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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, and the crowded indoor restaurant. And while you may be resigned to telling time with your phone, there’s still a chance for your kid to get a kick out of an old-school analog watch. Kids watches are not only a very cool accessory (and one with a low risk of getting lost, since they’re tethered to their hands), but the best kids watches 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  smartphone or digital clock.

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 continually 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. A band that’s cool and on-trend doesn’t hurt either.

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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This watch is a lesson in telling time. The plastic dial is both shock- and water-resistant. And the display is easy to read, showing kids the hours and minutes that get them through the day. And it's even machine-washable, if you place the watch inside a sock. There are tons of colors and patterns to choose from.

Designed specifically to help kids tell time, these Timex watches have an easy to read dial, a rotating graphic as the second hand, a washable elastic strap, and a water resistance of up to 30 meters. They're hardy and cute and just about perfect.

The orange silicone band is as eye-catching as it is durable. And the classic Swiss-made watch is made to pretty much last forever.

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)

Hey, some kids just like the finer things in life. This Lacoste watch has the company's classic 'gator and its trademark simplicity, which has established it as a European luxury brand over generations.

With a NATO-style band that velcros in place, making it easier for small fingers, this watch is designed for your budding outdoorsman or -woman. It's water-resistant to 100 feet and can take a beating.

Mickey Mouse may seem lighthearted, but tell that to Dan Brown's Harvard symbologist, who wears the design as he investigates preposterous mysteries around the world. Maybe this watch might inspire your son or daughter to look into the Case of the Messy Room.