If you are thinking of buying a tablet computer as a gift for a grandchild this Christmas, you will be spoilt for choice.
There are now a host of different models available specifically for kids, or it might be worth considering a tablet that is aimed at users of all ages.
1. Laugh & Learn® Smart Stages™ Tablet
These reasonably priced toys are perfect if your grandchild is between the ages of one and three, as they look enough like an authentic tablet to stop them trying to prise yours out of your hands - well, hopefully, anyway!
Offering three levels tailored to the child's developmental stage, it helps with hand-eye co-ordination and encourages learning through play, with an emphasis on the alphabet, first words, different animals, all accompanied by twinkling lights and fun sounds.
Buy a Laugh & Learn Smart Stages tablet from Amazon for £31.49
2. VTech Innotab Max
Aimed at children between the ages of three and nine, this tablet includes a camera, media player and web browser, and connects to the internet via a Wi-Fi connection. As with most tablets for kids, there are strict limits on which websites can be viewed – these limits can be adjusted as necessary in the parental controls menu.
Buy a VTech Innotab Max from Amazon for £74.99 (RRP: £99.99)
3. Amazon Fire Kid’s Edition
This is the children’s version of Amazon’s own-brand tablet, and boasts a child-friendly web browser to make sure your littlies can only access age-appropriate material online, and can't send email, access social media or take advantage of in-app purchases.
A bright protective case will keep it safe and hopefully stop it being left behind or lost and, as an extra bonus, Amazon will replace the Fire, no questions asked, if it is broken by careless youngsters within the first two years of ownership.
It features a camera, as well as access to the “Fire for Kids Unlimited” service, which offers over 5000 age-appropriate books, games, TV shows and educational apps (this is free in year one but you have to pay after that).
You can even limit screen time to certain hours of the day, or set differing controls so they're able to read at any time, but only watch 5 minutes of video every few hours.
Buy an Amazon Fire Kid's Edition from Amazon for £94.99 (RRP: £99.99)
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4. LeapFrog LeapPad 3
There are a number of LeapPad models including the Platinum and the Epic. The LeapPad 3 has been out a little longer, but this means it is easier to find decent discounts.
Like the Innotab (above) the LeapPads are generally aimed at children aged between three and nine: they offer web browsing and apps within a strictly controlled LeapFrog world, which means you can only visit a limited range of sites and can only run apps developed specifically for the LeapPad. This may or may not be a good thing depending on your point of view.
By a LeapFrog LeapPad 3 from Amazon for £79.99 (RRP: £99.99)
5. iPad Mini
For older children, the “walled garden” approach taken by junior tablets may not be ideal. The iPad Mini is one of the very best tablets and, like most of Apple’s products, its design and usability are second to none.
Buy an iPad Mini from Amazon for £250
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