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The Best Toddler Tablets Are Packed With Educational Games and Can Survive Anything

It's learning, disguised as fun and games.

Sure, you may have been content as a child with a bat and ball, but for youngsters growing up today, a toddler tablet might as well be his or her right hand. (Hell, it’s probably your child’s left hand, with the right swiping and tapping away.) Whether parents like it or not, the internet is an inescapable part of preschooler lives, and since you can’t cram that genie back in the bottle, you might as well harness these devices’ unique captivating powers. Therefore, when selecting a toddler tablet, pick one with a learning component. Lucky for you, when it comes to these learning tablets, they’ve been packed full of robust features to give children a bump in education while also including built-in tools to protect tender eyes from unsavory content. (That’s especially valuable, since remote learning, in some form or another, is a reality for most pre-k kids these days.)

When choosing a tablet for your toddler, it’s important to get one that’s age-appropriate and easy to use. A 1-year-old doesn’t need an iPad (or even internet access, for that matter). You don’t want to invest a ton of cash in something that will be thrown around in the car or go missing during a sleepover at grandma’s house, yet you want something that will survive myriad drops, falls, and kicks. Pre-installed learning games are a huge bonus. Most of all, if you get a WiFi-enabled tablet, you want a one that has parental controls, so you can monitor if they go online and which sites they see, what games they’re playing, and how much time they spend doing both of those things.

Every parent handles screen time differently and it’s worth noting that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children ages 2 to 5 have no more than one hour a day of screen time and that the hour be limited to high-quality programming. These modern preschool tablets for toddlers disguise STEM learning, reading, and even music in packages and apps that your children will love. As such, they’re a great way of imparting foundational learning by way of fun and games.

The Best Tablets for 1-Year-Olds

Another tablet in name only, this one lets kids press buttons and hear sounds and music. The camera is a pretend one, and the tablet has color, number, and shape learn modes. Kids can also create their own music, which is a pretty nifty feature.

This sweet little 'tablet' won't get your kid online, and that's a plus since kids this young don't need it. It plays 48 melodies and introduces your child to three different languages. Ironically, this tablet is actually screen-free. Kids learn about colors, shapes, and numbers. And there's no danger of the screen cracking.

The Best Tablets for 2-Year-Olds

This looks like a tablet. But wait! When kids press the buttons, they hear one of 100 plus stories. So the payoff is pretty sweet. And there's no internet connection.

For young kids who dig PBS, this tablet comes preloaded with 23 educational games and 120 video clips. You get a seven-inch screen, roughly 6.5 hours of battery life, 16GB internal storage plus a microSD slot, and, of course, parental controls. You can download apps, games, movies, music and eBooks from Google Play.

The Best Tablets for 3-Year-Olds

Amazon's line of tablets has been a favorite among cutsomers for years as an affordable alternative to an iPad. But during that time it's never stopped improving, and this latest kids version, just released, will give Apple a run for its money. Designed for kids six to 12, it features a suite of parental controls, an app store, a bevy of pre-loaded content, and an eight-inch screen protected on all sides by a rubber-like bumper. It also carries the company's 'break it, replace it' policy that literally guarantees it for life.

The just-launched kids' Pro tablet has a seven inch screen, which is great for little hands. And the Pro takes its predecessors' standout parental controls and ups the ante. This time, kids can access a digital store, but given the controls in place, can only buy something with parental permission. They can send announcements and make voice and video calls over wifi to approved contacts, using the app or an Alexa-enabled device. Plus, unlike in older models, which had a browser with hand-picked sites, this is one open but filtered, meaning anything bad isn't accessible. Also, unlike in older models, parents can add apps and content to their kid's profile. It has seven hours of battery life.

If you own a Fire tablet from Amazon, get thyself this kit. It's loaded with preschool lessons, teaching kids letter formation, numbers, phonics, and colors. Kids follow along with the app, but then get hands-on learning using the Osmo pad and the sticks and rings. For example, a cute character on the app tells kids that M is for mouse, and they create a mouse on the Osmo pad. Plus, they can play dress-up with gender-neutral characters, and a ton of other great stuff.

This Android-based tablet is pre-loaded with 20+ educational apps and creativity tools designed by LeapFrog learning experts, and gives kids access to LeapSearch, LeapFrog’s kid-friendly browser. You get a three month trial of the learning program LeapFrog Academy. The tablet has 16GB storage plus a MicroSD slot for expandable memory up to 32GB. Parents can go in and set time limits and choose which apps or websites can be used on up to three profiles. You get seven hours' of battery life.

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