Here are the best smartwatches for kids that will keep you connected both

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Here are the best smartwatches for kids that will keep you connected both

Smartwatches have become popular wearable technology items that make our daily lives much easier. And now, even your child can get their hands (and wrists) on these fun accessories. Kids’ smartwatches are specially designed for younger age groups and are less powerful and more affordable than regular smartwatches. They’re packed with apps and games to keep your kids active, and some even have a built-in camera for taking selfies. Others are full-fledged communication gadgets that support phone calls, texting and GPS tracking.

The best smartwatches for kids

What to consider?

Ultimately, it’s up to you as a parent to determine how you want your child to use their smartwatch. Is it just entertainment or is it a watch you want your child to use with you or others? How can you be sure your child is using this technology wisely? According to Teodora Pavkovic, a youth psychologist, digital wellness expert and director of a community engagement at Linewize, a classroom management technology company, “an important first step in preparing them for online safety and healthy technology use habits is to establish a technology agreement with your child before they use technology and continue to change it as they grow.”

When considering safety and utility, there are four key elements to consider when purchasing: age, features or functions, durability and connectivity.

Age

This is probably the most important criteria to consider for smartwatches for kids. Young children have different needs and are better suited to simple watches like the Tobi 2, while tweens and teens won’t settle for anything less than what you or I would wear, so it’s up to us to guide them to what’s appropriate.

Features/Functions

Some of our favorite kids’ smartwatches are pretty basic, and that’s the beauty of them. They tell the time, play a few games, have a timer for chores or potty, and usually come with a camera for fun. The next step includes features like connecting to your phone or Wi-Fi. Finally, fully functional smartwatches are a step up.

But the more features they have, the more distracting they can be. Pavkovic notes, “It’s important for parents to consider the potential impact of using this technology on their child’s daily routines, their ability to complete schoolwork without distraction and their ability to spend quality time with friends and family.”

A smartwatch for kids is also a great middle ground for little ones who are constantly begging for a smartphone. Fortunately, most of our choices don’t offer unlimited internet access like a phone would, and most aren’t susceptible to data charges - plus, they’re much cheaper than smartphones.

Durability

Our editor, Cat Bowen, has nothing but praise for the insurance of devices for kids, especially teens. Since kids scratch and break things pretty quickly, we recommend adding a protection plan or insurance policy to your purchase, especially for the Apple Watch. In addition, you should also look for waterproof or splash-resistant smartwatches with solid, scratch-resistant surfaces and bands that can withstand shocks.

Connectivity

Most smartwatches for kids don’t rely on a data connection, but for teens, we’ve listed a handful of smartwatches in this guide that sync with smartphones or have a standalone data connection so your child can message loved ones.

Pakovic tells Best Products, “The only issue more important than healthy tech habits is data privacy and protecting minors. Yes, privacy policies are long and boring, but it’s imperative that parents read them and understand what data, including health and location data, will be collected from their children, where it will be stored, how it will be used, and who it will be shared with.”

All of our recommended smartwatches for kids will serve as a great transition to give your child more independence with technology. Shop the best smartwatches for kids below to get your kids excited about being active.

1. 4G LTE kids smartwatch with GPS tracker

If your kid (ages 5-13) wants tons of features, but you still want to control what they do and who they connect with, take the TickTalk 4 is your best option for that. It’s also extremely durable, with a shock absorbing exterior reminiscent of an Otter Box.

It’s an LTE watch for kids that comes with a free sim card, and connectivity is only $9.99 per month. It features two-way HD video and voice calling, dual 5MP cameras, free music streaming via the iHeart family, GPS location tracking, activity tracking and step counter, end-to-end encrypted messaging, multiple parental controls and an SOS feature.

The SOS feature allows your child to immediately call their emergency contact at the touch of a button. This is one of those necessary features that makes your chest hurt and your eyes sting, but you’ll have peace of mind knowing your child has this feature.

If you’re worried about the watch being a distraction in class, don’t worry. It has a “do not disturb” mode (controlled by you) that silences everything except the SOS function. It also has over 50 pre-programmed reminders to help guide your kids’ day.

With this smartwatch for kids, you can choose who they call and block numbers and access to certain features at specific times of the day. You can see their calls and texts, where they are and how they use the watch.

It’s not waterproof, but it’s fairly waterproof, shockproof and durable. In addition, it has a battery life of 62 hours.

Editor Cat Bowen’s daughter has been wearing this smartwatch for about three weeks, and she impressed both our editor and her daughter with its durability and functionality. She loves seeing how many steps she’s taken and listening to music on the way home from the bus. Cat loves being able to see where her daughter is in real time, and how often she texts her brother to ask if he ate all the ramen again.

Buy: 4G LTE kids smartwatch with GPS tracker

2. Kidizoom Smartwatch DX2

VTech’s Kidizoom Smartwatch DX2 is one of the highest rated smartwatches for kids on Amazon - and for good reason. It’s packed with multiple activities, games and intuitive challenges that will keep your little one busy all day long.

Your child can play with its built-in voice changer and take hundreds of pictures and videos with its camera. Once he takes those photos, he can add fun filters and you can download them directly to a device without having to transfer them to the cloud first. Other features include an alarm, timer, stopwatch, calendar, calculator, and pedometer.

It’s durable, easy to use and a lot of fun. It also comes in blue and purple and offers several dials. The watch is splash-proof and very scratch-resistant, making it a good choice for all purposes. 

Buy: Kidizoom Smartwatch DX2

3. Tobi 2 Robot smartwatch

They may not be old enough to have an Apple Watch yet, but this age-appropriate smartwatch is an educational gift for kids disguised as a toy.

It will help them learn to tell time, and also has plenty of games to keep them entertained: a calendar, stopwatch, timer, reminded list, alarm clock, and two built-in cameras to take fun photos and videos with their friends.

Buy: Tobi 2 Robot smartwatch

4. vivofit jr. 3

Garmin’s vĂ­vofit jr. 3 is a waterproof fitness tracker that helps your child move. It tracks steps and sleep quality, and records their active minutes to help them develop positive habits. Parents can set daily activity goals, customize an “in case of emergency” screen with their contact information and take part in fitness challenges using their own fitness trackers.

The watch even gives you the ability to send personalized alerts and to-do lists to the device, and you can reward your child with virtual coins for meeting their goals, fitness or otherwise. As a bonus, the vivofit jr. 3’s built-in battery lasts a full year.

Buy: vivofit jr. 3

5. SE (2nd generation)

If you want to make your son or daughter’s year and don’t mind spending money, the Apple Watch is one of the best smartwatches you can buy. It may be too powerful for most kids, but iPhone-wielding teens will figure it out in no time. It’s fairly waterproof and hard to scratch, but we still recommend investing in an insurance policy.

The Apple Watch SE is Apple’s least expensive smartwatch. It does a great job of tracking your teen’s fitness to engage them in their own health and wellness. With phone call and text messaging features, your teen won’t be able to say they missed your barrage of messages, either. We recommend choosing the smaller, more affordable 40-millimeter watch for a teen (rather than the 44-millimeter model).

The Apple Watch is available in several color and band combinations that vary in price. Just note that it does not work with Android smartphones - it requires an iPhone. It also has a new Family Share option for kids.

Buy: SE (2nd generation)

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