked" replacement scheme is just brilliant. We used that service twice for the 8 version and couldn't fault it - replacement was sent out next day. Worth every penny.' The Amazon Fire 10 is little more expensive than others on the market, but is worth the investment for the quality and content.

BUY IT NOW:Amazon Fire 10 Kids, £199.99, Amazon

Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids, £139.99

amazon fire 8

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Key featuresKey reasons to buy
8-inch screen32GB storage12-hour battery life474g2-year replacement programmeKid-proof case1 year of Fire for Kids Unlimited with apps, games and videos

Overall verdict: The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids tablet is a great cheaper alternative to its successor - the HD 10 Kids. The battery life and storage are noticeable upgrades from the previous 7-inch model, but the camera is a 2-megapixel unit on the back and VGA for the front - which is pretty poor compared to today’s iPhone standards. However, the sturdy case (which will survive a few drops) and the top-quality content are definitely key selling points. Performance from the processor isn't as good as other devices but does the job for the simple apps and video streaming that will keep your little ones entertained.

Kids can stream through Wi-Fi or view downloaded content with 32 GB of internal storage - but there's also a microSD card port which can hold up to 1 TB of additional storage. One happy customer wrote, 'I got this as a gift for my children during lockdown. I love the fact they have their own profiles, timers set by parents and extra apps can be added (we have added Sky Kids and Netflix as these weren't on already). Found it to be a bit of a faff with getting the extra apps, downloading the game on parents profile then having to go into the kids profile to approve/add them to their profile, but after a bit of messing around we figured it out.'

Like the Amazon Fire Kids 10, this one also comes with the 2-year worry-free guarantee which - looking at the Amazon reviews - many parents have taken advantage of. However, some people have pointed out a few downsides, such as the lack of offline video viewing and the fact that the large price increase over the standard HD 8 only gets you a one-year subscription to the Fire for Kids service.

BUY IT NOW:Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids, £139.99, Amazon

Kurio Tab Connect, £99.99

kurio tab connect

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Key featuresKey reasons to buy
7-inch screen16GB15 hours battery lifeExceptional parental control features and safety featuresLots of apps to download

Overall verdict: For the price, this is a great, reliable tablet - but it is slightly lacking in finesse compared to the Amazon alternatives. However, what makes this device stand out is its great parental control features, for example, a parent can monitor the tablet, access it remotely and control parts such as the front-facing camera and the volume. These award-winning parental controls also allow adults to block apps and set time limits: by hour and days of the week. What's more, Kurio also filters 32 billion websites to ensure kids stay safe on the web. One Amazon customer wrote, 'Although I already had a Kurio Smart Watch for my little one I did a lot of research for a tablet, the child safety software Genius tipped it in the favour of the Connect together with the remote access facility. I have not been disappointed we have peace of mind and he lives the amount of suitable apps he can get access to. The software is easy to use.'

Around 40 apps are preloaded on the device and over 1 million apps available to download via Google Play including motion gaming and educational tools. The tablet also gives the option for multiple profiles, so siblings can keep things separate. Kurio also has apps which introduce children to STEM and coding and offers exclusive educational apps, e-books and videos which can come direct to the device every week for an entire year. This makes the Kurio Tab Connect a great option for homeschooling.

BUY IT NOW: Kurio Tab Connect, £99.99, Amazon

Best kids tablets for apps and playing games LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate, £158.86

leapfrog leaped ultimate

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Key featuresKey reasons to buy
7-inch screen1.2kg8GB storage5 hours battery lifeStrong internet safety features

Overall verdict: It’s a little on the heavier side and has less storage and battery than some competitors, but this is a brand aimed at kids. The LeapPad's bulky nature means it's more likely to survive accidents (which lets face it, will happen). LeapFrog all about online safety, too. It only has content which has been deemed 'child appropriate' by the company’s learning experts. It also boasts Timer Controls which can set play time and rest hours - this is accessible through the Parent Settings section. Available in green or pink, the device comes with preloaded content featuring core skills in mathematics, reading and science as well as music, puzzles, logic and creativity to prepare kids for school. The operating system means you only have access to LeapFrog apps - but there are more than a thousand to choose from.

One customer had this to say about the product, ' I got this for my daughter for Christmas and the build quality is really robust and child friendly, the screen quality is a lot better than I was expecting and the sheer amount of things she can do with it is brilliant. All the games and videos can be downloaded to suit her age and abilities and there is a wide range of books for her to read along/listen to as well. The battery life is really good and the sound is perfect for what she need but you can put head phones in if needed.'

BUY IT NOW: LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate, £158.86, Amazon

Apple iPad Mini, £399

iPad mini

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Key featuresKey reasons to buy
7.9 inch screen64GB / 256GB storage10 hour battery lifeHigh quality and stylishTransportable

Overall verdict: The iPad mini is small, easy to transport and (being Apple) it’s great quality. It also boasts larger storage and a higher resolution screen - in terms of pixel density - than the larger iPad. There's a variety of storage options available, too, depending on the needs of your family. The high-quality cameras are also a key selling point, with a 8MP back camera and 7MP HD front camera, as well as 1080p HD video recording.

Due to its price, this is a great option for older kids who prefer to watch videos and use apps rather than smaller children who can be a bit more rough and ready with devices. It's also compatible with Bluetooth keyboards so can be a great option for homeschooling. The A12 Bionic Chip allows it to run some of the most powerful apps around at incredibly fast speeds. For those who like to get a little more creative, it also supports Apple Pencil - which needs to be purchased separately. The glowing customer reviews certainly suggest it's worth paying a little more for quality. One person commented, 'This was a present for my 8-year-old son who loves it. It is the perfect size for him, not too small or big and ideal for on the go. Well worth the money.'

BUY IT NOW:Apple iPad Mini, £399, Currys PC World

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0, £139

samsung galaxy tablet

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Key featuresKey reasons to buy
8-inch347g32GB storage14-hour battery lifeReliable Android tabletSharp and colourful displaySmall and portable

Overall verdict: This grown-up option is great for older kids because it's actually an adult tablet with features for children. A definite perk of this tablet is that they won't outgrow it - so youngsters can use it as they go into their teenage years. Serious thought has gone into the aesthetic of this tablet. Samsung has removed the home key and moved the logo to the back to give a user a larger screen to view and explore. Not to mention it's slim and portable design means it's great for popping into a rucksack. The 14-hour battery life also makes it ideal for trips out.

Android has plenty of options when it comes to parental controls and kids have access to thousands of apps, games and educational tools through the Google Play Store. The Kids Mode has a colourful and engaging layout with content that will keep little ones entertained for hours - but this can all be accessed by adults. One thrilled customer rated the product a 10/10, stating, 'Now on our family 3rd Samsung Galaxy Tab and know it suits our needs perfectly. Such a handy size.' A great add-on feature is that Currys PC World is currently offering a free 6-month subscription to Spotify Premium for new accounts, when this product is purchased.

BUY IT NOW: Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0, £139, Currys PC World

Apple iPad, from £349

best tablets for kids - apple ipad

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Key featuresKey reasons to buy
10.2-inch screen32GB or 128GB483g10 hours battery lifeHigh qualityLooks stylish and great speed

Overall verdict: Nothing beats a classic. Apple tablets are known for their quality and this 2019 iPad is a great choice for older kids (who are less likely to have accidents than little ones). In terms of design, look and interface, Apple is known as being one of the greats - but obviously that comes with a price tag. However, the speed and features of Apple products make them some of the best on the market.

The App Store is a great place to discover new educational apps for all kinds of subjects, like lessons in geometry, learning a new language and practising music. There's also augmented reality features like making characters literally leap off the page for an immersive experience - which kids will no doubt love when it comes to playing and learning. And, thanks to the efficiency of the A10 Fusion chip, there's up to 10 hours of battery life.

The iPad also has a cellular option - although this is an additional £140 - which means you can access the internet wherever there’s a phone signal, not just areas with WiFi. Lots of customers have also noted the great improvement this iPad has on older Apple products - buyer commented, 'Bought as replacement for old iPad and I am well pleased with the speed and efficiency of my new one.'

BUY IT NOW: Apple iPad 2019, from £349, Apple

Lizzie Thomson
Freelance writer

With a BA hons in English from the University of Liverpool Lizzie has over 7 years' experience writing all things lifestyle for national titles such as Evening Standard, Woman and Home and the Metro.