It’s important to encourage a love of reading in your kids from a young age, and an e-reader can be a great tool to help you do that.
While some parents may be wary of introducing an electronic gadget to their young child (they’ll get enough of that when they’re older, after all), there are lots of options on the market that are designed mainly for reading and have limited or no support for the games and websites that might distract them from learning to read. Plus, though there is a moderate upfront cost, buying an e-reader and e-books will save you money in the long run if your kid turns out to be a voracious reader.
Here are a few options we think will work out well for you if you’re looking to buy an e-reader for your child:
Educational toy e-reader
If your child is very young, you might want to skip over the regular e-readers and go with something simple, durable, and designed for use by small children. V-Tech and Leapfrog are both trusted educational toy manufacturers that make e-reader-style devices for kids that have features that encourage learning and are built to stand up to the falls and gooey fingers they’re likely to be subjected to.
While it is technically a tablet, the Nook HD is packed with features that makes it a perfect e-reader for kids. It boasts a 7-inch screen which makes it super readable, a full color LCD display that makes it ideal for books with pictures, and a rounded design that makes it easy for little hands to hold onto.
But, the feature that makes the Nook HD a great tablet for kids by far is its ability to set user profiles. This means that although it’s a full-featured tablet with Internet access, apps, and so forth, parents can create a password-protected profile on the device that limits some or all of these features for whoever’s using it. If you want little Johnny to only be able to read his book and not get distracted by Angry Birds, you can make him a profile that doesn’t allow the use of apps.
If you’re looking for a well-priced, basic e-reader with an e-ink screen, the Paperwhite’s your ticket. The e-ink screen makes the experience similar to reading an actual book, and the lack of backlight means you won’t have to worry about your child getting eyestrain if they read for too long. The adjustable LED frontlights make it super versatile, readable both in bright light and in the dark. The limitations of the e-ink screen mean gaming isn’t even an option. The Paperwhite would make an excellent e-reader for an older child.