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The 9 Best Smartwatches For Kids Who Aren't Ready For A Phone

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

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a kids smartwatch against a bright yellow background

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 the best smartwatches for kids, which allow two-way communication, geofencing, tracking, and more, let parents eliminate other, more addictive devices in lieu of something smaller and less compelling — for at least part of the time. Thanks to some tracking features, the devices also serve as digital training wheels as kids gain independence, make their own choices, and build confidence. And if something goes sideways, you as the parent are able to respond quickly and with precision. If all these benefits are ushered in by a small piece of tech, then it’s a compromise many parents, including us, would make in a heartbeat.

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, and texting, along with 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 when a child gets a taste for an iPhone or iPad, little else satisfies. 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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