It can be hard to let your child have a taste of freedom — after all, the world is full of malicious people and accidental tragedies, and as a parent, it’s difficult not to think about those.
You question yourself constantly, but you want your child to grow up independent, so how can you strike a good balance? A kid’s GPS watch is a perfect way. It lets your child enjoy some shiny tech while allowing you to keep a watchful eye on their movements.
Whether it’s walking themselves to school or playing with a friend at the park, a GPS watch is a minimally invasive way to make sure your kid stays safe, so let’s go over some of the best options.
- Themoemoe Kids GPS Watch – Available in three colors, IP68 waterproof rating, camera, GPS/LBS tracking, alarm feature, SOS, do not disturb mode, and two-way calls.
- YENISEY Kids GPS Tracker Smartwatch – Available in 5 colors, built-in pedometer and flashlight, camera, GPS/LBS tracking, alarms, do not disturb, SOS, and two-way calling.
- Karaforna Smart Watch for Kids – Available in 4 colors, watch can auto-answer the call instead of waiting for the child to pick up, GPS/LBS/Wifi positioning, alarm function, camera, SOS button, two-way calling, and more!
Who Should Get This?
A GPS watch is a good option for any child that’s too young to use a phone, but old enough that they want some independence and are starting to explore when mom and dad aren’t around. It can help you feel more secure when they go to visit with a new friend, if they get themselves to school, or if you want to let them play relatively unsupervised.
However, if your child already has a phone, a GPS watch might be overkill. You can use a simple parental control app on their phone instead to achieve all the same functionality, without purchasing a second device.
Best Kids GPS Watch: What to Consider
Most watches will require you to get a 2G sim card and data plan in order for it to function. One of the most popular is SpeedTalk Mobile, which could be as cheap at $5/month for your child’s watch. However, you should also check if your existing carrier offers watch or children’s plans and decide if that might be a better fit.
At minimum, a child’s smartwatch needs to have a GPS tracking feature, but most watches will go beyond this. You should look for extras like two-way calling, a camera, and geofencing, all of which will make you feel more secure and give you a better idea of what your child is up to.
We all know the iconic sleek design of the Apple Watch, but kids tend to be a lot rougher on their possessions than adults and need something with more of a protective factor. Aside from color, you should check if a watch is waterproof and if the screen appears to be shielded from accidental bumps or collisions.
Best Kids GPS Watch: Our Picks
Available in black, pink, and blue, this kid’s watch from Themoemoe is ready to take on the day with your child! They’ll love receiving it as a gift, and you’ll love being able to track their position using both traditional GPS and LBS (positioning based on the mobile phone signal). Its also rated at IP68, which means it can be submerged for up to 30 minutes at 1.5m deep.
- Combination of GPS and LBS positioning for better accuracy.
- Do Not Disturb/Classroom mode can hold three different time periods so that the watch can’t be used during school or sleeping hours.
- Includes a camera, alarm function, and math game.
- SOS button can automatically call and text up to three guardians.
- Requires nanoSIM from a supported 2G network.
- Doesn’t come with a pedometer or health-tracking function.
- No Bluetooth/wifi support.
With 5 different colors and fun features like a built-in flashlight, your child will never want to take off this watch from Yenisey. It retains 30 days of tracking history for your convenience, and parents can remotely use the camera and retrieve photos from their child’s phone. It’s a great tool for keeping everyone safe and secure.
- GPS and LBS tracking for maximum accuracy.
- Supports two way calling and walkie-talkie style voice chat.
- SOS button with three programmable emergency contacts.
- Built-in pedometer.
- Uses a micoSIM compatible with the 2G GSM network.
- It’s waterproof.
- SIM functionality only, watch does not support wifi or Bluetooth.
Last but not least, the Karaforna Smart Watch offers another option for keeping tabs on your child, including a function that allows you to bypass waiting for them to accept your call – no more ignoring mom’s calls! It can be charged in 1-2 hours, so it’s always ready for the day and comes in 4 colors including black, pink, purple, and blue.
- Requires a nanoSIM for full functionality.
- In addition to GPS and LBS, it can use Wifi for positioning. However, wifi is not supported for any other purpose.
- Alarm clock function means you can teach your child the responsibility of waking themselves for school.
- Supports two-way calling and has an SOS button.
- It’s recommended to remove this watch for swimming, bathing, or showering as it does not appear to have an IP rating.
Useful Tips & Tricks
It’s important to teach kids digital safety as we move into a more and more connected world. You should have regular conversations with your child about how to be safe online, and these ten starter tips from anti-malware company AVG can help you out.
Parenting Magazine also has plenty of advice to offer, including recommended programs and methods for keeping your kids independent but protected. Even with a smartwatch to keep them safe, kids should be well aware of “stranger danger” and be taught basic safety procedures.
Letting go is hard, and thankfully you can do it baby steps at a time with a GPS watch for your child. They get to enjoy a fun digital device, while you get the peace of mind of knowing right where they are at all times. Whether they’re two grocery aisles or two blocks away, you know you’ve got their back.
Influenced by the startup culture in the Silicon Valley, Jessica loves building things from zero to one and is keen on following news related to the Big Five tech giants and many SaaS startups.