One mom has finally decided to take the plunge and invest in a tablet for her kids. With so many options available, what’s the smartest choice? We turn to our community to answer the question: Which tablet or device should I buy for my kids?
A member of the Mamas Uncut Community asks:
Hi Mommas! My husband and I are at the point where we are considering getting some kind of tablet or other device for our kids. We have a 5-year-old girl and 7-year-old boy. We were initially against getting one and we try to keep our screen time down, but we also travel a fair amount and have wished we’d had something at various times. Plus, we think they’re old enough to use if we monitor (duh). So what do you recommend, electronics-wise, for games, reading, and watching things? Should have good, easy-to-use parental controls, but otherwise open to ideas!– Member of the Mamas Uncut Facebook Community
And with that, we’re off to the races! Here are several good suggestions made by the community:
Amazon Fire tablets come in a variety of editions. The Kids Edition (now on its tenth edition) is the best bet, and most come bundled with a “kid-proof” case that will protect the tablet from drops and other accidents. Otherwise, the tablet functions exactly how you’d expect: You can download games, educational programs, and movies/television. (A subscription to Amazon FreeTime comes with most Fire Kids Edition tablets.) Parental controls are easy to set up and use. Prices range depending on which edition you get, but the 7th Edition (which has a 7” display) is currently selling for $99.99.
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“My son has an Amazon tablet. It’s great! You can put a lot of controls on it and set educational goals they have to meet before they can goof off on it.”
“Amazon Fire tablets go on sale a few times a year for around $40, and they have a kids’ profile feature with a ton of parental setting options and approvals. With an $8 shock case on it, mine has survived all the toddler abuse (throwing and dropping) for the last couple of years.”
“Amazon Fire tablets 100%. i would also get the kids a rubber case for it so if it’s dropped, it won’t break.. i have them for both of my kids, and they’re great.”
“We got our kids the Kindle Fire. They are great, and you can put parental controls on it and can limit the screen. They also make a really nice foamy/rubbery case for it. Definitely helps if it gets dropped. I would make sure you get one with lots of storage on it. We ran into not having enough storage and had to constantly delete apps.”
“Kindle Fire, hands down. So many games (there are even education games if you look) and books available. Not to mention you can stream Netflix. Unfortunately, my daughter loves her YouTube on hers, but there are parental options so you can control what they do. My daughter has had her for 2.5 years, and it’s never even been in a case (and she’s rough on it). My niece and nephew have theirs in some cute kid shockproof cases.”
Then there’s Apple’s iPad and iPad Mini. Apple products tend to be more expensive, and sometimes they are more fragile to handle. (A sturdy case will help with that.) Otherwise, though, you can set up either the way you want with parental controls and other safeguards. If you’ve ever used an iPhone, you’ll know how to use an iPad, so the learning curve will be easy to master. Currently, the latest editions of these tablets retail for $398.00 (iPad, 128GB storage) and $399.00 (iPad Mini, 64GB storage).
“My kids have iPads. It has many options for parental controls and setting time limits for use. You can completely disable any type of web browsing so they can’t freely search things. You can add a parental password for things that have been blocked for their use. Love it.”
“I swear I tried all the tablets, and the iPad Mini is the easiest one to use lmfao. I can’t figure out the Fire tablets or anything else.”
“iPad here. We have it monitored and limited. Plus I have my account set up on it to where she can FaceTime Daddy. (He’s always gone at work).”
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“My daughter got an iPad for her 2nd birthday. She loves it! They make the best tablet out there. We also got a rubber kid’s case because she drops it all the time lol.”
Several community members recommend Leapfrog tablets. They have the lowest price point of the recommended tablets, which is worth considering. We like the Leapfrog LeapPad Ultimate Ready for School Tablet ($74.99). Leapfrog products lean more toward the educational side of the spectrum, so they’re a good choice if you want to lessen the risk of your kids spending too much time on non-educational games and streaming. The flip side of that is that the tablets simply don’t do as much as the aforementioned options. If you go with a Fire tablet or an iPad, you can can use those yourself when your kids aren’t to shop, be on the internet, and stream your favorite TV shows and movies. That is not something you will be able to do with a LeapPad.
So there you have it! Amazon Fire tablets received the most positive feedback from our community, with many people chiming in to remark on their price point, durability, easy-to-use parental controls, and ability to do many things. iPads also got a lot of love, but they are much more expensive. Leapfrog tablets are great for educational games (and the parental controls are superb), but they simply won’t do everything a Fire tablet or an iPad can do.
Did we miss your favorite tablet? Drop us a line and let us know!
Matt is a writer, editor, and content strategist currently based in Washington state. He has worked as a managing editor for the iconic I Can Has Cheezburger, Celebuzz (a SpinMedia site), and now Mamas Uncut. He also acted as the Social Media Director for CafeMom.
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