The best drawing tablet for kids 2018

Welcome to our list of the best drawing tablets for kids in 2018. If you know a child who loves to draw and want to encourage that passion, then buying a kid-friendly pen display or graphics tablet is a great way to introduce them to the world of digital art without breaking the bank. (For those days when you've just tidied up, they're also a great way for children to hone traditional drawing and painting skills without the mess.)

Drawing tablet devices are big hits with children: interaction is highly intuitive thanks to their touchscreens, making the learning curve pretty effortless. Many of the best drawing tablets for kids are also made out of rugged materials that can survive knocks and bumps, and have parental controls for peace of mind.

There are a few different types of drawing tablets for kids: 

Pen display tablets. These come with a built-in touchscreen monitor with a pressure-sensitive surface that you draw on with a stylus. 

Graphics tablets. These plug into a computer. Kids draw and paint on the surface, and the image is show on the monitor of your computer.

Tablet computers. Like pen display tablets, these touchscreens work well with styluses and display the art as its being drawn.

Each type has its own pros and cons, and it’s worth making sure you understand the difference before buying one – you’ll find a more detailed explanation at the bottom of this article. 

But to help make sure you choose the best drawing tablet for your kid, we've listed our top picks here: every option below is child-friendly, easy to use and makes drawing a joy – so you can't go wrong. And our price comparison tool is continually checking all the major retailers to make sure you’ll get the best deals as well.

The best drawing tablets for kids – and the best prices

The Wacom Intuos Draw is our pick for the best overall drawing tablet for kids. This is down to its affordable price, along with the sturdy build quality and feature set that we've come to expect from Wacom, which is a brand to be reckoned with in this area. It's a great drawing tablet for beginners, and it can cope with more advanced uses as your child grows in skill and confidence. There's an optional wireless module you can buy to make it easier to use as well. The major downside is that the small version may soon feel a little cramped.

In our view, the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is the best affordable drawing tablet for kids in 2018. That doesn't necessarily mean it's the cheapest, but the functionality you get for the price is hard to beat. It comes with a rugged case and a two year no quibble warranty, which means you won't have to worry about it being dropped when at school. It's a tablet PC device, which means it wasn't built solely for digital art. This has benefits, as it means it's a more versatile device that can perform other tasks, but it also has drawbacks. It doesn't have some of the more advanced digital art features, and it doesn't come with a stylus, so you'll need to buy one separately.

The XP-Pen Artist 15.6 is an excellent pen tablet for kids, offering a good-sized drawing area, comfortable pen with a good range of sensitivity levels and a very good screen. It has a robust design that means it can handle knocks and bumps pretty well, and it's a great introduction for kids who want to use a pen display tablet for their digital art.

The Huion H640P is an excellent drawing tablet for kids. It's small and portable, making it perfect for little hands – and also easy to carry around in a backpack. At just 10.2 x 5.8 inches, this option is no thicker than a smartphone, but offers a handy set of shortcut keys, which makes up for its compact size. It's pretty competitively priced as well, which makes it an ideal choice for young beginners.

This is an excellent mid-range pen tablet that offers more advanced features than some budget rivals, without costing too much. You get a fantastic build quality for the price, and it's compact enough to easily carry around and be used by smaller hands. The stylus doesn't need a battery, which means your kids won't be frustrated by it suddenly not working when the pen is out of juice. It's not the easiest tablet to get hold of, but if you're looking for a pen drawing tablet for kids that gives a bit more freedom, this is a great choice.

Wacom Bamboo Slate isn't technically a graphics tablet – it's what Wacom calls a "smartpad". This turns handwritten notes and sketches into digital art that can be sent to a tablet via Bluetooth, or a PC via USB. It's a great choice if you have an arty kid who's just starting out: they can doodle on the Bamboo Slate, then edit their work on a PC or tablet.

The H430P is a great graphics tablet for kids, as it gives you all the basics without requiring a big investment. This means, if they lose interest, or quickly outgrow the small drawing area, then you've not lost out on too much money. While the drawing area is small, the pen is sensitive enough to allow kids to draw and paint easily, giving them a taste of what it's like to create digital art using a graphics tablet.

If you want the best iOS drawing tablet for kids, then the new iPad (2018) is unquestionably the one to get. It gives you the best of Apple's tablet world – including an upgraded A10 processor and access to all the best iOS art apps – in a form factor that's not only beautiful, but highly portable. The headline feature? It works with the Apple Pencil (although you’ll have to buy that separately – you’ll find the best Apple Pencils deals here), making the new 9.7-inch iPad a huge win for artists everywhere. It's also reasonably affordable, for Apple, anyway. Throw in the fact that you can use the iPad for a lot of other tasks besides drawing, and the new 9.7-inch iPad is easily one of the best drawing tablets for kids you can buy. 

The Asus ZenPad is something of a direct rival to Apple's best tablets thanks to a slick and stylish design, yet it's also quite a bit cheaper than any of its iOS rivals. It has a sharp and bright touchscreen that works well with stylus devices for drawing, and the size of the display is larger than other tablets at this price point. If you're looking for the best Android drawing tablet for kids, then Asus' recent offering is the one to go for.

The Acer Switch 3 is the best Windows 10 tablet for kids who want to get into digital art. It's solidly built, and has powerful-enough hardware to keep things feeling quick and responsive. It runs Windows 10, which means you can use full versions of desktop software such as Photoshop, rather than just being confined to apps. It also comes with a top-notch active digitizer and pressure-sensitive pen, and the price is pretty competitive as well.

How to choose the right drawing tablet for kids

As we said above, there are three main types of drawing tablets…