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Play-Doh Touch Shape To Life Studio Review: Should You Buy This For Your Kid?

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When we were kids, how many times did we make something out of Play-Doh? A dog, a person, a misshapen monster that eats dogs and people, and wish we could bring it to life? Now, with the Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio, you can do exactly that. Minus the eating dogs and people part.

Designed with young children in mind the Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio is simple to use, simple to play, and will amuse the heck out of your little one for hours at a time. If you want your kids to do more than stare at a screen, the Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio will encourage them to pick up their Play-Doh to experiment with all kinds of wacky creatures to see what they'll look like walking around. And that's what Play-Doh is all about, after all!

A Brief History of Play-Doh

Originally created before World War II, Play-Doh wasn't even intended to be a toy. The putty was, I kid you not, a cleaning tool designed by Noah McVicker of Kutol Products. Way back in ye olden years, houses were heated with coal and coal is filthy. It left a residue all over the place and the putty was meant to remove it from wallpaper in lieu of soap and water which would damage the wallpaper (it was actually paper back then). After WWII, coal fell by the wayside as a heating source and wallpaper became a lot tougher. Kutol was on the verge of bankruptcy.

McVicker's nephew, Joe McVicker was the brother-in-law of a teacher, Kay Zufall, who had read about the cleaner being used for art projects. She hunted a can of the now-discontinued putty down and let her students have at it. They went nuts and she convinced the McVickers to start selling the stuff as a toy in 1956. It was already non-toxic so it was perfect. Zufall and her husband came up with the name "Play-Doh" after the McVickers came up with the dreadful "Rainbow Modeling Compound". Some things just need a teacher's touch.

Half a century and over two billion (with a "B") cans of Play-Doh later, kids can finally bring their creations to life with the excellent Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio!

kid playing with the Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio

The Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio

The Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio is actually two different things working in conjunction. There's the physical, real-world studio and then there's the app. Combined, they allow your kiddo to create a whole bunch of different shapes and characters to scan into the app and bring to life. Technically, you don't need the studio, but some of the molds are specifically designed to do stuff in the app that homemade characters can't.

The studio

With a Manufactured Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $24.99, the physical component of the Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio is a decent buy. Containing an assortment of five character molds, five action molds (we'll get to that), 15 cutters, four shaping tools, and seven cans of Play-Doh, the set itself it a pretty good collection of Play-Doh fun by itself. It also comes with a white circular platform to put your creations on. That's the "studio" part of Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio because the app requires a white background. This is so it can properly scan whatever your child creates.

You're not limited to using the molds and cutters provided but the app has special effects assigned to those particular shapes. So while you can skip the studio, you won't get the full use of the app. Also, buying the studio with the characters molds allows you to unlock 5 additional worlds inside the game. That gives you a lot more room to explore and play. You can buy each additional world with an in-app purchase of $1.99 each but for an additional $14.99 you get all of the worlds, the Play-Doh, and all of the molds not to mention the studio platform. If you're going to open up the full game, you might as well get the full real-world package with it.

The app

The Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio app is simple and fairly intuitive. It's also glossy and easy on the eyes. It loads quickly, and the video capture is excellent. The tutorial is also simple, easy to understand, and comes with helpful short videos.

Gameplay is likewise simple. It is, after all, meant for young children. You are on an island ring and you go around it collecting little floating colored beads. You also unlock Play-Doh cans which have a variety of effects. These range from changing part of the island to look like your character to popping out duplicates that follow you around to shooting you through the air. Some allow you to scan in a new character. Also, special stones allow you to scan in one of the characters made with the character molds to open up one of five different worlds to explore.

As you decorate your island to your tastes, it persists after you leave. The app allows you to save three different islands. Up to three children can have their own unique world, or one child can experiment with three different looks. Even after you pick a look for one piece of the island, you can always redo it with something new. The possibilities are endless.

The app itself is free so if you want to want to try it out to see if your kid enjoys it before splurging on the extra features, you absolutely can. If they spend a few days ooohing and aaaahing over it, you know you have a winner. At that point, buying the full Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio will definitely be in order.

Overall, we give this product a rating of 


  • Decent buy
  • It's perfect for little kids who want to stare at a screen, but can be interactive as well.
  • Very simple to set up and play.
  • The graphics are sharp enough that a large screen isn't necessary.
  • Portable
  • Game is infinitely expandable.


  • The island is small, giving only a limited amount of exploring you can do.
  • A second drawback is the limited number of character and action molds. 
  • While it's cool to make your character float or play music, there's just not enough action molds.

The Competition

There really isn't any competition. The closest thing to the Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio is Lego Fusion. And, honestly, it's not even really that close. First, it's for older kids. Second, it takes your creation and puts it into an existing game that doesn't really need your creation at all. It's not that the games aren't fun and educational (Lego video games usually are), it's just that the physical Lego brick part feels shoehorned in as a gimmick. Third, there are limits to what you can scan in. The Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio will let you scan in any damn thing you want as long as it's not white. I literally scanned a rock my daughter painted for me for Father's Day. The Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio app put eyes and a mouth on it. I couldn't stop laughing watching it floating around my island.

Fourth, Lego Fusion is discontinued. You can still find it but they ain't makin' any more. /There are other programs with Augmented Reality that are extremely limited. Others also let you create your own movies with stop-motion video. But as far as I can tell, there's nothing that lets you scan in your own creation and then animates it for you. Even if it's for little kids, Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio appears to have the playing field to itself.

Should You Buy it?

If you have a child around five that likes Play-Doh, then you should buy the Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio. It will feed their need to stare at pixels but also encourage them to interact with it as well as pick up the Play-Doh and get creative. And the best part is that you can literally try it before you buy it. Give it a test run with just the free app and if your kid is shrieking in delight, go out and pick up the full set.

Worse thing that happens, your kids don't like the app, and you pass. The best thing that happens, they spend weeks creating a new and interesting creature with Play-Doh and making them fly and jump and sing. You know, everything we wish our Play-Doh creations could do when we were kids.

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6 Best Tablets for Kids For Education And Entertainment – 2018

Picking the best tablets for kids is not an easy decision to make. We want children not to spend too much of their time looking at screens. They should spend their free time catching frogs and building tree houses, right? But we opened Pandora's Box, and technology is here to stay. Sometimes you just want to have handed them a toy and have some peace.

As far as toys go, you will have a hard time finding something more exciting than a tablet. Tablets are great tools for education, creative expression, and plain old fun.

What makes the Best Tablet for Kids?

The best tablet for you kid will depend on your child's age. A 9-year-old will want to have some completely different than your 4-year-old. Between brands like LeapFrog and Kurio, there are tablets specifically designed for a very young age-group. The software is designed to be both fun and engaging with little technological experience. Their tablets are also very sturdy. Something too fragile might break in the hands of child-like carelessness, and your potentially expensive gift will be for not. There used to be more of these age-appropriate tablets, but companies like Samsung have discontinued their kid-specific product line.

When your kids are older, they begin to move into traditional tablet territory. Most likely they will have already gotten to play around with the "real-thing" anyways. Luckily all major brands include a plethora of parental control options in their products. So you and your kid can make use of the extensive software catalog of the major brands, without running the risk of overwhelming them with a product that is too adult. And should you kid be a bit clumsy, you can always by a protective case or cover.

With that in mind, we also made sure to take into accounts the tablet's price. Buying the most expensive piece of electronics surely is the best tablet for a kid, but is most likely not what you want for a realistic value.

Price Range

There are tablets in almost every price range. You can find them as cheap as $50 and as expensive as $750. It all depends on the brand and its features.

adorable girl with an ipad

Our Picks for the Best Tablets for Kids

The following six tablets are our picks for the best tablets for kids.

​Apple iPad (2018)

Apple 9.7" iPad (Early 2018, 32GB, Wi-Fi Only, Space Gray)...
  • 9. 7" Multi-touch Retina Display 2048 x 1536 Screen Resolution (264 ppi)
  • Apple A10 Fusion SoC & M10 Coprocessor 802. 11AC Wi-Fi | Bluetooth 4. 2
  • Front 1. 2MP FaceTime HD Camera Rear 8MP Camera

There is no better place to start than an Apple iPad. In many ways the benchmark for tablets. Chances are you either already own one, or know someone who does.

While all iPads are potentially the best tablet for kids ten and older, the newest one called merely iPad comes at a comparatively affordable price. The iPad is good at a little bit of everything, meaning it is a blank canvas for whoever uses it. As such, having the most extensive library of apps at its disposal, you can install a wide variety of educational and fun programs. This makes it also very versatile in covering a broad age-range, though we would not recommend it for a toddler. And being the first iPad compatible with Apple Pencil, outside the expensive iPad Pro, the possibilities for digital writing and drawing surpass the competition.

Except for the slightly less sturdy build quality, there is very little to complain. However, even that issue can be helped thanks to child-proof iPad cases. The parental-control options are not as robust as with some other devices. But you can still restrict web-browsers, music, videos, and apps to only work with the appropriate age levels. Apple's continued dedication to education also means that the iPad can become a good companion for homework. As such the iPad, regardless of model purchased, is a tablet that your child won't abandon as they grow older.




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​Amazon Fire 7

Fire Tablet with Alexa, 7" Display, 8 GB, Black - with Special Offers...
  • Beautiful 7" IPS display and 1.3 GHz quad-core processor. Available in four colors.
  • Now with the Alexa cloud-based voice service - just press and ask
  • Enjoy millions of movies, TV shows, songs, Kindle e-books, apps and games

The first of Amazon's Fire tablets on this list is the Amazon Fire 7, and some people consider it the best tablet for kids five and older. Primarily known as the first choice for online shopping, Amazon started to branch out, first with the Kindle and later its Fire tablets. The Fire 7 is the budget model, and should you not want to break the bank with your kid's first tablet, a great candidate.

As with all Fire Tablets, you will get the most use out the devices if you already bought into the Amazon Prime ecosystem. This allows the tablets to be ideal media streaming devices. With the endless hours of music, and the countless kid's shows and movies, there is plenty of entertainment to be had just from that. It gives your kids some autonomy in watching their series and allowing you to have your television when you need it. Luckily, the Fire 7 comes with a great selection of parental control options. You can take active control is what your kid is allowed to watch, and how long they are allowed to use the device.

The selection of apps might not be as strong as the iPad or any Android device, but with FreeTime Unlimited you can have access to a wealth of apps, books and games for your kids to enjoy. As it is a fixed fee, you will not run the risk of any accidental purchases made by unsuspecting children. The processor and camera are on the weaker side, but the Fire 7 also includes Alexa voice control support.




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​Amazon Fire HD10 (Kids Edition)

Fire HD 10 Kids Edition Tablet, 10.1" 1080p Full HD Display, 32 GB,...
  • Up to $99 in savings on Fire HD 10 tablet, 1 year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, and a Kid-Proof Case, versus items...
  • Not a toy, a full-featured Fire HD 10 tablet with a brilliant 10.1" 1080p Full HD display (1920 x 1200), 32 GB internal...
  • The included 1 year of FreeTime Unlimited gives your kids access to over 20,000 popular apps and games, videos, books,...

The next device on our best tablet for kids list is another Amazon product. Should you be a fan of the Amazon Prime ecosystem, but you want to have a more solid device than the Fire 7, the Amazon Fire HD10 is the choice for you if you have kids five and older. Much like the previous model it has all the same Amazon strengths. This tablet has a wide selection of music, TV shows and movies, great parental control options, and the FreeTime Unlimited subscription. But all of them comes packed in a device that is offers a sharper and bigger display, better audio, and better hardware all around.

And the Fire HD10 is available as a normal and as a kids edition. The later comes packed with a rubbery protective case, a year's worth of FreeTime Unlimited, and a couple of out-of-the-box age-appropriate settings. The kids' edition does come at a slightly higher price, but ensure that your kid can get the most of it right away. And with the ability to set up multiple profiles, the HD10 works excellently as a family device. You can have all the great educational and age-appropriate entertainment for your kid while keeping adult content separately.

Unfortunately, like all Amazon devices, the Fire HD10 does not have access to Google apps. That can limit its uses as a productivity device and hence is less useful as a tablet for school.




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​Asus ZenPad S 8.0

ASUS ZenPad S8 8" (2048x1536) 32GB Black Tablet - Z580C-B1-BK
  • 8" IPS Display (2048 x 1536) with ASUS TruVivid technology for better visual experience
  • Intel Atom Z3530 Quad-Core, 64bit, 1.3GHz
  • 2GB RAM, 32GB Onboard Storage

Much like the iPad, the Asus ZenPad S 8.0 is a premium tablet for kids ten and older. With its 8-inch screen and sleek design, it even looks very similar to its Apple competitor. Should you be looking for a premium device for your kid, you may consider this Asus device the best tablet for kids. With hardware specs that come close to the laptop, the only thing limiting the uses of the ZenPad is your imagination. That is partly because the operating system is Google's Android.

Android has the second most extensive selection of apps on the market. Because of this, the ZenPad is another one of those digital blank canvases that lends itself to exceptional flexibility. You can run a great variety of games and media streaming options, while also able to select one of the many educational opportunities. The ZenPad is a great companion for school. It also has more parental control options than its Apple competitor

Unfortunately, it does not have the best battery life, reducing mobility away from power plugs. Additionally, the ZenPad comes preloaded with a lot of bloatware. As such, ideally, you have to spend a few minutes getting rid of unneeded software before handing it to your kid. Regardless, it is a sturdy, high-qualit1wGy device that will be able to handle anything your child can throw at it.




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​Kurio Tab Advance

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Unlike the other tablets on this list so far, the Kuro Tab Advance is explicitly designed to be used by children three to six years old. There is no need to take proactive measure for child security and filtering adult content, as it is designed from the ground up with this in mind.

The kid-friendly design starts with the build. Coming with colorful shell parents won't have to worry about clumsy fingers dropping expensive technology. Its bumper also adds a comfortable grip to handle the 7-inch screen and 189.2 x 107.6 x 9.15mm dimensions. The weight is also light enough to allow tiny hands to use it for longer than a couple of minutes before getting tired. This tablet's camera is below average, but functional enough for kids to have their first steps in photography.

The real strength, and why some parents think it is the best tablet for kids, is in Kurio's software. Not only does it have a very kid-friendly design, but it also allows parents to apply many control options. Blocking specific apps and setting durations for use. There is even a dedicated store for kid-friendly apps, with a right mix of educational and entertainment opportunities. Even more, there is a browser function with a neat filter to ensure you can block adult content. Kurio Premium Content regularly adds STEM relevant content for a constant stream of highly educational fun. The service does cost extra but is worth checking out.




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​LeapFrog LeapPad Platinum

LeapFrog Mr. Pencil's Scribble and Write (Frustration Free Packaging),...
  • Explore six activities that introduce writing, drawing and spelling with the help of Mr. Pencil
  • Write numbers, shapes, uppercase letters and lowercase letters step-by-step
  • Use the stylus on the touch screen to trace each step while getting instant feedback from Mr. Pencil, or get creative...

LeapFrog is one of the better-known companies in the kid tablet market. This experience shows as the LeapPad is the most robust and sturdy tablet tested. This doesn't mean you should throw the device from the top of a building. But as far as children playing goes, there is little chance a 4-year-old will break it. The camera is, again, below average but functional for kids to have some fun taking pictures

The LeapPad comes preloaded with a ton of apps from LeapFrogs store. Consequently, once you have gone through the hours of fun, the same stores offers a variety of kid-friendly content. That is necessary because it does not have access to any other store. This does severely limit the number of apps available but ensures that everything you actually can download is appropriate. As expected for a kids-tablet, it also comes with parental control options. Overall this device is considered by many parents as the best tablet for kids ages three to six.




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Our Verdict: The Best Tablet for Kids

A tablet is an excellent investment for a child. For once, it gives them a comfortable entry point into the world of technology. Likewise, the educational opportunities a tablet provides are innumerable. The interactivity allows them to engage with all kinds of topics, be it STEM or language skills, in a playful environment. A tablet is more than just an expensive toy.

Before you decide on a purchase, the number one thing to consider is your child's age. The tablets listed below are our recommendations for the best tablet for kids in each age range.

Age 3-6: LeapFrog LeapPad Platinum

This LeapFrog tablet could be considered the best tablet for kids in this age range. It offers everything you could want for a small child. Its sturdy enough to not break easily. It has a great selection of apps to keep your kid entertained. All while offering unrivaled parental control and an affordable price.

Age 7-10: Amazon Fire 7

If your child is 7-10 years old, the Amazon Fire 7 is the best tablet for kids. Yes, it Amazon Prime is almost required with this tablet, though there is a lot of value in a subscription for the whole family. And for the price-point, you won't find anything better. It is a good and painless investment to start your kid off with a solid piece of technology. A variety of apps offer lots to enjoy, and the Fire for Kids app enables parental control options.

Age 10 and Older: Apple iPad

Finally, if you have a child 10 or older, the iPad is the best tablet for kids. The best argument for the iPad, however, is its flexibility. It is a product designed to work for everyone. A such it is a tool for creative professionals, educators, everyday adults, and kids who want to have fun. Especially if your kid is a little older already, the iPad can transition smoothly into any changing needs.


Amazon Fire HD 10: It’s Cheap, But Is It Good? What You Need To Know

Amazon Fire HD 10

The Amazon Fire HD 10 is a great alternative if you don't want to shell out the money for an iPad. Let's face it: Apple's devices have dominated the tablet market. Of course, not everyone can afford to buy an iPad. But while Apple may still be king, Amazon has made great strides in producing quality tablets for everyone else. They're not the best on the market. But you can grab Amazon tablets for less than the cost of your water bill. And that means something.

The Amazon Fire HD 10 is, like Amazon's other tablets, incredibly inexpensive. If you're looking for a tablet that will perform like an iPad, this one isn't for you. But if you're in the market for a cheap tablet for your kids, or something on which to watch Netflix (or enjoy your Amazon products), you'll probably want to check this one out. Previous Fire tablets have received criticism for compromising too much in some areas, such as screen and performance, to keep costs down. But this isn't so with the Fire HD 10. This tablet has some obvious flaws, but none of them are deal-breakers.

Design and Features

The Amazon Fire HD 10 can be a real mixed bag. When it's good, it's very, very good. But when it's bad, well, it fails pretty hard. First, we looked at the exterior. Then we checked out the hardware, the software and apps, and the camera. Finally, we looked at battery life. If you're thinking about any piece of technology, it's important to consider the features that matter to you most, then to research accordingly.

tablet in the table


The Amazon Fire HD 10 won't win any beauty contests. This tablet's body is hard black, blue, or orange plastic with a matte finish. When you're holding it, it feels like it came out of a vending machine. But it's sturdy and can handle some bumps and bruises. Besides, you're going to put it in a case anyway, so you won't have to see the dismal exterior.

The body measures 10.3 inches by 6.3 inches by 0.4 inches and weighs 17.4 ounces, which is somewhat larger than similar tablets. Is that a good thing? If you're using it to view media or read your Kindle books, then yes it is. If you're looking for something to tuck into a pocket, perhaps not.

Hardware Specifications

Despite its cheap feel, the Fire HD 10 is a competent piece of technology.

The Fire HD 10 has a 10.1-inch, 1,920-by-1,200 display. It also has a USB port, a MicroSD card slot (something that Apple's offerings do not have), and a dual Dolby Atmos-tuned speaker.

The Fire HD 10 is packing 2GB of ram as well as a newer MediaTek quad-core chip, so speed is not a massive issue. It's not as fast as Apple's similar offerings, but it costs about half as much. So you can rest assured that your small sacrifice in power is worth it.

The Fire HD 10 also supports Bluetooth 4.2 for wireless audio as well as dual-band WiFi. Some other tablets struggle with this. You'll also be pleased with the speeds it manages.

One "feature" you can probably live without is the lock screen. It pushes ads ("special offers") at you and makes you feel like you're paying to live inside a virtual shopping center.

tablet screen

Camera and Video

This device has some serious power in many areas that matter. But when you're producing a cheap alternative to the iPad, you need to cut some corners. One of the corners Amazon decided to cut is the camera. If you're the sort of person who nostalgically longs for the quality of 1998 webcams, this tablet has you covered. If you think it's important to take pictures and video that look good, you should run screaming from this device.

The VGA front and 2MP rear cameras almost feel like someone rummaged through their attic and used parts from a webcam they boxed up in high school. Images are muddy and blurry, which is fine for basic video chatting. However, using this tablet for real photos and videos is just not a good option.


The battery, on the other hand, is quite impressive. You can stream a full-screen video at maximum brightness for more than six hours without charging. Sure, it's not as good as some other options out there. But your tablet can stay alive through a binge-watching marathon comfortably. And as anyone with a child can tell you, a weak battery is a surefire way to see a tantrum on a long day.

If you want to extend your battery life, you can enable Low Power mode and Automatic Smart Suspend. These will lower screen brightness and turn off wireless connectivity when it's not in use.

Apps and Software

Apps and software are another weakness. You know how Amazon likes to shove its various products and offerings down your throat? Even though this is an Android tablet, you do not have access to the Google Play Store by default. In fact, most users probably don't realize that they can even get it.

As far as content goes, You'll be able to get Netflix, HBO Go, and Hulu. But the Amazon app store lacks many popular content offerings. This includes pretty much everything produced by Google. Meaning, you can't download the official YouTube app, Gmail, Chrome, or Google Maps. It also does not allow you to get Microsoft products like Outlook, MS Word, and other things you might otherwise take for granted. And since Amazon's web browser, email, calendar, contacts, and document apps pale in comparison to what is available elsewhere, this can be frustrating.

The Fire HD 10 seeks to push you toward Amazon's products. In fact, that's all it seems to do at times. Fortunately, you're not stuck with Amazon's dismal app store.


The Fire HD 10 comes with hands-free Alexa, and you'll love that. If you need to know something, you just yell out "Alexa!" and it will tell you what you need to know even if the screen is off. What's more, if you buy the Show Mode Charging Dock, you can effectively convert this tablet into an Echo Show. The quality won't be quite as good as the actual Show, but it's a decent option if you already own the Fire HD 10.

Problem? Solved. How to get Google Play on the Fire HD 10

If you want to eliminate one of the most significant drawbacks of the Fire HD 10, you have a bit of work ahead of you. First, you need to go to Settings > Security > Enable Apps from Unknown Sources. Next, you need to download and install these Google apps in the following order:

  • Google Account Manager
  • Google Services Framework
  • Google Play Services
  • Google Play Store

After that, simply reboot your device and log in to Google Play. Now you're ready to download pretty much any app you like. This workaround is lovely if you enjoy the Amazon Fire HD 10 but hate that you can't download the apps you love.

Alternatives to the Amazon Fire HD 10

The Amazon Fire HD 10 is a great tablet if you have an Amazon Prime membership. If you don't, you may find others to be better options -- especially if you don't mind spending a little more money.

The Asus ZenPad 3S 10 has a slightly smaller screen but a better display and faster performance. It also comes with the Google Play store installed, so you can download whatever apps you want without all the extra work.

The new iPad has a better camera, a better (yet smaller) screen, more processing power, and better battery life. Unfortunately, it costs about twice as much as the Fire HD 10. But if you have the money to throw at Apple's newer iPad, it's the superior choice.

If your budget doesn't include enough money for the Fire HD 10, the Fire HD 8 is an acceptable alternative. The screen and performance are on par with the bigger model. The battery life and speakers are also comparable. It's a little smaller, but it's also much cheaper.

tablet power button

The Verdict

If you have kids, they probably want a tablet. And you probably don't want to put something expensive into the hands of a child. But the Amazon Fire HD 10 is cheap, and it's sure to please.

You'll certainly find better options on the market. But the Fire HD 10 is a very capable piece of technology you and your kids will love. If you want to step it up a notch for the little ones, you can buy the Fire HD 10 Kids Edition.

The Kids Edition costs a bit more cash but includes a "kid-proof" case and a two-year warranty against damage and breakages. It also includes a one-year subscription to FreeTime Unlimited, which gives your kids 15,000 apps and games, videos, books, and educational content from PBS Kids, Nickelodeon, Disney, and more. You can even download your kids' favorites, and they will be available even when you don't have an internet connection.

Perhaps the best feature is the flexible parental controls that allow you to block access to videos and games until they meet educational goals like reading. Kids also will not have access to social media  or the internet and can't make in-app purchases without your approval. Also, you can set bedtime curfews and control screen time and content.

Whether you buy the standard Amazon Fire HD 10 or the Kids Edition, you're sure to be happy with your purchase as long as you are aware of the limitations. You'll get more value out of it if you have an Amazon Prime membership for sure, but it's still a great budget alternative to other tablets.

Vtech Little Apps Tablet Review: Opening A Digital World For Your Kids

kids hand pointing to the tablet

For kids looking to experience the fun of technology without the expense, the VTech Little Apps Tablet is an excellent educational toy. It is not a full-featured device β€” your toddler won't be able to connect to the internet or stream Netflix β€” but the VTech Little Apps lets a child pretend to be just like mom and dad. More than just a toy for playing make-believe, this tablet takes children on a learning adventure.

Is this the right tablet for your youngster? Electronic devices such as tablets and smartphones make for a controversial parenting subject. However, this little tablet takes a lot of the dangers away, leaving you with a fun, educational tool.

Tablets and Devices are an Inevitable Part of Life

tablet with alphabets on screen

Image via Amazon

Children are getting their own real-life devices younger and younger, with some parents giving an old smartphone to their kids as a gateway device.

For children between the ages of two and five, a better option is a learning tablet. These integrate educational features while familiarizing kids with some of the basic workings of a mobile device. Some experts believe that babies should be handed a device upon b​​irth, while others think limits on devices are crucial. Although you may be instituting limits one day to your teens and tweens, toddlers benefit significantly from learning through a mobile device interface.

Schools know that mobile devices are powerful classroom tools. Many schools incorporate iPads and other tablets into the lessons and some technology-at-home programs. An entry-level option such as the VTech Little Apps Tablet is a great way to make sure your little ones are up to speed before entering school. Learning tablets are tons of fun for kids, too.

About Vtech Products

female kid smiling while holding a tablet

Image via Amazon

Vtech is a well-established educational toy brand. Its product line includes devices and toys for infants to nine-year-olds. Some of the toys are focused on traditional play, while others are more about technology.

Vtech's entire product line incorporates some level of technology. From a bear-themed baby laptop with a handful of colorful buttons to Kidizoom smartwatches, VTech is one of the top manufacturers in the tech toy space. Vtech also makes a host of other tech devices, such as telephones and baby monitors. The company has been making technology toys for over 40 years. Parents can enjoy peace of mind about reliability and customer service when dealing with VTech.

VTech Learning Tablets

The VTech Little Apps Tablet is part of the company's learning tablet line. These have fewer features that VTech's main tablet product line, the InnoTab series, which features an Android operating system and carefully selected educational Android apps. The Little Apps line is more of a toy β€” appropriate for toddlers who want the feel and visual experience of their own device. It lacks most real tablet features, but for the price range and purpose, it's an excellent tool to incorporate learning into playtime.

How the VTech Little Apps Tablet Is an Educational Tool

Unlike a fuller-featured, more expensive device, VTech carefully contains this learning tablet's play in an education world of its own. Cody the Smart Cub guides your child's educational journey, providing activities and structure. Contrast this with the environment of a tablet or smartphone. When you hand your three-year-old daughter a device to keep her occupied while you drive to school, you might not be able to control her usage. While you can tell her to play an entertaining game or watch YouTube Kids videos, there are few simplified ways for a toddler to crack open a world of education. VTech's Cody the Smart Cub gives structure to tablet usage.

How We Reviewed

tablet with apps

Image via Amazon

We understand how much you care about getting just the right educational toys for your children, we do too. So, to make sure you get the best information, we scoured the internet for real user reviews, product specifications, and possible problems. We took everything that you would spend hours and hours searching for and brought it to one place.

Complete Overview of Vtech Little Apps Tablet

This simple tablet has many features for its small size. VTech designed each element at keeping kids engaged and entertained. Here are the most important tools for interactive learning fun:

Built to resemble a tablet, but with toddler-friendly buttons

Young children can quickly figure out how to work the touchscreen of a fully-functional smartphone or tablet. Aimlessly swiping and tapping away at a screen is not a ton of fun, though. VTech makes it easier for a child to positively interact with a device. The VTech Little Apps' design assigns commonly-used functions to individual alphabet letters. It also features a mini piano keyboard and a handful of quick menu access keys.

Yes, you read that right, this tablet is more Blackberry circa 2005 than iPhone X, but that's all the better for eager-to-learn tots. Some online reviewers noted that the keys take a little time for younger kids to master, but learning small motor skills might be a developmental bonus for some children.

With guided learning, parents can relax

mother pointing in the tablet while kid listens

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When turned on, the Little Apps Tablet fires up Cody the Smart Cub. This character provides vivid animations and sound effects to accompany activities. The tablet features four major learning areas: musical creativity, language development, basic math skills and imaginative play. 12 activities are organized in a progression. As your child learns, they move through to more challenging (and rewarding) areas. Your child can develop basic reading skills by learning letters and simple words through several activities. Basic math and music are also weaved into the educational experience.

Just like mom and dad's phones and tablets, kids can play games on this device, too. The keyboard lets kids make some music, but the camera is just for show. Toddlers most likely do not need a tutorial on taking selfies, anyway. The tablet runs on two AA batteries, which VTech includes in the package for your convenience. It also features an auto-shut off after a period of inactivity β€” helpful in saving battery life. Together, these features allow children to pretend to be like their parents, older siblings, or pretty much anyone else older than them who are all likely to be glued to their screens.

Priced low for entry into the learning tablet world

The VTech Little Apps Tablet is reasonably priced, with a range from $14 to $20.

- Stacking the VTech Learning Tablet Up Against Competitors -

The Little Apps Tablet is not alone in its market. Several other manufacturers offer similar learning tablets, some with more features and some with less. For a modest jump to the $50 to $60 range, parents can get their child an entry-level bare-bones tablet, but again, this option lacks the toddler-appropriate learning environment. The following are learning tablets that have similar price ranges and features.

Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn

The Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn tablet is a bit more expensive than VTech's model, at around $30 to $40. For the extra money, parents can get a learning tablet that comes a little closer to looking like a real tablet. Beyond its visual appearance, though, the educational experience is similar to that of VTech. With its Smart Stages technology, Fisher-Price's tablet is meant to adapt to your infant or toddler's progress. The manufacturer geared this device to a slightly younger customer: 12 months to 36 months.

Leapfrog My First Learning Tablet

Leapfrog's line of educational toys are similar to VTech's, and its My First Learning Tablet is near identical in features and pricing. Available at a price of between $14 - $20, Leapfrog's tablet features a guided learning environment with lessons and activities that cover math, reading, music and creativity. Its Explore Mode adds another layer of learning, where science topics like weather and animals. Leapfrog built its tablet with the rugged needs of a toddler in mind and touts this model as "kid-tough."

Some reviewers didn't love the use of nonfunctioning keys in the design, saying that the tablet has too many fake features that may frustrate children.

Boxiki kids Learning Pad

Another learning tablet option is the Boxiki kids Learning Pad. Priced at around $20, this kids' tablet has educational and play features including spelling, ABC's, music and more. Designed to look just like an iPhone 7 or 8 Plus, kids might feel like they are playing with the real thing. This product is recommended for kids age three and up, so it may be too advanced for younger learners. Some commenters noted that the buttons are tiny, which make it less fun for a smaller child to use.

Pros and Cons of the VTech Little Apps Tablet


  • Guided education helps kids learn
  • Looks and feels like a real tablet
  • Adapts to learning advances
  • Inexpensive


  • Small keys may be tricky for some kids
  • Commenters note it is not as rugged as you'd hope
  • Older kids may feel limited

Our Rating

This happy little table rates a solid 4.5/5 stars. For what it is β€” a learning tablet β€” the VTech Little Apps Tablet is an inexpensive and feature-packed toy that little kids will love. When your kids are bored during car trips, give them their own device, not your expensive smartphone. With the VTech tablet, your child can explore language, math, music and more.

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