The best drawing tablets for kids are great in tons of ways. Whether you want to encourage a budding artist to hone their passion, or just want to give a little one something to doodle on so you can have a bit of peace and quiet, drawing tablets for kids are a great, inexpensive alternative to a house littered with paper and crayons.
The options of devices for kids is pleasingly extensive. There are sophisticated models by pro firms like Wacom that are designed specifically for beginner artists, or there are more general tablets from the likes of Apple and Samsung that offer drawing as part of a suite of functions. There are also very simple tablets for very little ones, that basically provide a similar function to an Etch-a-Sketch (remember those?). As you might imagine, how much you spend will be dictated by which type of tablet you've got your eye on.
The good news, though, is that tablets for kids are almost always cheaper than tablets for adults, and are often sensibly equipped with tough cases that allow them to be able to take a knock or two.
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.
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.
The best drawing tablets for kids available now
Though it's a few years old now, the Wacom Intuos Draw is our pick for the best drawing tablet for kids, as it provides a near-perfect balance between features and price. A baby version of the more professional tablets Wacom sell, the Intuos Draw is designed for beginners who want to grow into their drawing.
It comes with the handy Wacom Intuos Pen, which offers 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity, meaning it provides plenty of scope for creative expression. The tablet needs to be connected to a computer so a user can see what they're doing, but this is easy enough to achieve, and any kid of 12 or older can be expected to get the hang of it pretty quickly.
To give a budding artist a taste of what it's like to draw digitally like a pro, we can't recommend the Intuos Draw highly enough. It's more than you'd spend on a tablet for a very little kid, and possibly not one to get if you suspect it'll be forgotten about within a week, but if you're looking to nurture a spark that could turn into a lifelong passion, this is your best bet.
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.
Cheap tablets tend to also be kid-tablets, as you're probably not going to want to give an expensive iPad to someone who may or may not decide to cover it in peanut butter. As such, while the Samsung Galaxy Tab A isn't explicitly a tablet for kids, the firm has recognised that the ultra-cheap price point will have plenty of parents thinking in that direction. As such, the tablet comes equipped with loads of useful modes like Kids Mode, which gives kids quick access to their favourite apps while blocking out any content that isn't appropriate.
The display isn't the highest resolution, but it's pleasingly large and provides a great drawing space. The Android store means there's loads of choice in terms of apps for drawing, though be aware that you have to get the right stylus for it to work – the Samsung S-Pen will NOT work unless you shell out for the more expensive version of this tablet. However, anything generic should work (see our best Apple Pencil alternatives), and should be more than good enough for young ones who want to start drawing.
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.
- Read more: The best Huion drawing tablets
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.
- 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.
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