Last-Minute Gift Ideas: Tablets For Kids

One of the biggest questions tech-savvy parents must contend with when it comes to tablets for their kids is this: do I really want to give my precious wee one a really expensive piece metal and glass?

Tech blogger Shelly Palmer asked the same question this holiday season and came up with five good tablet options for kids.

Palmer's picks are pretty good, touching on safe and educational options for younger and older kids alike. I like the fact that he threw out an Android- and an iOS-based device, though I'm not sure that I would have picked a Kindle Fire.

Unless you want to (a) give your child quicker access to a lot of content that will (b) suck your bank account dry, I'd suggest a Nexus tablet instead. You can still get multimedia content if you want it, but from more sources then just Amazon's web store.

I loved Palmer's kid-only choices, but you may want to weigh your own budget needs before getting one of these highly specific devices. As counter-intuitive as it may seem, if you're trying to cut costs for the long term, you may want to buy an Android/iOS device first, rather than a kid device for $99-$199 that they'll outgrow very quickly and you'll have to get a new tablet for anyway.

But if you have a string of little kids in your creche, I would definitely opt for a kid-specific tablet that can be shared and passed along so it will get more than just a year or two of use if you're lucky.

Time's running out, so you'll have to move quick to get a tablet under a holiday tree. But whatever you decide to buy, be sure it exceeds the level of your child's abilities so they'll grow into using the tablet over time, instead of outgrowing it next week.