The best drawing tablets for kids in 2021
The best drawing tablets for kids provide one of the greatest gifts money can buy: keeping kids occupied. If you live with children, then the last year has probably taught you what a precious, precious gift that can be.
Whether you’re looking for something simple to enthral a very little one, or a more sophisticated tablet to help a budding teenage artist, there are many great tablets for kids that’ll do all this and more. Tablets make for much less mess than paper and pencils, and many of the more sophisticated tablets have great high-resolution screens to bring your kids’ creations vividly to life. Plus, you don’t have to put them on the fridge.
Tablets for kids tend to be cheaper than ones for adults, which makes sense given that they are more likely to have Ribena spilled on them. Also, many child-friendly tablet manufacturers have taken the precautionary step of “kid-proofing” their tablets too, equipping them with splash-proof or shock-proof cases that protect them from inevitable spills and knocks.
You may want to go for a specific drawing tablet, or a more general tablet that can also be used to play games and watch TV. We’ve included both in our guide, so you should have plenty to choose from. If you want more advice on what device to go for, head to the how to choose the right drawing tablet for kids section. Want one for yourself? Don’t miss our round up of the best drawing tablets for adults too. And if you want to explore different types of creativity, have a look at our best cameras for kids, or our best lightboxes list.
In this guide, we’ve listed our top picks of tablets for kids. Every option below is child-friendly, easy to use and makes learning how to draw a joy – so you can’t go wrong. We’ve also included a recommendation of the appropriate age group for each tablet, so you can be sure you’re getting the right product for your little one. Even better, our price comparison tool is continually checking all the major retailers to make sure you get the best deal.
The best drawing tablets for kids available now
The Wacom Intuos Draw is our pick for the best overall drawing tablet for kids. This is down to its affordable price, along with the sturdy build quality and feature set that we’ve come to expect from Wacom (a brand to be reckoned with in this area). It’s a great drawing tablet for beginners, and it can cope with more advanced uses as your child grows in skill and confidence. There’s an optional wireless module you can buy to make it easier to use as well. The major downside is that the small version may quickly start to feel a little, well, small.
Amazon’s series of Fire HD tablets for kids provide some of the best value for money in terms of features and functionality. They’re not the cheapest on the market, but you get loads for your money – a high-resolution screen, a protective case, two-year hassle-free warranty, a microSD card slot for up to 512GB of extra storage, and loads more. The Fire HD tablet is a general-purpose tablet, rather than being designed for drawing specifically, so you will need to pick up an extra stylus, but one thing it has that many others don’t is a comprehensive suite of parental controls, allowing you to set screen-time limits, educational goals, content age filters and bedtimes. Also, if the 10 edition is too expensive for you, Amazon also produces smaller tablets in 8-inch and 7-inch varieties.
Samsung clearly designed the Galaxy Tab A as a budget alternative to the iPad, and this means it’s also a great choice of tablet for kids. This fact is clearly not lost on the manufacturer, as they’ve provided lots of useful functions like Kids Mode, which can be toggled from the Home screen. This gives kids access to all their favourite apps while also blocking harmful content, so it’s a win-win.
While the display for the Galaxy Tab A isn’t going to win any resolution awards, it’s solid and large, providing plenty of space for using any of the many drawing apps available for Android. You will have to shop for a compatible stylus (the Samsung S-Pen will NOT work unless you shell out for the more expensive version of this tablet), but anything generic should work (see our best Apple Pencil alternatives), and will be considerably cheaper than something like the Apple Pencil, and more than enough for young ones who want to make some simple drawings.
The best tablet for the kind of kid who’s always doodling in a notebook, iskn’s The Slate 2+ is based on a really neat idea. It’s effectively a digital notepad that works with actual physical paper – simply attach it to the front of the slate, then start drawing with your own pen or pencil (with the supplied magnetic rings attached) and the tablet will create an instant digital copy that you can save straight to a connected device (computer or smartphone). This is a great tool that a budding artist can carry everywhere.
The great thing about Huion tablets is their affordability. This means that while they’ll give any budding artist loads of great functionality, they don’t represent a huge cash outlay and thus it’s not the end of the world if a teenager is a little careless with them. So while the Huion Inspiroy H1060P costs less than many tablets on this list, it still offers loads of great features like 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity and 16 customisable ExpressKeys. Be aware that it doesn’t have its own screen, so any child using it will need to be able to plug it into a computer or Android tablet or smartphone in order to see what they’re drawing.
The best kids’ drawing tablet for those on a really tight budget, the Richgv LCD Tablet is a wonderfully simple device that comes with everything a kid needs to start drawing in the box, for an extremely low price. Not surprisingly at this price, there’s no pressure sensitivity, and as the device doesn’t have internal storage there isn’t capacity to save creations – so it’s a good choice for very young doodlers who won’t mind too much (in that vein, the device is also splashproof, insuring it against juice-carton-related mishaps). This super simple tablet is a great first step into the world of drawing for little ones.
One of the best things about XP-Pen’s tablets is that they offer tremendous value for money, so you don’t have to stress quite so much about giving a tablet to a kid who might not take care of it as assiduously as an adult. The XP-Pen Art Deco01 V2, for instance, is not only fantastically affordable but also offers a great drawing experience, with full connectivity that includes Android as well as Windows and Mac. Though the pen does feel a little cheap and plasticky, it does offer 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity, allowing for precise, fine detail work.
The Huion H640P is an excellent drawing tablet for kids. It’s small and portable, making it perfect for little hands – and also easy to carry around in a backpack. At just 10.2 x 5.8 inches, this option is no thicker than a smartphone, but offers a handy set of shortcut keys, which makes up for its compact size. It’s pretty competitively priced as well, which makes it an ideal choice for young beginners.
Wacom Bamboo Slate isn’t technically a graphics tablet – it’s what Wacom calls a ‘smartpad’. This turns handwritten notes and sketches into digital art that can be sent to a tablet via Bluetooth, or a PC via USB. It’s a great choice if you have an arty kid who’s just starting out: they can doodle on the Bamboo Slate, then edit their work on a PC or tablet.
If you want the best iOS drawing tablet for kids, then the 2019 iPad is the one to get. It’s not as pricey as the newer 2020 models, but gives you the best of Apple’s tablet world – including an A10 processor and access to all the best iOS art apps – in a form factor that’s not only beautiful, but highly portable. The headline feature? It works with the Apple Pencil (although you’ll have to buy that separately – you’ll find the best Apple Pencils deals here), making the 10.2-inch iPad a huge win for artists everywhere. It’s also reasonably affordable, for Apple, anyway. Throw in the fact that you can use the iPad for a lot of other tasks besides drawing, and this model iPad is easily one of the best drawing tablets for kids you can buy.
How to choose the right drawing tablet for kids
There are plenty of different types of best drawing tablets for kids. These tablets tend to offer touchscreen surfaces that make them intuitive to use, while some will be capable of interfacing with your kid’s other Windows/Mac/Android devices, either remotely or via a physical connection like USB, which will allow them to safely store their creations. Bear in mind that there are a few different types of drawing tablets for kids:
Pen display tablets feature a built-in touchscreen monitor with a pressure-sensitive surface that you draw on with a stylus. The screen shows the pen and brushstrokes as the child draws, which makes it much easier for them to use. They are more expensive than graphics tablets, and usually need to be connected to a PC.
Graphics tablets plug into computers and enable kids to draw and paint naturally. They are usually a bit cheaper than tablet PC devices. The drawback is that they often don’t display what’s being drawn, which is instead shown on an external screen, such as the monitor of the PC it is plugged into. This can make using them a bit tricky for kids at first.
Tablet computers, such as the iPad, come with bright and vibrant touchscreens that work well with styluses. The benefits of these include being able to display the art as it’s being drawn. They can also run a number of other apps and games as well, which makes them a more versatile purchase. They are also often quite a bit more expensive than pen and digital drawing tablets.
Also read: The best drawing tablets | The best Apple Pencil deals | The best cheap 4K monitor deals | The best cameras for creatives | Top keyboards for creatives | The best mouse | The best office chair | The best desk