If you have been on the hunt for a suitable smart watch for your kids, you will have noticed that there are several options on the market. I did a fair bit of research when deciding on which watch would work best for each of my kids. All the watches that are designed for kids have some similarities and some differences, depending on what your Childs needs are.
Having children with ADHD/ADD I had some specific needs. One of the most important ones being something to keep them on track and not to contribute to distracting them. My son was always asking me “how much longer”, “how much time has gone by, mom”, “when is it x’oclock?”, so I knew I needed to get him a watch to help him tell time and set him up for success with managing his time.
Below is a chart of the most common features in kids smart watches. I have listed additional comments and reviews of any watches we have had the opportunity to try below.
|Fitbit Ace 3||Garmin Vivofit Jr 3||Tobi by Little Tikes||VTech KidiZoom DX3||Watchminder3|
|Water Resistant||swim proof||swim proof||splash proof||splash proof||waterproof|
|Sleep tracking||Yes||Yes (movement based)||No||No||No|
|Reminders & Alarms||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes – advanced|
|Camera/Video||No||No||Yes- 2 cameras||Yes||No|
|Battery Life||8 days||Up to 1 year – replaceable||5 days||2-3 days||1 month|
|Recommended Age||6yrs +||4yrs +||4yrs +||4yrs +||6yrs +|
|Retail Price CDN$||$99.99||$109.99||$89.99||$69.99||$86.50|
I have always been a fan of Fitbit devices. I have personally owned several Fitbit watches over the years. While I have not had the opportunity to try out the Fitbit Ace, we did look at it when deciding on my daughters watch.
The Fitbit Ace is the same design as the adult version, Inspire. The Ace has modified features to accommodate kids needs. The Ace uses the same Fitbit app that the others use, only you set it up for the kids view. This puts restrictions on the app. The bands are inter-changeable. The Ace version tracks your childs’ activity level and parents can set up reminders to move. Parents can set silent alarms, waking your child by vibrating.
My son used to have the Garmin Vivofit Jr 1 version. The Jr 3 version has a larger sized square screen (opposed to the skinny rectangle small screen). The Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3 has a color display now and the ability to add the I.C.E (In case of Emergency) Widget. Garmin has teamed up with Marvel and Disney to bring you character themed bands. Parents can use the app to assign chores and issue coins. Kids earn badges for colleting coins. The Jr3 is swim proof now, which is a huge advantage, as our last one died because it was worn while swimming. 🙁
Tobi 2 looks like a great starting out watch. Made by Little Tikes, this watch has 2 cameras to allow kids to take pictures, selfies and videos. With an internal storage capacity of 512mb. It can connect by WIFI to other Tobi compatible devices. There are over 50 different watch faces to customize your watch with. Kids are motivated to move with games and activities. This robot watch has more than 100 expressions to interact with your child.
The VTech DX3 is a pretty cool looking watch. It has a LED light that also doubles as a flashlight and camera flash. You can pair it with another DX3 watch and send pre-set messages or play games with each other. There are 50+ clock faces to customize your watch with. You can download more games and clock faces and video effects to the device. You can set reminders and set the watch to “school mode” which disables all the “smart” features on the watch, allowing it to function only as a watch while at school.
This watch is what I would call a “back to basics” smart watch. It is available in 5 colors. The display and round style reminds me of the “Casio/Timex” watches I had when I was much younger. The watch comes with a charger that you place the watch on. The battery is said to last about 4 weeks. My son uses this watch daily. We keep the vibrating feature on, and have noticed that the battery lasts closer to 2 weeks. We just make a point to put it on the charger each week, so we make it routine and don’t forget. We found the charger to be a bit finicky at times, so you have to make sure it is sitting just right for it to charge. I recommend you charge the battery before it dies. When we let the battery die, we had to reset the time and some other reminders were had to be reset. Once I got used to the old style of settings on the watch, (opposed to setting things up on a computer and synching the watch), things now are pretty easy to update/change as needed. The instruction booklet it comes with is helpful and I like how it lists all the different pre-sets. I also really liked how I could create my own messages. We did one for “I luv u” and “Bus” etc. My son has really taken to having a watch, and almost seems lost with out it now. He knows that it helps him remember to do things and to stay on track. While it is still a work in progress as sometimes he just wants to ignore the reminders, it has made an overall improvement. As a parent I like the simplicity of it, he does not have games or flashy things on the watch to distract him. He gets his messages periodically during the day. The watch vibrates at the scheduled time and the message comes up on the screen with what he needs to do. We try to keep it simple so that his watch is not going off all day long and distracting and annoying him that way. We keep it to the morning and evening routines and the one mid-day reminder is to remind him to change his shoes at the end of the school day.
Watchminder has proven to be the right fit for my sons needs. It was invented by a child psychologist to be useful to people with ADHD. Seniors and people with a variety of medical needs are also finding the watch functionality useful.
Some suggestions I have to improve the watch would be to improve the charging design and to increase the intervals for training mode to allow for messages to display at longer intervals than 60 min.
Note: at the time of this post, the Watchminder 3 was not available on Amazon.ca, click here for the direct link to order the watch (Note: there is currently $10 off using promo code: BACK2SCHOOL)
Disclaimer: I was a gifted Watchminder watches in exchange for my honest review. As always my opinions are my own and I aim to be honest with all my reviews and comments.
I threw this one into the list because having a 10 year old who did not want a “kid” watch but rather one with more sophisticated features. ie. heart rate monitor, syncing with a smart phone for emails/messages the Fitbit Inspire was more up her alley. She would be too distracted by having a watch with games, flashy icons and avatars etc. The Inspire looks identical in shape as the Fitbit Ace but without the kid- features and parent app monitoring. The battery lasts a whopping 10 days and is swim proof. We love the heart rate monitor, sleep tracker and activity tracker. I just have her fitbit syncing to my phone so I can see her activity and health stats. With her having anxiety, the heart rate monitor and sleep tracker have proven to be a very useful tool for her. We also really liked the silent alarm (her watch vibrates to wake her), but she seems to have gotten used to it and now just ignores it or turns it off in the morning. We are also able to set personalized reminders on the device ie. get ready for the bus etc. which has been really helpful.
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Does your child use a smart watch? If so which one?
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