If you’re looking for the best drawing tablet for kids, you’re in the right place. No matter whether you’re looking for a doodle pad for a toddler, or a sophisticated tool to hone the artistic abilities of a teenager, we’ve got the best recommendations.
New to the world of drawing tablets? It can be a little confusing at first glance, with several different types available, from affordable graphics tablets that need to be plugged into an external display, to larger pen displays with built-in screens. If you need a primer, click to jump to our section on what to look for in the best drawing tablets for kids, where we run through the basic types of tablet.
We’ve divided our guide up into rough sections based on age, so you can navigate easily to the relevant models. We have a tablet suggestion for really little ones, then some options for kids between the ages of 5 and 12, and lastly a selection of tablets suitable for artistically-inclined teenagers.
There are models here for all different budgets, including some that are seriously affordable, so whatever your budget, there should be something here for you. If you’re looking for ways to encourage a child’s artistic sensibility and creativity, then you may also want to look at our guides to the best cameras for kids, or the best lightboxes.
For now, let's get started on the best drawing tablets for kids.
The best drawing tablets for kids available now
Tiny tots (0-4)
The Richgv LCD tablet is an ideal choice for very little ones. It's cheap, it's simple to use, it's brightly coloured, and it's even splashproof. There's not much more sophisticated technology on offer than the ability to doodle on the screen with a stylus; so while older kids would likely tire of it quickly, for very young kids, it's perfect. The low asking price also means it's not the end of the world if they break it. There's no internal storage or connectivity of any kind, so it's not one for kids old enough to be bothered about being unable to save their creations, but this super-simple tablet makes for a great first drawing surface for very small ones.
Growing kids (5-12)
A tablet designed specifically for kids, the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition is an all-purpose little fun device built to be kid-proof. Purchase gets you a year's free subscription to Amazon Fire for Kids Unlimited, which nets them access to loads of books, TV shows, apps and games – and you can use the parental controls to block access to games until the reading gets done!
So what about the drawing? While the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition isn't a specialised drawing tablet, it'll work well enough for little doodlers. That is, as long as you remember to pick up the extra stylus, which doesn't come as part of the package. Once this is done, there will be no shortage of drawing apps to play with. There won't be anything like the depth and fidelity of a Wacom tablet, but for sketches and doodles, it works great.
The Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition is an excellent choice if you want a tablet that's great for plenty of functions as well as drawing. Also, if the 10 edition is too expensive for you, Amazon also produces smaller tablets in 8-inch and 7-inch varieties.
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. These can be saved in a host of file formats, and there's a real tactile pleasure in scribbling on the tablet and then seeing the results transfer to a screen. Hugely popular with kids of all ages, this is a particularly good 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. What a way to spend a lazy afternoon!
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.
Teens and up (12+)
If you're looking for a tablet that will encourage a budding artist, that will provide a superb, child-friendly experience for a reasonable price, then we definitely recommend the Wacom Intuos Draw. Striking a peerless balance between performance and price, this is a baby cousin to the big professional tablets Wacom sells, and is an ideal first step on an artistic journey.
The tablet comes equipped with everything an artist needs to get started. It comes with the handy Wacom Intuos Pen, which offers 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity. It's a drawing tablet and not a pen display, meaning it needs to be connected to a computer so a user can see what they're doing. This is easy enough, and any kid of 12 or older can be expected to get the hang of it pretty quickly.
This isn't one for little kids. It probably costs more than you'd spend on a tablet if you don't believe your child will use it a lot, so scroll down if you're looking for more casual options. If, however, you're looking to nurture a spark that could turn into a lifelong passion, this is your best bet.
Huion tablets provide great functionality at hugely affordable tablets, and this means that a Huion tablet is the ideal gift for a child who wants to draw!
Out of the Huion stable, which is pretty extensive, we'd pick the Huion Inspiroy H1060P as one of the best drawing tablets for kids. It doesn't cost too much, but still manages to pack in features that wouldn't look out of place on a professional tablet, such as 8,192 levels of pen pressure sensitivity, and 16 customisable ExpressKeys that let the user tailor the experience precisely to their taste.
This is one for teenagers rather than really little kids (if you are buying for a toddler or kid under 10, scroll down for some recommendations on that score). It's an excellent choice for a child with a budding artistic skill; the main thing to be aware of is that the tablet doesn't have its own screen, just like the Wacom Intuos Draw. This means it needs to be plugged into a computer, or an Android tablet or smartphone, to allow the user to see what they're drawing.
For more Huion options, also read our best Huion drawing tablets roundup.
While it's the most expensive option on this list, if you want the best of the best when it comes to drawing tablets for kids, Apple's latest iPad Mini is very hard to beat. Its 7.9-inch display is nicely kid-sized, and once it's paired with the Apple Pencil, offers an amazingly precise and tactile drawing experience. Great both for sketching and for more advanced work with dedicated drawing apps, the iPad Mini is ideal for a kid who's starting to get serious about their drawing.
The price means it's not one for toddlers or any kid who stands a reasonable chance of pouring a carton of juice over it. Plus, you do also have to factor in the extra cost of the Apple Pencil, which doesn't come bundled in like the styluses do with other tablets on this list. However, if you're prepared to eat the cost, the iPad Mini does tick all the boxes. It's portable, easy to use, has great battery life, and will provide many hours of distraction for any budding artist. You can also set parental controls, for that bit of extra peace of mind.
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.
The pen that comes with the Huion H640P is comfortable and easy to use. Unlike more sophisticated styluses such as the Apple Pencil, it's a battery-free pen, so a drawing session won't be prematurely stymied if someone forgot to plug their pen in the previous night. Happily, the H640P pretty competitively priced as well, which makes it an ideal choice for young beginners.
If you're going to buy an iPad for a kid, it makes sense for it not to be one of the high-ticket, mega-bucks options. The iPad 10.2 is just the ticket, a smaller and more affordable iPad designed for more casual users. This 2020 refresh has a new faster-than-ever chipset, and like all other iPads, it works with the Apple Pencil (although you’ll have to buy that separately – you’ll find the best Apple Pencil deals here). This means that it's a terrific get for artists of all shades. The drawing experience is sublime and creations look fantastic on the high-quality Retina display. The fact that the tablet can do lots of other things as well makes it fantastic choice, and one of the best drawing tablets for kids you can buy.
Best drawing tablets for kids: what to look for
When you’re buying a drawing tablet for kids, it’s worth thinking about exactly what you need in order to narrow down your options. Below, we’ve aimed to elucidate some of the specs above by providing you with a little more information about the main things to look for when tablet shopping.
This is the main thing to think about, but it is a little more complex than it first appears. You’re not going to give an expensive 10-inch iPad to a two-year-old, in the same way that you’re not going to get a simple tablet that’s little more than an Etch-a-Sketch for a teenager. However, there will of course be some overlap between categories, and you may want to think about future-proofing, especially if you have a young child, or the little one you’re buying for has younger siblings.
We’ve included age guides on the tablets we’ve included here as a rough guide, and divided our list into sections to make it easier for parents to navigate. But don’t be afraid to colour outside the lines (pardon the pun) – if you think your child may benefit from a tablet aimed at older kids, consider taking the plunge. Worst case scenario, it takes a couple of years before they really start using it.
There are a few key types of drawing tablet, and different ones may be suitable for your child.
Simple sketch tablets: While not exactly an officially defined category, this catch-all term covers products like the Richgv LCD Tablet. These tablets provide a simple drawing surface for doodling and sketching, and not a whole lot beyond that. You can find a lot of them on Amazon, under various different names, as is standard on Amazon these days. Many, like the Richgv model, don’t even have the capacity to save creations, so they really should be reserved.
Graphics tablets: These are a more sophisticated types of drawing tablet that provide loads of high-level features like pressure sensitivity, customisable hotkeys and more. However, they don’t have their own display, and therefore need to be connected to another device in order that the artist can see what they’re drawing. A computer monitor or laptop is best, though many can also be connected to a smartphone or tablet. Huion and XP-Pen make lots of great, cost-effective graphics tablets, several of which we’ve included here.
Pen displays: These are specialist drawing tablets with their own display built-in, meaning you see your creation on the same screen you’re drawing on. These are the standard tools for professional digital artists, and as such they come with higher price tags than other types of drawing tablet. These are best for older kids who have expressed a serious interest in drawing.
Tablet computers: If you think you’d like a tablet to do more than provide a drawing surface, then consider a multi-purpose tablet like an iPad or an Amazon Fire HD Kids tablet. While these aren’t specialist drawing tools, in many cases they can still take advantage of art apps and stylus technology for a smooth drawing experience, and then when the artist is done creating, they can pop on some Netflix. Most tablets allow you to set parental controls to make sure that your child isn’t viewing any inappropriate content.
- Also read: The best iPad deals
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.