You may be weighing the options in new tablet designs as you consider the best tablets for tweens and teens. Some of the kid-friendly tablets are really attractive as companies include protective cases in the device construction. After all, kids can be tough on electronics, and as an adult, I’ve had plenty of close calls with my own tech gadgets. However, you will want to consider a few things before you buy that kid tablet for your preteen. As a mom of kids ranging from preteen to adult, I realize that what works today may not be so great next year, and as a former teacher of middle schoolers, I definitely know that there will be a constant swinging of the pendulum in taste and trend as your preteen transitions. Think about your preteen tablet as an investment that should provide several years of use.
Kid Tablets with Extended Guarantees
Amazon has introduced its kid-friendly version of the Kindle Fire HD 7 this year with cool protective housing in hip colors. The two-year replacement plan is included with a no-questions-asked policy. This is fantastic for ensuring that if something goes amiss, you can get a new device without difficulty. I love that option. As a mom of tweens, I know that they can be just as accident prone as my younger preteens. However, the cutesy cases are probably not going to go over well with an almost teen boy. My 9-year-old daughter would love a colorful and fun case, and I can see her still enjoying such a device in a couple of years. My 10-year-old son would be much less enthusiastic about it.
You know your child best, and if you think that the cutesy aspect is a little too childish for your tween, you might want to consider the Kindle Fire HD 6 and a protection plan. At $99 for this tween tablet and a protection plan at $24.99, the pricing is just as reasonable. You also have the cool case colors without the cutesy appearance. The 7-inch Fire is a good tablet for tweens as well, priced about $40 more than the 6-inch version. We use a 6-inch Fire HD, and the kids love it and handle it well. Sizing is great, not too hard on the eyes. The construction is sturdy, making it a great choice that can transition with your preteen as he or she moves through the physiological, emotional, and cognitive changes of these tween years.
iPad Mini is a Great Tween Tablet
iPad Mini is an excellent tablet for teens, tweens, pre-teens and younger kids. Apple’s interface is so easy that toddlers can deal with it…mine have understood the iPhone since they were little tots, and strict lines had to be drawn so that my phone could be a phone and not their toy. My niece totes her iPad everywhere. As a 9-year-old in the preteen stage, she uses a protective case that is very sturdy, and she is constantly making movies of her visits with relatives and her other activities. The biggest challenge with Apple tablets for tweens tends to be cost, making this more prohibitive if your budget is tight. However, the latest releases tend to drive down the prices of earlier generations, and there is no reason that your preteen can’t enjoy an older version of the Apple tablet computers. The mini is very manageable for its size, perhaps making it less likely to go through the bumps and drops that a more awkward larger screen tablet might cause. Regardless, invest in good protective gear, and consider a solid protection plan.
Android Tablets for Tweens
You may find numerous sales, especially through the holiday season, on Android tablets. Some of these are the cheapest preteen tablets of the year, but familiarity may be the key. If you aren’t familiar with Android app stores and operations, you might want to spend a bit of time getting familiar before you choose that cheap tablet for a tween. Frustration in getting a device up and running could make for a rough holiday morning. Nevertheless, Black Friday sales for 2014 are showing tablets under $50, excellent from a pricing standpoint for the family on a strict budget.
For more on buying the right tablet for your teen or tween, read here.