Little ScholarA phrase I can’t escape lately, is “Why wasn’t this around when I was a kid?” I’ve officially added School Zone‘s  Little Scholar kids’  learning tablet to this list, an educational tablet for kids ages 3 to 7 designed by experts in early education.

This 8-inch tablet is thoughtfully designed for little hands and runs on the latest Android operating system. With adorable characters and fun colors, the Little Scholar features one of the most kid-friendly interfaces I have ever seen.  Best of all, the tablet comes preloaded with more than 200 apps, books, songs, and videos, with more available to download. Plus, the 5-foot power chord is long enough for kids to be plugged in and play at the same time.

For kids ages 3 and up, the Little Scholar is designed to teach kids skills needed for school, and it does just that. However, it goes beyond just traditional learning apps that just focus on spelling and grammar. These pre-loaded apps feature concepts like geography, time, vocabulary, logic, and so much more in addition to spelling and grammar. My personal favorites included Napoleon Bone Apart, where kids learn about different bones in the body, and State of Confusion, where kids can select different states in the U.S. and it reads back facts like the capital and official bird.

In addition to educational games, the app also features videos, sing along songs, books, and a front- and rear-facing camera. Charlie & Company, the video series, includes live action and animation. It stars Charlie the Golden Retriever and Miss Ellie, his best friend, who embark on educational adventures together. The Start to Read! program features three levels of storybooks designed to build a solid literary foundation and the 87 original songs are fun for the whole family to sing along to.

The tablet itself is quick and easy to use. The homepage features the different categories of apps, including preschool, kindergarten, and first grade. The interface features bright colors and fun characters, which kids will love. All of the pre-loaded apps can be used without connecting to Wi-Fi, so parents never have to worry about kids getting into inappropriate content. But, the device is of course Wi-Fi capable if parents need to access the Google Play store to download more content for their little ones.

One of the best parts about this tablet is how customizable it is. Parents can change the different apps available within each category on the homepage. Parents with older kids can even add in an Internet browser, as well as new apps downloaded from the Google Play store.

Parents will love the A+ app on the device, which allows them to track kids’  activity on the Little Scholar tablet. It shows data such as how much the tablet was used in a particular day, how long each app was used, and it even breaks down time usages into categories like reading and grammar.

Also, let’s face it: even the most careful people occasionally drop their mobile devices—and, we’re talking about kids here! The tablet comes with a heavy-duty silicone bumper, so you don’t have to spend a ridiculous amount of time researching what cases are kid-proof (and you don’t have to spend any more money). The bumper comes in fun colors and is easy for kids to grip.

This tablet is perfect for kids just starting school and has a lot of promise to make it last beyond their early days of education. It also has an almost unbelievable amount of added value. It’s priced just right that parents can buy this for a child and not feel guilty about it. So, it seems as though I need to ask this one more time: “Why wasn’t the Little Scholar around when I was a kid?”