Investing in a good GPS watch for kids is a great way to ensure peace of mind for both you and your child when they are away from home.
Depending on the model you buy, a GPS watch can be a great alternative to a cellphone. It allows you to monitor your child’s location and gives them the ability to contact you when they need to, without giving them access to the internet or apps.
A watch is particularly ideal for younger children as it’s worn right on their wrist, making it far less likely than a phone to be lost!
Choosing the best children’s GPS watch isn’t always straightforward. Not all models have the same features, and your child’s age will play a big part in determining which type to buy.
To make things easier, we’ve put together this guide to choosing the best GPS watch for kids.
We’ve outlined the main features to look for and listed 7 of our favorite models, ideal for younger kids all the way through to teens!
Read on to find a device that your child will be happy to wear and comes with all the security settings you’ll need to keep them safe.
The 7 Best GPS Watches for Kids in 2023
Features to Look For in A GPS Watch for Kids
From a kid’s perspective, the best children’s GPS watch will have fun features like customization options, colorful backgrounds, games, and a flashlight.
Whilst these are nice little extras when you come across them, there are a few features that are more important in terms of safety, particularly for younger kids.
Accuracy is, of course, paramount when it comes to monitoring the location of your child, and it is important to be able to track their movements in real time.
A particularly useful feature is geofencing – the ability to set a boundary for your child.
With this enabled, you will receive notifications if they move out of a ‘safe’ area (the area immediately around their school, for example).
Ease of Use
Look for a device that is suited to your child’s particular age group so you can be confident they will be able to manage the functions.
It’s also worth checking out the setup and activation processes because ease of use is important for busy parents too!
An SOS button is designed for your child to press in an urgent situation and is one of the most useful security features to look out for.
During the setup process, you will nominate certain people as emergency contacts. Once the SOS button is activated, it notifies those contacts and will usually continue to do so until someone answers.
Two Way Calling
This is one of the features that helps a GPS watch bridge the gap between a regular watch and a phone.
Two-way calling allows the watch to act just like a phone in terms of voice contact and can be reassuring for both you and your child. Some devices offer video calling too.
There will generally be the option within the setup process to approve or block certain numbers. This ensures that your child only speaks to people you know.
You will need to buy a SIM card and subscribe to a relevant plan in order to use this feature.
The best GPS watch for kids will be built to withstand more than your average amount of wear and tear, especially if designed for very young children.
Look for a watch made with durable, waterproof materials.
Certain models are designed to be submerged up to a certain depth, which is ideal if your child wants to use them for fitness tracking when swimming.
The 9 Best GPS Watches for Kids
– For ages 5-12, with emergency SOS and 20+ parental controls
– Best all-around GPS watch for kids
With excellent battery life, video/voice calls, 2 x 5-megapixel cameras, and extensive safety features, the TickTalk 4 is a watch that both you and your child will love!
It’s easy to use and gives your child plenty of fun ways to stay in touch, including via photos, emojis, and GIFs.
And it’s equally easy for you to ensure their safety at all times, with accurate GPS tracking, route history, and the ability to approve all contacts or block unknown numbers.
Waterproof and durable, this watch has some nice little extras, too, including a ‘do not disturb’ function (ideal for school), streaming through iHeart Radio, and a reminder list.
It even has a step counter to encourage lots of active play!
Although the TickTalk 4 is marketed for kids up to 12, we feel the chunky and simplistic design makes it more suited to kids under 10.
– For ages 5-12, with Safe Zones and a built-in SOS button
– Best GPS watch for kids to use as a cell phone alternative
The SPACETALK Adventurer is often likened to an Apple watch for kids, mainly because of its vivid and easy-to-use touchscreen that remains clear even in daylight.
It’s also one of the more expensive watches in our guide, although it packs a ton of features including HD video calling, voice calling, fitness tracking with a heart rate monitor, reminders, and alerts.
The SafeZone feature (also known as geofencing) is useful as it notifies you if your child moves beyond a pre-agreed area.
The design, meanwhile, is rugged enough to withstand a fair bit of wear and tear, with a tough Gorilla Glass touchscreen, a durable but comfortable wristband, and IP67 water resistance to protect it during heavy downpours.
There are 2 main downsides to this watch, however. It’s very chunky—far too big, we feel, for the wrist of a very young child.
Secondly, it needs a SIM card to work, along with a monthly Spacetalk app subscription.
These extra costs might be a dealbreaker for some, but it does make the watch a viable (and safe) alternative to a cell phone for younger kids.
– For ages 5-12, with an SOS button and contactless magnetic charging
– Best children’s GPS watch for location accuracy
Using a combination of GPS, active Wifi, and GSM, this is one of the best watches in our guide for accurately pinpointing your child’s location at all times.
It includes the option to geofence for extra security and allows your child to make/receive phone calls and send/receive messages.
The high-quality 2MP camera is great for selfies and can store around 1000 photos and videos. Unfortunately, though, there’s no video-calling option.
One aspect of this watch we love is the Goplay platform, where your child can earn Xcoins for taking steps and then spend them in the GoPlay store.
They will need a phone or tablet for this function, but it’s a fun way to encourage extra activities!
– For ages 5-11, with pre-installed SIM and nationwide 4G calling
– A fun and colorful GPS watch for kids
Its lightweight, slim design and soft, Comfort-Fit velcro strap make the JrTrack Cosmo 2 SE the best children’s GPS watch for kids with smaller wrists.
It’s fun for them to use, with features like ringtones, a full-size keyboard, voice recording, a camera, and different backgrounds to choose from.
But it’s also packed with security features, including 3-point verification GPS tracking, SafeZones, 911 buttons, and SOS alerts.
There’s also a Calling over VOIP setting option, which is great if you live in a low-coverage area.
You’ll need a COSMO membership plan for this watch, which gives you unlimited 4G talk, text, and data.
You can choose to pay monthly or take out a 6- or 12-month contract, which includes device insurance.
– Real-time notifications of calls and messages, excellent battery life, and water resistance up to 50 meters
– A good GPS watch for kids aged 12+
The Amazfit isn’t marketed as a GPS watch for kids, but its slim and lightweight design makes it perfect for older kids and teens.
Since it is primarily designed for adults, it comes with a lot more features than a typical GPS watch for kids and has Alexa built-in.
It needs to be paired with a smartphone, and connection via Bluetooth is quick and easy.
The touchscreen is clear and whilst there are no calling or messaging functions, the notifications feature alerts your kid of any incoming messaging or calls.
This is handy if they have a habit of ‘forgetting’ to check their phone!
Best of all are the advanced fitness-tracking features that monitor activity all day long and can even be used whilst swimming!
– For ages 4-15, with two-way voice and video chat, plus a ‘do not disturb’ feature
– Easy to set up and use
All you need to get started with the PTHTECHUS GPS watch for kids is a smartphone SIM from T-Mobile or SpeedTalk.
You’ll then have access to the precise location of your child at all times, with the 4G Wifi GPS LBS real-time positioning delivering accurate results.
There are plenty of features that your kid will love, too, including a step counter, alarm clock, class schedule, and flashlight.
Made with waterproof materials and with a soft and comfortable silicone strap, this watch also features educational math games and a remote function on the camera for cool selfies!
– Swimproof, with cellular connectivity and access to apps
– The best children’s GPS watch for iPhone users
The Apple Watch SE is a good choice if you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, as it packs a range of features that will remain useful throughout the teenage years and beyond.
Apple’s Family Setup feature allows you to manage the watch on behalf of your child and accurately monitor their location.
They have access to emergency SOS whilst also being able to call or text you and – at 18 hours—the battery life is more than enough to get them safely through the day.
The retina display is bright and clear and – if they’re into sports – your child will love the advanced fitness tracking features, with everything from heart rate to sleep monitoring.
The customization options are great, too, with dozens of bands and a wide range of Apple-designed and Nike watch faces to choose from.
The Best GPS Watch for Kids: Key Takeaways
Buying a GPS watch for kids is the ideal way to stay in touch with your child without giving them access to the internet or social media.
We hope this guide has been helpful in choosing a model that works well for your family and that your child has fun using their new device!