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kid friendly tabletsTablets are growing in popularity. Ably brought into the mainstream by the market leader that is the iPad from Apple 4 Reasons Why Android Tablets Continue To Trail The iPad [Opinion] 4 Reasons Why Android Tablets Continue To Trail The iPad [Opinion] When the iPad was released, tech journalists were quick to worship it. Wired went so far as to write a front-page article claiming that tablets would change the world. While it was not about the... Read More , tablets have found an audience in old and young alike. It’s difficult to foresee where the tablet market is headed What Is The Future For Tablets? [You Told Us] What Is The Future For Tablets? [You Told Us] I, like many others, was unsure how strong demand would be for media tablets, the form factor that Apple spawned when it launched the original iPad in 2010. The sales figures were impressive right from... Read More — as many people are rejecting the form factor as are sticking by it — but for the time being it’s here to stay.

There’s a certain novelty factor to tablets, which invariably means that if one person in the household owns one, they’ll be continually fighting off calls to share. Not only is this annoying, it has the potential to end in a family feud if an expensive tablet gets dropped or otherwise destroyed by a younger member of the family.

The answer is, of course, to provide alternative kid friendly tablets; ones that you’re comfortable with them using to their heart’s content. What follows are five Android tablets that fit the bill. If we’re completely honest most cannot really compete with the grown-up tablets, but they’re certainly fit for purpose, and cost a lot less money to buy.

Oregon Scientific Meep!

kid friendly tablets

Specs: 7-inch Screen, 512MB RAM, 4GB Storage (Expandable to 32GB), Android 4.0

The Meep! tablet from Oregon Scientific is, on paper at least, the underpowered option of the five listed here, specifically owing to a lack of RAM. However, the annoyingly named Meep! potentially makes up for it in other ways.

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Parents can track their child’s use of Meep! from any computer or mobile device. They can also add virtual funds to the tablet which the child can then spend on apps and other content (all pre-approved, naturally) in the Meep! store. Which could help children learn about the value of money.

Price: Approx US$150

Kurio 7

kid tablets

Specs: 7-inch Screen, 1GB RAM, 4GB Storage (Expandable to 32GB), Android 4.0

The Kurio 7 is a tablet sold with the tagline, “Loved by kids, trusted by parents.” While we cannot vouch for the statement, all of the ingredients are there, with comprehensive parental controls and pre-loaded content the order of the day.

The tablet can be used with or without the protective bumper, and other child-friendly accessories are also available for the Kurio 7. This looks to be a great option for parents who need ultimate levels of control over what their kids do and see online What Steps Do You Take To Protect Your Children Online? [You Told Us] What Steps Do You Take To Protect Your Children Online? [You Told Us] As adults we often take the Internet for granted. We know it exists and we know it contains websites related to every subject that exists, no matter how niche that subject matter may be, but... Read More , with a frankly bewildering number of options in this department. These add up to suggest a suitability for younger children.

Price: Approx US$150

Toys ‘R’ Us Tabeo

kid tablets

Specs: 7-inch Screen, 1GB RAM, 4GB Storage (Expandable to 32GB), Android 4.0

The Tabeo is a tablet from Toys ‘R’ Us, which just shows how far into the mainstream the form factor has now penetrated. It comes in lurid colors with a sturdy bumper designed to protect the device if it gets dropped.

The device comes equipped with 50 apps pre-installed — which includes games, books, and educational content — and parental controls designed to always keep the child using it free from harm. Toys ‘R’ Us has also seen fit to produce a number of accessories for the Tabeo, including earbuds and folio cases/stands, giving children ample opportunity to spend their allowances.

Price: Approx US$150

Fuhu Nabi 2

kid tablets

Specs: 7-inch Screen, 1GB RAM, 8GB Storage (Expandable to 32GB), Android 4.0

The Nabi 2 is built with children in mind. It features a robust bumper to absorb shocks from falls, an integrated learning system, a task and reward system, a music library chosen for its family-friendliness, and an app store packed full of pre-approved apps.

Parents will like the wireless syncing, free cloud storage solution, and easy over-the-air updates. The kids will like having a tablet that is clearly for them and them alone, with a range of content that is guaranteed not to include anything unsuitable for youngsters. In terms of features the Nabi 2 is very much on a par with the previous tablets.

Price: Approx US$150

Google Nexus 7

kid friendly tablets

Specs: 7-inch screen, 1GB RAM, Up to 32GB Storage, Android 4.2

The Google Nexus 7 isn’t, as you’re probably already aware, a tablet made specifically for children. However, it’s highly affordable and has made the list for those seeking to purchase a solid Android tablet for an older teenager or a mature-for-their-age child.

This is the perfect choice for those who trust their children implicitly. The Nexus 7 is a grown-up tablet featuring the full Android experience. While it’s solid and sturdy, dropping it onto a hard surface isn’t likely to bring a positive result.

Price: Approx US$220

Alternatively…

Aside from the five Android tablets mentioned above, there are several other options parents looking to buy their children a tablet should explore:-

Buy A Cheap, Generic Tablet — I bought a cheap tablet for myself Why I Chose To Buy A Cheap Android Tablet [Opinion] Why I Chose To Buy A Cheap Android Tablet [Opinion] After doing a little more research than was healthy, I took the plunge and chose a tablet. One which I now own and use every day. It wasn't an iPad, or even a name-brand Android... Read More , and was very pleased with the device I got for my money. If it’s good enough for a 30-something geek, then it’s good enough for a vaguely tech-savvy 12-year-old. Parental controls are going to be lacking though.

Buy Them An Old(er) iPad — Buying your children a brand new iPad probably isn’t an option. They’re expensive devices, and they’re not exactly robust if mishandled and mistreated. But an older, pre-owned iPad may be an option. Yaara turned her old iPad into a cat toy 6 Apps That Turn Your iPad Into An Overpriced-Yet-Awesome Cat Toy 6 Apps That Turn Your iPad Into An Overpriced-Yet-Awesome Cat Toy Cats are awesome. We all agree on that. I must admit, though, that even for a cat lover like me, the idea of letting my cats play with my precious iPad seemed a bit crazy.... Read More , so the kids really shouldn’t complain.

Buy Them A Phablet Or Smartphone — A tablet may not be the best option for your offspring. It really depends what they (think) they’re going to use it for. Buying them a phablet or smartphone may be a better option as you’ll have the added peace of mind from knowing they’re always contactable.

Conclusions

Tablets can be good tools for children of all ages, helping them get used to technology and often coming equipped with educational apps 4 Wonderful Educational iPad Apps For Kids 4 Wonderful Educational iPad Apps For Kids There are wonderful educational apps out there, many of which cost $10, $20, or even more. I’m not here to say they’re not worth it – you’re going to pay much more for a textbook... Read More . They’re also good sources of new content, with games, movies, and music all able to keep the little ones occupied and, if you’re lucky, quiet for a few minutes.

Have you bought or given your children a kid friendly tablet? If so, which one did you choose and why? If not, are you planning on doing so in the future? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject in the comments section below. And we’re always keen to find out if this article proved useful to you, so, please, let us know.

Image Credit: Devon Christopher Adams

  1. Linzierkul
    September 15, 2013 at 7:27 am

    I am wanting to get a I pad for my 3 yr old son would u buy new or a refurb he is amazing on my I phone and kindle fire. Would a refurb or used one last as long as a new one ???? As they are still a lot of money any advice would be good or would a google nexus be better ??

  2. Kirby
    April 19, 2013 at 5:09 am

    If I had a kid, I think I'll buy 'em an abacus first.
    But kidding aside, I probably would buy a generic tablet then buy a jacket for it just to lessen the impact of falls.

    • Dave Parrack
      April 20, 2013 at 3:06 am

      I'm sure there's an abacus app available anyway ;)

      • Lisa Santika Onggrid
        April 23, 2013 at 2:37 pm

        By playing with real, tactile abacus, you can develop visualization. I studied abacus and mental arithmetic as a child, and now I see numbers as 'seeds' in my mind, ready to manipulate instead of abstract shapes of "1, 2, 3,...". If I have problem imagining the operation, I move my hands as if I'm using real abacus. Weird, but useful.

        • Dave Parrack
          April 28, 2013 at 2:50 pm

          I was teasing a little. Of course young kids should be taught using real, physical objects. Having said that I'm sure there is an abacus app for those who are so inclined.

    • Taha
      April 21, 2013 at 12:31 am

      I agree with Dave, as they say there's probably an app for that.

    • Kirby
      April 22, 2013 at 3:14 am

      I just wanna see the expression on their faces when they start unwrapping the tablet shaped present then realize, it's not what they expected.

      Besides, you can't go into the history of computers without mentioning this computing device right?

      • Lisa Santika Onggrid
        April 23, 2013 at 2:34 pm

        A troll parent, aren't you? Kidding aside, I actually like my abacus. Taught me how to do mental arithmetic, which is still useful till today.

        • Kirby
          April 24, 2013 at 4:48 am

          I honestly forgot how to use it already. I just enjoy the ticking and tacking sound it makes, specially with the ones made of wood.

  3. July
    April 19, 2013 at 2:19 am

    Google Nexus 7 is very good, I got an iPad, and got a Nexus for my daughter. And sometimes we exchange to use or play, have already got many iPad and Nexus tips, free apps from enolsoft blog.
    Hope can explore all the interesting things with the two devices :)

    • Dave Parrack
      April 20, 2013 at 3:06 am

      You get the best of both worlds!

  4. Garey B
    April 18, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    For the tablets lacking parental controls use opendns and your router most routers have some sort of filtering,scheduling and monitoring capabilities in conjunction with open dns is a pretty good combination that works at my own home.

    • Dave Parrack
      April 20, 2013 at 3:05 am

      Great tip! Thanks for passing it on to other readers.

  5. Corina Carrasco
    April 18, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    My three year old grandson has taken over his mommy's iPad so the plan is to let him keep it when she upgrades when the new ones are released. He also loves my Kindle Fire HD. He can work both the iPad and the Kindle and feels comfortable with both. We take my Kindle Fire with us to restaurants so that when he gets impatient, the Kindle comes out and he is entertained with a myriad of educational apps I've bought for him.

    • Dave Parrack
      April 20, 2013 at 3:04 am

      It's amazing that a three-year-old can now use what is essentially a computer. Getting him using that is a lot better than sitting him on front of the TV :)

  6. null
    April 18, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    I would like an older Ipad for my 3 year old son, but so far he plays with our very first android tablet. Just to pay more for a specially kids build tablet don't work for us...I'm sure pretty soon he going to get an "upgrade" (when mommy or daddy wants to buy newer tablets for themselves)...

    Thank you for the article :) Every time I see kids with those mini game machines I want to say: buy an android tablet! or if your parents have money - an ipad.

    • Dave Parrack
      April 20, 2013 at 3:03 am

      And I bet he's a whizz on it... touchscreens are a very natural interface. Passing on older devices when you upgrade is a very good idea.

  7. null
    April 18, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    I like Amazon kindle. It allows people to put on only what they want their children to see, be it games, movies, music.

    • Dave Parrack
      April 20, 2013 at 3:02 am

      That's a good point. Had this article have been not limited to Android tablets then the Kindle Fire would definitely have made an appearance.

  8. Alper Tütünsatar
    April 18, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    i guess buying an older ipad will be my option becouse ipad madness will be growing :)

    • Dave Parrack
      April 20, 2013 at 3:01 am

      You think iPad is the way to go? You may well be right, but the Android tablets are improving all the time.

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