The best drawing tablets for kids in 2022
Finding one of the best drawing tablets for kids is a great way to inspire artistic aspirations in children of all ages. No matter whether your child’s just getting to grips with crayons, or about to head off to study art or design at college, having the right drawing tablet can make a positive difference to their artistic growth, so you need to spend some time ensuring that you make a suitable choice.
We’ve found all the best drawing tablets for kids and, rather than present you with a straight list of options, we’ve arranged them by recommended age to make things easier to navigate and to help you get to your best options quickly. We kick things off with a tablet suitable for toddlers before moving on to some slightly more advanced tablets for kids from 6-12. And after that the sophistication and specifications start to ramp up as we look at drawing tablets suitable for teens with a passion for art; be aware that this is where prices will start to go up.
Just because a drawing tablet’s for kids, that doesn’t mean compromising on quality; that’s why you’ll find top gear from leading companies such as Wacom, Huion, XP-Pen, Apple and Samung here. But we’re also aware that your budget may be a little stretched right now, so there are also some great options a lower prices, including older models that are perfectly suitable for kids.
Need more options? Take a look at our guide to the best drawing tablets, which has plenty more choices. Also, if your little one’s a budding shutterbug, you’ll want to check out our guide to the best cameras for kids. And finally, as another option for very little ones, we have a guide to the best lightboxes.
But for now, let’s take a look at the best drawing tablets for kids available right now.
The best drawing tablets for kids available now
Tiny tots (0-4)
If you need a drawing tablet that’s suitable for really tiny hands, you won’t go far wrong with the Richgv LCD Tablet. Available in a choice of bright colours, it’s the perfect tablet for small children who are just beginning to enjoy drawing; it’s easy to use, it’s cheap and it’s impressively rugged and splash-resistant.
Functionally the Richgv LCD tablet is a step up from an Etch-A-Sketch. It’s powered by a single CR2016 coin battery, and with the included stylus kids can write or doodle on the screen with clear, sharply delineated lines, and then hit the clear button to refresh the screen whenever they like. The tablet is compact enough that you can take it pretty much anywhere, making for a good emergency distraction when you’re out and about.
There’s no internal memory, so the tablet won’t be able to save any doodles. If your kid is old enough to be bothered about that then they’re likely ready for one of the next tablets on our list. For the littlest ones, this is the ideal starter drawing tablet.
Growing kids (5-12)
Considering a proper tablet rather than a drawing tablet for kids? While Apple and Samsung’s tablets are reasonably solid and kid-friendly (find out more further down this list), they’re not specifically designed for children. For a tablet that’s properly suitable for little hands, the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition is an excellent choice. It’s a general purpose tablet made with children in mind, and it just happens to provide a decent drawing surface, too.
The tablet comes with a year’s subscription to Amazon Fire for Kids Unlimited, meaning you can pick from the various drawing and doodling apps in Amazon’s appstore to get your child started on an artistic adventure – though do bear in mind that you’ll need to pick up a stylus separately, as it doesn’t come in the box. The Fire HD 10 Kids Edition doesn’t have pressure sensitivity or other advanced drawing features, meaning any cheap stylus will do the trick. See our guide to the best Android styluses for some ideas.
Also, while the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition does have internet access, it comes with plenty of handy parental controls that let you control what content your child can access, and even set screen time limits.
The Wacom Bamboo Slate isn’t a graphics tablet as such; Wacom describes it as a ‘smartpad’, designed to turn sketches and handwritten notes on paper into digital files in a variety of formats, which can then be sent to a tablet or PC via Bluetooth or USB. As such it provides the best of both worlds; your child can enjoy the tactile pleasure of drawing on paper than then see the results transferred to a screen.
It really feels like using a pad, because it effectively is. Your child clips the paper in securely, then draws on it, and whatever they create will be captured digitally. If you’ve got an avid paper scribbler on your hands and would like to induct them into the digital world, this is a great way to bridge the gap.
Well built and satisfying to use, the Wacom Bamboo Slate is an older product, but still well worth picking up. Just remember to keep your little one well supplied with paper!
Another hybrid tablet similar to the Wacom Bamboo Slate, the Repaper is the latest option from iskn, which has been making similar tablets for quite a while now. They’ve proved p;opular with both kids and adults, and this model adds pressure sensitivity to the mix, giving it a much more analogue feel and bringing it more in line with professional graphics tablets.
In the box you get both a 9000 2B Faber-Castell pencil and the Repaper Stylus, meaning your child has the option of drawing on paper, or directly on the tablet. Either way, their drawings can be easily exported to a digital device running Android, iOS, MacOS or Windows, and the tablet is also compatible with most common drawing software. It’s a little complex for young kids, but budding artists of 10 and up will have a terrific time with the iskn Repaper.
Teens and up (12+)
For a fully-fledged graphics tablet that’s suitable for kids and young teenagers, you can’t go far wrong with the Wacom Intuos S. The smallest member of the Intuos family, it’s a great all-rounder that doesn’t cost a fortune; bear in mind, though, that it needs to be connected a computer or tablet with its own display. With the Intuos s you get a flexible range of drawing options, and it comes with the Wacom Pen 4K, which is battery-free and delivers 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity.
The Inuos S has four ExpressKeys, which can be customised to preferred functions, and four rubber feet to help it stay still on flat surfaces. If you’re aware of Wacom’s reputation for expensive gear then the relatively slender price of the Intuos S may come as a pleasant surprise; the tablet is also a couple of years old, so discounts do tend to pop up not infrequently. Keep an eye out.
The only real bugbear with the Intuos S is that its drawing surface might simply be too small for some ambitious young artists (see our Wacom Intuous Pro Small review for more details). There are larger Intuos models available if you suspect that might be the case, though be aware that these do come at higher prices.
Ever since Apple Pencil support came to the iPad Mini, the littlest iPad has been our top choice as a pocket-sized all-in-one drawing platform, and its petite dimension mean that it also ranks as a brilliant – if expensive – drawing tablet for kids. Obviously you’ll have to buy an Apple Pencil separately – find the best Apple Pencil deals here – but it’s well worth the investment, bringing a flawless drawing experience in any app you like. Apple’s never put a number on its pressure sensitivity, but it feels good, and it’s even suitable for precision drawing rather than sketching.
The 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display of the 2021 iPad Mini is crisp and high-quality, with a resolution of 2266 x 1488 and a smooth 60Hz refresh rate. While this isn’t what you’d want for high-end gaming, it’s perfectly good for digital art. The only real downside to this superb tablet is its price, and the fact that you have to tack the price of the Pencil on to the end; if you need convincing, get all the details in our Apple iPad mini (6th Gen) review. If it’s too expensive but you like the sound of an iPad for your kid, consider previous versions like the older 2019 model. It’s less fancy, but it’ll still do the job; find out more about it from our iPad mini (2019) review.
With an Android tablet your kid can get plenty of flexibility when it comes to drawing and painting, with loads of different apps available to try. However if they want to do things properly, you’ll find it difficult to get an Android tablet with a decent stylus. That’s why we’d suggest opting for a Samsung tablet; it’s compatible with the company’s own S-Pen, which is a well-built stylus complete with pressure sensitivity. The only downside is that it’s not included with any tablets, so you’ll have to pay for it separately.
As far as kid-friendly Samsung tablets go, we’d plump for the Samsung Galaxy Tab A (8-inch). It’s a smaller tablet and highly affordable, with Samsung clearly gunning for the budget market, and the fact that it’s a couple of years old means it’s only become cheaper.
The screen resolution, at 1280 x 800, is a little low, and the connection is only micro USB rather than the faster USB-C. But for a kid who just wants to draw, this is all unlikely to matter, and drawing with the S-Pen is a wonderfully intuitive experience. It works seamlessly with various sketching and illustration apps, and makes for a fantastic gateway into digital art.
Like Huion, XP-Pen is another newcomer brand that’s giving Wacom a run for its money with quality tablets at attractive prices, making them a splendid choice when you’re buying a tablet for a kid who might not treat it as gently as you would. And from its range we’d suggest the XP-Pen Art Deco01 V2, which is both affordable and really good for drawing, with plenty of pro features.
It connects not just to Mac and PC but Android too, and its pen provides 8,192 levels of pressure detection as well as tilt detection, giving it a level of flexibility and depth that many cheaper tablets lack.
The affordability of the tablet does show itself in some ways; the stylus and the general build both feel pretty flimsy and plasticky, lacking the solidity and premium finish of more expensive tablets. Still, the fundamentals are solid, and that’s ultimately what counts.
At just just 4.8 x 3 inches the Huion Inspiroy H640P is a really nice drawing tablet for kids. The size means it’s perfect for small hands and is portable enough to fit into a backpack or school bag. While it’s compact and slim it still features the shortcut keys you find on more expensive, larger drawing tablets.
The pen that comes with this tablet features 4,096 levels of pressure, which we found more than enough in our Huion Inspiroy H640P review. The pen is easy and comfortable to use and is a battery-free pen, so it’s uncomplicated and approachable for young artists. It’s considered a ‘basic’ stylus, but in our review we found this pen more than capable.
This is a pretty competitively priced tablet as well, which makes it an ideal choice for young beginners. We would absolutely recommend the Huion Inspiroy H430P for beginners. It’s a nice size, light and extremely portable and can work with ChromeOS and Android too, which means you can connect it to a cheaper Chromebook or a mobile.
Best drawing tablets for kids: what to look for
When you’re buying a drawing tablet for kids, it’s worth thinking about exactly what you need in order to narrow down your options. Below, we’ve aimed to elucidate some of the specs above by providing you with a little more information about the main things to look for when tablet shopping.
This is going to be your main priority, but getting this right could be a little more complex than you might think. Naturally you wouldn’t give a toddler a full-blown iPad, nor would you present a teenager with a fun kids’ tablet that’s completely lacking in sophistication. But there are plenty of grey areas in-between, and you may also want to think about future-proofing; it might be better to buy a slightly more advanced tablet for your child so that they’ll get more use out of it in the long term.
We’ve included age guides on the tablets we’ve included here as a rough guide, and divided our list into sections to make it easier for parents to navigate. But don’t be afraid to colour outside the lines (pardon the pun) – if you think your child may benefit from a tablet aimed at older kids, consider taking the plunge. Worst case scenario, it takes a couple of years before they really start using it.
Scroll on past the jump where we look at the different types of tablet for kids you can buy.
Types of drawing tablets for kids
When it comes to the best drawing tablet for kids, there are three main categories to think about. All of them provide touch-sensitive drawing surfaces, but you’ll need to consider whether you want an all-in-one solution that doesn’t have to be plugged into anything, or a tablet that connects to Windows, Mac or Android via USB or Bluetooth. To save you confusion, here are the main types to choose from:
Drawing tablets for kids: key features
Different tablets will offer different features. The more of these the better, but of course, more sophisticated tablets are more expensive, so it’s a balancing game. Here are some key features you may want to look out for.
Pressure sensitivity: This is the big one for most graphics tablets; they’ll all shout about how many thousands of levels of pressure sensitivity they provide. But what does this actually mean? It’s all about how precisely the tablet and stylus can detect how hard you’re pressing against the surface, so it can accurately modify line thickness to match. Naturally when it comes to professional tablets this is an absolute must, but it’s less important if you’re looking for a tablet for younger artists. If you’re buying for a teenager who’s serious about art, lots of pressure sensitivity will be a definite plus; otherwise don’t worry too much about it.
Tilt sensitivity: Similar to pressure sensitivity, this refers to whether a tablet can detect the angle at which a stylus is being held, and vary the shape of the line accordingly. Once again, this is an essential feature for serious artists, and much less so for casual sketching.
Screen size: The size of the display is important not only for viewing content, but is also the effective drawing area your kid has to work with. Obviously a bigger screen is generally more desirable, but it’ll also mean an overall larger tablet, which for little kids may be simply too large to handle.
Parental controls: This only really applies to tablet computers, but if you’ve got a little one who’s going to be using the tablet unsupervised, it’s worth thinking about parental controls to make sure they don’t access inappropriate content. Most tablet computers will offer these in some form; they can also be used to set screen time limits, and some can even prevent your child from accessing playtime apps before they’re done with their learning tasks.
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