Best GPS Watches For Kids In 2020: Know Where Your Child Is?

Have you ever wondered where your young child is? Do I even need to ask? Have you ever wished you could quickly and easily communicate with your child when they’re away from home? Again, why bother asking? Fortunately, a GPS watch can help you do both. Let’s explore the best GPS watches for kids and their features.

Note: This page contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please see Affiliate Disclosure.

In a hurry? Here are the best GPS tracking watches, to help you locate your kids. Read on for more details.

  1. TickTalk 3
  2. Verizon GizmoWatch
  3. JioBit (a simple GPS tracker, not a watch)
  4. Themoemoe Kids Smartwatch
  5. Ojoy A1 Kids Smart Watch
Our Top Pick
TickTalk 3 - Universal Kids Smart Watch Phone with GPS Tracker
$189.99

TickTalk 3 is one of the best smartwatches for kids today with its durability, advanced technology, and design. The new instant message center comes with 2-way text messages, voice messages, photos, and emojis.

We may earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
12/01/2020 09:14 pm GMT

The Threats

According to the FBI, in 2019 there were 421,394 National Crime Information Center entries for missing children. In 2018, the total number of missing children entries into NCIC was 424,066.

In 2019 NCMEC assisted law enforcement and families with more than 29,000 cases of missing children.

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

Why would a child go missing?

  • They run away from home
  • They get abducted by a family member
  • They get abducted by a non-family member
  • They get lost
  • They become injured

How to Protect Your Kids Using The Best GPS Watches For Kids

If your child has a smartphone, you can locate the phone using the find device feature built into the operating system, or a third-party parental controls app. But what if your child doesn’t have a smartphone? Maybe your child isn’t ready for a smartphone, or you simply don’t want them to have one. Fortunately, there are other ways to track your child’s location.

There are several GPS tracking watches, designed for kids ages 3 to 12. A GPS tracking watch will allow you to locate your child using an app on your phone, or a website. Some will also let you set up alerts so that you know when a child enters or exits an area. Some watches have additional features, such as text messaging and voice calling. We’ll take a closer look at features later.

Before that, let’s look at the best GPS tracking watches for kids.

Best GPS Tracking Watches For Kids

TickTalk 3

Our Top Pick
TickTalk 3 - Universal Kids Smart Watch Phone with GPS Tracker
$189.99

TickTalk 3 is one of the best smartwatches for kids today with its durability, advanced technology, and design. The new instant message center comes with 2-way text messages, voice messages, photos, and emojis.

We may earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
12/01/2020 09:14 pm GMT

The TickTalk 3 is recommended by many parents in a large parenting group of which I’m a member. Here are the highlights:

  • 2-way video calling (between watch and app) over Wi-Fi or cellular 
  • 2-way voice calling over Wi-Fi or cellular 
  • 2-way text messaging; the child can send customizable preset texts
  • 2-way image and voice messaging
  • Location history, to see where your child has been
  • IP67 water-resistance
  • Replaceable band
  • Ability to restrict communications to preset contacts (optional)
  • 2MP camera
  • Do not disturb mode to stop sounds and vibrations
  • To-do reminders
  • The ability of the parent to listen through the watch’s microphone, without the child’s knowledge
  • Tracking with GPS, Wi-Fi, and LBS (cellular)
  • Accuracy: Wi-Fi to 100-500 ft; GPS to 10-100 ft; LBS (cellular) to 100 ft – 20 miles
  • Compatible with AT&T, T-Mobile, and other GSM networks (not Verizon, Sprint or other CDMA networks) (get a regular cell phone plan, not a plan for wearables)
  • Compatible with Android and iOS

The TickTalk company is based in California.

The TickTalk 3 is available in black or white and red.

This watch is my top recommendation. If you’re a Verizon Wireless customer, you may want to choose the Verizon GizmoWatch (below) instead, since the TickTalk 3 doesn’t work on Verizon Wireless (though you could get a plan with a different carrier just for the watch).

Note: the TickTalk watch is not related to the TikTok app.

Verizon GizmoWatch

Verizon Gizmowatch - Connected Kids Smartwatch with GPS Tracking

Verizon Gizmowatch comes with the speed and reliability of the nation’s largest 4G LTE network. And thanks to 2-way voice calling and messaging, your child can stay connected with up to 10 trusted contacts of your choice.

We may earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

The Verizon GizmoWatch is recommended by many parents in a large parenting group of which I’m a member. It’s only available on Verizon Wireless. Here are the highlights:

  • Geofencing
  • 2-way voice calling (with up to 10 contacts)
  • 2-way text messaging (with up to 10 contacts)
  • Goals and reminders
  • IPX7 water-resistance
  • Compatible with Verizon Wireless only
  • Compatible with Android and iOS

The GizmoWatch is manufactured by LG, a trusted electronics brand, for Verizon.

Some parents complain about the quality of the band. Fortunately, they can be replaced.

The Verizon GizmoWatch is also available in blue, but not on Amazon at the time of this writing. There’s also a Disney Edition for kids who love Mickey Mouse.

If you’re a Verizon Wireless customer, and don’t want to get a plan with a different carrier just for your child’s watch, seriously consider the Verizon GizmoWatch. Existing Verizon Wireless customers may pay as little as $5/mo for service for the GizmoWatch, which is less than most service plans for watches.

JioBit

Jiobit - Smallest Real-Time Location Tracker for Kids
$114.99

The first-of-its-kind Jiobit TrustChip delivers unmatched security and encryption, meeting or exceeding US-government standards. It’s a parent’s dream and hacker’s worst nightmare.

We may earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
12/02/2020 01:09 am GMT

I’m aware that this isn’t a watch. But I’m including it in this list because many parents don’t want to add another screen to their kid’s life, and are trying to minimize digital distractions. This is an excellent GPS tracker that doesn’t try to do all the things kids’ smartwatches do. Here are the highlights:

  • Small (1.96 x 1.45 x 0.47 inches) and lightweight (0.8 oz)
  • Real-time location data
  • Geofencing
  • IPX8 water-resistance
  • COPPA compliant (certified by kidSAFE)
  • End-to-end encryption of data in transit and at rest
  • Battery life of up to 1 week between charges
  • Loop and clip to attach to the child
  • Location history
  • Tracking with GPS, Wi-Fi, and LBS (cellular)
  • Compatible with Android and iOS

Note that the JioBit is just a tracker; there’s no way to communicate to or from it. If you think you’ll want to message or call your child, or let them message or call you, then you should choose the TickTalk 3, Verizon GizmoWatch, or another watch instead.

I love that it uses end-to-end encryption to ensure that only you have access to the data!

The JioBit company is based in Chicago, Illinois.

The JioBit is my top recommendation for a GPS tracking device that doesn’t have a screen. If you don’t want your kid to have the distractions of a smartwatch, and you can do without the ability to communicate with your child, then the JioBit may be the right choice for you.

Themoemoe Kids Smartwatch

Themoemoe Kids Smartwatch - Affordable Smartwatch with GPS Tracker
$35.99

A smartwatch that helps track your kid's whereabouts and an easy way for them to reach you in case of an emergency.

We may earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
12/01/2020 09:14 pm GMT

Here are the highlights:

  • IP67 water-resistance
  • SOS alarm (can contact up to 3 numbers)
  • 2-way voice calling (with up to 10 contacts)
  • Parental controls including do not disturb (up to 3 time periods)
  • The ability for the parent to remotely take a photo with the watch’s camera, without the child’s knowledge
  • The ability of the parent to listen through the watch’s microphone, without the child’s knowledge
  • Tracking with GPS and LBS (cellular)
  • Compatible with 2G GSM networks (not CDMA)
  • Compatible with Android and iOS

The SeTracker app which goes with the watch has decent ratings, but many complaints about being glitchy and having language issues (it’s translated from Chinese).

This watch is manufactured in China, as far as I can tell.

The Themoemoe Kids Smartwatch is also available in pink and black.

Ojoy A1 Kids Smart Watch

Ojoy A1 Kids Smart Watch - Fast and Reliable
$159.00

OJOY kids smartwatch is the best cell phone alternative for kids. It has 1.4 inches retina display, 2MP camera, 4G LTE, 3G, GSM network support and Wi-Fi, and 800mAh battery. It is a great solution for both parents and children.

We may earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
12/02/2020 01:09 am GMT

Here are the highlights:

  • IP68 water-resistance
  • 2MP camera
  • Location history
  • 2-way voice calling with contacts you add
  • 1-way text and voice messaging (from parental app to watch)
  • 1-way voice and photo messaging (from watch to contacts you add)
  • Do not disturb mode
  • Calendar, task organizer, and reminders
  • Tracking with GPS, Wi-Fi, and LBS (cellular)
  • Compatible with 3G and 4GE LTE GSM networks (get a regular cell phone plan, not a plan for wearables)
  • Compatible with Android and iOS

The Ojoy company is based in India.

The Ojoy A1 Kids Smart Watch is also available in purple and pink, but not on Amazon at the time of this writing.

Avoid these GPS Tracking Watches for Kids

These watches have been found to have security and privacy flaws, so don’t buy them:

What kind of flaws were found? According to CBS (citing Rapid7), AV-TEST, TechCrunch, The BBC, and The Age, strangers can do the following:

  • Track the location of your child
  • Make it look like your child is somewhere they’re not
  • Send a text message to your child’s watch
  • See your child through the watch’s camera
  • Listen to your child through the watch’s microphone
  • Listen to audio recordings of what your child has said through the watch
  • See your child’s personal data (photo, name, gender, date of birth, height, weight)

I recommend being careful about buying any watches from these manufacturers. If you already own one, I highly recommend that you replace it, unless you learn from a trusted third party (not only from the manufacturer) that the issues have been fixed.

GPS Tracking Watch Features to Look for

Location Tracking

When you hear location tracking, you probably think of GPS. But location can also be determined by cellular towers (location-based service, LBS) and Wi-Fi. The more options a watch has, the more likely it is to give an accurate and precise location. For example, GPS doesn’t work very well indoors, so a watch that includes LBS or Wi-Fi will likely provide a more accurate location when your child is indoors.

Watches vary in how frequently they update your child’s location. Some update every few minutes, and others provide real-time tracking.

Some watches include location history, showing you where your child has traveled over a period of time.

Geofencing

Geofencing is setting boundaries on a map. If your child crosses the boundaries, you’re alerted. This is useful if you want to be notified if they leave an area, or enter a different area.

Notifications

You want your child’s watch to notify you when something important happens, but you don’t want it to cry wolf. Ensure the watch (and its corresponding parental app or website) provides notifications at the frequency and level of detail you want.

SOS Alarm

An SOS alarm or panic button is a quick way for your child to alert emergency contacts that they’re in trouble. Some watches will call 911, and others call emergency contacts that you set.

Carrier Compatibility

Watches that communicate over cellular networks often work with some networks, but not others. For example, the Verizon GizmoWatch works only on Verizon Wireless. Ensure that the network has good coverage in your area. It would also be convenient to have the watch use a carrier you already use, so you don’t need to create a new account.

Smartphone Compatibility

You’ll likely use your phone to monitor your child’s watch, so they need to be able to communicate. Don’t assume that the watch you choose is compatible with your phone; make sure it will be. The watch should list compatibility with Android, iOS (iPhone), or both.

Security & Privacy

This is Defending Digital, so of course, I highly recommend that you consider security and privacy when choosing a watch. As we saw in the previous section, poor security and privacy practices can endanger your child. See how the watch (and its associated online account) protect data.

Choose a watch that has a good track record of security and privacy. Search the name of the watch plus the words security and privacy. For example, a search for Jsbaby security privacy brings up several articles about security and privacy flaws. If the watch you’re considering is too new to have been evaluated, then look at the security and privacy track record of the manufacturer.

Parental Controls

Do you trust your child to perfectly obey your instructions for using the watch? Probably not. Fortunately, some watches include parental controls that allow you to disable features, sometimes based on time of day or location. For example, you could restrict the watch’s games when at school.

Some watches include a silent mode or do not disturb mode, which you can set to prevent your child from being bothered when at school or asleep.

Battery Life

The perfect watch is useless if its battery dies. Find one that has a battery that will last long enough for how your child will wear it. In general, the more features your child uses, the faster the battery will drain. Video calls, voice calls, and multimedia messages are especially hard on batteries.

If you need long battery life, consider a watch with fewer features, or lock unnecessary features to prevent their use.

Durability

Who’s going to wear this watch? Not you, a responsible adult. It’s your child who will be wearing it. Be sure the watch will survive your child’s activities and environment. It may be worth choosing a shatter-proof screen, strong watch body, and tough watch band.

Water-Resistance

While you’re thinking about your child’s activities and environment, consider how often the child may get the watch wet, whether while washing hands or plunging them into puddles. Some watches are water-resistant, but few are completely waterproof.

Here’s an explanation of IP (Ingress Protection) Codes, such as IP67, which you may see on watches.

Comfort

The more comfortable the watch, the less likely your child is to rip it off and leave it somewhere. Pay attention to the material of the watchband, and how adjustable it is. If your child is small, look for a lightweight watch that won’t weigh down their arm.

Ease of Use

A watch that your child or you can’t figure out will add frustration to your lives. Look at the watch’s buttons and screen to ensure your child can handle it. Some watches give a recommended age range, which is a good starting point when considering what your child can handle. Also, look at the parental app or website to make sure you can handle it.

Design

The more your child likes the looks of the watch, the less likely they are to rip it off and leave it somewhere. Pay attention to colors, patterns, and other stylistic aspects.

Text or Multimedia Messaging

Some watches send and/or receive text messages. This is more convenient than calling when you or your child are somewhere that you’re unable to have a voice call. Usually, you can control the numbers that can be contacted.

Some watches send and/or receive images, whether photos, emoji, or graphics.

Voice Calling

Some watches make and/or receive voice calls. Usually, you can control the numbers that can be contacted.

Camera

A watch’s camera can be used to take pictures or to have video calls. Look for this feature if it’s something your child needs.

Games

Games won’t keep your child safe, but they may motivate your child to keep the watch on. Be sure your child doesn’t play them so much that they kill the battery, or play them when they’re in class or at other inappropriate times.

Which GPS Tracker for Kids Should You Buy?

For most parents, my top recommendation is the TickTalk 3.

Our Top Pick
TickTalk 3 - Universal Kids Smart Watch Phone with GPS Tracker
$189.99

TickTalk 3 is one of the best smartwatches for kids today with its durability, advanced technology, and design. The new instant message center comes with 2-way text messages, voice messages, photos, and emojis.

We may earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
12/01/2020 09:14 pm GMT

If you are a Verizon Wireless customer, and you don’t want to get a plan with a different carrier just for your child’s watch, seriously consider the Verizon GizmoWatch. If you don’t mind getting a plan with a different carrier just for the watch, then I recommend the TickTalk 3.

If you don’t want your kid to have the distractions of a smartwatch, and you can do without the ability to communicate with your child, then I recommend the JioBit.

If none of these 3 devices is right for you, I recommend looking at the Themoemoe Kids Smartwatch and Ojoy A1 Kids Smart Watch.

GPS Tracking Watch Prices

When buying a GPS watch for your kid, you need to look at the total cost of ownership. There’s not just the purchase price of the watch; there’s often a monthly fee for cellular data or other services.

Be careful not to be sucked in by low prices. The watches with the worst security and privacy have usually been cheap ones.

As you compare prices, also compare warranties. See what’s covered, and for how long.

What You Should Do

  1. Think about what features you need, beyond tracking the location of your child.
  2. Compare watches, looking at the features I described above.
  3. Choose the watch that will best serve your family. The TickTalk 3 is my top recommendation, but if that’s not right for you, consider the other options.
  4. Set up the watch, configuring it to meet your family’s needs.
  5. Teach your child how to use the watch, including during an emergency. Practice using it at home before your child wears it away from home.
Themoemoe Kids Smartwatch - Affordable Smartwatch with GPS Tracker
$35.99

A smartwatch that helps track your kid's whereabouts and an easy way for them to reach you in case of an emergency.

We may earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
12/01/2020 09:14 pm GMT
Our Top Pick
TickTalk 3 - Universal Kids Smart Watch Phone with GPS Tracker
$189.99

TickTalk 3 is one of the best smartwatches for kids today with its durability, advanced technology, and design. The new instant message center comes with 2-way text messages, voice messages, photos, and emojis.

We may earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
12/01/2020 09:14 pm GMT
Verizon Gizmowatch - Connected Kids Smartwatch with GPS Tracking

Verizon Gizmowatch comes with the speed and reliability of the nation’s largest 4G LTE network. And thanks to 2-way voice calling and messaging, your child can stay connected with up to 10 trusted contacts of your choice.

We may earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
Jiobit - Smallest Real-Time Location Tracker for Kids
$114.99

The first-of-its-kind Jiobit TrustChip delivers unmatched security and encryption, meeting or exceeding US-government standards. It’s a parent’s dream and hacker’s worst nightmare.

We may earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
12/02/2020 01:09 am GMT
Ojoy A1 Kids Smart Watch - Fast and Reliable
$159.00

OJOY kids smartwatch is the best cell phone alternative for kids. It has 1.4 inches retina display, 2MP camera, 4G LTE, 3G, GSM network support and Wi-Fi, and 800mAh battery. It is a great solution for both parents and children.

We may earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
12/02/2020 01:09 am GMT

1 thought on “Best GPS Watches For Kids In 2020: Know Where Your Child Is?”

  1. So when choosing a watch for your child, look for a watch that has a reasonable rating of IP67 or higher. You want your watch to have a good battery capacity. Between 400 and 500 mAH is reasonable, higher is even better.

    Reply

Leave a Comment