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Tablets can be great educational tools and, of course, entertainment devices for kids. They can also be great for staying in touch with relatives who live far away! My little nephew regularly Skypes with family in Argentina, Connecticut, North Carolina, and Rhode Island on my sister’s iPad. As his 2nd birthday approaches, I was thinking how, in only a couple years, my sister and brother-in-law will most likely be considering which tablet will be appropriate for him to use on his own. I started researching Amazon’s best-selling lists and websites like PCMAG.com and Consumer Reports to see what the best options are and compiled a list of the best-selling and best-reviewed tablets for children.

Not all supposedly “best-selling tablets” make great devices for children. For example, the iPad Mini is on many “tablets for kids” lists because of its small size but doesn’t seem like the best decision to me. With a price tag of over $300, dropping this tablet could be an expensive lesson to learn not to mention there are limited parental controls on this device.  Another example is the Fuhu NABI, a tablet designed just for kids that seems perfect on the surface,  but when you look further, its reviews tell a much different story. On Amazon alone, there are 414 customer reviews. Out of that number, 149 are 5 star reviews and an astounding 134 are 1 star reviews! One reviewer writes: “Zero customer support. Awful functionality. There is no way in the world I would EVER purchase another one. I can’t say enough negative about it.” Yikes!

So…on to the good stuff. Here are 9 kid-friendly tablets with links for you to check them out for yourselves on Amazon.

1. LeapFrog LeapPad2 Explorer Kids’ Learning Tablet ($82.99) View on Amazon.com
WHAT TO KNOW: This tablet is designed specifically for kids ages 3-9.  It has front and back cameras, can record videos, and comes with 5 apps included. Kids can learn about reading, art, music, language and culture, science, geography, mathematics, health and more on this device!

2. VTech – MobiGo Touch Learning System ($34.99) View on Amazon.com
WHAT TO KNOW: This one isn’t quite a tablet but, for its price, it’s a great choice for a first tech-learning device for kids. Designed for kids ages 3-7, the MobiGo “encourages the development of important dexterity-based skills by shifting between touch-based games and keyboard-based games, and it promotes the development of skills related to problem solving, spelling and grammar, observation, and mathematics.”

3. VTech InnoTab 3 The Learning App Tablet ($70) View on Amazon.com
WHAT TO KNOW: The InnoTab 3 is more compact and lightweight than its predecessors, making it a perfect choice for little hands. The tablet, designed for kids 3-9, comes equipped with 15 apps (more available for purchase), an interactive e-reader, and a camera with over 55 special effects!

4. Noria Jr. Android Jellybean Tablet (sale: $78.95) View on Amazon.com
WHAT TO KNOW: If you’re looking for an inexpensive tablet for an older child who may have already outgrown her “kids” device, this could be the one for you. Several reviewers on Amazon raved about it for their tweens, but please make sure to supervise- this tablet doesn’t have parental control settings. Tablet comes pre loaded with Google Play Store, Chrome, Netflix, Skype and other important apps.

5. LeapFrog LeapPad Ultra Kids’ Learning Tablet ($149) View on Amazon.com
WHAT TO KNOW: This tablet is designed for children ages 4-9 and is, in their own words, “durable and drop-tested”! It comes with 11 pre-installed apps and works with LeapFrog’s library of 800+ apps, games, eBooks, videos, music and more. The device has front and back cameras, a 9 hour-rechargable battery, and, unlike the LeapPad 2, this device can connect via Wi-Fi to kid-friendly sites!

6. AGPtek® Kids Tablet ($106.99) View on Amazon.com
WHAT TO KNOW: I love that this tablet has a bumper making it safe to drop! It comes with pre-installed educational apps for child to learn letters, words, numbers and has parental control settings to set time limits, manage content, and apps.

7. Kindle Fire HD ($139) View on Amazon.com
WHAT TO KNOW: This Kindle Fire is worth every penny of its affordable pricetag.  It’s an excellent tablet to purchase if you are looking for a device to share with your children. It has everything parents want in a tablet while giving you complete control over what your kids can use. Parents can set daily time limits for video and games while allowing unlimited reading time and “can create a profile for each of their children and choose what books, apps, games, and videos they want to give their kids access to.”

8. Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids Edition ($199) View on Amazon.com
WHAT TO KNOW:  This tablet has so many things to love:  a drop and spill-proof case; pre-loaded kids apps with more available through Samsung’s Kids’ Store;  parental controls for managing access and time-limits; and a “standard mode” setting that offers features of regular Galaxy Tab 3 for adults!

9. Kindle Fire HDX Tablet ($229) View on Amazon.com
WHAT TO KNOW: The Kindle Fire HDX has all the fantastic parental control settings and educational content as the Kindle Fire HD with several key differences that make it, in my opinion, the ultimate sharing tablet for parents and kids. A few differences: the HDX has a camera, 4G model available, and the new “Mayday” button to help you with anything you need. Since the price tag for this model is around $200, make sure to purchase a durable cover to protect your device like the Kiddie Case by Fintie that is shock-proof and has a handle!

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