There’s no point fighting it. Sooner or later, your kid is going to want a phone. Starting out, you can get away with a feature phone (read: “dumb phone”) that doesn’t have internet connectivity but does have great durability and battery life. Alternatively, opt for a kids' wearable like the Spacetalk Adventurer 4G or bridge the gap between physical buttons and a decent-sized screen with something like the Opel Mobile SmartFlip 4G.
And when they reach smartphone age, the Motorola Moto E7 Power is our pick thanks to a great mix of a great price, decent performance, fantastic battery life, and some okay front-and-rear cameras.