Best smartwatch for kids 2023: smartwatches and fitness trackers – Stuff

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Home / Features / Best smartwatch for kids 2023: smartwatches and fitness trackers
The best smartwatch for kids you can buy right now – which is the best choice for your child? And your pocket, of course…
The best smartwatches for kids will give your little ones many of the features included in smartwatches built for adults, with a more playful approach to design and the smarts that come packed into them.
These mini wearables can also track activity, let you see phone notifications, handle calls and even include things you actually won’t find on more grown-up equivalents, such as cameras.
Note, if you’re looking for something a little more lightweight – you can also get fitness trackers for children. These can be found in our best fitness trackers for kids guide.
There’s a growing amount of smartwatches out there now that are built specifically for the wrists of children of all ages but there are some good and not-so-good ones. We’ve picked out the best smartwatches for kids that we think are worth considering.
So whether you don’t want to dish out a smartphone just yet or you like the idea of some of the safety features that these wearables offer, these are the top children’s smartwatches to take a look at.
We think the Spacetalk Adventurer (buy now) is the best smartwatch for kids. The Adventurer offers a good mix of safety and fun smarts to make it appealing to both kids and parents as well.
The VTech Kidizoom (buy now) is a kids’ smartwatch that puts the focus firmly on fun and can also keep them moving from a durable and colourful watch design.
The Apple Watch SE (buy now) takes the best smartwatch out there and adds in Apple’s Family Setup and Schooltime modes into the mix and you’ve got a great option for children who want a more grown-up-looking option.
A kids smartwatch that offers something for the users and the parents to help justify spending on the subscription and SIM to make the most out of it.
The Spacetalk Adventurer is our favourite full-featured kids’ smartwatch. It can handle taking calls, help parents know their child is safe and there are some smarts to have fun with too.
All of those features are packed into a design that offers some resistance against water with the OLED touchscreen display firmed up with some Gorilla Glass to give it an extra layer of protection. We think it feels pretty well made.
For parents, it can be used as a GPS tracker to monitor the location of the wearer along with creating safe zones they can stay inside of, with 4G connectivity and the ability to send text messages also supported.
For the kids, there’s a 5-megapixel camera to snap pics with, a heart rate monitor and a step counter to keep active, plus a school mode that strips back those features so they can only be distracted by checking in on the time.
This smartwatch is sure to appeal to young children thanks to Nickelodeon’s famous faces.
NickWatch, from everyone’s favourite kids’ brand Nickelodeon, has all the features you’d expect of a connected kids’ smartwatch, including GPS tracking, two-way messaging, calling, and a camera. But, we love about the NickWatch is that it’s plastered with Nickelodeon characters and colourful icons throughout the whole operating system.
Beloved characters such as Spongebob Squarepants, The Loud House and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles star in regularly updated games and promote creativity, independence and physical activity. This, we think, is an amazing feature that will make children actually want to wear the watch.
NickWatch comes equipped with a USB-C cable for charging and two easily changeable velcro watch bands: the grey Simple Strap and the Snazzy Strap printed with Nickelodeon characters. 
A smartwatch that’s all about fun with a design that definitely feels better suited to younger ones.
Vtech’s smartwatch sits at the more fun end of the kids’ watch spectrum and is aimed at users aged 4-12 and comes in your pick of just pink or blue case looks.
That case is only splashproof, so not fit to go for a dip in the water but does host a good-sized, 1.44-inch LCD display that is the touchscreen kind little fingers can prod at.
The fun stuff includes a dual camera to drop effects onto images and videos, playing augmented reality games and being able to personalise watch faces. There’s even some onboard memory for a voice recorder feature.
We are disappointed it lacks big safety features found on other smartwatches but does include the ability to track daily activity if that’s something that’s important to you. Ultimately though, this is a smartwatch that’s a good pick for much younger users who want something on their wrist that has a more playful feel.
The best smartwatch with Apple’s latest family-friendly features combine to offer a great option for older kids.
The Apple Watch SE is primarily designed for adults, but with the addition of Apple’s new Family Setup feature, we think it’s one that can feasibly work for older kids too as opposed to the ones that are still running rings around you.
Using that Family Setup means an adult can let their child use the Watch to receive notifications, make calls and share location, putting some of its typical features off limits in the process.
If you’re worried they might go on an App Store spending spree you can set it up so you have approval on app and game purchases and when they wander to school with it you can set up the Schooltime mode to stop them from being pestered by notifications until they’re out of the school gates at the end of the day.
So they get one of the best smartwatches available and you can keep in control of the big Watch features they’re using and when they’re using them.
A feature-packed kids’ smartwatch that feels more like a grown-up smartwatch but comes with a cheap smartphone price tag.
Another kids smartwatch that aims to offer plenty of grown-up smartwatch features along with one’s parents can put to good use from afar, the R1 is equipped with 4G/LTE connectivity to handle calls and uses that onboard connectivity along with GPS to locate the position of the wearer and includes a class mode to turn off distracting features.
We like the raised edge design to help protect the display from damage, has a splashproof as opposed to a swim-friendly design and does let you change the straps if they start to get a bit grubby.
You can snap pictures with a 2-megapixel camera, pile on up to 500 songs to turn it into a music player and include fitness tracker smarts to help make sure your little ones are not sitting staring at a screen for most of the day. It’s a good-looking kids’ smartwatch with plenty of strong features that inevitably push the price up.
When buying a smartwatch for your child there are several things you’ll want to keep in mind to ensure it’s a suitable and safe choice.
The first and most important thing you want to think about is what age the smartwatch is designed for. Different watches cater to various age groups, with some designed for younger kids with simpler features and others better suited for older children with more advanced capabilities. We’ve included a range to suit all age groups in this list.
Of course, when it comes to children, safety and privacy are paramount. You’ll want to get a smartwatch that prioritises these aspects, ensuring that any data collected is encrypted and stored securely. Robust security measures are crucial to safeguard your child’s information.
While we’re on the topic of privacy, you’ll also want to consider whether the smartwatch you get includes GPS. The inclusion of GPS tracking is useful for parents to locate and keep a digital eye on their children. However, it can also be seen as an invasion of privacy. If you do opt for a watch with GPS, ensure that the tracking features are accurate and reliable.
You’ll also want some form of parental control on the smartwatch. Look for devices that allow you to manage settings, contacts, and other functionalities remotely.
Most kids’ smartwatches also have some form of activity tracking, allowing you to keep an eye on their activity levels and encouraging them to be more active. Smartwatches offer extended capabilities, such as calling and messaging, games, educational apps, and even cameras. If you’re only interested in fitness tracking, then you could consider one of the best fitness trackers for kids instead.
You’ll want the smartwatch to be durable, as many children have active lifestyles (and aren’t very careful when it comes to tech). Durability is key here, opt for a smartwatch that is built to endure rough handling, and has some form of water resistance.
As with all technology, battery life is another essential aspect. The smartwatch should ideally last a few days without needing recharging.
Of course, as children will be using these, ease of use is essential. You’ll want a smartwatch with a user-friendly interface that ensures your child can use the watch’s features without any assistance.
Finally, it’s crucial that the watch is comfortable to wear and fits well, otherwise, your child won’t want to wear it.
Oh, and if you’re shopping for an adult, don’t forget to check out our lists of the best smartwatch overall as well as the best GPS watches.
Mike is a freelance journalist, and contributor to Stuff magazine and He's also a dedicated runner and wearables lover
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