iPad Mini
iPad Mini

Choosing the best iPad for a child can be akin to navigating a maze. With several options available, each sporting different features and coming at various price points, the decision-making process can be overwhelming. This comprehensive guide is designed to demystify the process, equipping you with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision. By considering your child’s needs, their age, and your budget, you’ll be able to pinpoint the best iPad for them.

Understanding Your Child’s Needs

Before you rush into purchasing an iPad, it’s crucial to consider what your child will use it for. Their interests and needs should steer your choice of iPad.

Education and Learning

In our digital age, iPads have emerged as powerful learning tools. They house a vast universe of educational apps, each designed to make learning a more engaging and enjoyable experience for children. From math to reading and science, these apps cover a wide range of subjects. If your child will primarily use the iPad for learning, then any iPad model would be sufficient, although you might want to opt for one with larger storage capacity if you plan to download numerous apps.

Entertainment and Games

iPads are not just for learning; they also offer countless entertainment options. From streaming their favorite cartoons and movies to playing engaging games, your child can do it all on an iPad. If the device will primarily be used for these purposes, then screen size and resolution become significant factors. In this case, you might want to consider the iPad or the iPad Pro, which both offer larger screens.

Creativity and Expression

Children often have a natural inclination towards creativity, and iPads can serve as wonderful tools to express this creativity. Whether your child is interested in drawing, making music, or even producing their own videos, the right iPad can facilitate this. The iPad Pro is particularly well-suited for such creative endeavors, with its support for the Apple Pencil and a suite of professional-grade apps.

Comparing the Options

Now that we’ve outlined the considerations based on usage, let’s take a more detailed look at the three major iPad models available: the iPad Mini, the standard iPad, and the iPad Pro.

iPad Mini


The iPad Mini is the most compact model in the lineup. Its small size and light weight make it ideal for small hands to hold and use. It is also the most portable option, making it easy for your child to carry it to school or during travels.


While its size is a strength, it can also be a drawback. The smaller screen size might not offer the most enjoyable viewing experience for movies or detailed games. Some may also find the on-screen keyboard a bit cramped.



The standard iPad serves as the middle ground in the lineup. It offers a larger screen than the iPad Mini, making it more enjoyable for media consumption and gaming. While it’s pricier than the Mini, it’s still reasonably priced, offering good value for money. Plus, it supports the first-generation Apple Pencil, adding another layer of functionality.


While the iPad strikes a balance between size and price, it does have its limitations. Its components are not as powerful as the iPad Pro’s, which might affect the performance of more demanding tasks. It also doesn’t support the second-generation Apple Pencil, which offers better precision and more features.

iPad Pro


The iPad Pro is the high-end model of the lineup. It boasts the best performance, the largest screen, the highest resolution, and the most features. It’s the only model that supports the second-generation Apple Pencil, making it the ideal choice for serious artistic endeavors.


On the flip side, the iPad Pro is the most expensive model. It might not be a feasible option for every budget. Furthermore, its larger size and heavier weight make it less portable, which could be a drawback for younger children.

Age-Appropriate Considerations

Age plays an important role in your choice of iPad. Younger children, with their smaller hands, might find the iPad Mini easier to handle. They will be more comfortable holding and using the mini, so they will get more from their device. Older children might prefer the larger screen and additional features of the iPad or iPad Pro for their learning and entertainment needs.

Budget Constraints

No discussion about buying an iPad would be complete without talking about the budget. While the iPad Pro certainly stands out with its superior performance and features, its high price tag can be a major deterrent. On the other hand, the standard iPad manages to strike a balance between cost and functionality, making it a popular choice for many. The iPad Mini, while lacking some of the advanced features of its counterparts, is the most affordable choice and could be an ideal starter iPad for younger kids.


Choosing the right iPad for your child isn’t as straightforward as it might seem, but by understanding your child’s needs, considering their age, and evaluating your budget, you can navigate the options with confidence. For younger children or those needing a highly portable option, the iPad Mini could be just right. For kids needing a versatile, all-round device without breaking the bank, the standard iPad could be the ticket. And for older kids who require a high-performance device for more demanding applications or creative pursuits, the iPad Pro could be the investment you need to make. Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer here. The best iPad for your child is the one that best aligns with their needs and your budget.


  1. Is the iPad Mini good for a child? Absolutely. The iPad Mini’s smaller size and lightweight design make it especially suitable for younger children. It’s also the most affordable option, making it a great entry point into the world of iPads.
  2. Can the standard iPad handle educational apps and games? Yes, it can. The standard iPad has enough power to handle most educational apps and games with ease. It also supports the first-generation Apple Pencil, which can be a great tool for learning and creativity.
  3. Is the iPad Pro worth the extra cost for a child? It depends on the child’s interests and needs. If they’re heavily into creative pursuits like drawing, painting, or music creation and require a high-performance device that can handle such demanding applications, the iPad Pro might be worth the extra cost.
  4. Which iPad is best for watching movies and playing games? Both the iPad and the iPad Pro offer larger screens compared to the iPad Mini, making them more suitable for watching movies and playing games. Of the two, the iPad Pro offers the highest resolution and the best performance, providing a more immersive viewing and gaming experience.
  5. Are all iPads compatible with the Apple Pencil? Yes, all current iPad models support the Apple Pencil. However, it’s important to note that the standard iPad only supports the first-generation Apple Pencil, while the iPad Mini and iPad Pro support the more advanced second-generation Apple Pencil.
Eric Chan

Hi! I’m Eric and I work on the knowledge base at GadgetMates.com.  You can see some of my writings about technology, cellphone repair, and computer repair here.

When I’m not writing about tech I’m playing with my dog or hanging out with my girlfriend.

Shoot me a message at ericchan@gadgetmates.com if you want to see a topic discussed or have a correction on something I’ve written.

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