Best Smartwatches for Kids

These smartwatches for kids combine the best of both worlds with fun features like fitness tracking and games alongside the durability and GPS functions parents love.
Written by | Updated November 18, 2019
Best for GPS Tracking
Verizon GizmoWatchVerizon GizmoWatch
  • Compatibility with most iPhone and Android devices
  • Large, easy-to-use touch screen
  • Compatibility with most iPhone and Android devices
  • Large, easy-to-use touch screen
Best for Games
VTech Kidizoom Kid SmartwatchVTech Kidizoom
  • Two cameras
  • Lots of games
  • Two cameras
  • Lots of games
Best for Fitness Tracking
Fitbit Ace Smartwatch for KidsFitbit Ace
  • Motivational activities and alerts
  • Sleep tracker
  • Motivational activities and alerts
  • Sleep tracker
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Last Updated: 2 weeks ago
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Bottom Line: Verizon’s GizmoWatch puts “fun” in function

Like wearable devices for grown-ups, kids’ watches have come a long way in both function and features in recent years. Our top picks include kids’ smartwatches that focus on two-way communication, GPS tracking, fitness tracking, and built-in cameras. We’ve highlighted smartwatches that are easy for kids to use and offer durability with heavy-duty bands, protected touch screens, and waterproofing.

Due to the compatibility issues that can plague kids’ smartwatches, we’ve stuck to recommendations that have the reputation and technical support of a wireless provider or name brand behind them.

Verizon’s GizmoWatch ticked all our boxes for fun and function—we made it our top pick. It has two-way calling and messaging, a fitness tracker, GPS tracking, and sturdy design. The only drawback is the required two-year Verizon contract.

Compare the Best Smartwatches for Kids

Price*
GPS Tracking
Two-Way Communication
Video Calls
Syncs with iPhone and Android
Best for GPS Tracking
Best for Games
Best for Fitness Tracking
Verizon GizmoWatch VTech Kidizoom Fitbit Ace DokiPal OJOY A1 Garmin Vívofit Jr. 2R2
Verizon GizmoWatch VTech Kidizoom Kid Smartwatch Fitbit Ace Smartwatch for Kids DokiPal Smartwatch for Kids Garmin Víivofit Jr. 2R2
$179.99 $39.99 97.84 $179 $169 $69.99

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Visit Verizon View on Amazon View on Amazon Visit Doki View on Amazon View on Amazon

Amazon.com prices and other data effective as of 11/18/19 1:00 pm MST. Offers and availability subject to change.

Reviews: Best Smartwatches for Kids

Verizon Gizmowatch: Best for GPS Tracking

If you’re looking for a smartwatch that offers a myriad of features to satisfy both parents and kids, the GizmoWatch is an excellent place to start. This kids’ watch is like a basic smartphone for little wrists, geared toward ages 4 to 12. Equipped with GPS location and two-way communication via voice and messaging powered by Verizon’s network, caretakers will enjoy the reassurance of keeping close tabs on children. Parents can set up GPS boundaries, geofencing, and automatic notifications for when kids travel outside of approved locations.

This smartwatch is convenient for little hands to manage, with a large touchscreen that provides notifications for 10 trusted contacts alongside game features and a step tracker to encourage activity. A wide, durable strap and water-resistant features make the GizmoWatch suitable even for young children who engage in more than a little rough-and-tumble play. The downside to the GizmoWatch’s powerhouse of features is that it does lock you into using Verizon and requires a two-year contract.

Pros

  • GPS tracking with customizable alerts
  • Two-way voice and messaging
  • Easy access to 10 trusted contacts
  • Durable, waterproof design

Cons

  • Two-year Verizon contract required (data fees apply)
  • Limited games

VTech Kidizoom: Best for Games

VTech understands that kids just wanna have fun, so its smartwatch aims to provide exactly that. While you won’t find GPS tracking or two-way communication functions, this affordable smartwatch is essentially a mini gaming device, packed with educational activities and interaction to keep little ones busy. From telling time to motion sensors for active games and AR (augmented reality) capabilities, parents will appreciate the built-in learning boost. Dual cameras let kids take video or craft the perfect selfie, which is sure to be a hit with the elementary school crowd.

If, however, your goal is to keep track of your little wanderer or have a quick chat about who to expect at pickup after school, this smartwatch isn’t designed to meet those needs. Also, be warned that while it’s splash-proof, VTech admits that submerging your Kidizoom won’t end well because it stops short of being waterproof.

Pros

  • Games galore
  • Affordable price
  • Easy-to-use design
  • Two cameras for pics and video

Cons

  • No GPS tracking
  • No two-way communication or messaging
  • Not waterproof

Fitbit Ace: Best for Fitness Tracking

Smartwatches perform all sorts of functions, but some are designed to do one thing particularly well. It makes sense that Fitbit has cornered the market on kids’ fitness trackers, modeled on the same wildly popular wearable devices for grown-ups. The Fitbit Ace does all the same things we’ve come to expect in fitness tracking, from counting steps to monitoring sleep patterns. It also tailors messages and uses competition to encourage kids, in addition to syncing up to family Fitbit accounts and other iOS and Android devices. Showerproof and sturdy, this is one of the more durable wearable devices for kids you’ll encounter.

But like the VTech Kidizoom which focuses on gaming, the Fitbit Ace isn’t GPS capable and doesn’t offer any sort of two-way communication or messaging. While it’s a fabulous fitness tracker for kids who need to get up and get moving, it’s doesn’t go a step beyond to offer any additional parental control.

Pros

  • Excellent fitness tracking
  • Sleep monitoring
  • Ability to sync to smartphones and family Fitbit accounts
  • Waterproof, durable design

Cons

  • No GPS tracking
  • No two-way communication
  • No interactive games

More Smartwatches for Kids That Are Worth a Look

While we’ve selected the best smartwatch picks that provide different types of activities for kids, there are also other devices worth considering. Because parents and kids may have different expectations about what they’d like a smartwatch to do, one of the following devices may be a better fit for your family’s unique needs.

DokiPal Smartwatch for Kids

DokiPal

Want the Tesla of kids’ smartwatches? Then the DokiPal is for you. Seeded from a Kickstarter project, the DokiPal was born to do it all. Superior GPS tracking and geofencing, two-way voice and messaging, an SOS button, and even the novelty of video calls make this device a standout for parental control. Kids will appreciate that this smartwatch has games, charms for customization, and a “class mode” to avoid distractions. Unfortunately, all these features have a price tag to match and springing for the required network plan will further pad the bottom line.

OJOY A1

For those who want all the functionality of the GizmoWatch without the commitment, the OJOY A1 is a good alternative. You’ll get the same basic two-way voice and messaging and GPS location capabilities in a water-resistant, durable kids smartwatch. The OJOY A1 does count steps, but beyond that you won’t find much interaction or games. This watch for kids also comes SIM-free, which means you’ll need to secure a SIM card and a provider.

Garmin Víivofit Jr. 2R2

Garmin Vívofit Jr. 2

If you want to gamify fitness, the Vívofit Jr. 2 is the way to go. Superior waterproofing makes it safe for swimming, and a tough, adjustable band earns high marks for durability. This kid-themed fitness tracker has fun bands and corresponding games including Star Wars, Mickey Mouse, and Avengers. Garmin also snuck in features for parents like chore management and scheduling tools that make the extra cost worthwhile.

Things to Consider before You Buy

Ease of Use

Above all, you’ll want a simple device your child understands how to use. Look for big screens, kid-friendly buttons, and easy-to-manipulate watch bands that even little hands can manage.

Age of Your Child

Whether or not your child will be able to use the smartwatch may largely depend on their age and corresponding motor skills. Pay attention to the age range the watch is marketed toward, but also think about whether older children will find the features useful. If you have a preschooler who is often home, toddler home automation devices may offer more usability than a kids smartwatch.

Battery Life

How long a smartwatch holds a charge varies widely from device to device. The ones that employ GPS tracking and stay connected to the network require more frequent charging, so keep that in mind as you check out models.

Comfort and Design

If your child has an aversion to certain kinds of materials or is allergic to some metals, you’ll want to carefully select a watch and try it on in person to make sure it’s going to be a comfortable fit.

Waterproofing and Durability

Rugged styling and quality are where the rubber meets the road for most wearable devices, especially those for children. At a minimum, you’ll want a water-resistant device with a protected screen, plenty of durable, impact-absorbent casing, and a wide, sturdy band.

GPS Tracking

Decide if location services are an essential component of a kid’s smartwatch for you because it will determine the cost, both up front and over time. If monitoring is crucial, look for devices that also provide geofencing and location alerts. You’ll want to consider the range of the smartwatch if you intend to use one that relies on Bluetooth versus connecting to a cellular network.

Two-Way Communication

If you want to be able to talk or text your child and have them respond, you’ll want a smartwatch equipped with a SIM card. Typically, you’ll also need a data plan to accommodate messaging or phone calls. Some kids’ smartwatches offer SOS buttons to provide an extra layer of communication in case of emergencies.

Games

Decide whether you’ll want to have a device that offers gaming. There are both advantages and disadvantages to this approach. While it can be fun and even educational for kids, watches equipped with games may also be a distraction at school.

FAQs

Does my child’s smartwatch have to be on the same network as my smartphone?

No. While you will need to make sure some smartwatches are connected to the network via a SIM card and are backed up by a mobile provider, it’s not necessary that it be the same cellular company you currently use for your smartphone. Parental control for kids’ wearable devices and smartwatches is usually done through an app that you can download and sync to your phone.

Why do I need a SIM card for my child’s smartwatch?

Like having to purchase extra batteries for toys you buy during the holidays, SIM cards are one of the sneaky, hidden costs of kid’s smartwatches. Just like your smartphone, your child’s device will need a SIM card to connect to the network and receive data. If the smartwatch has two-way communication and GPS tracking, it’ll also require support from a mobile network that usually involves a call plan and supporting data fees.

Is a kid’s smartwatch vulnerable to hackers?

Just like the gadgets in our home automation guide, your child’s smartwatch is part of the Internet of Things and faces the same risks and dangers. If the smartwatch connects to a mobile network, it creates an opportunity for hackers to exploit that device. Like baby gadgets, smartwatches for kids can be manipulated for nefarious purposes, so be sure to avoid storing sensitive info on the watch and coach your kids never to respond to calls or texts from numbers they don’t recognize.

How We Picked the Best Smartwatches

Online research and customer reviews from places like Best Buy and Amazon are often where we start when making product recommendations, but it’s not the end of our process. We also use advice from industry experts and company rankings from third-party organizations to determine which brands consumers should trust. You can learn more about our full methodology here.

*Amazon.com list price as of 11/01/19 10:00 pm MST. Product prices and availability are accurate as of this date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any prices and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

Written by Kaz Weida

Kaz is a journalist who covers home security, parenting, and community and child safety. Her work and product testing in the security and safety field spans the past four years. You can find Kaz in HuffPost, SheKnows, Lifehack, and much more. Her degree in education and her background as a teacher and a parent make her uniquely suited to offer practical advice on creating safe environments for your family. Learn more

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  • Mike

    Cheap junk providing false peace of mind. If you go with one, make sure it;s a reputable name brand. Bought two of these watches directly through the retailer’s site, under the name Camille SmartWatch (aka doki), for $99 each. The site was very professional and customer service, through FB Messenger, was very helpful in making my decision. Then shipping took over two weeks. Turns out they were shipped from China and the seller is also in China, which was not disclosed on their site. Without getting into too much detail, neither watched completely functioned (i.e. didn’t recognize SIM, wouldn’t connect to iPhone app or even wi-fi), just to mention the most critical issues. Again customer support was very responsive and helpful in trying to resolve the issue. When we resolved that they simply wouldn’t work, the seller agreed to a refund. This is where things got upsetting. Turns out I needed to ship them back to China, with Priority Mail and tracking. This cost $35. Eventually the seller gave me a refund for the watches, but only partial. I reached back out to them about the return shipping and partial refund, since I was returning defective product. Camille Watch customer service then replied that the refund was a courtesy and that they would not refund shipping. When I pressed, they cut off communication and blocked me on Messenger and even from contacting them through their FB page. All in, I was out $75 on the deal. They come across a a legit product, but in the end another useless knockoff. Total scam.