What to Look for in a Kids’ Learning Tablet

A whole new take on “C is for cookies.”

A medical journal once railed against the dangerous combo of mental overstimulation and physical inactivity they believed threatened the well-being of children everywhere. The cause? Literacy and the newfangled institution peddling it (you know, schools). If that 1880s panic in the parlor sounds eerily like screen-time warnings, it should. It turns out basically all new tech—from written language to the printing press to smartphones—has made humans freak the heck out. Experts say the better tactic is to embrace technology, providing kids tools and guidance as they build tech literacy that will last a lifetime.

Shatter-Safe screen

This device comes with 20 pre-loaded apps and supports three user profiles. LeapFrog

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The first consideration when buying a tablet is how well the adult can manage access to content. Look for an option with parental controls so you can block inappropriate content and scaffold your child’s access to the internet as they grow. If you plan to take the tablet on the road, make sure the device can work without WiFi so your wee tech wizard can stream and game to their heart’s content on long car rides.

Expandable Storage

This option has a microSD slot to add memory and runs for 8 hours on a single charge. vankyo

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When you invest in tech, you want it to last. Look for a tablet with a microSD slot so you can expand the device’s storage as your child grows and begins using apps that require more space. Other nice features for long-term use are blue light blockers and flip-down stands for hands-free streaming.

Includes eBooks

The impact-resistant case covers the screen for max protection against accidents. Dragon Touch

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Of course, durability is key when it comes to kid-focused tech. Many tablets designed for younger users include impact-resistant or shatter-proof screens. (This is helpful when you step on a tablet in the dark; ask us how we know.) Look for a soft case with rounded edges. As a bonus, these chunky cases make it easier for small hands to grip the tablet.