Monday, June 17, 2024

The best smartwatches and fitness trackers for kids can help the whole family stay connected

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Kids are glued to tech these days. If you’re a parent looking to buy your child their first wearable, a smartwatch or fitness tracker that’s specifically designed for kids is a smart pick.

While a kid-friendly Apple Watch SE is one of the best options for older kids, top brands like Fitbit and VTech make watches packed with fun, kid-friendly perks. That includes step counters, virtual rewards for activity, sleep tracking, and apps that let parents set schedules and monitor progress. Most also have built-in GPS so you can check your child’s location when they’re out playing. Some even let you call or message them in case you need to speak to them, making it easy and quick to stay in touch no matter the situation.

When you’re shopping for a smartwatch or fitness tracker for kids, look for tough designs that can withstand daily play; water resistance; battery life that can keep up with them; and a range of communication options that put you in control as a parent.

Shop our picks for the best smartwatch and fitness trackers for kids below.

What is the best smartwatch for kids in 2024?

Shop our picks for the best smartwatch and fitness trackers for kids below.

Best smartwatch for older kids: Apple Watch SE (2nd Gen)


If you’re buying a smartwatch for an older kid, the affordable second-generation Apple Watch SE is a great option that doesn’t skimp on functionality. It’s also a “grown up” smartwatch that your child will want to wear, thanks to the Apple Watch moniker.

This model has most of the features you’ll get with newer and more expensive Apple Watches, like activity tracking, health monitoring, safety features like emergency SOS, and up to 18 hours of battery life. It shares the same easy-to-use interface as the Apple Watch Series 9, along with comparable water resistance and heart rate tracking as well as a responsive raise-to-wake display.

While advanced health sensors and always-on display are not included, the SE focuses on the core functions kids will appreciate, like interactive faces, activity rings, music controls, and location monitoring for parents who want to keep tabs on them.

You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to give your older child their first smartwatch by way of the essential Apple Watch experience. It serves up safety and activity tracking in a more budget-friendly package that still comes with plenty of cool factor attached. 

Best smartwatch for younger kids: VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX3

VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX3


Younger kids will be attracted to the VTech KidiZoom Smartwatch DX3, and so will you, for a variety of reasons. This candy-colored watch may look like it’s just a toy, but it comes with dual cameras for pics and videos as well as a built-in light that can be used as a camera flash or flashlight.

Kids can deck out the clock face with their own photos or choose from more than 50 animated designs. When it’s school time, the watch can switch to School Mode to limit playtime. When it’s time to relax, your kid can go on solo adventures with games like “Monster Catcher” to find hidden creatures, or get moving with “Racing Run” and “Crazy Dance” challenges. Two kids with watches can even share preset messages with each other to communicate while playing games. 

While there’s no location or tracking functionality, this watch acts as a good introduction to what a smartwatch is capable of for the future, when your kids get a little older. With so many ways to customize, capture memories, get active and connect, the KidiZoom DX3 is a great first wearable.

Best tracker smartwatch for kids: AngelSense assistive technology watch

AngelSense Assistive Technology Watch


If you want to stay on top of where your kid is at all times, or you have a special needs child who requires extra attention, the AngelSense assistive technology watch is the perfect solution. This wearable goes beyond standard tracking to provide 24/7 monitoring and alerts, so you can rest easy knowing you’ll be able to track your kids wherever they roam, even if you just lose contact briefly in the middle of a crowd.

AngelSense auto-learns your child’s routine and then sends alerts for potentially dangerous situations like unexpected stops or delays. You can listen in with the watch’s assistive speakerphone to check if they’re okay and talk through emergencies. If your child wanders off, use the live location sharing and alarms to start an emergency search. 

Key features like accident and fall detection, SOS calling, geofencing and two-way voice provide an extra level of protection. Well-being tools like step counting and voice messages let you monitor health and activity, too. 

Keep in mind that live features require a $49.99 monthly subscription that includes a SIM, unlimited tracking, assistive speakerphone, special alerts, customer care and more. It’s worth paying for. AngelSense is a great smartwatch that can give the peace of mind you’ll want when it comes to keeping your kids safe. 

Best budget smartwatch for older kids: Xplora XGo 2

Xplora XGo 2


The Xplora XG 2 is a mobile phone watch that uses GPS, WiFi, and GSM tracking. It gives you real-time location monitoring to keep tabs on your kids. It’s also very affordable, with subscriptions that start at just $9.99 per month in addition to the watch’s base price. 

Set up safe zones around home, school or other key spots and get alerts if your child wanders outside the pre-marked areas. The XGo 2 allows calling, messaging, voice notes, camera use, and has an SOS button for emergencies.

School Mode limits functions during class while still enabling location tracking and SOS access. With the Xplora app, you get full control over the watch’s settings and variety of options It’s the perfect intro to mobile for kids ages 5-12 while giving parents peace of mind.

The XGO 2 strikes the perfect balance of independence for kids and control for parents in an all-in-one mobile watch. You will need to purchase a subscription, but it’s the cheapest option available at the moment with all of these features, and kids will love feeling like they’ve gotten their first grown-up watch. 

Best fitness tracker for kids: Fitbit Ace 3

Fitbit Ace 3


The Fitbit Ace 3 is an ideal starter fitness tracker for kids. It’s no smartwatch — it lacks the abilities seen in most of the other options on this list — but it’s great at what it does. It offers all-day activity and sleep tracking in a durable, waterproof design built to withstand daily play.

With up to eight days of battery life, animated clock faces, and family account management, the Ace 3 works to make health fun for even the youngest user. Kids can earn virtual rewards for hitting step goals while you monitor their progress through the Fitbit app, and that should be enough to get them up and moving.

For active kids, the Ace 3 offers friendly motivation to build healthy habits together as a family. If you have an energetic kid who’s ready for their first wearable, the Ace 3 is perfect for encouraging healthy habits in a straightforward, entertaining package. 

By making fitness feel like an adventure, it can inspire kids and parents to be more active. 

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