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Best smartwatches for kids: wearable tech for all ages

Smartwatches are the newest trend in wearable tech. If you and their older siblings have one, your younger children will be desperate for one too. Thankfully, there are many options available for all ages. These are our recommendations for the best smartwatches for kids to buy this year. 

By Gemma Lumley | Last updated Feb 7, 2022

Child with smartwatch

For little ones, a smartwatch should be a toy above all else. They will love having a camera to experiment with, fun games to play and a way to track their activity. Of course, it will also help them learn to tell the time. 

If your child is a mini athlete, a watch including a fitness tracker is an ideal gift. They can hit training targets and take part in challenges with family or other app users, which will inspire them to move more and enjoy being active. 

For teenagers, a more grown-up watch will be required. A sleek, modern design in a neutral colour will suit most. They will also enjoy many opportunities to communicate with their friends as they move forward into independence. Safety features such as GPS tracking and parental controls are features to look for in a smartwatch for older children too, allowing them freedom, and also giving you peace of mind about their location and who they're talking to.

To help you find the best choice for your child, we’ve scrutinised expert recommendations and studied genuine and honest reviews, including the products our trusted forum users loved, to find quality smartwatches that meet the needs of each age range and provide exceptional features. 

Here are the best smartwatches for kids to invest in this year. 

1. Best overall smartwatch for kids: VTech Kidizoom DX2

VTech kids watch

Price: £37.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“I’ve got three boys; four, six and eight and they love their watches.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Doctorboo)

The VTech Kidizoom DX2 SmartWatch is a fantastic way to introduce your children to technology. It has lots of fun and useful features that will delight the little ones and reassure you that learning and physical activity are being encouraged. 

The splashproof design is robust and comfortable to wear and the watch face has 55 personalisation options, so it can easily be customised to suit each child. 

We loved the games, especially the Monster Catcher, which will inspire kids to leave their tablets and hunt for creatures in the garden or park. The camera is easy to use and has silly filters, while the step tracker is accurate and helps kids achieve fun challenges. 

Pros 

  • Soft and comfortable material 
  • Customisable watch face
  • Encourages physical activity

Cons

  • The watch face is light but large and chunky so can get in the way of sleeves
  • Designed for younger children

Key specs

  • Screen size: 1.4”
  • Battery: Rechargeable through USB, battery life not specified
  • Weight: 200g
  • Water resistant: Splashproof only
  • Camera: Yes
  • GPS: No
  • Compatible systems: Windows, Mac
  • Recommended age range: 4-10 years

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

Mi Band

Price: £28.95 | Buy now from Amazon

“Mi bands are great - you can get different colour bands… It has been bulletproof and I’ve not had to worry too much if it gets lost.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Averythinline)

The Xiaomi Mi Band 5 is a brilliant, feature-packed fitness and sleep tracker at a great price. It would be suitable for older kids and teenagers as well as adults. 

It has three health modes, step and fitness tracking, stress prevention and sleep monitoring. We loved the breathing exercises, which help calm the mind and body during busy days. It’s also the perfect choice for teenage girls as it will help them to track their menstrual cycle. 

This watch has an elegant design, excellent battery life, and super easy and quick charging. It does take a while to sync to the Mi app, but it is intuitive and user-friendly once you're in.

Pros

  • Can be used as a remote control for your phone camera
  • Robust
  • Bright and crisp display

Cons

  • Syncing with your phone is tricky unless you download and sync with the Mi app first
  • Not for younger kids

Key specs

  • Screen size: 1.1”
  • Battery life: Up to 14 days (depending on mode used)
  • Weight: 23 grams
  • Water resistant: Yes, depth limit not specified
  • Camera: No
  • GPS: No
  • Compatible systems: Android, IOS
  • Recommended age range: Not specified, but it's more suitable for older children

3. Best smartwatch for active kids: Garmin Vivofit Jnr 3

Garmin smartwatch

Price: From £61.55 | Buy now from Amazon

“Both my kids have the Garmin Vivofit Jnr and it’s great… The Garmin has a game which is only unlocked each day when they’ve done enough activity and also you can set chores and reward them being done with virtual coins.”  (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Blahblahblah111)

The Garmin Vivo Junior 3 is full of clever features that delight kids and make their parents' lives easier. Health-boosting physical activity is encouraged and can be monitored too. 

This brightly coloured kids running watch has Disney-themed educational games and rewards the children when they hit their step count, go to bed on time or complete parent set chores. There's also a variety of designs to choose from, including Disney and Marvel favourites, which makes this a great birthday present too.

We were impressed with how easy the Garmin Junior is to use and loved that the battery won’t need charging for at least a year. 

Pros

  • Lots of colour choices 
  • Sleep tracker helps to create a bedtime routine
  • Easy to connect to the Garmin app

Cons

  • No camera

Key specs

  • Screen size: 14.11mm
  • Battery life: Up to 1 year of use before it needs replacing
  • Weight: 25g
  • Water resistant: Yes
  • Camera: No 
  • GPS: No
  • Compatible systems: Android, IOS
  • Recommended age range: 4+ years

4. Best Fitbit smartwatch for kids: Fitbit Youth Ace 2

Fitbit Ace 2

Price: £49.99 | Buy now from Argos

“DD2 (eight) got a Fitbit Ace 2 for Christmas. She absolutely loves it. She loves tracking her steps and sleep patterns.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Rockbird)

The Fitbit Youth Ace smartwatch is lightweight and soft, making it a joy to wear. It’s simple to use and can be connected to the Fitbit app alongside existing devices in the house so that everyone can join in on family goals to keep each other motivated.

This watch is an attractive design that can be worn all the time, including swimming and other exercises. As it is water-resistant (up to 50m), aqua-based activities and a little sweat shouldn’t harm it, so it's an ideal choice for active or messy kids.

The battery lasts for ages, five days of average use, and the watch comes with a handy charger cable. Reviewers also found the features and app easy to set up and use. 

Pros

  • Long battery life
  • Parental controls
  • Syncs quickly and easily to the Fitbit app

Cons

  • Limited colour range
  • Pricey

Key specs

  • Screen size: 16mm
  • Battery life: Up to five days
  • Weight: 18.1g
  • Water resistant: Yes, up to 50m
  • Camera: No
  • GPS: No
  • Compatible systems: Android, IOS
  • Recommended age range: 6 years +

5. Best smartwatch for kids with GPS: Spacetalk Smartwatch

Spacetalk watch

Price: £142.29 | Buy now on Amazon

“It’s given our nine-year-old lots of extra independence, and me lots of reassurance.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Nitpickpicnic)

The SpaceTalk Smartwatch has a sleek design that older kids and teenagers will love. In addition, it acts as a GPS tracker, so you can let your kids explore and enjoy their independence without worrying. 

This superb watch acts as a movement tracker too, encouraging children to take more steps by rewarding physical activity with a cool chart, ideal if you want to prompt them to get active and off the sofa more. 

The SpaceTalk is also a mobile phone with impressive safety features, including an SOS button and parental control of the contacts who can call or message. Unfortunately, there is no internet connection capability, but parents could see this positively.

Schools will also approve of this watch as all features other than the time can be switched off during certain hours, allowing maximum concentration. It may be a pricey smartwatch for children, but we think the extra safety features make it worth it, although a few reviewers did feel that the battery life could be improved. 

Pros

  • SOS button
  • School mode 
  • Rewards physical activity 

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Needs a sim card for calls and monthly app subscription
  • Battery life could be better

Key specs

  • Screen size: 1.2”
  • Battery life: Not specified
  • Weight: 58g
  • Water resistant: Splashproof only
  • Camera: No
  • GPS: Yes
  • Compatible systems: Android, IOS
  • Recommended age range: 5+ years

6. Best smartwatch for younger kids: Little Tikes Tobi Robot Smartwatch

Little Tikes watch

Price: £53.10 | Buy now on Amazon

The Little Tikes Tobi Robot Smartwatch is perfect for small children. The more they play with it, the more fun it is. The watch engages little ones by allowing them to capture videos and photos with the two cameras featured and has a pedometer along with dance games to encourage movement. It ticks the educational boxes too, including learning activities and helping them learn to tell the time. 

Essentially, this watch acts as a wearable ‘friend’, and we love that your children can also use it to pair up with other Tobi 2 watches to compete in games with their friends or siblings. In addition, it allows them to send messages to other Tobi 2 watches, so they can still chat to friends if they’re not quite ready for a phone yet.

One of the most popular features of Tobi is the interaction it allows, displaying over 100 silly facial expressions on its screen, a fun touch that kids loved

This quirky watch is comfy to wear but we love that it can also be stood on a desk or table, acting as a bedside clock too.

Pros

  • Comes with a clothing clip and display stand
  • Soft and comfortable silicone watch strap
  • Great interactive features designed specifically for little ones

Cons

  • You need to read the instructions carefully to get the most out of the watch

Key specs

  • Screen size: 1.54”
  • Battery life: Up to two days battery life
  • Weight: 60g
  • Water resistant: Splashproof only
  • Camera: Yes
  • GPS: No 
  • Compatible systems: Not specified
  • Recommended age range: 4 years +

7. Best smartwatch for teens: Amazfit Bip U

Amazfit watch

Price: £59 | Buy now on Amazon

“Has good reviews and is cheaper than a Fitbit.” (Suggested by Mumsnet user Tttigress)

Lightweight yet with a large full-colour screen, the Amazfit Bip U is a smartwatch that feels good on the wrist and is simple to use. It does everything that older children, teenagers and adults could need from a piece of wearable technology. 

The health features include heart rate, blood oxygen and sleep monitoring, plus 60 different types of fitness and sports. Kids who love science and learning will be fascinated. 

Accurate GPS functionality reassures parents about their kids' location so both of you will feel more confident as independence develops. The Bip U is also a fantastic choice for Google Alexa homes. 

Pros

  • Can be used with Amazon Alexa 
  • Water-resistant to 50 metres so can track underwater swimming
  • Comprehensive health modes

Cons

  • The strap can irritate sensitive skin
  • For older kids

Key specs

  • Screen size: 1.43”
  • Battery Life: Up to nine days
  • Weight: 31g
  • Water resistant: Yes, up to 50m
  • Camera: No
  • GPS: Yes
  • Compatible systems: Android, IOS
  • Recommended age range: 11 years and up

8. Best smartwatch for kids with phone features: XPlora X5 Play

Xplora watch

Price: £139 | Buy now on Amazon

“We use an Xplora X5. It’s a smartwatch with mobile phone capabilities, camera and GPS.” (Vetted by Mumsnet user Beenaboutabit)

The Xplora X5 Play is an excellent choice if you think they're ready for phone features. Reviewers love its many features such as GPS, contacts that require parental approval and safety zones, all of which protect your child and give you peace of mind as they explore the world by themselves. 

This great watch also comes with lots of motivational features via the Xplora app. A pedometer can connect to high-profile campaigns like challenges affiliated with new movie releases and TV programmes, encouraging kids to get moving but also see it as a fun activity. They can immerse themselves in these campaigns by earning rewards, see themselves on leaderboards and also have the chance to win prizes. 

We also loved the chunky, modern design of the watch, making it desirable for style conscious tweens too.

Pros

  • SOS button 
  • Phone contacts need registering with a parent or guardian 
  • Tie-ins with new movies and TV programmes to encourage engagement 

Cons

  • Giffgaff SIM card required 

Key specs

  • Screen size: 1.4”
  • Battery life: Up to 72 hours
  • Weight: 34g
  • Water resistant: Yes
  • Camera: Yes
  • GPS: Yes
  • Compatible systems: Android, iOS
  • Recommended age range: 4 years +

9. Best waterproof kids’ smartwatch: Honor Band 5

Honor band 5

Price: £29.99 | Buy now on Amazon

“I have an Honor Band 5 and bought one for my eight-year-old. Tested it on his wrist and it’s ok, he’s small for his age. I previously bought a cheapy Amazon one and it’s rubbish. Honor band is miles better!” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user MiniMileyMoo)

The Honor Band 5 is a waterproof fitness tracking watch that is perfect for the swimming pool or running. Your child can manage their training, see their heart rate improve and make sure they are getting enough rest with the sleep tracker. 

 We were impressed with the design and feel of this watch. It comes in three sleek colour choices and looks much more expensive than the great value price. 

The watch works well without it, but if required, the Honor Band can receive and make calls, send text messages and receive emails. It is also an alarm clock with a choice of traditional tones or gentle vibrations on the wrist. 

Pros

  • Long battery life
  • Works well as a swimming tracker
  • Movement reminder for gamers 

Cons

  • The app can be glitchy

Key specs

  • Screen size: 0.95”
  • Battery life: Between six and 14 hours
  • Weight: 28g
  • Water resistant: Yes, up to 50m
  • Camera: No
  • GPS: No
  • Compatible systems: Android, iOS
  • Recommended age range: Not specified, but not suitable for young children

What features to look for in a kids' smartwatch 

There are many smartwatches available in the UK, the right one for your child depends on their age and what they want to do with their watch, from fitness tracking to communicating with friends. Here are the best features to look for. 

  • Age suitability: A four-year-old and a 14-year-old will have very different needs from a smartwatch. Consider what they will be using it for and choose something appropriate for their age. 
  • Design: Younger kids will love bright, chunky watches with large, coloured screens that show funny faces and icons. Older children and teenagers will prefer a sleek look with intuitive touchscreen displays. 
  • Health and fitness tracking: If you want to encourage activity look for models that track step counts and different sports such as running and swimming. If you want more you can go even more advanced with models will monitor sleep, heart rate and even blood oxygen levels. Some smartwatches have reward charts, games and challenges to encourage kids to move more for a healthy mind and body. 
  • Location services: Tracking your child’s location with in-built GPS is a good idea as they start to take steps towards independence. Knowing where they are means you’ll feel more confident about allowing them to walk to the shop or go to the park with friends. 
  • Battery life: A smartwatch that needs charging infrequently is much less faff and will give you and your child confidence that the battery won't die when they are out and about. Some smartwatches can last over a week with average use.
  • Smartphone connectivity: The ability to connect to their phone and yours will make the watch more fun to use and means you can keep an eye on information such as how much sleep they have had and if more exercise is needed.  
  • Connectivity: Do you want your child to keep in touch with you while they are out playing or on the way home from school? A smartwatch that uses a SIM card will let them send messages and make phone calls to you. In addition, most watches designed for children will include safety features to ensure you know who they are communicating with. Remember if the smartwatch needs a SIM card you will likely have to pay a monthly fee for this too. 

Does my child need a smartwatch?

Technology is a big part of all our lives, and it can be a valuable tool for parenting in the modern world. Of course, no child needs a smartwatch, but it’s likely they would love one, and there are some very good reasons for investing. 

A smartwatch with GPS tracking is a great device that will build your child’s confidence and independence while giving you the reassurance that you know where they are. The ability to receive and send messages and calls from trusted contacts and pre-set SOS buttons are also helpful features for peace of mind. 

Most children are screen-obsessed and live increasingly sedentary lives. Activity tracking that rewards reaching targets and completing challenges will encourage your child to move their bodies. 

There is no need for a six-year-old to have an expensive Apple Watch. Smartwatches specifically designed for kids are cheaper, durable and have limited functionality so that they won’t be surfing the internet in the school playground. 

What is the best smartwatch for kids? 

The VTech DigiZoom V2 is our choice for the best smartwatch for kids. It’s well made, easy to wear and has lots of fun features and educational games. We were also delighted with the thought that has been put into keeping your child safe, from GPS tracking and SOS buttons to parental visibility and contact controls. 

How we chose our recommendations

Our starting point was a deep dive into the Mumsnet forums to find the smartwatches that real parents rated and have put to the test. We noted the models you loved (and made a note to avoid the ones you loathed), researching each model in-depth to check it was up to task.

We then thoroughly investigated smartwatches for children recommended by tech experts, adding the best to our shortlist of watches, combing through authentic customer reviews to determine the advantages and limits of each product. Hours have been spent compiling all of this research, ensuring we were bringing you an honest, useful guide to the best smartwatches for your little ones.

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.