The 4 Best Smartwatches For Kids
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Wearable tech can keep you on track for deadlines or fitness goals, but these devices also have started to become a fixture in kids’ lives. The best smartwatches for kids are packed with age-appropriate features, like games or chore and activity trackers, and have parental controls that help keep them safe.
Watches will vary in recommended age range. While some are ideal for children as young as three, others are more sophisticated and better suited for teenagers. Some smartwatches can help kiddos manage their time and daily tasks with reminders to brush their teeth or walk the dog. A phone with GPS allows you to track your child's whereabouts even when they don't own a smartphone and some picks even feature two-way communication for texting and calls, a great option if you want to put off getting them their own smartphone. Older kids will also appreciate Bluetooth connectivity and compatibility with smartphones.
Other features to look for include pedometers and activity trackers that motivate them to move throughout the day, not to mention cameras, voice recorders, and games. As their grown-up, you’ll appreciate options for parental controls to restrict access or set time limits.
Durability is a key factor in choosing a smartwatch for your kid that will last. Look for wide, sturdy bands made from silicone or rubber that resist water and sweat. The best smartwatches for kids are waterproof or water-resistant but at a minimum splash-proof.
Now, keep reading to find the best smartwatch for your kid, whether they're 4 or 14.
1. The Overall Best For Younger Kids
- Recommended Ages: 4 — 10 years [ok say manufacturer doesn't list an age range but reviewers noted use for kids ranging in age from 4 - 10]]
The best smartwatch for kids is packed with features and made with a durable and waterproof silicone band that's adjustable. Plus, it comes in character themes kids will love, including Star Wars (featured), Frozen, and Spiderman.
Kids (and you) will love that this watch holds more than a year of battery life without recharging, so there is no need to keep track of cords. You can simply replace the watch battery with a new one after about a year of use. Reminder alerts can nudge them to brush their teeth or cross chores off their list, and you can set up a reward system through the parental controls. This watch also counts your kid's steps and encourages them to get the 60 minutes of daily recommended activity; reaching their goals can unlock games related to the watch themes, and they can sync up with friends for friendly competitions.
This watch lacks GPS a two-way communication, but has Bluetooth connectivity and is smartphone compatible with iPhones and Androids so parents can access the child's activities. With its combined features, fit, durability, price point, and range of appeal in ages, this smartwatch is the clear top pick.
A helpful review: “I bought two of these for my girls and they love them. It tracks their steps and sleep patterns. I was able to set chores for coins and set rewards for when they have enough coins they can cash them in for something fun like go skating or have a sleepover with a friend. They have worn these everywhere including the shower and [they] still work fine.”
2. The Runner-Up
- Recommended Ages: 4 and older
The best smartwatch for games is a highly rated pick with over 1,800 reviews, and one shopper commented it was easy enough for their 5-year-old to "immediately figure out how to use it."
The camera takes pictures and selfies that can be customized with filters you can set as one of more than 50 options for a digital or analog watch face. One of the free games, a monster detector game, creates an augmented reality experience, and there are others, including a puzzle game, an adventure-themed one, and a maze. Feel free to set a daily time limit for games using the parental controls.
The watch also can be used as a pedometer, calendar, or alarm clock/reminder, and plays sound effects. The durable and splash-proof watch band (which reviewers noted seems to be made from silicone) is adjustable for ages 4 and up, and it charges via a provided micro USB cable connected to a computer. Choose from five colors, including blue and pink. There's no Bluetooth, WiFi connectivity, GPS, or two-way communication for this one, but it's a solid affordable pick for younger kids.
A helpful review: “These are great smart watches for kids. My 7 year old's love them. They have tons of games and activities to do on them and you can go to the vtech website and get more for free!!! Can't beat that! So far the batteries last a day or 2. Camera on them [is] OK, but that doesn't really matter to my two. They just love that they can take pictures and store them. Watches also have a lot of room for pictures!”
3. The Overall Best For Older Kids
- Recommended Ages: No age range provided, though given the price and range of features, it may be best suited for teenagers
The best smartwatch for teenagers is an investment your kid will enjoy for many years. This older design of the Apple watch comes at a better price point than newer ones with a lot of the same features to love.
With an impressive 4.8-star rating on Amazon and over 85,000 reviews, this is the only smartwatch on the list with both Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity, but know that you can manage this watch with Apple Family Watch Setup if your teen doesn't have their own smartphone. Features include the ability to store and play music and make phone calls and send text messages; there's also an activity tracker/motivator, heart rate monitor, access to apps, GPS, Apple Pay, a menstrual cycle tracker, and guided meditation. This smartwatch is certainly the priciest on the list, but it comes with expanded features that will appeal to your teen for years and help you stay connected to them.
The watch's silicone band is water-resistant up to 50 meters, making it swim-proof, and it can be changed out for different styles. The built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery lasts up to 18 hours between charges using the included charging cable.
A helpful review: “I have one of my own and enjoyed it so much I bought one for my teenage son. I like how it easily interfaces with your phone and [how] the many different apps help keep you connected while apart from your phone.”
4. The Runner-Up
- Recommended Ages: No age range provided by the manufacturer
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You don't have to shell out triple digits for a smartwatch that your older child will love and use constantly. This affordable pick is a much more simplified version of the previous pick, but it boasts solid features like compatibility with iPhone and Android, two-way communication with an SOS emergency call option for safety, GPS, an alarm clock, a camera, photo book, and a math game, with more games and functions available for downloading in the LDB Direct app. Parents will appreciate the ability to turn on Class Mode via the app, so that children who wear their watches to school can't play with them during that time.
The watch's band is waterproof and comes with a magnetic charging cable. A SIM card is not included and will need to be purchased separately to access its calling functions. It comes in three colors: black, blue, or pink.
A helpful review: "I bought This watch as a stocking stuffer for my granddaughter . She loves playing with my Apple Watch , so she now thinks she has the same thing. But the primary reason I chose this watch was because of the calling ability for emergency, GPS, and emergency call. That [in] itself is enough to relax this Mimi. [...]"