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Smartwatches for Kids: A Guide for Parents

February 16, 2023 • Rehack Team

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Smartwatches for kids can help kids of all ages stay safe and have fun without the risks and distractions of a smartphone. Our experts have put together a list of the top-rated kids smartwatches, according to parents and kids alike. These smartwatches are made for kids, with special features to fit any budget or niche. 

Best Smartwatches for Kids

Smartwatches for kids are a great stepping stone toward a fully-fledged smartphone. Getting a watch specifically designed for kids, like those on this list, gives parents some peace of mind thanks to convenient safety features. Plus, kids get to learn how to use technology responsibly before stepping up to their first smartphone. 

One thing to keep in mind, however, is reading skills. Kids will need to be able to handle basic reading to use a smartwatch on their own, so these devices are best for kids at least 5 or 6 years old. If your child is ready for their first smartwatch, check out our top picks on this list! Any of these watches would also make a great addition to the top tech gifts for kids for Christmas or birthdays. 

1. Best Overall Smartwatch for Kids: Spacetalk Adventurer 4G

If you’re looking for good all around smartwatches for kids, the Spacetalk Adventurer 4G is well-suited to kids ages 5 to 13. It’s approachable enough for young children but still looks mature enough that older kids won’t mind wearing it at school. The Spacetalk Adventurer has some great features, such as a camera, calling and texting, fitness tracking, and even heart rate monitoring, a rare find on smartwatches for kids. 

This kids smartwatch doesn’t have games or Internet apps on it, but this is a bonus for many parents since it keeps the focus on functionality. The Spacetalk Adventurer does come with a few helpful apps like a calculator and stopwatch. Kids can only call and message people on a pre-approved contact list that parents set up. There’s even a built-in School Mode that keeps kids from playing on their watch during class. 

The GPS feature allows for location tracking as well as geofencing, a great feature on smartwatches for kids. Parents can set up alerts telling them when their child enters or exits a designated safe zone, such as school or home. 

2. Best Smartwatch for Older Kids: Apple Watch SE

Older kids who are looking for a more mature smartwatch but may not be ready for a smartphone yet will love the Apple Watch SE. Apple’s smartwatches do not disappoint in styles or features. 

You can get Apple’s starter smartwatch with cellular capabilities so kids can call and text from their watch. Setting up the Apple Watch in Family mode allows some parental controls, as well. Family Setup allows parents to view their child’s location and control screen time, although you will need an iPhone to get the most out of these features. 

The walkie talkie function is surprisingly useful compared to other smartwatches for kids. Instead of calling or texting your child, you can just use the walkie talkie app on the Apple Watch to chat from different parts of the house or yard. It’s hard to beat the app options on the Apple Watch, as well. Older kids will appreciate the wide range of games and tools they can put on the watch and it doesn’t look too “kidsy” for tweens and young teens. 

3. Best Budget Smartwatch for Kids: Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3

The Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3 is a fantastic value smartwatch, whether you are on a budget or not. If you are looking for smartwatches for kids that are less than $100, this one should be on your short list. 

The Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3 has a lot of features to love for both parents and kids. The first one kids will love is the options for Disney and Marvel themes for both the watch band and the watch’s apps. As of 2022, the Vivofit Jr. 3 is available in the following themes: Marvel’s Iron Man or Black Panther, Disney princesses, Star Wars: The Mandalorian in green or dark blue, and a few basic character-free colors. 

While the Vivofit Jr. 3 lacks some features that more expensive options offer, like call and text capability. However, it does have everything most parents and kids would want in a first smartwatch. For example, parents can set up to-do lists and reminders for chores. When kids complete tasks on their list, they can earn points, achievements, games, and interactive travel videos on the watch and companion app. 

While there isn’t call or text on the Vivofit Jr. 3, it does have an In-Case-of-Emergency button where you can add the contact information of a parent or guardian. 

4. Most Durable Smartwatch for Kids: TickTalk 4

The TickTalk 4 is one of the most popular smartwatches for kids thanks to its abundant features and reputation for good durability. The style of this watch might not appeal to all kids, but it is definitely worth considering. 

The TickTalk 4 is available with 4G cellular so kids can call and text pre-approved contacts right from the watch. Plus, it has an impressive two cameras, one front-facing and one outward-facing on the front edge of the watch. A favorite feature of the TickTalk 4 among kids is the free inclusion of iHeart Radio Family, which lets kids stream family-friendly music from their watch. 

While there isn’t geofencing on the TickTalk 4, the watch does have location tracking. You can see your child’s location in real-time and even view routes of where they’ve gone in the past. Plus, the watch has an emergency SOS feature that kids can use if they need to. 

Many parents will appreciate that kids don’t have access to the Internet or social media on the TickTalk 4. Kids may be disappointed that there are no games on the watch, but this does reduce distractions at school and around friends. 

5. Best Fitness Tracker for Kids: Fitbit Ace 3

Smartwatches for kids are a great step toward a fully-fledged smartphone, but they’re not always what kids and parents are looking for. If you or your child mainly want a fun fitness tracker, it’s hard to beat the Fitbit Ace 3. Parents know well that Fitbit is the original king of fitness trackers, and the kids version does not disappoint. 

The Ace 3 has a simple design with a colored band and a vertical, black and white display. It’s a simple, non-distracting wearable solely focused on fitness tracking. As kids track their steps, they can earn rewards like bonus screen time. Kids can also participate in fun challenges with pre-approved friends that parents can add in the Fitbit app. 

One big feature missing from the Ace 3 is calling and texting. Technically the fitness tracker can offer call alerts, but only for a paired smartphone. So, the Ace 3 is really only functional as a fitness tracker. If that’s what you’re looking for, though, it’s great at what it’s designed for. 

6. Best Kids Smartwatch for Disney Fans: GizmoWatch Disney Edition

If your child is one of the millions today who loves the likes of Frozen and Star Wars, check out the GizmoWatch Disney Edition. This is one of the few smartwatches for kids that is tied to a specific cellular carrier, which is Verizon. If you live in an area with good reception from Verizon, it works fantastically, but if your Verizon reception is spotty, it may not be the best pick. 

With that in mind, the GizmoWatch is a great smartwatch for kids. It has a really fun design that’s simple enough to appeal to older kids, too. In fact, it looks a lot like the Apple Watch. Kids can set up their GizmoWatch Disney Edition with special animated characters from favorite Disney movies, such as Elsa, Baby Yoda, or Iron Man. The character avatar your child chooses will give them a custom watch face to match their character. 

The GizmoWatch has calling and texting with pre-approved contacts as well as geofencing. You can set up safe zones and alerts for when your child enters or exits those areas. There is also an SOS feature in case of emergencies. There’s even a front-facing camera so kids can take selfies on the smartwatch. 

Smartwatches for Kids: Safety and Fun for Parents and Kids

Every kid today wants their own smartphone, but it takes time to learn how to use technology safely and responsibly. A kids smartwatch is a fantastic device for building up to a phone with features that kids and parents will both like. There’s a watch on this list for everyone, whether you are looking for a fitness tracker or a handy communication device.