Best tablets for kids
By Adam Marshall
Whether for education or play time, we pick out three of the safest, most robust cheap tablets that you can give to your child.
Tablets are becoming a growing presence in school classrooms, providing a useful and portable tool to teach our children. Buying one for home time may not be as expensive as you think, bringing education in to your house – as well as providing a handy way to keep your kids entertained, whether inside or on long journeys.
Just want to see the range of tablets on the market to choose from? Click through to all our tablet reviews.
We’ve picked out three affordable devices that combine small sizes, simplicity to use, effective parental controls and robust designs. And the best part? None of these tablets has been designed exclusively for children - so if your child no longer needs it, you can use it yourself with full ‘grown up’ functionality.
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Weighing less than 300g, this featherweight tablet still has a decent display, which will entertain your child with vibrant colours.
It’s solidly built and you can take control of what websites and videos are accessible with Android’s tight parental controls. Plus, there’s a battery saver option to keep power consumption to a minimum and eke out the battery life for even the lengthiest of day trips.
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This Android tablet certainly feels resilient and the touchscreen is both speedy and responsive - perfect for little fingers and inquisitive minds.
As well as the usual user account and parental settings, the manufacturer has also released a bright yellow kid-specific version. It costs more, but comes with a hardy ‘bump case’ and a user interface specially designed for kids.
The £50 price tag certainly makes this tablet stand out from the crowd and it’s worth a look if you don’t want to spend a fortune. It’s really easy to use and the screen scrubs up pretty well too.
Like the tablet above, there's also a kids edition which, for an extra £50, includes a 'kid-proof' case, a two-year guarantee and a year's worth of child-oriented apps and content.
What about the Tesco Hudl 2?
You may know other parents who swear by Tesco’s own brand tablet. It remains a much sought-after tablet for adults or children, but the supermarket has confirmed that it will no longer make the £99 device.
If you find one on the secondhand market, you can still read our full Tesco Hudl 2 review to see whether it’s worth picking up. And if you just can’t lay your hands on one, check out our pick of the best Tesco Hudl 2 alternatives.
How to set up parental controls on Android
Some tablets, including those we've included in our table, have a specific 'kids mode' in the settings. But if you just want to give your current Android tablet to your child, you can follow these steps to apply controls to what can be accessed on your tablet.
Go to Settings and then Users. You’ll see the option to Add user profile. If you don’t already have a password or code to lock the home screen, you’ll be prompted to create one.
Then you’ll be asked to choose which apps you want your child to have access too. So you can tick the likes of Minecraft and any educational apps, or ensure that Facebook, YouTube and the Play Store are turned off.
When you click on the new user, you’ll be invited to edit their profile with a name and customised settings.
How to set up parental controls on an Apple iPad
Although you can’t create different user profiles on Apple tablets, you can still implement certain restrictions on how the iPad is used.
Go to your Settings and click on General. Then press Restrictions and Enable Restrictions to turn them on and begin choosing them. You’ll be asked to set a four-digit passcode too.
Then you can work your way through the list of apps, settings and content, choosing which ones require the passcode and those that can be accessed and changed by anybody.
See every iPad currently on test on our dedicated Apple tablets brand page.