There's no shortage of electronics for kids, from interactive robots to smartwatches specifically designed for little ones.
To help you find the best option for your needs, we researched the hottest electronic gift options, considering each pick's price, recommended age, and durability. Our favorite is the Amazon Fire 7 Kids Tablet, a durable device with a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+ for learning and reading opportunities.
Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet
Purchase includes year-long subscription
Tough, durable case
Battery drains quickly
Fewer features than some competitors
If you buy only one electronic device for your child, you might want to make it the Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet. This popular, affordable tablet comes in a tough, rubberized case (in a choice of pink, purple, or blue) that might withstand toddler (or tween) tantrums. The interface is extremely kid-friendly, though admittedly not as slick as some of its competitors, but it does include a web browser and can even run apps like Zoom if your kid needs to jump on a class meeting for virtual learning.
Each purchase also includes a year-long subscription to Amazon Kids+, with more than 20,000 apps, games, books, videos, audiobooks, and content from sites like PBS Kids, Nickelodeon, and Disney. Once the year is up, you'll have to pay monthly for the service, but you can cancel anytime. If you want to go beyond Amazon Kids+, the Fire 7 Kids Tablet has 16 gigabytes of storage, and you can opt to add even more with a microSD memory card.
This pick also transitions easily from toddlers to teens with easy-to-use parental controls for little ones and plenty of apps, music, and book options for high schoolers. The Fire 7 Kids is perfect for road trips; just be sure to download shows and movies in case Wi-Fi isn't available, and keep the charging cord on hand because the battery is said to drain quickly.
Price at time of publish: $110
Dimensions: 8.7 x 6.3 x 1.0 inches | Power: Micro USB | Recommended Age: 3 years and up
Best for Toddlers
Fisher-Price Linkimals Play Together Panda
Easy to clean
Interactive music and lights
Teaches numbers, shapes, and manners
Off switch can be difficult to get to
With this plush, chatty bear, Fisher-Price proves that electronic toys for toddlers can be both cuddly and high-tech. The Linkimals Play Together Panda has a light-up belly with a huge button that makes it easy for little ones to operate independently. With just a press, they'll hear about numbers, shapes, and even tips for good manners, as well as plenty of songs and giggles. While most users report the button works well, some indicate occasional unresponsiveness.
In addition to offering comfort and opportunities for learning, this educational toy is resistant to daily messes. Parents can remove the electronic components to machine-wash the soft outer layer. If your little one has multiple Linkimals creatures or if a friend has another toy from the series, you can set them up to interact for even more fun.
Price at time of publish: $22
Dimensions: 3.54 x 7.48 x 11.02 inches | Power: AA batteries | Recommended Age: 9 months and up
Best for Preschoolers
LeapFrog My Own Leaptop
Four learning modes
Interactive songs and phrases
Screen does not light up
Lacks headphone jack
Toddlers and preschoolers often love to imitate their parents and caregivers. It's one of the ways they learn more about the world around them. The LeapFrog My Own Leaptop is a colorful, rugged laptop toy that lets them do that in a big way.
While the screen doesn't light up and this learning laptop lacks a port for headphones, this device includes four learning modes: alphabet, messages, games, and music. In alphabet mode, kids will learn a specific letter, its sound, and some words that start with it. Other fun features include animal trivia games, email messages from Scout (LeapFrog's main character), and 16 different songs and melodies.
Price at time of publish: $28
Dimensions: 1.45 x 9 x 7 inches | Power: AA batteries | Recommended Age: 2 years and up
PBS Kids Educational Playtime Tablet
Suitable for various ages
Parents can customize what kids can watch and do
Sturdy silicone case
Battery can deplete quickly
Apps can be slow to load
If you and your kids enjoy PBS programming, you may want to consider the PBS Kids Educational Playtime Tablet. It's an affordable, PBS-produced device that comes preloaded with the channel's games, videos, and songs, as well as apps for teaching reading, math, and more.
It has a 7-inch touchscreen, front and back cameras, 16 gigabytes of storage, and an Android operating system that's easy for even little fingers to navigate. As the parent, you can completely customize the experience before handing it over, including managing parental controls. It's also linked up with Google Play for you to add other apps that your kids love. While the battery life isn't the longest-lasting, and some report Wi-Fi issues and slow app loading, the sturdy aqua-blue silicone case will help protect it from the bumps and blows that are sure to come.
Price at time of publish: $80
Dimensions: 2.79 x 10.43 x 5.59 inches | Power: USB | Recommended Age: Not listed
LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox
Teaches STEM concepts
Pairs with app
Five different builds
Can be difficult for younger kids
Pricier than other STEM toys
If you keep hearing the words "LEGO Robotics" but aren't quite sure what the fuss is about, this LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox is a great introduction to the concept. The kit introduces kids to coding and other STEM concepts they can use to create five different machines, from a classic-looking robot that talks and dances to a guitar with sound effects.
To use it, you need to download the company's free app, which has an easy-to-grasp coding interface that teaches kids about concepts such as loops and variables. The app is regularly updated, so even after your child has built all the possible combinations, they'll be able to find new challenges and even interact with friends who are also using it. This learning kit is feature-packed, but it's best for introducing older kids to STEM concepts.
Price at time of publish: $289
Dimensions: 21.26 x 11.1 x 3.58 inches | Power: AAA batteries | Recommended Age: 7 years and up
Best for Gaming
Multiple ways to play
Suitable for remote play
Accessories cost extra
There's a reason why the Nintendo Switch hybrid gaming system—which can be either attached to a television or used handheld—is so popular it often sells out. Kids and adults can choose from more than 5,000 games, including family favorites like Mario Kart, Just Dance, and the ever-addictive Animal Crossing. Parents can easily keep an eye on their kids' gaming habits with the intuitive settings that allow them to set time limits and block them from downloading content that isn't age-appropriate.
While the initial investment is costlier than some other educational gadgets, the Switch can also help your young ones stay in touch with family members and cousins who live several states away. You can set it up for remote play and hold a multiplayer Super Smash Bros. tournament with just a few clicks.
Price at time of publish: $300
Dimensions: 14 x 8 x 3.5 inches | Power: USB-C | Recommended Age: 6 years and up
LeapFrog Magic Adventures Globe
Teaching culture and geography
More footage available for purchase
Doubles as room decor
Stylus can be faulty
Other learning packs cost extra
LeapFrog has given the classic bookshelf globe a fun 21st-century update with its Magic Adventure Globe. This interactive toy features a digital stylus and a three-inch screen that shows BBC videos about different destinations. The three-dimensional globe shape also helps them understand the planet's geography more concretely than simply looking at flat or even 3D maps online.
This globe helps kids learn and experience different languages, cultures, animals, and habitats while playing three interactive games. Although the globe comes with more than five hours of BBC videos, if you want more content, you need to purchase additional adventure packs to keep the learning going. These options include subjects like ancient civilizations and dinosaurs.
Price at time of publish: $90
Dimensions: 11.06 x 10.24 x 14.09 inches | Power: AA batteries | Recommended Age: 5 years and up
Fitbit Ace 2
Helps kids stay active
Band can rip easily
Limited color options
If you're hoping to help your children understand the connection between staying active and feeling good, the Fitbit Ace 2 does exactly that. While some parents report issues with band faultiness, this kid-friendly version of the popular adult tracker comes in a few bright colors and is swim-proof (up to 50 meters). Kids can also customize their animated clock face and avatar.
The dashboard includes two views. The Kid view shows only their step stats and earned badges, while the Parent view details specific activities and enables them to approve or reject Fitbit friend requests. Like the adult Fitbit, this one also includes optional hourly reminders to move and sleep tracking, which might encourage your child to keep active throughout the day and turn in early for better numbers.
Price at time of publish: $119
Dimensions: 1.18 x 3.94 x 8.94 inches | Power: USB | Recommended Age: 6 years and up
Kidamento Kids Digital Camera & Video Camcorder
Long battery life
Picture quality could be lacking
If you have a budding artist or photographer in your family, grab this kid-friendly camera and camcorder from Kidamento. This one is durable with a silicone casing and is the perfect size for small hands. It features auto-focus and other features that make it easy to snap high-quality pictures and videos.
Choose from fun filters and frames to customize your photos on the touchscreen then upload them onto your favorite device or print to frame and display. This camera has a fairly long battery life that allows six hours of before needing more juice. Plus, the design itself is simply adorable.
Price at time of publish: $80
Dimensions: 3.8 x 2.3 x 1.8 inches | Power: USB | Recommended Age: 3 years and up
The Amazon Fire 7 Tablet is our top recommendation for an educational electronic device for kids. It's budget-friendly, durable, and includes ample learning material along with storage options and helpful parental controls. If you're interested in fostering STEM skills in older kids, the LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox teaches coding and robotics in an engaging kit.
What to Look for in Electronics for Kids
Electronics can be addictive for kids. Take care to select high-quality electronics that are as educational as they are fun. Look for electronics from brands known for educational play (like LeapFrog), encourage building skills, teach a new hobby, or promote physical play.
Ease of Use
Kids' electronics should be simple and intuitive to use. Look for clear graphics, simple instructions, and easy-to-operate mechanics. Be sure that the electronics you select are age-appropriate according to both your kids’ age and personal stage of development, which can be more or less advanced than their peers at any given time.
Kids' electronic toys typically use safe and durable materials, but it's always a good idea to double-check. Look for items that include a kid-proof case or rubber or plastic coverings that can withstand drops and are easy to clean. It's important to select well-made electronics from reputable manufacturers that will stand the test of time and can be passed down to younger children as your kids outgrow them.
How do you teach kids how to use electronics?
Electronics aren't a substitute for humans, but they're intuitive and encourage self-directed learning through play. There are electronics tailor-made for kids as young as toddlers that look like toys but teach them rudimentary skills like learning what happens when they push a button. As the child grows, electronics are made to grow with them and even help them learn new skills.
How much time should kids spend on electronics?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reports that kids spend an average of seven hours per day in front of screens. After a failed campaign to get parents to limit screen time to no more than two hours a day, AAP advises parents to limit screen time for children under 18 months to video chatting. The organization recommends selecting only high-quality programming for kids 18 to 24 months, with parents and guardians watching along to help them understand what they are seeing. AAP also suggests limiting screen time to one hour per day for kids ages two to five, urging parents to limit screen time for kids ages six and older.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Lexi Dwyer is a parenting and lifestyle writer for The Spruce. Her work has appeared on digital media outlets like Fatherly, What To Expect, and Today.com. Additional research was done by Julia Fields, a lifestyle writer for The Spruce covering all things surrounding toys, gifts, and the holidays since October 2021. Before that, she covered similar topics, including toy reviews, product roundups, expert-focused articles, and more.