Child gaming... mobile pad to play on but which one?

So, my wife and I have resisted the urge (well my wife's urge) to have our 7 and 5 year old children avoid technology for the use of gaming. I have talked my wife into introducing them to gaming and we have been letting them play on our old iphones. They are so old that they can't download half the games in the store so we are exploring what to do next. We are interested in a mobile pad of some sort for each of them and figure they can do some learning activities on there as well. Does anyone have good suggestions for children mobile pads of some kind to start? We aren't interested in sinking a lot of money into it, but also want something that is useful. Thanks for the help all...

My eldest is almost 6 and she's been able to handle the house's iPad quite responsibly for about a year. We need to remind her to get it away from her face a little, but other than that, neither iPad or child have been in peril.

I keep hearing mixed review's about Amazon's Fire Pad, but there is a version for kids that is housed on impact material and I think the OS has been designed with kids in mind.

If it's primarily for gaming I would go with the standard iPad (with a big ol' honking case on it). There are tons of games and iOS has recently gotten more friendly with game pad support. Plus there's family sharing and controls if you're already an iPhone family.

For a general purpose tablet for kids, Fire Pads are great, but I don't know how well they support all of the Android games out there.

I hate Amazon's Fire tablets because they tend to run slow and you have to sideload the Play Store. Clearly the price is much lower. I'm also not a fan of their Freetime or whatever they call the kid side of their devices. Lots and lots of stuff, but so much of it is junk. That's also true of the Play Store, but Amazon's store

The camera on those tablets is still absolute junk at 2 mp. Amazon's goal is to put the cheapest device possible in your hands so you'll buy their content. End of story. You get what you pay for. It's def a cheap buy in and a good entry point, but we've had three different tablets from Amazon and they've all been disappointments.

iPads are durable and the battery is WAY better than on the Amazon devices. It's literally the only Apple device I would buy. Otherwise my entire household is Android. Get a mini, throw a good case and screen protector and call it a day.

garion333 wrote:

I hate Amazon's Fire tablets because they tend to run slow and you have to sideload the Play Store. Clearly the price is much lower. I'm also not a fan of their Freetime or whatever they call the kid side of their devices. Lots and lots of stuff, but so much of it is junk. That's also true of the Play Store, but Amazon's store

The camera on those tablets is still absolute junk at 2 mp. Amazon's goal is to put the cheapest device possible in your hands so you'll buy their content. End of story. You get what you pay for. It's def a cheap buy in and a good entry point, but we've had three different tablets from Amazon and they've all been disappointments.

iPads are durable and the battery is WAY better than on the Amazon devices. It's literally the only Apple device I would buy. Otherwise my entire household is Android. Get a mini, throw a good case and screen protector and call it a day.

I guess I have the opposite view - there's no way in hell I would place a several hundred dollar iPad in my kid's hands. My son has already broken two Amazon tablets and my daughter has broken one and they were all replaced free of charge.

I agree that Freetime can be a pain in some cases, but it also keeps them from making purchases and freely browsing the internet without requiring a Master's Degree in Android Systems Security. Can I do those things myself? Yes. Do I want to spend the extra time? Nope.

I can imagine iOS is better (than Android...not sure about Freetime) in that regard, but again the cost of entry is a non-starter for me.

As far as sideloading the Play Store - my wife bought me the latest Fire HD10 for Xmas and it was super simple to remove the Amazon UI and sideload the Play Store. Far easier than it is to set up child security features on a non-Amazon device.

Thank you for the personal experience feedback. What you've said has validated my thoughts. I just need to know what price point is worth the experience now. Super helpful and I appreciate the response.

Fwiw, our iPad 2 (from 2013 or whatever) has an Otter Box case and is still used to this day for old games and watching videos. You can't install anything on it and the OG battery is finally going on it, but we've since bought multiple Fire tablets and they were all broken or slowed down enough they've all been retired.

The fact my youngest (3.5 yrs old) hasn't broken the iPad is kind of amazing considering his nickname is Bam-bam.

We bought the base level iPad for our daughter about a year ago, I think it was under $300 at Costco. It is in a Little Buddy case from Laut case (from Microcenter) and it is reasonably tough. We are consistent that she is not allowed to leave it on the floor though and have to reminder maybe once a week when she puts it down on the floor.

Personally if you can afford it I think the iPad has the best software ecosystem. A lot of games and learning apps are only on iOS.

LeapingGnome wrote:

We bought the base level iPad for our daughter about a year ago, I think it was under $300 at Costco. It is in a Little Buddy case from Laut case (from Microcenter) and it is reasonably tough. We are consistent that she is not allowed to leave it on the floor though and have to reminder maybe once a week when she puts it down on the floor.

Personally if you can afford it I think the iPad has the best software ecosystem. A lot of games and learning apps are only on iOS.

Thanks Leap. I am really leaning this way after the conversations. I'm sure I could have them share one, but for peace of mind, I'll probably just get 2 of them. $600 bucks isn't unreasonable for my situation, just want to make sure they are ready for that type of responsibility.

LeapingGnome wrote:

We bought the base level iPad for our daughter about a year ago, I think it was under $300 at Costco. It is in a Little Buddy case from Laut case (from Microcenter) and it is reasonably tough. We are consistent that she is not allowed to leave it on the floor though and have to reminder maybe once a week when she puts it down on the floor.

Personally if you can afford it I think the iPad has the best software ecosystem. A lot of games and learning apps are only on iOS.

Yeah, we were adamant with the kids. My oldest used to get mad and punch the screen, so he had it taken away for looooong periods of time.

It def helps if you're a helicopter parent watching your child's every move.