This list has been updated for 2018, complete with new GPS tracking watches for kids.
Latest Update: Updated November 2018
As you might expect, it’s time to update this list once again. We removed defunct or unavailable devices because some time has passed since this was last edited. We also added new devices that are more suitable for our audience.
One of our most successful articles here at Smartwatches is our list of the best smartwatches for children. In that list is a wide variety of devices from entertainment wearables, to full-on GPS tracking watches for kids.
Strapping a wearable with tracking support to your child’s wrist makes a lot of sense, especially when it allows you to monitor their current location and habits in real-time.
In the past, it was perfectly acceptable to allow your children free roam of the neighborhood without supervision. Parents would usually set a dinner curfew and children were expected to return at the appropriate time.
The world isn’t so forgiving anymore, at least it sure doesn’t seem to be. Every day we hear stories about children being abducted, going missing or being involved in some kind of accident. As a parent, you can never be too safe with your child.
That’s why we’re going to take a look at some of the best GPS tracking watches for kids.
Some things to note first:
- There are no truly “tamper-proof” models it seems. Most include a silicone band that can be easily removed. Some of the devices do have tamper alerts to let you know if the child – or someone else – tries to remove it, but there’s nothing stopping them from doing so.
- Pay attention to the GPS limitations. If the device is SIM-enabled and has an active subscription it can usually be tracked anywhere, even internationally. If the device does not connect to mobile networks, range is going to be severely limited.
- Identify the features you want most, as in which are most important to you and your family and go from there. Some devices sacrifice features to make room for others. For example, if you want to track your child’s location no matter where they are, without fear of range limits, you’ll need to pony up the cash for a wireless subscription. In this case, that might mean your budget will suffer more than expected.
- A “water resistant” rating rarely means waterproof. In most cases, it’s not safe to submerge water resistant devices, nor is it safe to go swimming, take a bath, or get in the shower with them. Be responsible.
- Android and iOS are the most common smartphones supported when it comes to companions apps. If you have another type of phone – or an out of date model – you might want to consider an upgrade.
- An overwhelming majority of these devices are crowdfunded through platforms like Kickstarter or IndieGoGo. This means, people have the opportunity to financially back and support a project before it’s commercially available. For whatever reason, sometimes these projects fail and the devices are not released. We do our best to keep you updated, but just be aware of this.
- We’ve done our best to choose safe, family-friendly devices that have a good reputation. Sometimes, there’s just not enough info. This is where we rely on you – our community – to weigh in with your experiences as you have done in the past. Thank you.
The Best GPS Tracking Watches for Kids
By choosing one of these GPS tracking watches for kids you will be able to monitor your child’s location, and call them back if they stray too far. The idea is not to be a burden on your child — as if any parent is more concerned about that than safety — but instead to ensure they are safe at all times.
Each device on the list includes a separate set of features, and a unique price tag. We recommend considering everything that’s here before making a final decision about which of the GPS tracking watches for kids you will buy.
Note: We plan to keep this post up-to-date. As more devices GPS tracking watches for kids are released and/or devices on this list are affected we will update the post to reflect the changes.
Omate X Nanoblock
In a collaboration between Omate, Japanese toymaker Diablock, and Tata Communications for software, the X Nanoblock is an incredibly unique smartwatch for kids. You’ll notice right away that the band includes a lego-like design that allows you to connect and remove small blocks.
Where it really shines is the additional security and tracking support. It offers real-time SOS alerts, two-way voice and video chats, location tracking, an emergency alarm and integrated GPS, Wi-Fi and cellular wireless connectivity. The kids can track steps thanks to a pedometer, monitor time with a stopwatch and play around with the front-facing camera.
A built-in SIM card means you don’t need to acquire your own. All data and communications are secured by end-to-end encryption too, in order to prevent against outside snooping.
The Omate X Nanoblock is available now in the US and EU.
My Buddy Tag
Unlike the other devices on the list, My Buddy Tag uses Bluetooth to do it’s tracking instead of GPS. While that does mean it’s more affordable, it has its limitations because of this too.
You’ll need to remain at a range of up to 40 feet while indoors, and anywhere from 80 to 120 feet outdoors. Any further and the signal will fade and you won’t be able to accurately track the band.
A panic alarm allows children to notify their parents if they’re in any danger, and there’s a personal ID stored on the device to help lost children find their way home. It’s waterproof which is an absolute necessity for kids bands, and the wristbands are replaceable.
It’s also available in several different colors and styles, which you can see below.
The Lil Tracker is a GPS smartwatch for kids, and when we say “smartwatch” we mean it. It offers two-way voice calls, text and messaging, one-way calls to authorized contacts — which you can also listen-in on — and fitness tracking.
As for the monitoring side of things, there’s GPS and Wi-Fi tracking, geo-fencing support, SOS one-key calling for emergencies and, of course, the two-way communication. It operates via 2G mobile networks, which may be difficult to find in some areas but it does still exist. You will need to supply your own SIM card if you wish to use the device, so keep that in mind.
This is another device that was funded via Kickstarter. This watch was previously further down the list in our “preorder” section, but it’s now available.
The DokiWatch is a smartwatch for kids. It includes everything a name brand smartwatch does, but there’s one feature that sets it out in front of the pack, video calling support.
It includes phone and messaging support, just like a phone, but it also offers two-way video calling through the companion app. You don’t just get to hear your munchkin when they’re away, you can see them too.
It takes SIM cards and comes unlocked with support for any 3G mobile networks. To activate, just throw in a micro SIM card and sign-up for voice and data service through your wireless provider. All GSM and WCDMA networks are supported including Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, and many more.
The kids get an electronic pet – similar to a Tamagotchi – games, stickers, and plenty of customization options. There are fitness and activity tracking modes too.
As for the features you care about as their guardian, check ’em out:
- Advanced communications
- Video calling
- Voice Messaging
- Text Messaging
- Send and receive emojis
- Location tracking via GPS, GSM and Wi-Fi
- “AlertArea” geofencing support to set boundaries and location limits
- SOS/Emergency mode – if the child holds the designated button for 3 seconds it will send alerts to all preset contacts, collect and send a 60 second recording of your child’s surroundings, and immediately begin tracking location with updates every 60 seconds
- Moderated contacts list – you can add trusted family members and friends for your child to contact
- Moderated friends – Children can add other friends easily who also own a DokiWatch, but parents always have the final decision as they get alerts when a child adds friends
- Class and silence mode – Parents can deactivate the games and entertainment features when their children are in class or in environments where it’s inappropriate
You can order the DokiWatch now through the official site. There are four colors available including yellow, blue, pink, and black/grey.
The iGPS Watch provides support for both Android and iOS smartphones.
Features include GPS and GSM location tracking, two-way voice calling to select contacts, geo-fencing tech for setting boundaries, and SMS text support to and from the device.
The watch comes in either blue or pink, and includes an emergency “SOS” button that sends the watch into alert mode. While in this mode the watch will begin calling all the contacts in the phonebook one by one until someone answers.
The Wizard Smartwatch (Previously AmbyGear)
If you’re looking for a genuine smartwatch with all the bells and whistles (we hear you!) then you might want to check out the AmbyGear smartwatch.
It is – as you’d expect – a true smartwatch with activity and fitness tracking, messaging, apps, mobile tools like a calendar, and location tracking. Your child gets to have fun and enjoy the device, and you get to keep an eye on them at all times! It’s a win-win scenario for everyone.
Additional features include:
- Two-way text messaging between you and your child
- The option to establish “safe zones” where your child can roam freely (geofencing)
- Create events that will ping reminders and alerts to your child (ex. Come home for your doc appt)
- 3G connectivity thanks to an integrated SIM card with a proprietary service plan (no need to bother with third party providers)
- Replaceable armbands that can grow with your child, or simply replace broken ones
- A truly waterproof and shock resistant body, so your child can swim with the watch on (even in the ocean)
- Full control over installed apps (you enable them through the companion app)
- Several color schemes: Red, Blue, Green, Orange
You can order the watch now. There are specials for buying in bulk too. The first 12 months of service are free, with plans starting at $14.90 per month after that.
FlashMe Band Sydney
One challenge of keeping little ones safe is that sometimes they cannot properly communicate that they are lost or have wandered away from family. Worse yet, when someone does finally realize they might be out of place they often cannot provide contact information or proper names.
FlashMe is designed to solve this, by including an embedded QR code that can be scanned to reveal important information. Data such as a home address, contact number, and family names can all be communicated.
It does not include any GPS or location-tracking features but that’s okay, because the FlashMe bands are remarkably cheap.
Bonus GPS Trackers for Kids
Amber Alert GPS Child Locator
The Amber Alert GPS child locator is a small module that includes a variety of monitoring features. It also has an SOS button that can be used to systematically call pre-programmed emergency contacts. Yes, that means voice calls.
What makes it particularly special – compared to the other trackers on this list – is that it can access the Megan’s Law National Sex Offender Database. Anytime your child comes within 500 feet of a registered offender’s address you will receive a notification. This is an extremely useful feature if your child travels home from school, an aftercare program, or a family or friend’s house.
Through the mobile app, you can designate emergency contacts. You can track the device’s location at any time. There’s also geofencing support, text messaging, low battery notifications, and mobile connectivity (see pricing for plans below).
It comes in multiple colors such as blue, green, pink, and black. The module is bundled with a lanyard, carrying pouch, another wrist pouch, and a faceplate.
The Amber Alert works through AT&T’s 3G network and requires active service; the Basic plan offers 30 voice minutes and 150 text messages for $15 per month, while the Advanced plan offers 30 voice minutes and 300 text messages for $18 per month.
The AngelSense is not like the other GPS tracking watches for kids on this list. In fact, it’s not even a watch at all. It’s a small clip-on device that can be attached to any pocket, garment or belt.
Once your child is wearing it, you can track their current location in realtime through GPS. The mobile app is updated automatically, always giving you a full schedule of your child’s daily activities.
Of particular note, are two extremely unique features of the AngelSense. At any time you can tap in and listen to what your child is doing, thanks to an integrated mic. The device also snaps the location of your child’s whereabouts via Google Maps throughout the day. AngelSense bills this as a way to share your child’s day with them, but it’s also a great way to monitor their lives — such as who they’re spending time with, what’s happening at different locations and much more.
AngelSense offers a 30-day free trial, whereupon you’ll receive the GPS tracking device for free along with an entire month of service.
Trax Play GPS Tracker
If you don’t really care about GPS tracking watches for kids and just want a reliable GPS locator, then Trax Play is your best bet. The older models – Trax Personal GPS Tracker – are just as good too.
It offers geofencing support, so you can setup “safe zones” and boundaries for your children. If they cross these invisible boundaries the companion app will alert you immediately and ping your child’s current whereabouts.
The device is durable and dust/water resistant. It comes with several types of clips so you can attach the device to a piece of clothing, belt, or even a pet collar (yes you can track your furry kids too).
The smartphone app is available for iOS and Android, and offers “unlimited sharing and following, speed alerts, augmented reality, geophones and on demand notifications.”
It comes in two flavors – blue or pink.
Oh, and it’s probably worth mentioning that although there are no reviews for the new models, the company appears to have a good track record with the old ones.
SkyNanny 2.0 GPS Child Tracker
The SkyNanny is a small tracker first and foremost, but it does include some additional features you might find interesting. For example, it can store two pre-programmed numbers and act as a phone to call those particular contacts when necessary.
GPS location tracking is available, obviously, monitored via a mobile companion app. Unfortunately, there’s no support for iOS. Service is as “low as $5 per month” with no activation or contract fees.
Just slip the SkyNanny tracker into a bag or in their pocket and you’re good to go. It goes without saying, it’s best used with older children.
The Snowfox is not a watch. It’s a phone and GPS tracker combo designed for children ages 4 to 8 years old.
It is a small clip-on sized module, that includes a lanyard. You can always attach the lanyard to a backpack or piece of clothing.
According to the developers, it’s “ready out-of-the-box” and you don’t need to sign up for any third-party service plans. That doesn’t mean there’s no sub fee to use the device, however. You and your child will gain full access for just $9.90 (USD and EUR) per month.
While active it connects to all major 3G and 2G networks so there’s decent coverage available.
The Snowfox includes a single button so your child can ping you with a “call-me” notification through the companion app. You can also call your child at any time (it has an embedded SIM card).
The other specs are fantastic, as well.
- Extended battery life of up to a full week on a single charge
- Voice call your child at any time, no matter where they are
- Snowfox is equipped with a powerful antenna
- It has durable casing and is “play proof”
- Free companion smartphone app with location tracking, smart notifications, and voice calling support
The Snowfox is only available in Finland right now. We’ll update this post if it ever becomes available globally.
Guardian Angel Kid Tracker
The Guardian Angel Kid Tracker is a full-fledged kit that comes with everything you need to monitor your child’s location. It comes with two tracker modules – resembling ladybugs – that you can attach to your kids clothing or something else you want to track – like your luggage.
These modules report back to a main hub which includes visual (LED) and vibration alerts.
If the child – wearing the ladybug tracker – moves beyond the alarm distance it will sound an audible alarm on both the remote unit and the hub. The main hub will play a melody and vibrate, as well.
If the child is out of sight which is usually the case, the main hub will illuminate a set of 4 LEDS to show the direction of the child’s location.
The kit comes bundled with two tags, but you can buy and sync up to two others with the main unit. So, there’s an option to expand if necessary.
Unfortunately, several customers have made it clear the unit only reports back to one instance of the companion app. So, for example, it is not possible to install the app on both you and your spouse’s devices simultaneously. Only one of you can track your child at a time.
For Reference, these are the devices removed from the List:
- HereO and HereO V2 GPS smartwatches
- Kigo Watch or Kidswatcher (Click here to read our review of the Kigo watch…)
- LG GizmoPal 2 (Previously KizON)
- MyKi Kids Watch (Click here to read our review of the MyKi kids watch…)
- Lineable Smart Wristband
- Caref GPS Phone Watch and Kidsport GPS Tracking Band
- KidGPS Tracker