Best tablets for kids
By Adam Marshall
Whether for education or playtime, we pick out three of the cheapest, easy to use tablets that you can give to your child.
Tablets are a growing presence in school classrooms, providing a useful and portable tool to teach our children. Buying one for your home may not be as expensive as you think, bringing education into your house – as well as providing a handy way to keep your kids entertained, whether inside or on long journeys.
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We've picked out three great devices that are portable, affordable and are simple to to use. It's worth noting, none of these tablets have been designed exclusively for children's use only. That's because we've found you're better off buying a low-cost (but robustly built) 'grown-up' tablet, rather than something from a kids range.
This will generally give you a better product that starts quickly and has decent battery, plus it's more flexible as your child grows and wants more from the tablet. Pick a decent cheap Android tablet, for instance, and you'll be able to download and run more apps than you would on a 'kids-only' device. You can still enforce parental controls and- if your child no longer needs it - you can use it yourself with full 'grown up' functionality.
Best tablets for kids
A tablet designed specifically for kids, this model comes in a robust case and with a guarantee from the manufacturer that they will replace it, quibble free, should it befall a mischief in the hands of your child. It's not overly powerful, but the kid specific features make it compelling.
How to set up parental controls on Android
Some tablets have a specific 'kids mode' in the settings. But if you simply 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 to. 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 page.