Children today are considered to be the “digital generation,” having grown up to be surrounded by the Internet and technology at large.
This definitely changes the meaning of ‘childhood’ as we know it, and while some parents may attempt to reduce the presence of technology in their children’s’ lives and detach them away from it, it may not always be the easiest thing to do.
Kids now demand and insist on making a specific product purchase, and more often than not, they’re tech-related. Nowadays, the spotlight seems to be on smartwatches. Luckily, however, parents have the opportunity to review and study the product before they buy it for their kids.
We also come bearing good news; some smartwatches actually have positive impacts on your child’s development! Keep reading to find out more about how this could be so, and deduce the best smartwatch for kids based on your requirements.
At a Glance:
- Vtech KidiZoom
- Fitbit Ace 2
- Huami Amazfit Bip
- Garmin Vivofit Jr 2
- Leapfrog Leapband
- Kurio Kids
|Smartwatch||GPS Tracking||Water |
|Battery Life||Two-Way Communication||Age Range|
|Fitbit Ace 2||No||Yes, up to 50 meters||5 days||Yes||6+|
|Vtech KidiZoom||No||Splash and sweat proof||2 weeks||No||4-12|
|Garmin Vivofit |
|No||Yes||Up to 1 year||No||4-12|
|Huami Amazfit Bip||Yes||Yes||Up to|
|Leapfrog Leapband||No||Yes||3-4 days||No||4-7|
|Kurio Kids||No||No||3 days||Yes||6-14|
The 6 Best Smartwatches for Kids in 2020
1. Vtech Kidizoom – Best Gaming Smartwatch for Kids
The Vtech is known for its incorporation of different features very convenient for kids between 4-12 years old, but that won’t cost an arm and a leg.
Children nowadays are addicted to selfies, and they love to take photos in general. If your child is one of the many who loves pictures, the Vtech Kidizoom has dual cameras for shooting photos and videos.
In addition, a wide range of games and applications are available to entertain the kids. As if that’s not enough, you also have the option of downloading your children’s favorite games and apps if they’re not already there. To make the kids experience better, the games feature motion sensor and augmented reality features!
Appearance-wise, the Vtech Kidizoom has over 50 different 3D-effect clock faces, either digital or analog, making sure to appeal to every single child.
Not neglecting activity tracking, the Vtech Kidizoom has a motion sensor for tracking activities that also work with active games.
Parents, don’t worry, the Vtech Kidizoom allows parents to have full parental control that even enables you to limit playtime so it won’t be a distraction.
Lastly, a major plus is the battery that can last for up to 2 weeks!
● Best games experience
● Dual cameras and video shooting
● Design variety
● Motion sensor for activity tracking
● Not water-proof
● Lack of two-way communication
● Lacks GPS tracker
The Vtech Kidizoom is the one for the game-addicts! It’s essentially a mini-gaming device to keep children on the edge of their seats, occupied with their watch. It even goes the extra mile of availing motion sensors and augmented reality features to make the experience that much better. The Vtech Kidizoom is also ideal for the selfie and photography lovers, who will very much love the dual cameras and the opportunity to take photos.
2. Fitbit Ace 2 – Best for Fitness Tracking
Designed to cater to kids of ages 6 years and above, the Fitbit Ace 2 with access to the Fitbit application aims to help children to acquire healthy habits at an early age, as well as get used to being active with family and friends.
Taking into consideration how dynamic kids can be, the Fitbit Ace 2 includes a bumper to protect the screen, is stain resistant, and is swim-proof up to 50 meters, to account for any unfavorable circumstances that may take place.
Also, the battery can run up to 5 days before needing to be recharged, allowing you and your child to worry less about the battery draining.
Intending to appeal to all kids, the design of the tracker is available in choices of fun and bold children-friendly colors, along with 19 animated clock faces, color avatars, and cover photos, all to allow children to personalize their experience according to their character.
The navigation is also straightforward and simple, with minimal steps required to be able to control the Fitbit fully.
From a parent side, the Fitbit Ace 2 allows parents to keep track of their kid’s activities through a Fitbit family account, giving them access to the child’s profile, including all tracked metrics. Kids and their parents can also send each other personal messages using the Fitbit application, along with motivational emojis.
Not just that, challenges can be set up among family and friends regarding step count, while the tracker further sends reminders to move and nudges the child to complete a specific number of steps that will enable them to reach their goals.
- Also check out our best fitness trackers for kids roundup
● Access to Fitbit application and fitness tracking
● Water-proof up to 50 meters
● Design variety
● 5-day battery life
● Lacks GPS tracker
● Lacks heart-rate monitoring
The Fitbit Ace 2 is the ideal fitness tracker for kids and the stepping stone by which children can begin to establish a positive relationship with their health and fitness. With its vibrant design, durability, long-lasting battery life, and access to communication with parents, the Fitbit Ace 2 is a great choice for kids.
3. Huami Amazfit Bip – Best GPS Smartwatch for Kids
Targeted at teenagers aged 12+, the Huami Amazfit Bip is a prime smartwatch that offers top features at a competitive price.
The top three features of the Huami Amazfit Bip are its GPS tracking, sleep tracker, and the heart-rate tracking functions. Together, these two features allow for monitoring of steps, distance, sleep, calories, and sports activity tracking as well.
When it comes to battery life, it also offers a fantastic battery that could last up to 45 days if you don’t use the GPS and heart rate monitoring on a very regular basis, since they tend to drain the battery more quickly.
In terms of smartwatch features, the Huami Amazfit Bip has a Bluetooth connection to your phone, which means you will be alerted of messages, calls, and even social media activity.
Adding to that, it’s a very durable watch that uses scratch-resistant gorilla glass that makes it withstand bumps and scratches. All in a neat minimalistic design with a color LCD touchscreen, and available in a range of colors.
The only downside is the inability to respond to messages and calls. Therefore, you can read-only.
● GPS tracking
● Up to 45 days of battery life
● Heart-rate monitoring
● Activity tracking
● Lack of communication
The value Huami Amazfit Bip offers relative to its price cannot be real, particularly with its high-end functions, including accurate GPS tracking and activity monitoring. This is a purchase that will never be regretted and certainly offers premium features at a much lower price-point than its competitors!
4. Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 – Personalized Fitness Tracker
If you’re looking for a durable smartwatch for your child between 4-12 years old, you won’t come across a better option than the Garmin Vivofit Jr 2, with it being water-proof and coming with a battery that lasts up to a year before it needs to be recharged. Yes, you read that right, a year!
If you’ve always wanted your children to help around with basic tasks and chores, the Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 will help you with that by awarding the children points every time they finish a task or chore. What’s the catch? These points can later be traded for treats.
The Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 allows parents to assign the tasks and reminders for their kids through a parent application, and they can also see the progress their children have made, whether in tasks, steps, or even sleeping patterns through a sleep tracker.
The straps of the watch are soft and stretchy, yet very tough, making the watch comfortable to wear at all times but also very durable. Besides, they’re customizable by themes and games such as Star Wars, Mickey Mouse, Avengers, Frozen, Disney Princesses, and more.
The customization is not only for appearance. Based on the kid’s choice, they get assigned themed activities and challenges within the application for them to complete. That way, they’re encouraged to get active.
Moreover, children can connect with their friends who also have the Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 and share challenges with each other as well as friendly competitions.
● Water resistance up to 50 meters
● Best battery life (up to 1 year)
● Themed activity challenges and reminders
● Lack of two-way communication
● Lacks GPS tracker
Pushing children to be active and take responsibility is what the Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 is all about. Through fun interactive games and challenges based on their favorite characters, your children will subconsciously become more active without any effort from your end. Also, reminders and tasks that are treated with rewards upon completion is a positive reinforcement that will install responsibility in your children’s mindset.
5. Kurio Kids 2.0 – Best Phone Watch
The Kurio Kids is like a simplified adult smartphone, but for kids! Aimed at kids between 6-14 years old, the Kurio Kids is mainly focused on the smartphone-like features, including messaging, a camera for photos and videos, 20 pre-loaded applications, a media player, and an activity tracker.
Allowing for increased storage for applications and media, the Kurio Kids 256mb memory can be upgraded to 32gb to meet the needs of the child.
Being a smartwatch with a camera, the Kurio Kids camera further allows for selfie-taking and offers filter effects and frames, which are precisely what appeals to children nowadays!
It can also be connected with other Kurio holders for multiplayer options.
With its scratch-resistant coating, the Kurio Kids is durable and can also tolerate splashes and rain despite not being water-resistant.
An important aspect is that the Kurio Kids contains an emergency application that allows parents to enter any necessary information, including medical information, as well as contact emergency numbers.
Lastly, the battery lasts for about 3 days on average before needing to be charged.
● 3 days of battery life
● Bluetooth connectivity
● Two-way communication
● Integrated camera
● Media player
● Wide range of applications
● Lack of GPS tracking
● Not water-resistant
The Kurio Kids 2.0 is one of the best smartwatches for kids with relatively jam-packed features with a vast entertainment experience, particularly for the tech-savvy kids! It offers more than a watch with a few games, which makes it ideal for children at the target age of 6-14 years old, which is generally the age when they start demanding real smartwatches. The Kurio Kids can do the trick and keep them busy from that thought, at least for a while!
6. Leapfrog Leapband – Budget Smartwatch for Kids
A virtual pet is what the Leapfrog Leapband is in summary. For children aged between 4-7 years old, the idea of this watch revolves around the idea that they can only feed or nurture their personalized pet through completing activities or exercises, that in return, give them the needed points to take care of their pets.
Throughout the 50 active, challenging games, the child is taught core skills with a full curriculum that delivers the essentials such as telling time, the importance of nutrition, and the like. With each challenge, characters are unlockable so that kids are motivated to stay active.
The watch also allows parents to have full parental controls that enable them to limit the time their children spend on the watch.
Further features of this watch are that it’s water-resistant and can withstand 3-4 days of battery life.
● 3-4 days battery life
● Pre-loaded with 50 challenges
● Parental control
● Lack of GPS tracking
● Lack of touchscreen
The Leapfrog Leapband is ideal for habit-building and acquainting children with the notion of doing activities and building good health. If you’re looking for a basic watch to set your kids on the right track through fun activities that won’t be boring, this is the one to go for!
How to Pick a Smartwatch for Kids
Most smartwatches are directed towards a particular age range and are therefore designed to incorporate features to cater to the needs of that specific age.
You should always consider this factor when choosing the best smartwatch for kids since this could hinder your child’s ability to use the smartwatch, mainly if it’s aimed at an older age range.
Tip: If you are planning to keep the smartwatch for an extended period of time, you may want to consider a smartwatch that will be suitable for your current child’s age range as well as when they get older. Stay on the lookout for the smartwatch that offers features beneficial to all age ranges.
Children have a low tolerance to batteries that drain quickly, and they tend to get very bothered when their devices run out of charge. Not only that, they are very impatient when their devices are charging.
If you know your kid is that type, then you should undoubtedly consider battery life when making your decision, since the battery life of a smartwatch differs from one model to another.
For example, smartwatches that employ GPS tracking and require connection to a network are more likely to drain quicker and need frequent charging, while the opposite is also true.
Parental control and the ability to locate children easily are often the main reasons why parents agree to buy smartwatches for their kids in essence since it’s not always feasible to follow your children everywhere they go.
If that’s an essential factor for you, then you need to ensure that the smartwatch you are buying includes GPS tracking to allow you to know your kid’s whereabouts. Some even go the extra mile of including geofencing (creating a virtual geographic fence that your children cannot go beyond) and location alerts.
However, bear in mind that a smartwatch with GPS tracking can add to its cost. We do think it’s a sacrifice worth making, though, especially for the younger age-range!
In some instances, simple GPS tracking is not sufficient. Parents often like to be able to communicate with their kids, as well.
If this is a crucial factor for you, look for a smartwatch that allows you to insert a SIM card. In this manner, you will be able to talk or text your child, and they will be able to text you back and respond.
Tip: A few smartwatches also have an SOS button that your kid can simply click on to communicate with you in case of an emergency. In addition, some have built-in cameras where they can share photos and videos with you.
This is, with utmost certainty, essential for the kids. Many of them are insisting on buying smartwatches because of this feature, having games on their wrist, anytime, and anywhere!
However, as a parent, you may not want your child’s smartwatch to have access to games. This could be for several reasons; maybe you don’t want the watch to be a distraction during school periods.
It’s worth noting that many of the games included on smartwatches are fun, and even educational, as we have discussed throughout this article.
Most of the smartwatches incorporate the feature of fitness tracking, but some to a greater extent than others.
If you’re particularly interested in the fitness aspect of the watch, make sure the chosen watch includes as many fitness features as possible, including heart rate, calorie count, a sleep tracker, and more.
We all know how chaotic and inattentive kids could be; it’s a fact of life! While that’s not always possible to keep under control, it’s possible to choose a smartwatch that can tolerate and withstand the different circumstances that go into a typical day of a child.
Make sure to choose a smartwatch with a protected screen, solid casing, and possibly water-resistant to avoid accidents.
Believe it or not, some kids’ smartwatches are not very comfortable for kids! You know how, when they were young, they would throw away their socks if they don’t feel comfortable? You don’t want that to be the case with a not-so-cheap smartwatch.
Make sure you let your kid try out the watch before buying it to make sure that it will be a comfortable fit.
Furthermore, if you know your kid has an allergy to a specific type of material or metal, make sure they’re not included in the production of the smartwatch.
Ease of Use
This should be a given for all kids smartwatches, but just in case, make sure that the smartwatch you are buying is simple enough for children to know how to use.
This could be determined through large-sized screens, kid-friendly buttons that are not too hard, and easily changeable bands that could be switched by children’s tiny hands.
Why Should You Buy a Smartwatch for Your Child?
This is the most basic of benefits of smartwatches for kids. They can be exceedingly entertaining for kids.
Many smartwatches include a media player, enabling children to access music whenever they please, which could keep them busy for a long time.
Furthermore, the multiple game applications provided by smartwatches entertain children to the maximum. They download their favorite games, and just like that, they no longer complain of being bored. This is especially the case with the Vtech Kidizoom, for example.
2. Health Motivation
Since many of the smartwatches include fitness trackers, your kids will likely become motivated to stay active and engaged in physical activities frequently.
Kids can set goals and achieve them, which boosts their self-esteem. They could also engage in competitions related to activities with their friends, increasing their overall morale. The Fitbit Ace 2 and the Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 are ideal for this aim.
3. Educational Games
Many games are actually educational in nature; you just have to search for them!
Examples include virtual pets and calculation games, which are fun but also very educational.
Such games can be used to teach your kid about various areas, be that geography, vocabulary, math, or more. A perfect watch that depicts this particular purpose is the Leapfrog Leapband, as we discussed earlier.
Parental anxiety is a default that goes hand-in-hand with parenthood.
Fortunately, kids smartwatches attempt to relieve parents from that anxiety through the security features included in the watch, such as the GPS tracker, the in-built camera, and the SIM card inclusion allowing for two-way communication.
In that way, it’s easier than ever to stay in touch with your child’s whereabouts and keep track of their location, and further call and send them messages at your convenience.
The Huami Amazfit Bip is widely known with regards to security, mainly due to its GPS built-in tracker. Furthermore, the Fitbit Ace 2 and the Kurio Kids offer two-way communication, despite not having a GPS tracker.
This one is for the parents who are worried about the consequences of access to technology for their little ones.
Taking this into consideration, many smartwatches feature parental supervision applications that you can connect to your smartphone to monitor your children’s activities. You can even create a safety lock area that restricts children from specific apps or games.
Moreover, you can set up a whitelist of contacts who can be contacted by your children, or who can contact them, to avoid interactions with strangers.
The Vtech Kidizoom, Leapfrog Leapband, and Kurio Kids allow you to have the control you are seeking, without having to worry a single bit.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What Does a SIM Card Do for a Kids Smartwatch?
Typical to a smartphone, your kid’s smartwatch needs a SIM card to be able to connect to a network and receive data.
Primarily, the GPS tracking feature and the two-way communication features, including calls and texts, need to be supported by a mobile network that involves a call plan and supporting data fees. Without the SIM card, these features cannot function.
Is an Apple Watch a Good Choice for Kids?
Due to a couple of factors, the Apple Watch isn’t the ideal choice for kids. For starters, the Apple Watch will need to be synced with an iPhone, which means that if your kid doesn’t have one, you’ll need to make two purchases and not just one.
Another factor to consider is the price; Apple watches are not cheap, and they come at a very high price point that is unreasonable for children’s usage. That makes it attractive for thieves who know the price exactly.
Last but not least, the battery lasts up to 18 hours before needing to be charged, which means it will require charging every day. This could be a discouraging point for children.
The other features that are provided by the Apple Watch that are relevant to children, as we have discussed in the article, are generally available in kids-dedicated smartwatches at much lower price-points, which makes it unnecessary to opt for the more expensive alternative. Not to mention, you’ll need to make that iPhone purchase.
Also, why risk your child losing it when you have other alternatives that offer the same functions? An Apple Watch for kids just doesn’t seem right.
How to Choose the Right Smartwatch Size for Kids?
The size of the smartwatch strap must fit the hands of your child. There are various wrist sizes. Therefore you need to choose the one that perfectly fits your child, not too loose and not too tight.
If you’re worried that your child may complain later about the size and may find it too tight, then you have two options: either buy a smartwatch with an adjustable wristband or buy a slightly larger wristband that allows for at least a few millimeters.
As we have mentioned, the idea of how to pick the best smartwatch for your kid all boils down to what exactly you want and don’t want out of it. Once you can determine these factors, the choice will become much more manageable.
However, when a smartwatch for kids generates a lot of buzz among parents and children, it’s worth taking a look at what they have to offer. They may include features you never knew you wanted! That was the purpose of compiling the above best smartwatches for kids.
Based on all that has been said, the time has come to make our verdict and give our recommendations.
For kids aged 12 years and above, which is generally the age that the need for a smartwatch begins to arise, we would, without a doubt, recommend the Huami Amazfit Bip. With its premium features yet attractive price-point, it makes a pretty decent deal. It’s a hybrid that combines the essentials of both fitness trackers and smartwatches, yet offers you, as a parent, the option of GPS tracking to make sure your heart is safe and sound knowing where your kid is.
As for kids aged 6 years and above, the Fitbit Ace 2 is a no-doubter. Helping kids acquire healthy habits from an early stage while also offering a few smartwatch features, this watch is ideal for this age, mainly that it allows parents full parental control and communication with their children, which is crucial at this age point.
Lastly, for those between 4-12 years, the Vtech Kidizoom is what we root for. Offering both games and a few tracking features, this is the best you can provide children with, particularly at the lower end of the age range, since they have yet to develop a particular interest in either a smartwatch or a fitness tracker. Not only that, this watch will probably be there to stay for a few years since it caters to a wide age range before they can start to get bored with it!