May 26, 2024

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The 4 best kids’ tablets for travel and more


Having a kids’ tablet is an almost indispensable tool as a parent these days. People use them everywhere, from airplanes to restaurants to doctor’s offices. In fact, having a good kids’ tablet is most people’s number one travel tip. In our family, we use dedicated kid-tablets on airplanes and longer road trips— and having a kids’ tablet is great not only because more than one kid can see the screen but also because having a separate one for them means I can write, listen to a podcast, or respond to emails on my own while they’re occupied. (Although let’s be honest, I still can’t watch my own movie— someone is definitely going to ask for a snack.)

Tablets also allow your little ones to play educational games, doing things like practicing valuable reading and writing skills in a fun way. When you’re shopping for a kids’ tablet, what you’ll mostly see are the tablet holders— they’ll be cases that are made of tough rubber and/or plastic to handle kids’ proclivity towards dropping and rough-handling things.

The actual tablets themselves aren’t all kid-specific, but you will most likely want to invest in a good case in order to protect whichever one you buy. (That said, in a pinch, this mom’s plastic-bag hack is a great one.) But you will want to make sure you invest in one that’s well-made and easy for your kids (and you!) to use. Whether you’re using it for streaming, gaming, or anything in between, there’s a tablet out there for everyone.  

Here are four of our favorite kid-tested, parent-approved tablets for kids. 

SAMSUNG


Galaxy Tab A8

$179 $229

The Samsung Galaxy tablet comes pre-loaded with Samsung Kids, a library of books, videos, and games that have been pre-screened for appropriateness and kid-friendliness. It also helps you set parental controls and screen time limits. The tablet comes in 3 colors. Parents love the long battery life and affordable price tag!

Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro Tablet Motherly

Amazon


Fire HD 10 Pro Kids Tablet

$149.99 $149.99

Every momfluencer you follow seems to have one (or two, or three) of these tablets for their kids, but there’s a good reason: they’re kind of kid-perfect. They’re a reasonable price, they’re excellent for streaming or downloading movies and shows, they’re lightweight and durable, and Amazon Kids offers parental controls and an optional subscription for vetted content. Plus it’s compatible with Alexa devices if you already have one. (And bonus! If it breaks they’ll replace it for free.) The Fire 10 is the most up-to-date version, but if you want to save $90, the Fire 8 Pro is still a great option. It’s smaller and slower but still a powerhouse!

Apple iPad (9th Generation)

Apple


iPad (9th Generation)

$249 $329

My kids tend to inherit out-of-date iPads, and it’s hard to deny how useful they are. This 9th generation iPad is a little pricier than other tablets, but still much less expensive than a brand-new model. The operating system is a cinch (since you probably already know it well) and it’s easy to set up a profile for your kids and enact parental controls. Especially for older kids who game, the speed of an iPad is pretty much unbeatable. 

Google Pixel Tablet

Google


Pixel Tablet

$499

The Google tablet is the priciest one on this list, but it can do a lot: for one thing it has tons of storage at 128GB, perfect for downloading a lot of movies and shows for travel. It also comes with a speaker dock, which is a great feature if multiple kids are watching or listening to the same tablet. While it is more expensive, its capabilities mean you can use it too, and some parents love the ability to share one tablet across generations. 



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