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The Best Smartwatches For Kids Who Aren't Ready For A Phone

So you always know where they are without being weird about it.

by Donna Freydkin
Originally Published: 
Smartwatches for kids GizmoWatch 2 by Verizon next to Cosmo JrTrack 2 Kids 4G Smart Watch.

Many parents are leery about strapping a kids’ smartwatch to their child’s wrist. After all, it’s hard enough to limit screen time without adding another device into the mix. But smartwatches for kids provide numerous benefits compared to smartphones and other devices. Sure, many devices allow two-way communication, geofencing, tracking, and more. But kids' smartwatches have the built-in benefit of size when compared with, say, an iPhone while providing the digital training wheels kids need as they gain independence, make their own choices, and build confidence. The best part: If something goes sideways, you can respond quickly and precisely, thanks to their state-of-the-art tech. If all these benefits are ushered in by a small piece of tech around the wrist, then it’s a compromise many parents, including us, would make without thinking twice.

Unlike smartphones, with their unfettered access to the internet and social media, data charges, and susceptibility to getting lost, wrist-mounted phone watches are more optimized for younger children, as they provide all the communication features while eschewing browsers and strapping directly to tiny bodies. They also have GPS tracking, calling, texting, and a pre-approved contact list (some also include a one-touch panic button if needed, providing even more assurance). Granted, some do include activities, but little else satisfies when a child gets a taste for an iPhone or iPad. Bonus: All smartwatches are cheaper than smartphones, and upkeep is minimal with much more affordable data plans. The watches on our list have touchscreens that are easy to navigate and let adults and children stay in touch. Which is the entire point.

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