5 Great Tablet Computers for Kids


LeapPad Explorer

The LeapPad Explorer
The LeapPad Explorer

The LeapPad Explorer is meant for kids between the ages of 4 and 9, and in February 2012 was priced at $99. In December 2011, Consumer Reports rated this tablet "The Most Fun Overall" and also as the easiest tablet to use.

The LeapPad doesn't come with a lot of preloaded content, but a parent can buy cartridges -- games, books and learning games -- that look sort of like old-school Nintendo cartidges. Or, they can hook the LeapPad up to the computer and download applications, books and games from the LeapPad online shop. A customizable pet avatar guides the child through the process of learning how to use the LeapPad, and there's also a game where the child can feed, groom and play with that avatar.

One really interesting feature of the LeapPad is that it remembers and tracks each child's learning and adjusts accordingly; as a kid becomes more adept at a game, the game becomes more difficult. Also, parents can review their child's learning progress using the LeapFrog Learning Path Web site.