No matter how much they’re begging for one, your kid probably doesn’t need a smartphone. The official advice of the American Academy of Pediatrics is that young children need hands-on social interaction and exploration with peers and caregivers to learn.
That doesn’t mean you don’t need a digital device to locate them, entertain them, or distract them while you’re doing something else. If you need someone to absolve you, let me be the second, fourth, or 10th person to tell you: That’s perfectly OK. Here are a few devices that have worked for me and my children, who are now 5 and 7. Most of these gifts don’t require parental supervision, and the ones that do have good parental controls to limit your kids’ use. Check out our Best Subscription Boxes for Kids guide and Best Tablets for Kids guide for more.
Updated November 2022: We’ve added new items, like the new Kindle Paperwhite for Kids.
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