Looking for the best drawing tablets for kids? If you, like lots of people, have been stuck at home a lot lately, you might be on the hunt for ways to keep little ones occupied. A drawing tablet is a fantastic solution, giving kids something to do while also letting them develop a skill. It's never too early to start on a creative journey.
A kid-friendly pen display or graphics tablet helps encourage drawing while creating much less mess than crayons and paper. If you're worried about cost, many are also available for a surprisingly low price, which also means you don't have to stress about it getting dropped, bashed or covered in Ribena, all of which any parent knows is an ever-present danger. Some of the best drawing tablets for kids even come with splashproofing or protective cases.
Drawing tablets for kids come in different varieties (as do the best drawing tablets for adults if you want to pick up something for yourself as well). They'll have touchscreen surfaces that make them intuitive to use, and some will be capable of interfacing with your kid's other Windows/Mac/Android devices, either remotely or via a physical connection like USB, allowing them to safely store their creations. Bear in mind that there are a few different types of drawing tablets for kids:
- Pen display tablets: Come with a built-in touchscreen monitor with a pressure-sensitive surface that you draw on with a stylus
- Graphics tablets: These plug into a computer – kids draw and paint on the surface, and the image is shown on the monitor of your computer
- Tablet computers: Like pen display tablets, these work well with styluses and display the art as its being drawn (think iPad, for example)
You’ll find a more detailed explanation at the bottom of this article.
To help you choose the best drawing tablet for your kid, we've listed our top picks here: every option below is child-friendly, easy to use and makes learning how to draw a joy – so you can't go wrong. Even better, our price comparison tool is continually checking all the major retailers to make sure you’ll get the best deals as well. Or, if you want to explore different types of creativity, have a look at our best cameras for kids, or our best lightboxes list.
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 cramped.
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, 2-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.
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 can save straight to a connected device (computer or smartphone). A great tool that a budding artist can carry everywhere.
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 less than £10. At that 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). Super simple, it's 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 XP-Pen Artist 15.6 is an excellent pen tablet for kids, offering a good-sized drawing area, comfortable pen with a good range of sensitivity levels and a very good screen. It has a robust design that means it can handle knocks and bumps pretty well, and it's a great introduction for kids who want to use a pen display tablet for their digital art.
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.
The H430P is a great graphics tablet for kids, as it gives you all the basics without requiring a big investment. This means, if they lose interest or quickly outgrow the small drawing area, then you've not lost out on too much money. While the drawing area is small, the pen is sensitive enough to allow kids to draw and paint easily, giving them a taste of what it's like to create digital art using a graphics tablet.
If you want the best iOS drawing tablet for kids, then the new iPad (2019) is the one to get. It gives you the best of Apple's tablet world – including an upgraded 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 new10.2-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.
- Also read: The best iPad deals
How to choose the right drawing tablet for kids
There are three main types of drawing tablets...
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.
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