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10 of the best kids’ watches for 2021

Whether you favour an all-singing, all-dancing smartwatch or a more classic style, chances are your child will want to wear a watch too, sooner or later. Here’s our pick of the best kids’ watches to stand the test of time.

By Poppy O'Neill | Last updated Jul 16, 2021

Child wearing a watch

There’s a lot more to kids’ watches these days than learning to tell the time, although that’s still important. More and more parents are opting for a smartwatch as a first piece of tech for their little digital natives. Cheaper than a tablet and more easily monitored than a mobile phone, there are lots of smartwatches available that have been developed specifically for kids, with safety as well as fun and functionality in mind. 

We haven’t forgotten the basics, either. You’ll find our top recommendations for the best analogue and digital display watches too. Despite all the technology around us, telling the time is still a valuable life skill. 

From fitness monitors that fit on your teen’s wrist, to miniature computers packed with games, we’ve sifted through all the kids’ watches out there to bring you our top of the clocks. 

Here are the best kids’ watches to buy in 2021.

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1. Best overall kids' watch: Vtech Kidizoom

V-tech kids watch

Price: £38 | Buy now from Amazon

"My DD had a vtech one at age 6. It had a camera which she liked to play ‘spies’ with and some games. She needed it about as much as she needed any of her toys but she definitely enjoyed it and it was age-appropriate" - ArfArfBarf

Designed with younger kids in mind, the Vtech Kidizoom is a brilliant all-rounder. Recommended for kids aged four and up, the watch features two cameras for photos and videos, and can connect to your phone via bluetooth. 

There are games, educational apps and a customisable watch face including analogue options, so it can be used to learn to tell the time. The only thing it doesn’t have is GPS. 

It takes three hours to fully charge and reviewers say you should expect to charge it every day with heavy use. The watch is splash proof so there’s no need to worry about small accidents, but don’t drop it in the paddling pool.  

Key specs

  • Waterproof: No
  • Batteries included: Yes
  • Location tracking: No

2. Best budget kids’ smartwatch: Xiaomi Mi Band 5

Xiaomi Mi kids watch

Price: £25 | Buy now from Amazon

"I love my Xiaomi - cheap and durable."

If you’re looking for something cheap and interactive, go for the Xiaomi. It’s technically an adult’s smartwatch, but reviews say it’ll fit from around age 10 depending on how slight your child’s wrists are. The watch itself has a ton of great reviews and Mumsnetters are fans too. 

The Xiaomi Mi Band 5 would suit a tween or teen, and it boasts a pedometer, sleep tracker, breathing exercises, a menstrual tracker, up to 14 days battery life, plus it’s waterproof. For just over £20, it’s a total bargain.

Key specs

  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Batteries included: Yes
  • Location tracking: No

3. Best smartwatch for kids: Oaxis MyFirst Fone

Oaxis kids watch

Price: £150 | Buy now from Oaxis

"She's a pretty rough and tumble child and it's had a few knocks and I'm sure it's been dropped a few times too" - itsbritneybiatches

Storing up to 500 songs or audiobooks, the Oaxis MyFirst Fone is a powerhouse. It combines all the kid-friendly parts of a phone, music player, camera, fitness tracker and of course, clock. Available in grey, orange and purple, it looks great too, and it has a setting called Class Mode that mutes notifications during time periods set by you. 

It’s hot on safety features too: link it to your phone via bluetooth and you’ll have real-time GPS and an alarm that alerts you if the watch is taken off. 

Key specs

  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Batteries included: Yes
  • Location tracking: Yes

4. Best digital kids’ watch: Lorus

Lorus kids watch

Price: £21 | Buy now from Amazon

"My 11 year old has a Lorus, it has been through the washing machine and still works so it certainly qualifies as reliable!" - PlayingForKittens

If you’re after something modern but aren’t keen on the idea of a smartwatch, Mumsnetters rate Lorus. It has everything you’d expect from a good digital watch - stopwatch, timer, alarm, backlight - as well as an optional second time zone, plus it’s waterproof. 

The strap is adjustable and small enough for slender-wristed kids. Its robust design looks stylish and isn’t too bulky, so it’s a practical choice for a first digital watch. 

Key specs

  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Batteries included: Yes
  • Location tracking: No

5. Best kids’ watch with GPS: Spacetalk Smartwatch

Spacetalk kids watch

Price: £144 | Buy now from Amazon

"DD can only call or text the numbers we’ve put on it. It’s locked during school hours (you set times), it’s got SOS button and I can see where she is on a map. She’s just gone into year 7, best thing I ever bought" - Twinkletoes888

The Spacetalk is big on safety and Mumsnetters like the peace of mind it brings. Featuring pre-approved contacts for texts and calls, an SOS button and real-time GPS powered by Google Maps, you can see why. What’s more, you can create a ‘school hours’ setting so it’s muted while they’re learning, and you can even control which emojis your child is able to use in texts. 

However, you do have to subscribe to the app for £3.99 per month in order to access all these safety features, and reviewers say the battery life isn’t great. 

Key specs

  • Waterproof: No
  • Batteries included: Yes
  • Location tracking: Yes

6. Best waterproof kids’ watch: Garmin Vivofit Jnr 

Garmin Vivofit kids watch

Price: £60 | Buy now from Amazon

"Both my kids - age 5 and 8 - have the Garmin watch which is a step counter. They like it, it motivates them to exercise more, and you can set chores in it for them to complete and get a reward" - Suzabell83

"I've been very impressed with how sturdy it is, he keeps it on all the time and even goes swimming with it, as it tracks that as activity" - MigGril

The Garmin Vivofit Jnr is designed to get kids active. The latest version comes in a huge variety of colours and designs, including character-themed models like Moana, Black Panther, Ariel, Captain America and Iron Man and has plenty of interactive games to keep your kids occupied. You can even set chores via the parents’ app, and your kids will earn in-game rewards for completing them: everyone’s a winner. 

The watch isn’t rechargeable, so you won’t need to remember to recharge it like most smartwatches. The downside of this is that you’ll need to replace the battery after about a year of use.  

Key specs

  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Batteries included: Yes
  • Location tracking: No

7. Best kids’ smartwatch with games: Xplora X5 Play

Xplora kids watch

Price: £160 | Buy now from Xplora

Another safety-conscious smartwatch, the Xplora X5 Play is controlled via a parents’ app. You can set safe zones (and be alerted if they stray outside these), add up to 50 approved contacts, and locate your child wherever they are. 

Xplora hasn't forgotten to make the watch fun. It’s packed with loads of games created with brands such as Playstation and Dr Who, and they’re designed to get kids moving. There’s also a 2MP camera and memory for up to 1000 pictures, making this a brilliant all-rounder.

Key specs

  • Waterproof: No
  • Batteries included: Yes
  • Location tracking: Yes

8. Best kids’ camera watch: Prograce

Prograce kids watch

Price: £37 | Buy now from Amazon

The Prograce has a 90-degree rotating camera, so it’s great for selfies. It comes loaded with four games and you can pop a memory card (not included) in to make it an MP3 player too. Unusually, it even has a headphone jack. 

There aren’t any parental controls or GPS on this watch, so if you’re looking for a watch that’s mostly for entertainment, this is a good choice. 

Key specs

  • Waterproof: No
  • Batteries included: Yes
  • Location tracking: No

9. Best first watch for kids: Timex Kids’ Elastic Strap Watch

Timex kids watch

Price: £25 | Buy now from Amazon

"My DD has had her Timex watch for nearly 3 years (since age 5). It has lasted really well, never even had to replace the battery. There was a guarantee with it which would get you a replacement at any time during the first year of ownership even if the child lost it!" - discordia

A real classic, Timex’s traditional design is all your little one needs for learning to tell the time. The hours and minutes are clearly marked and it comes in an array of cute and colourful designs to suit every taste. 

The fabric strap is stretchy so it’s snug and comfortable to wear, and will fit even the tiniest wrists. This watch isn’t waterproof but the manufacturer says it’s OK with splashes or small spills. 

If you’re looking for a great first watch that will stand the test of time, and has absolutely no bells, whistles or bluetooth connectability, Timex is the one for you. 

Key specs

  • Waterproof: No
  • Batteries included: Yes
  • Location tracking: No

10. Best smartwatch for teens: Honor Band 5 fitness tracker

Honor Band 5 kids watch

Price: £29 | Buy now from Amazon

Looking for an inexpensive all-rounder for your teen? Look no further. This Honor Band 5 features an activity tracker, sleep tracker, call, text and email notifications. It’s waterproof to 50m as well as stylish and discreet. It pairs with Android and iPhones and there’s a dedicated health app, plus it works as a remote control for your phone camera. 

As long as your teen’s not monitoring their heart rate all the time, the watch has a 20-day battery life, and at just over £30 it won’t break the bank either. 

Key specs

  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Batteries included: Yes
  • Location tracking: No

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How to choose the best kids’ watch

Whatever type of watch you’re shopping for, it pays to go for a trusted brand. While cheaper watches from unfamiliar brand names might be tempting, like with any piece of technology, you do get what you pay for. Ask around or check online for recommendations, and think about how your child will use the watch. 

If you’ve got a keen swimmer, look for waterproof models – there are varying levels of waterproof-ness to look out for. If your child’s just starting to walk to school by themselves and you’re looking for peace of mind, a smartwatch with GPS is your best bet. It’s also really important to take note of wrist size, especially if you’re shopping online. 

What’s a good age for kids to wear a watch?

From age four kids can generally be trusted to wear a watch. This is the age they’ll start learning to tell the time, and if you’re considering a smartwatch, most are recommended from four upwards. 

Are smartwatches safe? 

Yes – go for the ones specifically designed for children, as these will link to your mobile phone rather than the internet, giving you control over what they can access. 

What’s the best kids’ watch to buy? 

Our top pick is the Vtech Kidizoom which has it all. It’s bright, safe and kid-friendly. The Oaxis MyFirst Fone deserves a mention too – its stylish look will appeal to older kids but it still has all the parental controls. 

How we chose our recommendations 

Because we know that there’s nothing like a real recommendation from a real parent, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which watches discerning Mumsnet users had bought for kids. We compiled a list of cameras they recommended, noting how effective they found them, and what ages they thought they were suitable for.

We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which kids’ watches had won accolades or been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites and print media, and what customers’ reviews said about them.

Having collated all that information, we picked the watches we thought would make the best buys for kids in several interest categories.

Why you should trust us 

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.