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Which smartwatches are great for kids and allow location tracking?

If your child is asking for a smartwatch, or perhaps you're thinking of using one to track them while trick-or-treating this Halloween, there are plenty of smartwatches for kids that are great picks.

Kids are growing up with technology more than ever before. By the time they are toddlers, they know how to use a smartphone and watch videos or play games on a tablet. If your child wants a gadget of their own, a smartwatch for kids is a great introductory tech that can keep them entertained with games and keep you at ease with features like location tracking and chore reminders.

Also: The 5 best smartwatches

Not only do smartwatches keep you in touch with your kids, they can also offer real-time location information so you know where they are at all times. We've rounded up the best kids' smartwatches for little ones, bigger kids, active youngsters, and children just looking to be entertained by a fun gadget.

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Walkie-talkie function
  • GPS
  • Kids don't need a phone for it
cons
  • Expensive
  • Only supports iPhones
More Details

Features:

  • GPS
  • SOS feature
  • Offers parental control 

Of course, a smartwatch list wouldn't be complete without an Apple Watch. While it's not made specifically with kids in mind, the Apple Watch SE is an excellent smartwatch for older kids with standout features plus parental control. Along with using it for phone calls and text messages, the Apple Watch SE also tracks your child's sleep, has state-of-the-art health trackers, an SOS feature, and can pair with thousands of apps.

Also: Apple Watch SE vs Apple Watch Series 7: Which should you get?

You can utilize Apple's Family Setup to check your kid's location, set up shared contacts, set up screen time usage, and more. They don't even need their own iPhone to have an Apple Watch; they can pair it up with yours, so you're fully in control. This smartwatch is recommended for older kids, ages 10 and up. 

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Tracks sleep
  • Makes exercising fun
  • Up to 8-day battery life
cons
  • No support for phone calls
  • Smaller screen
  • Black and white screen instead of color
More Details

Features:

  • 8 days of battery life
  • Allows kids to participate in fun fitness challenges
  • Tracks sleep

One way to get your kids to ease into the world of smartwatches is a fitness tracker, which can also bonus to get them to move more. The Fitbit Ace 3 has an animated clock face and fun band colors. With up to eight days of battery life, it tracks not only your child's movement but also their sleep and can even remind them when it's time for bed.

The Fitbit Ace 3 also allows your kid to participate in fun fitness challenges where they can compete with friends, siblings, cousins, or even you, to earn virtual badges if they win a challenge. This fitness tracker is recommended for kids ages six and above. 

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Calendar and calculator to help kids learn math
  • Parents can send reminders to watch
  • Fun camera with filters
cons
  • Doesn't support texting or calling
  • No GPS
More Details

Features:

  • Takes pictures
  • Added effects like stamps and filters
  • Parental controls include chore reminders and screen time limits

If your little one is obsessed with taking photos on your phone, they'll love the Vtech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX3. This watch has dual cameras that take pictures and videos and add effects like stamps, frames, and filters. Kids can set their clock face to a photo they took or choose from more than 50 animated ones.

This smartwatch also lets kids share preset messages to friends or siblings that also have a Vtech watch, and they can play games with them as well. In addition, parental controls allow you to give your kid daily reminders like when it's time to do chores or when they've reached their screen time limit. This smartwatch is recommended for kids ages four and above.

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Long battery life
  • Lots of band design options, including Marvel and Disney Princess
  • Color display
cons
  • No phone or text capabilities
  • No camera
  • Could use more game variety
More Details

Features:

  • Unlock games based on daily activity time
  • Parents can schedule chore reminders
  • Set playtime limits

Kids who like playing games will like this smartwatch option. The Vivofit Jr. 3 from Garmin lets your child unlock games and activities based on their daily activity time. Once they reach their goal, they can play a game right from their watch.

The Vivofit Jr. 3 has great parent features as well: Parents can schedule reminders for chores and other tasks from their phone, so their kid receives it on the watch, letting them know that playtime is over and it's time to clean up. This smartwatch is best for kids ages four through seven.

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Camera
  • Fun and interactive robot design
  • Different games geared towards fun and fitness
cons
  • Bulky design
More Details

Features:

  • Has 100 animated facial expressions
  • Contains fun games to build brain and fitness development 
  • Parental control of screen time

As an introductory smartwatch for littler kids, the Little Tikes Tobi 2 Robot Smartwatch is a great option that will entertain your child with basic features. The watch's face cycles through more than 100 animated facial expressions, and the arms and legs move with it.

There are also various games they can play that focus on brain development, fitness, and fun arcade games. A camera allows them to take photos from the watch, but parental controls ensure they're using the tech for a reasonable amount of time. Kids ages four and above will like this smartwatch's fun and quirky design.  

What is the best smartwatch for kids?

We chose the Apple Watch SE. It has awesome features for kids, like a walkie-talkie. And parents can rest easy, as the watch possesses GPS and you don't have to get your child an iPhone to use it. However, it isn't the only option available. This table helps you compare the best smartwatches for kids based on pricing and special features:

Kids' smartwatch

Price

Special features

Apple Watch SE

$279

Walkie-talkie function, GPS, kids don't need a phone to use it 

Fitbit Ace 3

$75

Tracks sleep, makes exercising fun, 8-day battery life

Vtech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX3

$49

Fun camera with filters, parents can send chore reminders, set screen time limits

Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3

$70

Long battery life, ample band design options, color display

Little Tikes Tobi 2 Robot Smartwatch

$51

Fun and interactive robot design, different games for fitness and brain development

Which smartwatch for kids is right for you?

It depends on your budget and purposes for giving your child a smartwatch. If you want them to exercise more, the Fitbit Ace 3 is a wise option. Meanwhile, the Vtech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX3 is fantastic for taking pictures. And with a starting price of $40, it's budget-friendly. Overall, this buying tree can help you make sense of all the best options available:

Choose this best smartwatch for kids…

If you want or are…

Apple Watch SE

Best overall and for older kids

Fitbit Ace 3

Best for fitness tracking 

Vtech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX3

Best for taking pictures

Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3

Best for games 

Little Tikes Tobi 2 Robot Smartwatch

Best for little kids 

How did we choose these smartwatches for kids?

We looked at the various smartwatches for kids available on the market today and chose our top picks based on reliable brands, price, kid-friendly features, and reading customer reviews.

In addition, we paid attention to watches with parental control features since parents want to be sure any device they give their child is secure and safe.

Do kids need a smartwatch?

Kids don't necessarily need a smartwatch, but a smartwatch is a good introductory device to technology. If your child has been begging for a phone, a smartwatch could be a good alternative that lets them have a fun piece of tech without the commitment and responsibilities of a smartphone. Plus, there are fewer parental controls to keep track of with a smartwatch versus a phone or tablet while still having the features kids love, like a camera, games, and a touchscreen display. 

Are smartwatches for kids safe?

Similar to any device, there can be security vulnerabilities with smart watches. However, with responsible use and monitoring, you can negate these threats. You can achieve this by limiting app permissions and setting time limits for use through parental control, teaching them responsible internet behaviors by keeping personal information private, and encouraging them to come to you if they encounter any issues. 

Should you use a smartwatch to track your kid during Halloween?

Concerned parents with children who are taking part in unsupervised trick-or-treating or other guardian-free Halloween activities can find some anxiety relief without tagging along. Don't go all crazy-stalker-parent on them, but you can easily use location-sharing features on the watches in the guide so you can get some peace of mind.

Are there alternative kids' smartwatch options to consider?

Here are some other smartwatches for kids to look into:

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