No doubt about it, tablets are changing the way today’s kids learn at home and at school. Many children are learning to operate tablets before they can even talk! Schools use tablets instead of textbooks and educational apps to reinforce lessons. With an increasing number of tablets for children coming on the market, how can parents know which one is right for their child? You will want to consider the following factors as you shop around for a kid-friendly tablet.
Important features to consider for a child’s tablet:
Durability. You want a tablet that will last your child for at least a few years. Kids can be rough on tablets, so look for durable, kid-proof options.
Price. How much money do you want to spend on your child’s tablet? It’s easy to get carried away comparing tablets and features. Set a budget and stick to it, even if it means sacrificing a few features.
Parental Controls. Internet safety is important. Parents should always monitor their child’s online activity. Some tablets have built-in features to help you do things such as filter which sites your child can view online and set time limits. If not, you can set parental controls through a third party app.
Size. A child’s tablet should be easy for them to use and carry. Look for tablets in the 5- to 7-inch screen size range. Personally, I think a 7-inch tablet is perfect for my kids. *Remember that a protective case (a must-have for kid tablets!) will add size and bulk to their tablet.
Operating System. Most tablets use Apple’s iOS (the Apple iPad), Google’s Android, Amazon’s Fire (which is based on Android, but is limited to Amazon’s Kindle Fire apps), or Microsoft’s Windows 8.1. The operating system you choose will determine the types of programs and apps your tablet can run.
You may want to choose a tablet that uses the same Operating System as your child’s school system. This makes it possible for your child to use the same apps and programs at home and school.
Screen Resolution. Be aware that some kid tablets have a lower quality screen resolution than adult tablets. Personally, I would shoot for at least a 1024 x 600 Resolution. My kids are used to higher quality tablets (they use mine!) and would definitely notice if their screen resolution was not good.
Battery Life. Look for a tablet with at least 8 hours of continuous battery life, especially if you want your child to use it as entertainment during travel. My kids use a tablet to play games, watch movies, and read books on long road trips. A built-in rechargeable battery with a long life is very useful.
WiFi Capability/Internet. I consider WiFi a must-have feature on any tablet. It’s too much of a hassle to plug in a tablet every time we want to download apps and books, stream music/TV/movies, text, email and anything else that requires an Internet connection. If you do go for a WiFi-enabled tablet, remember to use Parental Controls for a safer internet experience.
Camera. A camera is not exactly a must-have kids tablet feature, BUT it is one of my children’s favorite features on any tablet. They love to take and edit photos, as well as use the Webcam. Picking a tablet with a camera or not is up to your discretion. If photo quality is important, you will need to compare individual tablets to see which ones have the higher megapixel cameras.
Storage. The amount of storage on your child’s device is another personal preference that depends on the way your child plans to use the tablet. Kids tablets are all over the board with the amount of internal storage they offer. You’ll have to compare individual tablets to see which ones offer the most.
These are the features I consider when it comes to buying a tablet for my own children. Once I have narrowed down my choices a bit, I read kids tablet reviews for the top contenders on my list. I highly recommend reading reviews and asking around to see what actual consumers have to say about a particular tablet. See if there is a pattern to the Pro’s and Con’s of the tablet – don’t just take one reviewer’s word for it.
A tablet can be an excellent educational tool for kids of all ages. Find the one that best suits your child’s needs and go for it!
Does your child have a tablet? What are your favorite features in a tablet for kids?
I am a Verizon Lifestyle Blogger and work with an awesome team of #VZWBuzz Influencers. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own. Be sure to join the #VZWBuzz Twitter chats every Friday for fun talk and tech! This blog post may contain affiliate links.