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The Best Kids Watches Are Analog Watches

Learning how to tell time, like writing cursive, still counts for something.

It often seems that analog wristwatches have gone the way of the landline, the film camera, the crowded indoor restaurant. But while you may tell time with your phone, your kid will still get a kick out of an old-school analog watch. Kids watches are not only a very cool accessory (that won’t get lost, by the way, since they’re literally tethered to their hands), but they can also help children understand the progression of their day in hours and minutes, and help them learn the fundamentals of telling time in a much more direct way than a far pricier smartphone.

Related: The Best Smartwatches for Kids Who Aren’t Ready for a Phone

Kids start grasping the concept of time (though it remains somewhat abstract) around the first grade, and time becomes integrated into their daily lives. To help them make the connection, look for a kids watch with a face that’s big, bright, and easy to read, preferably with a band that’s cool and on trend.

So the next time you tell your kid they have six minutes until their Zoom class starts, they’ll know that you’re talking about something concrete, instead of some ephemeral concept, and you won’t have to nag to get things running on schedule. Just kidding: You’ll still have to nag.

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Hardy and cheerful, this Timex has lizards telling kids the minutes and hours, and the 6mm elastic fabric strap with the gecko pattern fits up to a 6-inch wrist circumference.

You can't beat a classic, and this Swatch is a true classic. It's water-resistant up to 100 feet, which is great for kids who love the outdoors (or are just kids). This is part of the Flik Flak line, which makes watches that can survive a normal wash cycle in the washing machine. The plastic watch face is hardy and easy to clean.

Another hit from Swatch, this one features a pair of foxes on the machine-washable strap. The watch is both shock- and water-resistant.

This ode to the webslinger has an hour dial, minute markers on the bezel, labeled hour and minute hands, and a second hand, plus some pretty killer Spider-Man art. The strap is 16mm.

This blingy Elsa watch has a stainless steel case and glittering leather band. Its minute markers on the bezel and labeled hour and minute hands will help kids read the time while they're looking at Elsa's image on the dial. There's a glittery adjustable leather strap with hook-and-loop fastener.

If your kid's style is 6-going-on-16, this is the watch for you. It's sleek and simple, with a stainless-steel face that is water-resistant and easy to read, and a band that's easily removable and interchangeable.

A premium watch for the discerning elementary schooler, this one has a polished stainless-steel case, a dial sunburst with stainless-steel Swiss luminescent numerals and a date window; plus, it's durable, water-resistant, and has a strap made of vulcanized rubber. It has only hour markers. Water Resistance 5 Atmospheres (50m)

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