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What's the right age to get my kid a tablet?

Tablets are a cinch to use and super portable, and they run a huge array of apps that engage kids' minds -- and sometimes their bodies -- in a variety of ways. Studies show that kids can learn from apps, and exposure to digital tools such as tablets and computers can provide a helpful boost, especially for kids with fewer overall resources. But so long as kids have some exposure to the digital world and a variety of learning opportunities in their lives, they don't need tablets.

Consider why you want to get the device. Is it to get them prepped for school? Is it to keep them entertained? Is it to let them practice their academic skills? Tablets can do all these things -- but they can't do them alone. Choosing quality apps geared toward your kids' ages, setting realistic expectations, and supporting your kids' learning both on -- and off -- the device are key.

A wide variety of tablets is on the market, including ones specifically made for young children. Things to look for include cost, ease of use, the variety and price of available apps, and longevity. You'll want something that, as much as possible, can grow a few years with your child.

Choosing and downloading apps is the fun part. Read reviews and watch demos, if they're available. Note how the apps engage your child. The interaction that tablets and well-designed apps offer kids -- including the ability to discover new things, follow their interests, satisfy their curiosity, and be rewarded for effort -- is what helps kids learn.

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Comments

Adult written by Portugal1

If your kid watches limited TV at 3 years old , there is nothing wrong about giving him a tablet during those screen time . The importance is not where TV is watched but how long the child gets screen time . I don’t know why a tablet should be given only at 10 years old for if parents let the kid watch TV since he is 3 ! I think it is even more convenient to handle screen time on a tablet . If you allow your toddler to watch Daniel Tiger’s before his nap (for example ), there is nothing wrong to give him the tablet and when it is done , you take it back . You are the parents and the ones managing the device . TV or Tablet do not make a difference from the moment you are the one keeping the tablet with you
Teen, 14 years old written by The Furry

I got mine at age 9, and a phone at 12. I’m seeing some replies from other kids that seem kinda crazy to me. I think that kids need to develop outside interests, friends, and some maturity before they’re given a device of their own.
Kid, 10 years old

I believe it's okay to get a tablet at age 4. You can set parental controls, and a kid should be happy with the apps they have.
Adult written by bamboozled365

i think ages go: iPad- age 8 family game console (shared not in bedroom)- age 6 phone- age 10/11 laptop- age 9-13(or when needed for school) its useful for homework but i never had a computer so this was next best thing) laptop is only really needed age 16+ for sixth form or gcses
Adult written by bamboozled365

I got one age 7 a cheap Chinese random company one that basically just did temple run and candy crush. Most of my class also had an ipad at this time. my brother however didn't get one until he was 10 I feel sorry for him because this is the time other kids were getting phones and he was often left out. I only got an iPad by chance as I won it in a pot luck. it only lasted a year and for my 8th birthday i got an LG tablet which is bad but is now only use for youtube and is 5 years old
Adult written by kate_myles1

Kids should get a tablet at 9 years old. I think this because children younger will get very agitated if their parent/s tries to take the tablet away, and can sometimes throw tantrums. If you do want to get a young child a tablet, a Fire for Kids is a great starter.
Kid, 11 years old

My 4 yo brother has a tablet and a phone but Im only aloud to have my school chromebook and im in 6th grade! My mom said I cannt get a phone or tablet when im 21 And i have enough money and good grades
Kid, 10 years old

Sad. I had a tablet when I was 4 and it got taken away when I was 8. Now I have a laptop, tho, so.....yeah
Teen, 14 years old written by Poodonkus913

I think there's no reason to get a tablet for your young one. Giving them that kind of content on the go will end up being more annoying than you might think. If I were in this situation I'd just let my child use a computer at home if they want to use the internet. If you think they're ready for something like a phone, though, maybe 10 or older before they have their hands on one.
Kid, 11 years old

Probably 6-7 because they should entertain themselves on plane or car rides or watch whatever little kid show just use parental control and get a cheap one in case they spill
Adult written by Aidanwade223

Kids shouldn’t get tablets until their 10 years old. They constantly view content that they’r not allowed to use, they’re not careful with them, they will probably put viruses on them, fight over it, spend too much time, and the blue light will cause some problems like sleeping habits. Kids should have no electronics at all until they’re 10 or they can play a device under adult supervision. I suggest to always use restrictions. When they’re young, get them a cheap tablet like a $50 Amazon Fire tablet. Don’t get them an expensive $800 iPad Pro.
Teen, 17 years old written by Thermalimploder

I would say not to get them one but to get a family one/ that isn't just theres. about age 6-8 would be good but with restrictions of course because it is a family one you can have select amounts of time all family members have on it. but it is god to learn how to use tech at a young age!
Parent written by Shannon P.

Given that Steve Jobs, who invented the iPad, did not permit his kids to use them or have one in the house, and sent his kids to a Waldorf (non-technology) school, that might answer your question.
Teen, 15 years old written by DhruvBalaji

There is no way little kids that young need tablets. I never got a tablet until I entered middle school. Get them a toy. And I can bet that they will develop nasty attitudes at an early age should they have a tablet. Wait until they are 7 or 8.
Teen, 17 years old written by Zane 1

Does a kid need tech that soon guys? Come on! I was out raking and mowing the lawn for fun. Look I didn't get a tablet until two years ago, and I still don't use it. If your kid has tech sooner, then they are probably gonna find out how to see porn on it sooner. See how I used a fa lacy there. Did it work? I hope so. Also ipads and android tablets all suck. Get them a laptop, much more useful.
Parent of a 12-year-old written by Jack L.

No they should get android they are cheaper and better. I think around age 6 should be appropriate
Teen, 14 years old written by Umnothing

Samsung Tablets can do everything that Apple products do, the only thing that sets them apart is the price. Both brands have different weakneses and strengths, but if you're not looking for anything too pricey, but can still support plenty of games, Samsung is the best choice by far. There are also better Child Filter choices on Samsung, because you can set a passcode and in some cases, timers on certain apps.
Kid, 10 years old

5+ for kids tablets (Nabi, Kurio) and 10+ for regular tablets (Samsung Galaxy, Nook.) 13+ for Apple products. Apple products are very expensive for kids.
Kid, 11 years old

I agree. Also, limit the kids screen time to 2-3 hours a day and incourage them to go outside instead. Make them ask before using, and refuse sometimes.
Parent written by gamerdad711

I would say 8 or up for a regular tablet an 4 and up for a kid tablet you might want to put safety mode on youtube for regular tablets