The 5 Best Wearables for Kids in 2021

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Finding the best wearables for kids can be challenging. Wearables are a great way to stay connected, not only to your phone, but also to your well-being. Fitness trackers and smartwatches are everywhere these days and it's only natural that your kids would want to get in on the act. But more than that, wearables for kids can help them keep track of various wellness and fitness goals, or even just keeping up with chores and homework.

These wearables are great for your little ones and have fun themes that can keep kids interested. Plus, they can help kids stay in contact, but only with parents or designated contacts, making sure your kids remain connected and safe. Whether you want to stay in contact, or your kids need little reminders here or there, we've got a wearable in here for them.

The Rundown
Garmin is one of the biggest names in fitness tracking and wearables.
Best Fitness:
Fitbit Ace at Amazon
Fitbit is synonymous with fitness trackers, and the Fitbit Ace is designed for kids.
VTech kids is making a name for itself in the kids wearable space.
The Jiobit Location Tracker is a "wearable" in the sense that it's something you carry with you at all times.
Best Budget Fitness:
Verizon Gizmowatch 2 at Verizon
This watch is specially built for kids and for the Verizon network.

Best Overall: Garmin Vivofit jr. 2

Garmin Vivofit jr. 2
What We Like
  • One-year battery life

  • Gamification to keep kids interest

What We Don't Like
  • Tiny screen

  • Limited to Disney brands

Garmin is one of the biggest names in fitness tracking and wearables. Disney is one of the biggest names in kids entertainment. Put them together and you have a wearable company literally designed for kids. These wearables are perfect for kids' wrists. Of course, the trade off is that the screen is tiny, sporting only an 88 x 88 pixel resolution. It goes without saying that if your child isn't down with one of Disney's properties like Mickey, Minnie, Marvel, or Star Wars, you'll be out of luck. 

Assuming one of those properties works for you, this wearable is great for kids because it's waterproof, and it lasts for an entire year with no charging. The app that goes with it is available on iOS and Android, and it features some rewards that kids can earn by doing chores or completing up to one hour of activity.

What We Like
  • Slim design is great for kids

  • Rewards for achievements

  • Kids can send each other challenges and messages

What We Don't Like
  • Black and White display

  • 5-day battery life isn't the best

  • Limited colors

Fitbit is synonymous with fitness trackers, and the Fitbit Ace is designed for kids.  The wristband and screen are very slim which is great for small hands and wrists. The wearable tracks steps, active minutes, and sleep, so you can get them off the couch when they need it and back on the couch when they need it. The Fitbit app has 10 watch faces the kids can pick from, and the watch even allows kids to challenge each other and send messages to each other.

The watch is limited to a black and white display, and it comes in only two colors, both of which are on the masculine side. Also, the 5-day battery life isn't the best. But if you're looking for a slim watch that you can use to track your kids' activity, Fitbit is one of the best out there.

Best For Games: VTech Kidizoom DX2

VTech Kidizoom DX2
What We Like
  • Comes in five colors

  • Built in camera

  • Built in AR monster detector

What We Don't Like
  • Low voltage charging

  • No specifications

VTech kids is making a name for itself in the kids wearable space. The KidiZoom from VTech is a great choice for kids. It comes in five different colors, has a color screen and two built-in cameras. Kids can choose from up to 55 watch faces to find one that they love, plus the watch is full of games and fun activities. Kids can play Monster Detector, which gives them an AR view of monsters they can catch around them. Plus they can add funny effects to their photos with the Silly Me app.  That's just two of the many games they can play.

That's a lot of fun, but it comes at a cost. The company lists the battery life at three days, but testing suggests that it's closer to a single day under heavy use. When it comes to charging, the company specifies that it should only be charged using a USB port on a laptop as opposed to the third party adapter. Typically, that means the battery needs to charge slowly, which may not be great for an impatient child. VTech is also light on publishing specifications for various components like the cameras or the screen. That's usually not a good sign.

Best GPS Tracker: Jiobit Location Tracker

Jiobit Location Tracker
What We Like
  • Very simple GPS tag

What We Don't Like
  • No watch face or games

  • Requires a subscription

  • High price for what you actually get

The Jiobit Location Tracker is a "wearable" in the sense that it's something you carry with you at all times. Unlike the rest of the items in this list, this is a tracking tag that you can attach to your child's clothes or bag to keep track of them.  Think of it like a LoJack for your child. There is a certain relief to that. You don't have to worry about who your child is talking to, or maintaining a connection with a phone. This tag just goes everywhere and tracks them.

But it's very expensive for what it does. Other wearables on this list have similar functionality, and also have a watch face on them and activities. Plus, the connection requires a subscription service to Jiobit to actually track the tag. It's nice because that subscription includes all the necessary connectivity you need to be an excellent tracker; cellular, GPS, and other connectivity is included in that monthly price. This tracker will give you the peace of mind knowing where your child is without having to worry about setting up different permissions or controls.

Best Budget Fitness: Verizon Gizmowatch 2

Verzion Gizmowatch 2
What We Like
  • Auto answer and Quick Dial

  • Geofencing

What We Don't Like
  • Requires cellular service

The Gizmowatch is an appropriately named device since it is by all definitions a "Gizmo." This watch is specially built for kids and for the Verizon network.  It comes with a Geofencing option that immediately notifies you if your child strays out of bounds. Plus, there's a neat feature built-in called Auto-answer which means when a parent calls the child, the watch automatically answers the call.  This is great for locating a lost child or even listening in to the environment around the child in case of emergency.

Of course, this means that the watch requires cellular service, which is a monthly cost and could get expensive. But for the feature set you're getting, it's a pretty good deal. Along with that functionality, you get all the same goodies, like step tracking and exercise tracking. It can also help you keep up on daily activities and chores. KKBear specifically advises customers that when they're getting a service plan, they need to tell the carrier representative what kind of plan they need. That gives us pause, but this wearable looks the nicest and has the most functionality among the list.

Final Verdict

The best overall wearable for kids is the Garmin Vivofit Jr. 2.  This device has been built by two powerhouses in their respective fields. Garmin is the king of wearables and fitness; Disney is the king of childhood entertainment. You get all this at a pretty great value considering everything it offers.


If you want a little more control and communication, we recommend the KKBear 3G GPS smartwatch. The caveat here is there are some unknowns. KKBear isn't a well-known name in the field and the connectivity can be confusing. But if you're willing to put up with a little uncertainty, give this one a look.

About Our Trusted Experts

Adam S. Doud has been writing in the technology space since 2013. He's always changing out his wearable looking for the right fit for him and his lifestyle. He has two children, ages 10 and 14, both with wearables.

What to Look For in a Smartwatch for Kids

Games

Kids love to play, and when an activity tracker can gamify that activity, it can motivate kids to get moving. A child will be more likely to use a wearable if it's fun. Otherwise the tracker could end up on a shelf not helping anyone.

Battery Life

Battery life is important in a wearable because the more you have to take it off, the more opportunities you have to not put it back on. Wearable battery life ranges from hours to years depending on the device, and in this case longer is better.

Size

Children are small and have small wrists.  A wearable that is too large will be uncomfortable to wear for small children. Again, if the watch is too large, it will spend most of its time not in use, which isn't good for anyone.

FAQ
  • Do smartwatches for kids sync to your phone, or does your child need a phone?

    That depends. The smartwatches in this list can sync to either, but typically wearables designed for children sync to the parent's phone. If your child has their own phone, you could set up the watch to sync to that, but the main point of most of these wearables is to be able to track your children and control the content they have access to.

  • What are the benefits of a child having a wearable?

    Many children live perfectly happy lives without having a wearable, but the devices open up a new world of data and parental peace of mind. Wearables could help your children stay active. Also, the devices can help track your children and keep them safe.

  • What about privacy?

    Privacy is a big deal, for sure. Many companies who develop wearables are very conscious about the privacy of the data they collect. It's very important to read any terms of service and contracts necessary to activate the devices before you buy them.

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