Although an educational toy laptop will not necessarily make your kids smarter, it will help with developmental and academic milestones while providing entertainment. The best choice of laptop for your child will be determined by his or her age and will offer a wide range of educational, interactive and fun activities.
Educational Laptop Options by Age
Laptops for kids can be found for almost any age and are an excellent option for children who are too young or not ready to be left unsupervised on an adult's computer. It is important to purchase one that has educational software appropriate for your child's age and development. The following are a few options for kids' laptops that are available:
Infants to Toddlers
Infant and toddler-age children can play and learn on laptop toys made specifically for them which include:
- Brilliant Baby Laptop by VTech is designed for babies 6 months and older and will help your little one explore and learn. It has 9 colorful shape buttons, a movable mouse and a light-up screen. It has animals, shapes and music modes to explore and learn. Amazon carries this laptop and is priced at about $20.
- Laugh and Learn Click and Learn Laptop by Fisher-Price has plenty of hands-on activities to keep babies busy. There are 123 and ABC buttons, shape and color flippers and music and emoji sliders. There are colorful lights and over 40 songs, sounds and phrases that teach your child about colors, shapes and more. This toy laptop is for babies 6 months and older and costs about $15.
- The VTech Little Apps Tablet is designed for toddlers with child-friendly animations, sounds and colorful screens. Toddlers can learn how to count, simple words, the alphabet and beginning math. There's also a built-in keyboard to test out their musical aptitude. The laptop is appropriate for ages one through five years old. It's available for about $15.
Ages 2 to 6 Years
This age group is perfect for introducing a more advanced laptop toy. Look for laptops that focus on simple math and reading skills through educational games. It should also include features for reviewing basic numbers and letters concepts. Laptops for preschool, kindergarten and first graders include:
- 2-in-1 LeapTop Touch by LeapFrog converts from a laptop to a tablet mode. There are 5 learning modes that include letters, numbers, games, music, and messages. This LeapTop comes in green or pink and is for ages 3 and up. It can be found on Amazon for about $20.00.
Tote and Go Laptop by VTech offers 20 interactive activities. It teaches many subjects at progressive learning levels. Your child can explore letters, words, shapes, numbers and basic math. There's also animal and food activities, puzzles and songs. A mouse is included with the laptop that will teach your child basic mouse skills and help with hand/eye coordination. This laptop is ideal for ages 3-6 years old and sells for about $32.00.
The Amazon Fire is a popular tablet for adults and they have a version just for children. The 7 Kids Edition Tablet includes one year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited which includes games, apps, books, videos and educational information for students from popular channels like Disney, PBS and Nickelodeon. It also includes a large library of Spanish language apps, books, games and videos. The tablet comes in a durable case that's child-friendly and comes in pink, purple or in blue. It also comes with built-in controls for parents to limit daily screen time, as well as enter in educational goals. It sells for about $100.
Ages 8 Years and Up
Kids who are between the ages of 8 and 11 may find that the educational laptops are too simple and may be ready to transition into a more adult version of a laptop. There are reasonably priced, kid-friendly laptops that you may want to consider as well as laptops your kids can even build themselves. These are suitable for homework or taking to school or computer camp. These include:
- The 2-in-1 Computer for Kids by Tanoshi can be used as a laptop or a tablet. It is the ideal learning tool for kids age 6 and older. This is not a toy laptop but an actual real computer. There are pre-loaded educational apps and easy to set-up parental controls. It comes in blue or pink and costs about $190 on Amazon.
- The Hack Computer by Hack is a great every day, high-performance 14-inch laptop. It was named "best first laptop" by Parents Magazine. Hack is the only computer that teaches kids how to code by letting them hack apps, games and the operating system. There is no prior coding experience needed and is recommended for kids ages 8 and up. There are additional pre-installed apps that help your kids learn how to code, help with their homework, allow them to play games and safely surf the internet. This laptop can be found on Amazon for about $300.
- The Kano PC Touch-Screen Laptop and Tablet is an excellent combination for younger children through adolescents. The machine gets all five star reviews on Best Buy and users call it the "perfect choice of a learn at home (and at school) device." The computer has a transparent back, so it's easy for children to see the parts inside which can inspire an interest in IT and electronics. It has Windows 10 installed and an 11.6" touchscreen, 4 GB of RAM and 64 GM eMMC storage. It also comes with Software Studio pre-installed which has several apps that your children will enjoy including design, animation, music and educational games. It sells for about $300.
Laptop Toys and the Real Thing
The educational toy laptops are undoubtedly a great option for younger kids and will help them learn the basics of how a computer works. They are also entertaining, interactive and simply make learning fun. Once your child outgrows the toy versions of the laptop, it will make the transition to the real thing a much easier process.