10 Best Phones for Kids and Toddlers Reviewed in 2019
Does your baby or toddler just love your phone? When they see it, do they fuss to have it in their possession? Then it is time to start thinking about buying them a phone of their own. You probably think that they are just too young for their own phone, but with today’s toy market you can purchase toy phones that act and look just like the real thing. These phones are smart, sing songs, make noises, light up, and even have features just like your phone. Not only do they love playing with these phones, but they are great learning tools, too. All of the phones features buttons with numbers and letters, have colors and sing songs that they can sing along with. Each of these features on the phones has been created for a reason.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 34 hrs of research
Designed for tiny hands
Equipped with Spanish and English greetings
Peek A Boo mirror improves focus
Batteries are included
- Infantino Flip and Peek Fun Phone, Teal
- V-Tech Little Pink
- LeapFrog Chat and Count
- Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Smart Phone, Pink
- Basic Fun Fisher Price Classics
- VTech Call & Chat Learning
- Tootsie Mama Chew This Instead
- Playskool Sesame Street
- Minnie Just Play Girls Rotary
- Learning Resources Teaching Telephone
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Best Phones for Kids & Toddlers Reviewed
1. Infantino Flip and Peek Fun Phone, Teal
Designed for tiny hands
Equipped with Spanish and English greetings
Peek A Boo mirror improves focus
Batteries are included
Some reviewers received a color different from what they ordered.
With the Infantino Flip and Peek Fun Phone, you can provide your child with hours of imaginative play.Read more
The preloaded sounds and phrases will keep your child engaged and entertained during play time. Babies love seeing their own reflection. The peek a boo mirror on the inside of the flip phone is sure to be one of their favorite parts.
Equipped with greetings in English and Spanish your child will be encouraged to learn a second language. The mirror will improve your child’s ability to focus while pushing the buttons will increase their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
When purchasing you can choose between a green or pink flip phone for your toddler. Sized perfectly for the hands of children, babies as young as three months can easily grasp and play with this phone. In fact, the small size of the phone gives it a high level or portability. Take this phone on road trips, play dates, or even on a day of running errands with your little one.
While the phone does require batteries, they are included thus allowing your little one to play immediately after opening. Composed of a high-quality plastic material, this phone is built to withstand countless pretend phone calls.
2. V-Tech Little Pink
Pretend smartphone featuring kitty theme
Plays music and sounds plus lights up
The screen includes a colorful holographic image
Large number buttons
Boosts number and letter recognition
The device is not moisture-proof
Volume of the sounds and songs is very low
Your toddler will chat away on this smartphone. The size of the phone is great for their little hands and it fits perfectly in their palms. As they learn to dial and interact with the phone, pressing the buttons will become more and more fun. The phone has been designed to look like a smartphone and has a colorful holographic display of a kitty. On the keypad, the number buttons are large with bold colors that make them stand out.Read more
The smartphone look of this pretend phone is wonderful. The little ones love looking at the image and then dialing up their friends just like their parents. It also features a pretend voicemail that is really cute.
Dialing a phone is something that kids often see their parents doing. The great thing about learning to dial is it also promotes number recognition. Teaching your child to dial the numbers on a pretend phone is a great way to develop number recognition.
This is great for getting them to engage in pressing the buttons. It plays two songs that can be sung along to and eight different melodies. It has been designed for babies 6 months old to toddlers 3 years of age.
It even features an auto shut-off that is great for the kids who are always forgetting to turn those musical toys off when they are finished. From learning fun to chatting up their friends, your little one will love this kitty smartphone.
3. LeapFrog Chat and Count
15 different activities
Play call and voicemail features
Promotes educational skills
No screen protector
Batteries not included
In fuschia pink or classic LeapFrog green, the Chat and Count Smartphone treats your toddler to a wide variety of fun, educational activities. The song about counting, accompanied by adorable animations, introduces numbers 1 through 10. Another song teaches phone manners such as saying “hello” and “goodbye” at the appropriate times.Read more
Children can even trade calls and voicemails with the built-in puppy pal for practicing advanced phone skills. In addition, the puppy pal announces each number in a fun way each time your child presses a button.
This kids smartphone is for toddlers 18 months and up, which is just about the right time to introduce beginner phone skills. Along with hello and goodbye, children learn considerate, well-mannered phrases like “how are you” and “nice to talk to you”. Such phrases emphasize social skills that are applicable in all types of conversations. It also teaches children to care about what the other person thinks or feels.
Each large, colorful button is marked with a number and image, including the music button with a musical note and the call button with a telephone receiver.
We love the responsiveness of this phone when it’s being handled by a child. The fact that each button makes a sound or introduces an activity makes this one of the most enjoyable phones on our list.
4. Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Smart Phone, Pink
Designed to resemble as iphone
Equipped with more than twenty fun sounds
Teaches greetings, numbers, and counting
Chunky size may be difficult for some children to hold.
Don’t miss this call. Fisher-Price is bringing tons of opportunities to learn and play with their Laugh and Learn Smart Phone.Read more
This toy phone is loaded with more than twenty different phrases and sing-along songs. Not only will the cheery tunes keep your little one entertained but so will the bright lights that dance along with the rhythm.
Along with the fun sounds, this phone teaches your child greetings, numbers, and counting. As your child grows, you can develop fun games around the phone to further increase their learning.
Designed to resemble a smart phone, your child can play on their apps just like mommy or daddy. Under the pretend screen lies a slider button. When your child moves the button from side to side they will be introduced to more sounds and phrases.
Your child’s fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination will improve every time they press an app or push the slider. The bright lights, vibrant colors, and upbeat sounds will stimulate your child’s auditory and visual senses.
5. Basic Fun Fisher Price Classics
Classic phone design with push toy design
Features rotary dial spin wheel
Front design includes a friendly face that moves as the toy is pushed
Interactive design that offers ultimate pretend play
Promotes fine motor skill development
Pull cord features a very thin rope
The cord on the phone that is attached to the base is very short
The ultimate classic telephone to pretend play is here. It is a play phone that has been offering great conversations for many years. The classic design features a fun rotary dialing wheel that clicks when turned.Read more
The spinning of the wheel really gives the little fingers a workout and also helps tune them into learning how to place their finger in something and making it move.
Playing with toys that get the fingers working like that rotary dialing wheel is a great way to work on fine motor skill development.
As the toy rolls around the floor, the eyes on the front go up and down and the mouth makes a chatter noise. It has a classic phone design and also has the features of a great push toy all in one. The sights, sounds, and pretend play will last all day.
Being able to give your kids the classic toys that you played with as a child is always fun. This classic rotary toy has been around for a long time. Then something has been around this long and the design hasn’t changed much it must be a winner.
6. VTech Call & Chat Learning
10 realistic play apps
Pretend phone book for contacts
Fun game apps
5 different ringtones
Dim screen light
The Call and Chat Learning Phone by VTech is the obvious choice for children who are obsessed with technology. This toy phone comes with 10 built-in apps, including clock, music, photos, and games.Read more
If they’d rather chat with a special friend, they can talk to the cute animated bird featured on the screen. When they’re in the mood for games, they can choose from several activities that teach concepts like numbers, letters and telling time.
With some kids, nothing but a smartphone will do, but it’s hard to find toy phones that truly look and operate like smartphones. The accurate design and layout of this phone provide an authentic smartphone experience through features like icons and voice activation. As a result, kids are much more likely to leave their parents’ phones alone.
There’s a ringtone option that allows them to choose a custom ringtone from 5 different sounds. The pretend phone book accommodate 5 contacts, so kids can practice making calls just like mom or dad.
VTech is known for offering exceptional learning activities for toddlers and preschoolers. In addition to being a great toy, this phone is a fun, easy way to prepare toddlers for what they’ll be learning in preschool.
7. Tootsie Mama Chew This Instead
8 different activities
Phone and message modes
Here’s another amazingly accurate toy phone from VTech, modeled after the slide phones that were introduced in the early 2000s. This adorable, yet stylish slide phone has a full number keyboard on top, but the big surprise is underneath.Read more
Your child will love using the spacious keyboard and big, lettered buttons for sending text messages to the phone’s built-in characters.
This phone features standard call features for receiving phone calls from one of four characters. However, the real joy of this phone is the texting feature, which many children prefer as a mode of communication. In particular, children with communication disorders may feel more comfortable typing out their thought and feelings. Plus, they’ll always get a call back from one of the characters, which makes them feel special and important.
A full alphabet keyboard with individual buttons greets your child as he or she slides up the screen, along with realistic icons for features like email and send. Typed out messages can be easily viewed on the LCD screen that auto adjusts for horizontal or vertical display.
We love this phone as a teaching tool for kids who are starting to learn the alphabet. Kids who struggle to form letters by hand will love typing them out of this large, user-friendly keyboard.
8. Playskool Sesame Street
Constructed from high-quality materials that are safe for children of all ages
Features lights and sounds
Plays full version of the alphabet song
Includes over 100 different sound effects
Promotes letter recognition
Plays short instrumental songs
When the button is pressed it restarts the song all over again
The smartphone that features Sesame Street is sure to catch your little ones eyes. This play phone lights up and rings. It features all the kid's favorite character; Elmo, Ernie, Cookie Monster, and Abby Cadabby.Read more
They can even pretend to call them. Plus if they don’t answer, they can leave a voicemail. It doesn’t get much entertaining than that. Kids can either call the character and the character even calls them. Just press the buttons to start the fun.
Early education plays an important role in ensuring that your child reaches the developmental milestones that prepare them for school. Preparing them for playtime activities is one of the best ways. They learn while having fun.
The kids just love the characters from Sesame Street and phones so this is a win-win situation for everyone. It promotes learning and gives the little ones something super fun to play with.
These pretend smartphone is great for teaching letter recognition. It associates the letters with a cute song that everyone will remember.
9. Minnie Just Play Girls Rotary
Minnie Mouse theme
Pre-recorded Minnie phrases
Unique vintage design
Cord presents a choking hazard
This vintage rotary phone is as cute and sweet as its namesake, Disney’s Minnie Mouse! The phone features several beautiful shades of pink with powder blue accents. Accurate details like the receiver sitting in the cradle and the old-fashioned phone cord encourage realistic role-play situations. An inviting image of Minnie smiles out at your child from a heart-shaped frame in the middle of the dial.Read more
Vintage phones like these are mini history lessons for kids who have only been exposed to cordless receivers and smartphones
Plus, phones like these focus on skills like hand-eye coordination and number sense in a way that’s accessible to kids of all ages and development levels. Even when kids move onto smartphones, they’ll love displaying this pretty antique phone on their dresser or nightstand.
It’s made with kid-friendly features like push buttons instead of a standard rotary dial, which can be tricky for tiny fingers. The buttons have sound and light effects for a realistic dialing experience, and catchphrase responses from Minnie Mouse, herself!
This phone looks like something right out of the Minnie Mouse Clubhouse cartoon series. Kids who are fans of the show will love using it to recreate their favorite storylines.
10. Learning Resources Teaching Telephone
Numbers are easy to read
Teaches children how to use a phone
Helps children remember emergency numbers
Users can only hear through the speaker not the phone
With the Learning Resources Telephone, you can introduce your child to the basics of using a real phone.Read more
When programming the phone you have the ability to record a message. When your child dials the corresponding number correctly they will hear your recorded message.
This phone will not only teach your child how to use a phone but it will also help them remember emergency numbers. The realistic ring will allow your child to make the connection between real and pretend play.
Designed to resemble a landline, the keypad portion is a bright red and the phone is yellow. Having won fourteen different awards, this phone is perfect for children ages three and up. Batteries are included, thus your child can begin learning and playing as soon as they receive the phone. The built-in note pad will allow them to pretend to take a message.
Pretending to talk on the phone will increase your child’s social skills. The extra large numbers can easily be read by children of all ages. Your child’s knowledge of cause and effect will improve as they will hear a message when they dial the number correctly.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Ultimately, a phone for kids has to offer some level of functionality similar to what you’d expect in adult phones. Otherwise, there’s no incentive for kids to choose a play phone over your real, more exciting phone. That’s why we looked for authentic phone functions like talk and text modes, storing contacts, light-up or beeping buttons, and touchscreens with icons. However, “authentic” means different things depending on the age level and type of phone.
Everything from a phone’s functionality to its color scheme should inspire high levels of imaginative play. The foundation of imaginative play is role-playing real-life scenarios and toy phones work perfectly in many of these situations. Even babies with limited verbal abilities are engaged in role-playing when they press buttons and giggle over pre-recorded messages. As for high levels of imaginative play, that can be inspired by different elements, according to your child’s needs and preferences. Some kids, for example, enjoy display phones since they can talk directly into them without interruption. Parents can practice all sorts of calling situations with their children, such as calling 911 or a relative in case of emergencies.
For example, most toddler phones are small and simple in design, with bright colors and large buttons. They may have pretend apps for simple games and activities, but they generally lack the functionality of a real phone. Another category of play phones is the true-to-life, but non-functioning phones often called display or dummy phones. These phones lack mechanical functions, but their completely realistic design is a function in itself, especially for kids who turn up their noses at “baby” phones.
We also looked for themed phones with beloved children’s characters like the Go Spidey Flip Phone or the Minnie Rotary Phone. These phones give children the option to “speak” to their cartoon idols, or even pretend to be that idol, which is very common with the Spider-Man phone. That can lead to some very complex, enriching forms of imaginative play, especially if they’re playing with friends.
As for play phones, these fall into two categories: toy phones and display phones. Toy phones typically have amusing features such as light and sound effects, so how long such features work was something we factored into a phone’s overall durability. Most manufacturers use materials like ABS plastic, which prevents most forms of wear and tear on the casing, screen, and buttons.
Display phones, however, have no working features that can be damaged if a phone gets dropped, even in water (a big advantage with toddlers). On the other hand, the plastic is much thinner on these phones, so they may crack or get dented from repeated rough play, or being thrown onto hard surfaces. Hence, we have to acknowledge that display phones are more prone to damage than ABS plastic toy phones, but they should hold up just fine under normal levels of play.
Other Factors to Consider
It can also help them learn social skills like sharing, empathy, and helping the less fortunate. While these lessons are presented in cartoons and movies, children don’t process them nearly as well when they’re only spectators. By acting out scenarios as the character, they can truly begin to process these values, and how to apply them to real-life situations.
From babies to tweens, kids are the reigning experts of rough play and inexplicable accidents. That’s why we did our best to choose durable, kid-tested phones with sturdy casings and limited internal components. However, durability is different based on the type of phone and its target audience. Real phones, for example, are meant for older kids who are responsible enough to take care of a phone. They’re not meant to be dropped or banged around, so repeated episodes of rough handling would inevitably damage the phone. Still, the phones should be made of thick plastic to ensure that they can handle years of normal wear and tear. Furthermore, a well-made phone should be able to withstand the occasional drop from a reasonable height, even on sidewalks and pavement.
Older kids, on the other hand, can handle more realistic phones, such as V-Tech's Call and Chat Learning Phone. Depending on the age and maturity level, they may also be ready for smartphones that can be provisioned on a 2G account through carriers such as T-Mobile and Straight Talk. While 2G is very limiting, most parents feel that children are not ready for phones with data plans until they’re at least in middle school. Furthermore, these phones only have talk and text, thereby giving you greater control who they speak with, and how long they’re on the phone.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What’s a good age to get my child a real phone?
There’s no universal answer to this question, but as a general rule, you’ll want to be sure that your kids are ready for certain features. In addition to using them, they should be responsible enough to use them safely. A big point of contention is social media, which most parents allow their children to use on the family computer in a busy area like the living room or kitchen. With a kid's cell phone that can be used anywhere, anytime, it is inevitably harder to track your kids, even with tracking apps or software. Additional features like taking pictures and texting can become problematic as well if your child starts communicating with inappropriate or dangerous people.
Ultimately, the right age and maturity level is something you’ll have to decide for your own child. However, we advise phones with extremely limited functions in the beginning. Such a limited network cannot provide internet or app store access, which we believe is inappropriate for a starter phone. Once your child learns to be responsible with safe, built-in functions and a limited contact list, then you can think about smartphones and other advanced devices. Still, you should never feel pressured to get your child a certain type of phone by a certain age.
q: Wouldn’t a display phone be too boring for a child?
For some children, yes, but there are children that actually prefer reality over special effects and amusing features. In fact, there are plenty of kids who don’t like phones that talk back to them or play songs at the push of a button. According to them, that’s not what a real phone does, and that takes away from the fun of having a phone, even if it’s fake. They may also have little to no interest in cute characters and animations, or big, colorful buttons that make it loud and clear that it’s a toy.
The benefit to a display phone is that it’s modeled after existing phones, which is why you see authentic logos for carriers like Verizon. Because they’re commonly used by cell phone stores, they are completely accurate in terms of exterior features, including the size, color, screen image, buttons, and icons. While it may seem boring that none of these features actually work, this is not an issue with kids who have imaginations to spare. For them, role-playing situations like ordering pizza or making a doctor’s appointment are incredibly fun and interesting, but only if it’s done on a “real” phone.
q: Which phones are best for children with communication disorders?
All the phones on our list can benefit children with communication disorders, which are disorders that affect an individual’s ability to understand, detect and apply language and speech in their daily lives. Many children with communication disorders suffer from issues like speech and sound disorders, as well as psychological issues that make it difficult for them to express themselves in public. Play phones can be very helpful in working through these issues since they can provide a safe outlet for kids to talk and role-play at their own pace.
Real phones, however, can be extremely helpful--perhaps even life-saving--if they offer alternative communication options like texting and SOS emergency contacts. The SOS emergency option allows you to program a few numbers as emergency contacts, so just pressing that button can help children signal that they’re in trouble. You can also role-play with real phones, by the way, if you’re a child is in another room. They can practice situations like “ordering” from the kitchen while they’re in the living room, or practice role-plays with relatives and friends who are in different locations.
q: Are any of these phones drool/ waterproof?
This is a really big concern for parents of babies or toddlers who are still putting things in their mouths. Obviously, the iPhone-shaped teething toy is meant to be put in the mouth and so is drool and waterproof. The only phones that are definitely water/ drool proof are the display phones with no working features. These phones lack internal components like batteries and microchips, so there’s nothing that can be destroyed, nor anything that can harm your baby or toddler. All other phones, including most of the play phones, have batterized features which will stop working if the phones are repeatedly exposed to moisture. Even if you remove the batteries, there are internal components that can act as contaminants, so you should keep these phones out of your child’s mouth as much as possible.
q: What is ABS plastic, and why does it matter?
Plastics can be quite confusing, and sometimes scary depending on what you read about them. ABS plastic, however, is a very useful type of thick, durable plastic commonly used in toys like LEGOs. It’s also used for a wide variety of applications such as computer keys and plastic face guards on wall sockets. This plastic has a strong resistance to corrosion with an extremely low melting point. That means it can be exposed to much higher temperatures than most plastics without changing in shape or texture. Plus, it’s been proven to be generally harmless since it doesn’t have any known carcinogens or adverse health effects from repeated exposure. Its proven safety and resistance to physical impacts make it ideal for toy phones, especially for babies and toddlers.