GPS trackers keep kids safe when you're out of sight. Parenthood just got a little easier.
The Best Kids GPS Trackers and Wearables
Jiobit Next is out now! The newest version of the tracker sports a longer battery life and better tracking signal for indoor and rural areas. Check out our review of the Jiobit Next below.
The bottom line: AngelSense is a discreet and watchful guardian
AngelSense is a kids’ GPS tracker that can keep your little one safe at school, play, and everywhere in between. Its comfortable design won’t interfere with your kiddo’s range of motion. And it locks tight onto school bags or clothes to stay with them from home to bus to classroom and beyond.
AngelSense’s parent app provides you with frequent updates and virtual fence capabilities so you can see your kids arrive safely at school and friends’ houses after school. You can even contact them through the device if needed.
Top 5 GPS trackers for kids
Compare best GPS trackers for kids
|View on Angelsense|
|View on Relay|
|View on Verizon|
|Best tiny tracker|
Up to 168 hours
|View on Amazon|
|Best for travel|
Up to 120 hours
|View on Amazon|
In our tests, we found the best GPS trackers for kids instill confidence in parents and eliminate distractions for kids. So while location accuracy was crucial, features like screen size and time were also accounted for.
That said, kids can still benefit from games or activity tracker features on products like smartwatches that keep them entertained. It was important to us that these trackers were easy to carry too, so we also took size and range into account.
Learn more from our methodology page about how we conduct reviews like this one.
Reviews of the best kids' GPS trackers
1. AngelSense Kids’ GPS tracker: Best overall
AngelSense GPS tracker was created with one purpose in mind: to help protect children with special needs. But it works for any little ones.
Beyond the plethora of tracking capabilities—from safety-zone setup to 30-second updates—AngelSense’s Listen-In function lets parents listen to how their child’s day is going, ensuring they’re not mistreated, neglected, or lost.
With AngelCall two-way voice, you can talk to your child at any time, and they don’t need to worry about buttons or clicking on anything to chat. Plus, you can see what your child has been up to with diary logs that input data every 30 seconds.
AngelSense’s great features do come at a price. Plans start around $30 and go up from there, depending on whether you pay up front or in installments.
This GPS device isn't just for kids either. We recommend AngelSense for people with dementia prone to wandering off.
Read our full review of the AngelSense GPS Tracker for kids.
Standout feature: Regular updates
AngelSense sends consistent updates throughout your day, so you can check in, listen in, and hold onto your peace of mind while your kids go about their day.
2. Relay Kids Smartphone: Screenless pick
Relay delivers the convenience and reassurance of a smartphone without all the distractions.
This innovative take on a kids’ smartphone has GPS tracking, nationwide coverage, and one-touch communication. But its lack of a screen means you won’t have to monitor their screen time.
It also includes customizable channels that let you set up individual or group chats. That means your child can reach a parent or the whole family with the touch of one button. And there are a few fun features like a music player and a voice changer with sound effects.
There are no long-term contracts with the Relay, so you pay for service only as long as you want it. The customized channels make it easy for your child to stay in touch with everyone.
If you have more than one child with a Relay, you can set up chats with each of them individually or create a group to call them all in for dinner with the touch of one button.
This screenless GPS tracker for kids cuts down on the distraction and delivers only the most essential elements for communication and peace of mind you need.
One downside is that the Relay isn’t wearable. Your child will have to carry it with them in a pocket or backpack, which means you have to count on them to remember it wherever they go.
Learn more from our full Relay review.
Standout feature: One-touch talk
The Relay operates like a walkie-talkie. All your child needs to do to connect with you is hit one button.
“My son loves his Relay! I can see where he is on a map, he can call when he wants, and there is no problem with any games. He's too busy playing with friends." —Scott B., Relay customer
3. Verizon GizmoWatch 2: Smartwatch pick
The GizmoWatch 2 is a slick smartwatch packed with features for kids and parents to enjoy. They can text and call you from their watch, track their steps, and set reminders for their day.
The newest version of the GizmoWatch comes with space for 10 programmed numbers for family, neighbors, and trusted friends. If your child finds themselves in an emergency or wants to check in, they can select one of these numbers and send a pre-written message or call for help through the GPS watch.
In addition to regular GPS tracking, you can set GPS boundaries to keep your kids safe. If they cross a boundary, you’ll get an automatic alert. This feature is especially handy if you’ve got a wanderer. You can see their location through the parents' app and check their status live.
The most common complaint from parents we saw was that the band was made of cheap material or was too easy for their kids to remove.
The battery also tends to drain quickly, so you'll need to charge the watch often. But if you're willing to sacrifice features like step tracking or live location updates, the battery will last much longer.
And call us picky, but we'd also like to see more colors available than just pink and blue. More color options could get your kids excited to wear their slick new watch.
Standout feature: Fitness tracker
You can keep an eye on your children while they get excited about fitness. The GizmoWatch allows kids to set exercise goals, count steps, and schedule reminders for activities like sports or dance lessons.
Because the GizmoWatch is available through Verizon, you can add it to your existing phone plan or pay for it all at once. As a one-time payment, it costs $99.99 or $4.16 per month for 24 months.
4. Jiobit Next: Best tiny tracker
The Jiobit tracker is lightweight and smaller than an Oreo—making it easy for little ones to wear all day. But there’s no way to call or listen in with the Jiobit, so if two-way communication is a must-have, this device won’t fit the bill.
Speaking of bills, Jiobit offers a one-year contract plan at $8.99 per month or a month-to-month plan for $12.99 per month.
The Jiobit tracker can go up to one week without charging. But its real-time GPS may drain the battery if your child is on the move often. This means you don’t have to worry about charging it daily, which gives you one less thing to worry about before bed every night.
Jiobit can attach securely with a built-in loop, waistband clip, secure loop, strap clip, or an outer sleeve attachment.
While the Jiobit offers accurate GPS tracking, there’s no speaker, so your child can’t call for help, and you can’t listen in to make sure they’re okay.
Standout Feature: Self-learning
Jiobit has learning technology that will remember your child’s routines, routes, and regular locations. That means Jiobit knows if your child goes somewhere they aren't supposed to or doesn't arrive where they need to be.
The Jiobit Next is the newest version of this tracker out now. This next generation comes with more reliable tracking for spotty areas like rural locations and indoors.
5. GeoZilla GPS tracker: Best for travel
For kiddos who tend to wander during outings, the Geozilla GPS tracker has you covered. Its worldwide GPS coverage and SOS feature make it easy for your kids to get in touch if they get separated.
This tiny wearable tracker has an impressive battery that lasts up to five days (or 120 hours) and can pinpoint the tracker within 15 feet.
You can adjust the update frequency to make the battery last longer to change the frequency of updates (basically, the more frequent the updates, the higher drain on the battery).
Geozilla has an optional Premium subscription with a bunch of bonus features that make tracking and communication easier. The extra perks include location history, place alerts, schedule alerts, and even to-do lists.
You can opt for a seven-day free trial followed by a $79.99 yearly contract or pay $49.99 every three months (about $16 monthly).
Child GPS trackers like Active Halo from Amber Alert make the darkest scenarios a little brighter.
This child tracking device uses 4G LTE to track location, send alerts, and detect speed. The Amber Alert GPS locator helps you keep tabs on your child’s whereabouts at all times.
You can program up to 20 safe zones and get updates on your child’s location every five minutes. To prevent distractions during school, you can place the device in silent mode.
All of these features come at a price, though—the Amber Alert GPS Locator is one of the most expensive devices on our list.
Standout Feature: Sex offender detection
Amber Alert GPS is the only device that alerts you if your child is close to a registered sex offender’s address.
“Given that our society has changed so much, with dual working parents and the emphasis on child safety, we hope to bring a little peace of mind to parents and a little bit of freedom to youngsters who are too young for a cell phone.”—Mary Anne Keegan, CMO of Amber Alert GPS
My Buddy Tag: Bluetooth pick
My Buddy Tag is a Bluetooth tracker disguised as a wristband that’s comfortable for kids and easy to track for parents. It comes in a range of bright kid-friendly colors and is super easy to setup.
The My Buddy Tag kids GPS tracker is a (mostly) fuss-free way to keep an extra eye on little ones. There are no monthly fees or subscriptions and the device itself costs around $40.
One feature that sets the My Buddy Tag apart is the water safety alert great for the pool, the beach, or family lake days. If the Buddy Tag is submerged in a foot or more of water, its signal weakens and sends an alert to your phone.
Whether at the park or ball game, if you have kiddos who wander off, the Buddy Tag can show their location as long as they’re within range.
Parent survey statistics
How often do parents lose track of their kids?
Parenting can feel like herding cats, especially during family outings to places like amusement parks or festivals. It’s not easy to keep up with your kiddos, even when you’re on the lookout.
We asked 400 parents with kids between ages 3 and 12 about their experiences with keeping track of their kids. We found that it’s pretty common for kids to slip out of sight.
In fact, 22% of the parents we surveyed lost track of their kids for at least an hour. And that number almost triples for parents of children with special needs.
Survey Results: All parents
Survey Results: Parents of children with special needs
Here’s what we learned:
- 61% of parents report worrying most about losing their child in large crowds such as parades and festivals.
- 14% of parents say they’re worried most about losing their child when their children go to hang out with friends.
- 13% of parents report worrying most about losing their child while traveling.
- 96% of parents say that their children would be OK with parents knowing where they are at all times.
- 94% of parents say that their children would want to know where a parent is at all times.
As kids get older, they’ll want to explore on their own, hang out with friends, and attend school functions alone.
Our survey showed that 12 and 13 were significant years for the average child in terms of independence. The average age parents gave their children cell phones was 12. And 13 is the average age parents would let kids walk to school alone.
What can you do to keep better track of your children?
So how can you keep your little chickadees safe when they wander beyond the nest? Start by telling your kids about what kind of adults they can trust like emergency responders, event officials, or employees (if you’re at a store or amusement park).
Make a plan for a meeting spot that’s easy to find and remember in case you get separated. And when you're at home, make sure they know the rules around communicating their whereabouts and what to do if their plans change.
We also recommend kids’ GPS trackers and smartwatches. Brands like AngelSense cater to parents of kids with special needs with sensory-sensitive wearables while other trackers like the GizmoWatch mimic adult smartwatches.
These and other top GPS trackers for kids let you monitor your child’s location and can even sound an alarm if you lose your kids in a crowd.
Whether you keep your kids close or let them loose, their safety is your priority. Check out our child and baby safety resources for more reviews, articles, and product recommendations to learn more.
What to look for in a kids GPS tracker
Whether you’re looking for a kids’ GPS tracking watch or a GPS tracking device you can conceal in a pocket, get to know the basics before making a purchase.
The best GPS tracker is comfortable and fun for kids to use, durable enough to last all day, and accurate in its readings. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
User-friendliness: Choose a tracker that’s easy for you and your child to use. It shouldn’t interfere with their range of motion or get in the way.
Age range: Check the recommended age range on any tracker you’re considering. Some have anti-tamper features for older kids if you’re worried they will remove it.
Durability: Kids play rough, so be sure their tracker can withstand all the roughhousing, horseplay, and hazards kids can throw at it. Look for waterproof models that can handle puddles and spills too.
Range: Not all GPS devices are created equal. Those that use cellular 4G LTE tracking can handle long range connections if your kids visit somewhere out of state while Bluetooth devices are meant for close range.
Alerts and notifications: Look for a device with adjustable settings to avoid false alarms or blowing up your phone. Your device should be customizable to let you check on your kids when you want and notify you when there’s trouble.
Panic button: Some kids GPS devices come with a panic button that let your child alert you when something’s wrong or they need help.
Two-way communication: This feature lets you speak to your child through their tracker like an intercom so you can ask them where they are or if they need help.
Games: Features like games and step counters give kids more motivation to wear their tracker. After all, the device isn’t helpful if your child doesn’t want to wear or use it. Just make sure the games aren't too distracting.
Real-time tracking: When you need to know where your child is, this is the most important feature. You can adjust the settings in your tracker’s app to send an updated location to you every minute to every fifteen minutes.
GPS trackers for kids FAQ
While helicopter parenting is rarely necessary, there are some cases that call for giving your child a GPS tracker. For example, a GPS device can help parents with kids who live in multiple households or have special needs keep tabs on their whereabouts. Toddlers and little tykes too, may also benefit from a small tracker on their shoelace or clothes in crowded places.
Of course. GPS trackers use the same technology we have in our phones. Bluetooth, GPS locating, and cellular signals are the main methods these devices use.
Most charges last for a couple days. If you plan to use a tracker every day, charge it at night when they get home just like you would charge your cell phone.
Geofencing is a feature found in many different types of GPS trackers. It allows you to draw digital boundaries around trusted areas like schools, homes, and neighborhoods. When your child enters or leaves that area, you’ll get a notification.
*Amazon.com list price as of 1/5/2021 02:47 (MT). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price 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.