To be clear: No matter how much they ask for one, your child probably doesn’t need a smartphone. The official policy of American Academy of Pediatrics is that young children need hands-on social interactions and exploration with their peers and caregivers to learn – a standard that is admittedly difficult to meet during distance learning.
But if you’re looking for a digital device to entertain or distract them while you work, let me be the second, fourth, or 10th person to tell you: that’s perfectly OK. Here are some of the devices that have worked for me and my 3 and 5 year old kids. Many of these giveaways do not require parental guidance, and those that have solid parental controls that allow you to limit your children’s use to less than, say, 35 hours a day. If you would like to see more options, check out our gift ideas for new parents or our guide to best tablets for kids.