Tablets for Children

Posted Dec 05, 2012 at 11:03 am in Threads > Smartphones & Tablets

I’m wondering what everyone thinks about tablets geared specifically for children. My 2 1/2 year old daughter loves playing games on my tablet (Galaxy Tab 2 7.0). I’m thinking about getting her her own, so that there’s less chance that she messes up mine and so that I don’t have to share! :) I was thinking that one of the tablets geared towards children might be a good idea.

Does anyone have any experience with these? Are there any that are better than others? Should I just get a second regular tablet that she uses, but that can also be used by anyone?

  • chestont

    I recommended to a young mother to get a Kindle Fire HD. The multiple user accounts, ability to limit usage per account, and simplified Android skin seemed like a great fit for her family and their young son. At $200, it’s relatively reasonable and when she’s not using it an adult can get a lot more use out of it than an Android tablet made for children. Might want to consider a case for it though.

    • Jeff Pan

      Nexus 7 has multiple user support.

    • Laurel laurel25

      There seems to be quite a bit of support for a Kindle Fire/HD. I’ll hadn’t really considered one, but I may have to look into that option.

    • overclockthesun

      As a kid the only tablet I got to play with was vitamin B Complex tablets :P . I don’t understand why kids need tablets nowadays. I would rather insist on my child playing outside. His/her body needs the vitamin D on a daily basis. Besides too much of screen viewing is bad for the eyes. Just my opinion.

      • Laurel laurel25

        We live in the country and our daughter is an outside kid – we have actually had to carry her kicking and crying into the house when it’s fully dark. If she had her way she’d probably live in our chicken coop with her ducks and her cat. So if she wants to play a couple of games on the tablet in the evening, I’m okay with that. I don’t think that kids necessarily need their own tablets/gadgets, however, I also do not always want to share with her. :)

      • crossbred900

        My sister bought her 6 year old daughter a Meep for Christmas, I haven’t played with it yet though. Also sunlight is not the most efficient way of getting vitamin D, and screen viewing has been shown to have a minimal effect on eyesight. Starring at a tablet is just as likely to cause shortsightedness as reading a book.

        • kzlife

          I disagree on that.. Staring at a screen is the same as staring at a lamp (Although most lamps shine a bit more) which causes eyestrain. When you read a book you get natural light which isn’t directly causing eyestrain.

          • crossbred900

            You’re entitled to your opinion, but my statements were based on research done by medical professionals.

          • Dradien

            Anecdotal of course, but I’ve been staring at monitors my entire life. From the Green and Amber CRTs of way back to the LCDs of today. I have nary an issue.

            That being said, getting your toddler a tablet has, as far as I’m concerned, no downsides.

            I let my two year old daughter and 5 year old son play with all my Android Phones and Tablets as long as I have had them. I’m not sure if there is a correlation here, but when my son entered Kindergarten, his Eye-Hand coordination was off the charts, and my two year old can articulate her hands very very well after using touchscreen devices for a while.

            Again, correlation doesn’t equal causation, but it’s not hurting them AFAIK. Also, the class he is in has iPads for the kids to use. I see nothing wrong with letting kids be on the bleeding edge of technology, as it’ll only help them in the future.

      • sarah

        tablets likely didn’t exist when you were a kid. so the statement is pointless. it’s like when your parents tell you they walked to school in the snow, uphill both directions, even though they lived somewhere it never snows. and was pretty flat. today’s kids will grow up in a world where technology will be vital to their future job prospects. to deny them access to technology just because you didn’t have it as a child, will make them ill-equipped to deal with tomorrow’s world. sure, playing outside is great, except when it’s too cold, or raining, or dark, or even too HOT, or we’re on a road-trip. also, they can be amazingly useful if you homeschool, like we plan to do. many homeschool curriculums are now offered online, so my child can take their schoolwork with them, without having to lug around 10 different books.

  • mbreis33

    Long term tablet android. Short term the nabi tab is pretty much kidproof making it not so easy to break. I would go with the nabi.

  • Nwemo

    I agree,The Nabi is a good option.

    • overclockthesun

      I agree with this too. Something like the Nexus 7 would be too fragile for a child to play with.

    • raj972

      My wife and I bought our daughter a nabi 2 for $129 at Walmart on black Friday. With the Tegra 3 processor inside, I believe this was a great deal.

    • Hakarune

      The Nabi is the only tablet suitable for kids. Of all android and kid tablets it’s the best. It was created from the ground up for children; the OS and rugged design.

      • Dradien

        I read that as “Created from a group of ground up children”.

        Yea, not sure what to make of that.

  • bstewart11

    The kid only tablets are generally overpriced and generally don’t have as good of specs. I agree that the Kindle is the most user friendly U/I for children and has good controls. Couple that with the recently announced FreeTime, and for a small fee you can access amazing amounts of content. That being said, any old android tablet can easily be set up for kids. I have a 2, 4, and 6 year old and they all have figured out how to find the apps and navigate the basics of the U/I. You have to remember that kids aren’t going to be using all of the features of a tablet, but you can find a cheap refurb that cost less than the kid tablets, but have decent enough specs that they won’t lag with your kids’ constant changing of apps and watching videos. My parents are bought 11 tablets for the the grandchildren, and they went with refurb Galaxy Tabs. Get a decent bumper case and a screen protector and you should be good to go.

    • bdub

      Good answer… our current solution for my 3 year old is the original Kindle Fire, previously used by my wife and it does what I need it to for the most part. I had installed AOKP on it as well and a few different kernels but none could match the batter life of the original OS, so that part sucks, still working on it.

  • sravi_in

    Please buy a kindle fire or nexus 7 with good case to protect it. I won’t recommend any kids specific tablet, as they are not worth the money.

  • chuckorc

    I too was steered towards the kindle fire. Are there any other tablets that allow multiple user accounts possibly after rooting if necessary?

    • SGB101

      Any tablet running android 4.2 .

      At the moment only the nexus 7 ,10 and the nexus4 phone, are running 4.2 out of the box. And I doubt there will be any more this side of Xmas.

      I’d personally (and did) go nexus 7 for my young one this year for a replacement to a 2nd gen iPod touch. This was for an 11 year old.

      My for year olds daily driver (lol) is a Samsung galaxy (first gen) and she uses an iPad 2 most nights before bed.

      But saying that the iPad is slowly being replaced by my note 2 , when I’m home, she just seems to love the size of the note. I think it is much lighter for her and when she is watching YouTube in bed, and nods off she regularly drops the iPad on her forehead , the note mustn’t hurt as much .

      • Laurel laurel25

        Quote: ” when she is watching YouTube in bed, and nods off she regularly drops the iPad on her forehead , the note mustn’t hurt as much .”

        I giggled out loud when I read this – I could see my daughter doing this as well!

        • greyrog

          My daughter does this with her nook too.

  • dustingraves

    I’m thinking of getting my kids (4 and almost 3) a Nabi Jr that is set to come out in December. I really like the bumper around the outside in the case of them dropping it, and it seems to be a simple interface.

  • marcus1518

    I am not sure I would get a kid a tablet until the price points drop lower….too expensive of a device for young children.

    • SGB101

      To be honest, I’d say a toddler looks after a tablet/phone better than older teens do. Well that’s the case in my house.

      My 15 year old daughter seems to break anything electrical by stretching power cables and damaging the USB sockets.

      My children’s high school is now all electric and all must have an aser one laptop, win7. The amount of children that drop , sit on and get wet (rain) is huge.

      We have to purchase the laptops, discounted from the school, every 24 months, and the school insure them for accident , damage and theft, god knows how the finances stack up.

      • Laurel laurel25

        I would have to agree. My daughter is super careful with the tablet when she’s playing with it because she knows that if she’s not, it will get taken away. She’s not allowed to carry it around and must sit with it on the couch only (so that if she drops it, it falls onto the cushions). So far, she’s been really good with it. I’m more concerned that she’ll accidentally mess up a setting or something, than that she’ll break it.

  • dino13

    What about the Archos ChildPad. I haven’t had it in my hands but it’s pricy and that is a important point, cause children tend to let stuff fall out of their hands. I wouldn’t buy anything that costs more. What kind of games plays your 2,5 years old daughter?

    • Laurel laurel25

      That Archos ChildPad is realtively inexpensive. My daughter likes to play simple games meant for toddlers and read animated books. She doesn’t need anything crazy hardware wise as she’s not playing first person shooter’s or anything.

  • marcus1518

    For toddlers you should also look at a cheap limited tablet like a Tabeo….I think it is similar to the Archos ChildPad….I think the Tabeo runs for 150

  • acidone

    Got a few Chinese tablets with RockChip 3066 dual core chip. They are ok but crash often so unless you ahve good community support or Dev Roms/Kernels yourself I wouldn’t recommended it.

    I did also get my daughter the Nabi 2, which is flipping awesome btw, and she likes it the best. If it’s in the price range or even little bit over what you really want to spend wait longer till you can afford it. Really a nice tablet.

    Else goto ebay and/or swappa and pick up a nice used kindle or something…

  • spyrog921
    • decker

      Thanks for the link. Now to find it in the hundred dollar price range.

  • thymeless

    Nexus 7 would be my recommendation

    • fratch73

      the recently announced nabi jr looks like a good cheap kidcentric tablet and it is a tegra three tab.

  • jcommaroto

    I have a one and a half year old and I just got a Nexus 7. She had played with iPhones a little (there is a great app where Elmo makes Facetime calls). The minute I showed her the Nexus 7 she was hooked. She plays Monkey Preschool Lunchbox and can already tap the fruit and it counts it for her. She is swiping and starting to get the other games too.

    I wouldn’t leave her alone with it and I limit the time. But as she gets a little older I have the feeling that tablet is going to be hers. I would really recommend the Nexus 7. Perfect size, great apps etc.

    • Laurel laurel25

      I just downloaded the Monkey Preschool Lunchbox app – it looks like exactly the type of app my daughter loves!

      My daughter (2 1/2) figured out, in less that a week with very minimal instruction, how to open the folder that contains her apps, launch the game/app she wants to use, and then get out of it and open another when she’s done with the first. It’s amazing how fast their little brains pick up on tech stuff.

  • Guitaraholic

    For the pricing range I’d go for the Fire HD or the Nexus 7 – not worth investing in the ‘kids’ tablets as they just overpriced… better spent getting a normal 7″ and downloading a couple of applications for them to play with :)

    My 6 year old plays with our HP Touchpad ( running Android 4.0.4 ) and LOVES is. Even my 3 yo plays some of the kids shapes games and ABC games – helping her learn the alphabet :)

  • greyrog

    What about a Samsung galaxy tab 2 7″ got one for my eight year old is it good for her?

    • Laurel laurel25

      That’s what I currently have and my daughter loves it. I was wondering about the childre’s tablets due to the fact that she sometimes end up in the settings menu and I don’t want her to mess everything up. A tablet like the Kindle Fire or Nexus 7 that supports multiple accounts would probably work as well as long as I could lock down what permissions her acccount has a far las accessing menus & settings.

  • lapak_zapak

    Specialized child tablet are waste of money, buy one which you like/researched and add some apps to it (like kid mode) and switch to it when kids use it

  • Trean

    My sister is considering picking up the Nabi Jr. due to its price point. It offers a combination of a kid-safe environment upon opening as well as the ability to side load Android apps for additional features not directly available. One of the primary reasons she wishes to go with child tablet is the built in edutainment factor.

    I voiced concern about the form factor. The Nabi Jr is 5″ versus the Nabi 2 is 7″. Does anyone think 5″ will seem small? It will be for a 4 year old.

    He is fairly adept at devices already as he plays with my cousin’s iPod touch or his parent’s iPhones. But as others voiced, they are constantly worrying about him venturing into the settings accidentally. And his older brothers figured out how to purchase stuff on their parent’s iPhones when they were about his age, so there is the want to separate purchasing power away as well.

  • LCowe
  • freddiefan

    This thread has given me some excellent ideas to start research into my twins 8th birthday next month. I want something kid friendly but not too pricey. The educational content on the Nabi 2 makes it a tempting option but need to check prices of Kindle fire etc and weigh up the options. Further suggestions for their age would be appreciated.

    • freddiefan

      Went with the Nexus 7 in the end.

  • Jorge Eslava

    My 6 year old has had his nabi 2 for almost 1 year and it has survived through all the torture my kid has put it through. The bumper on these tablets is pretty big so drops are not an issue at all. The Tegra 3 also handles anything you throw at it.

  • bunny

    A nabi is good not only does your child get to play games but they are educational games that will build there minds and make learning fun its child proof as far as breaking it… It can’t be broking also the nabi is good for adults it teaches you up to the age 1-40 My children has one and my youngest was reading on a second grade level and his in pre k so