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We’ve gathered some of our favorite recommendations for games, tablets, and headphones for kids. And we also have related gear for a child interested in exploring music, trying learning apps, or even demonstrating a knack for building.
Kids Headphones: Puro BT2200
We tested 37 pairs of headphones designed to protect growing ears, and found the
was the only model that fits kids across a wide variety of ages and head sizes. Their aluminum frame is durable and the headphones are especially comfortable for children 2½- to 11-years-old which means they’ll grow with your child. The BT2200 offers Bluetooth connectivity, which makes sure volume plays at correct levels and within safe limits no matter what device the headphones are paired with. Our panel of kid testers liked that they’re wireless and eliminate annoying, tangled wires. But the BT2200 also come with a cord for devices without Bluetooth and situations where you can’t charge. (Note that the cord has to be plugged in correctly to maintain safe volume levels, so we recommend supervising your child when using this pick with its cord.)
Tablet for Kids: Apple iPad (6th generation)
The best tablet for a kid is an old one that you’re no longer using. However, if you’re set on buying a new tablet for a child, we recommend the 6th generation Apple iPad with 32GB of memory. It’s fast, easy to use, and has a huge library of apps for kids of all ages and adults. The iPad can be used for playing demanding games and for streaming videos from services not limited to Hulu, Netflix, YouTube Kids, and Amazon Prime Video. We like that this pick has great hardware and gets frequent security and service updates that sustain long-term use. If you need more space, the 128G version offers four times the storage for installing more apps and games. For a budget option that’s slower but good for video, we recommend the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition.
Learning App: Osmo Coding (iOS)
Osmo Coding is an iPad app that goes beyond the digital experience. Osmo system games require a special base and physical game pieces to make coding tangible—even for preschoolers who can’t yet read. Osmo Coding uses physical bricks that are marked with numbers, commands, loops, and arrows which kids arrange into “scripts.” The object of the game is to direct a character through challenges and mazes all while collecting prizes. The app is recommended for children ages 6 and up, but we found that kids as young as 4 are able to complete the game even without help from an adult.
Electronics Kit for Kids and Beginners: SmartLab Toys Smart Circuits
The SmartLab Toys Smart Circuits is the best electronics kit for kids, offering both easy-to-follow instructions and the option to delve deeper into a building process. Its diagrams and booklet curriculum have context that’s helpful and educational for kids and adults. The kit’s parts are easy to work with and even difficult projects come with thorough explainers. During testing, the clarity of the instructions allowed our panel of kids and adults to quickly jump in and start building. The Smart Circuits covers 50 sample projects that span from a homemade drum kit to a conductivity tester—all of which are easy to put together. While the kit’s wires may not hold up forever, the kit is cheap and offers the best overall experience for beginners who are interested in electronics.
Game: The Enchanted Tower
For a thoughtful memory-based game that challenges kids to use a bit of strategy, we recommend The Enchanted Tower. A race to find a hidden key, this game is suitable for elementary school kids. While everyone closes their eyes or looks away, one player (the wizard) locks the princess in a tower and hides the key in one of 15 spaces on the game board. The remaining players roll a die and use magnetic pawns in hopes to land on the space with the key. When they do, it pops up and players are then are given one chance to try the key in one of the towers’ six locks. If the key doesn’t fit, the wizard hides it again and another round begins.
These picks may have been updated. Click through to see the current recommendations or availability updates for Nintendo Labo kits, the best kids headphones, the best tablet for kids, our favorite learning apps for tablets and smartphones, board games we love for kids, and the best electronics kits for kids and beginners.