The best smartwatches you can buy: Expert tested

The best smartwatches for kids, according to parents

Parents and parenting experts recommend these best smartwatches for kids that track location, set activity goals, send text messages, and more.

Kids are growing up with advanced technology more than ever before. By the time they are toddlers, they know how to use a smartphone, watch videos, and play games on a tablet. And, studies show that 42% of kids have a phone by age 10. But if you’d rather them wait to have a smartphone until they are older, a smartwatch for kids is a great introductory piece of tech that can keep them entertained with games and keep you at ease with features like location tracking and chore reminders.

Not only do smartwatches keep you in touch with your kids via messaging, but they also often offer real-time location information so you know where they are at all times. In addition, many kids’ smartwatches also have parental controls so you can keep track of things like screen time.

Best smartwatch for kids overall

pros & cons


  • Walkie-talkie function
  • GPS
  • Kids don’t need a phone for it


  • Expensive
  • Only supports iPhones

Apple Watch SE features: GPS | SOS feature | Offers parental control

A smartwatch list wouldn’t be complete without an Apple Watch. While it’s not made specifically with kids in mind, the Apple Watch SE is an excellent smartwatch for older kids with standout features plus parental controls. Along with enabling phone calls and text messages, the Apple Watch SE also tracks your child’s sleep, has state-of-the-art health trackers, features an SOS capability, and pairs with thousands of apps.

Victoria Taylor, a parent, teacher, and founder of, told ZDNET that her kids use an Apple Watch SE and love the many features.

“It is easy to use, with access to apps, games, and more,” she said. “The Health app also makes it easy to track activity levels and sleep patterns, helping parents stay in the know about their child’s health.”

In addition, you can utilize Apple’s Family Setup to check your kid’s location, set up shared contacts, implement parental controls like screen time usage, and more. They don’t even need their own iPhone to have an Apple Watch — they can pair it up with yours, so you’re fully in control.

This smartwatch is recommended for older kids, ages 10 years old and above. Plus, kids can pick their favorite band thanks to Apple’s wide selection.

Best fitness smartwatch for kids

pros & cons


  • Tracks sleep
  • Makes exercising fun
  • Up to 8-day battery life


  • No support for phone calls
  • Smaller screen
  • Black and white screen instead of color

Fitbit Ace 3 features: 8 days of battery life | Allows kids to participate in fun fitness challenges | Tracks sleep

One way to ease your kids into the world of smartwatches is to start with a fitness tracker, which can also get them to move more as a bonus. The Fitbit Ace 3 is a kids’ smartwatch that has an animated clock face and fun band colors. With up to eight days of battery life, it tracks your child’s movement and sleep, and can even remind them when it’s time for bed.

The Fitbit Ace 3 allows your kid to participate in fun fitness challenges where they can compete with friends, siblings, cousins, or even you to earn virtual badges if they win. This fitness tracker is recommended for kids ages six and above.

Theresa Bertuzzi, Chief Program Development Officer and Co-founder of Tiny Hoppers, said that the Fitbit Ace 3 is the perfect smartwatch for younger kids thanks to its fun incentives to get moving.

“The Fitbit Ace 3 even allows the parent to set up fitness challenges and keep track of their child’s sleep, steps, and activity, all through Bluetooth connection to their smartphone,” she said. “Therefore, if you have any concerns about how your child uses the watch, you can keep a close eye.”

Bertuzzi added that fitness tracking should be fun, and if it becomes obsessive, consider opting for a different watch.

Best smartwatch for kids to take photos

Pink Vtech Kidizoom DX3 smartwatch with a cat animation on its screen
pros & cons


  • Calendar and calculator to help kids learn math
  • Parents can send reminders to watch
  • Fun camera with filters


  • Doesn’t support texting or calling
  • No GPS

Vtech Kidizoom DX3 features: Takes pictures | Added effects like stamps and filters | Parental controls include chore reminders and screen time limits

If your little one is obsessed with taking photos on your phone, they’ll love the Vtech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX3. This watch has dual cameras that can capture pictures and videos and even add effects like stamps, frames, and filters. Kids can set their clock face to a photo they took or choose from more than 50 animated ones.

This smartwatch also lets kids share preset messages with friends or siblings that also have a Vtech watch, and they can play games with them as well.

Bertuzzi said she thinks this is the best smartwatch for kids on the market today because of its affordability and multiplayer games.

“I really think it has all the fun features that will make your child actually want to wear it, plus functional features like a notification system to remind them when it’s time to do chores,” she said. “Plus, if you are worried about your child using it at school or daycare, you can turn the watch on to ‘School mode’ so it only shows the time.”

The parental controls allow you to give your kid daily reminders like when it’s time to do chores or when they’ve reached their screen time limit. This smartwatch is recommended for kids aged 4 years old and above.

We chose the Apple Watch SE as one of the best smartwatches for kids. It has awesome features that kids are sure to love, like walkie-talkie mode. Plus, parents can rest easy, because the watch possesses GPS and you don’t have to get your child an iPhone to use it.

However, it isn’t the only option available. This table can help you compare the best smartwatches for kids based on price and special features:

Kids’ smartwatch Price Special features
Apple Watch SE $249 Walkie-talkie function; GPS; kids don’t need a phone to use it
Fitbit Ace 3 $60 Tracks sleep; makes exercise fun; 8-day battery life
Vtech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX3 $60 Fun camera with filters; parents can send chore reminders and set screen time limits
Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3 $90 Long battery life; ample band design options; color display
TickTalk 4 $199 Phone and video calls; text messaging; GPS tracking
Garmin Bounce $200 Real-time location tracking; communication features; health tracking; activity games

It depends on your budget and purposes for giving your child a smartwatch. If you want them to exercise more, the Fitbit Ace 3 is a wise option.

Meanwhile, the Vtech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX3 is fantastic for taking pictures. And with a starting price of $60, it’s budget-friendly. Overall, this buying tree can help you make sense of all the best options available:

Choose this kids’ smartwatch… If you want…
Apple Watch SE The best overall smartwatch for kids. If your family already uses Apple products, this smartwatch is a worthy investment that will last years for your child.
Fitbit Ace 3 A kids’ smartwatch for fitness tracking that will motivate them to move. It has 8 days of battery life to keep up with your little one.
Vtech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX3 Your kid to take pictures with a smartwatch. Kids can add effects like stamps, frames, and filters.
Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3 A smartwatch for kids with built-in games. It also has great customizable parental controls.
Little Tikes Tobi 2 Robot Smartwatch A smartwatch to keep you in contact with your little one. It offers voice and video calling, as well as text messaging through the AT&T Network.
Garmin Bounce Real-time location tracking built into your kids’ smartwatch. It also has impressive sleep-tracking data.

I looked at the various smartwatches for kids available on the market today and chose these top picks based on brand reliability, price, kid-friendly features, and customer reviews. I also talked to parents and parenting/early childhood education experts who have experience with each of these watches.

In addition, I paid extra attention to the following factors:

Privacy: Keeping your child’s information and data is of the utmost importance with any tech device, so I looked at smartwatches with privacy features like encryption, parental controls, and two-way communication so you can contact your child if need be.

Battery life: A smartwatch serves little purpose if it’s out of battery, so we looked at devices with long battery lives so you don’t have to constantly recharge.

Price: These smartwatches can range dramatically in price, but we tried to keep all products under at least $250.

It really depends on what you’re looking for and how old your child is.

Bertuzzi said if your child is between 5 and 10 years old, opting for a cheaper watch with basic features should be sufficient to gauge if they even like wearing one.

“However, you may want to prioritize GPS and emergency calling features for your child, so you can stay up to date on their location and have peace of mind that they know how to call for help,” she added.

Additionally, Bertuzzi said she recommends trying on a few different brands and bands to find the best fit for your child with all the functions your family needs.

Similar to any device, there can be security vulnerabilities with smartwatches. However, with responsible use and monitoring, you can negate these threats. You can achieve this by limiting app permissions and setting time limits for use through parental control, teaching them responsible internet behaviors by keeping personal information private, and encouraging them to come to you if they encounter any issues.

In general, you will need some kind of phone plan if you plan on having your kid use things like voice calling, GPS trackers, or other features like text messaging.

While your kid usually won’t need a phone (you can connect the smartwatch to yours), you’ll find many brands of kids’ smartwatches that will charge you monthly for more advanced features.

There are a lot of options on the market when it comes to smartwatches for kids, and you obviously want the best fit for your little ones. Here are some other trustworthy kids’ smartwatches to look into:

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