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The best smartwatches for kids: Keep your kids active and healthy
What kid doesn’t want to be a high-tech spy? And what piece of real-life technology better embodies that dream than a smartwatch? The best smartwatches for kids are fun and encourage a healthy interest in technology at a young age (because yes, technology can and should be healthy). They can also give parents peace of mind.
The best smartwatches for kids
Kids smartwatches should be exciting for the child wearing one. At the same time, they can also tick important boxes for parents. Some devices, like the Fitbit Ace 3, offer an incentive to exercise and generally stay active. Others, like the Apple Watch SE eliminate any excuse your child or teen might have for not answering your messages. Some are just fun for kids to wear.
Below, we take a look at the best smartwatches for kids you can buy right now. Many of these have handy features that both parents and kids will approve of.
Verizon GizmoWatch 2: The best smartwatch for kids (and parents)
With its rounded, square design, the Verizon GizmoWatch 2 looks a little like an Apple Watch, though a fair bit larger. Like the Apple Watch, it also comes with a bright, colorful, 1.4-inch screen. It is water-resistant and offers a battery life of up to 4 days depending on usage. Overall, the device is easy to use and useful for parents, making it one of the best smartwatches for kids if security and communication are chief concerns.
Keep in mind that the health tracking features are a bit basic, however, and that many features are more for the parents’ benefit than the user. To get started, the GizmoHub app is designed to be installed on a parent’s phone. From there, parents can set up location alerts, to-do lists, step goals, “quiet times,” and more. They also have the option to track their child’s location. Multiple users can be set as guardians, allowing more than one parent access to tracking. On the device, a child can also call and message a total of ten contacts.
VTech KidiZoom DX2: The best cheap smartwatch for kids
The VTech KidiZoom DX2 is a clever and colorful smartwatch designed for users aged 4 through 12. It comes with activity challenges, customizable watch faces, augmented reality games, two cameras, and a voice recorder. It also packs some useful features like a pedometer, as well as logic games, making it a cheap fitness tracker and an educational tool as well. It’s an especially good option for parents trying to help their kids learn to tell time.
That said, parents who are looking for a communication tool or a way to track their kids should look elsewhere. This is a toy first and foremost. To keep screen time in check, however, the VTech KidiZoom DX2 does offer parental game controls and time limits.
Little Tikes Robot Smartwatch: A robot friend for kids
The Little Tikes Robot Smartwatch wins major points for being a watch that looks like a robot… what’s not to like?
Under the fun design, the device packs a stopwatch, timer, calendar, built-in pedometer, and two cameras. Again though, this is a smartwatch for kids looking for an on-the-go toy. The robot himself is called “Tobi” and has lots of fun expressions, complete with pop-out arms. He even has Tamagotchi-style features that let children feed and care for the robot.
Battery life on the Little Tikes Robot Smartwatch lasts up to 5 days depending on usage. It is available in either pink or blue.
Fitbit Ace 3: The best fitness tracker for kids
Fitbit is well-known for devices that accurately count steps and encourage activity. In fact, they have plenty to offer when it comes to kid-friendly devices as well. Even though the Ace 3 is more of a fitness tracker, it boasts enough smartwatch features to keep it on this list.
Building on the success of the Ace 2, the Ace 3 has a bright screen, a durable design, and easy integration with the Fitbit app. The display, though animated, is also black and white and not particularly eye-catching. This makes it a better choice for slightly older children. However, the three different colors and fun strap options (including a Minions design) help mitigate the otherwise basic aesthetic.
The Ace 3 gets a lot right. It has impressive battery life (up to eight days), a solid heart rate monitor, 50-meter water resistance, robust activity tracking, sleep tracking, and some nifty features like a bedtime reminder. The best part is the encouragement offered by the different targets, which help to gamify healthy habits. It does lack some of the features found on grown-up models, though. There’s no GPS, for example, and no stair count, either. Still, we consider this the best option for kids trying to get more active.
Garmin vivofit Jr. 3: The best customizable fitness tracker for kids
The Garmin vivofit Jr. 3 is another fitness tracker you should consider for your kids. It has one ace up its sleeve compared to the, um, Ace; a color display. It also offers more options in terms of fun straps, including bands featuring characters from shows and movies (the Black Panther design is one of our favorites).
The vivofit Jr. utilizes active minute goals to encourage kids by having move targets and “missions” unlock entertaining app adventures, games, and more. One-on-one challenges even let kids compete with friends who also have vivofit Jr. 3 of their own.
For parents, the device provides a useful system of task management. Within the Garmin Jr. app, parents can assign chores, schedule alarms, and set reminders. Additionally, parents won’t need to remind kids to charge up as the battery lasts for an entire year. At the end of the year, it can be easily swapped out for a new one.
Honorable mention: Apple Watch SE
Apple watches now have a family mode called Family Setup that lets users set up and manage a device for additional users. This is great for those who don’t have an iPhone but live with someone who does, especially kids hoping to get their hands on a watch.
For children who are a bit older, the Apple Watch SE is a great introduction to the Apple ecosystem. In our review, we called the device the “smartwatch most people should buy. This is thanks to a somewhat overstuffed user interface and tons of tools. The beautiful display and large selection of third-party apps will make any kid lucky enough to get one extremely happy. Likewise, parents will be able to find apps that mimic the features of the other devices on this list, plus much more.
There is certainly a case for calling the Apple Watch the best smartwatch for kids, however, the price is still comparatively high and the UI is far less kid-centric. It’s certainly one of the best choices for teens.
Check out our full review to learn more about the Apple Watch SE.