Watches have changed a lot since we were kids. This leaves many parents wondering what is the latest technology in kids watches, and what’s the best option for their child? Should you choose a kids smart watch with internet, a regular analog watch, or something else? Will your child want to wear the watch every day? Can you use it to communicate with them instead of buying them a smartphone? If you’re thinking, “What am I even looking for?” then keep reading to learn more about kids watches, and how to choose the right one for your child.
A Broad Overview of Kids Watches
Analog Kids Watch
Let's start simple. Analog watches are your basic starting point - you may have had one yourself growing up! Tell the time? Check. Fun themes or colors? sure! These watches are your classic “non-smart” watch. They simply tell the time and don’t offer many, if any, advanced features.
The benefits of these types of watches are that they’re simple, straightforward, and can be stylish or fun. However, the simplicity means they don’t come with any fun bells and whistles such as a pedometer or GPS tracker. And, it won’t replace the functions of a cell phone by any means. That being said, if you want to give your child a simple device that will reliably tell the time, then a classic kids analog watch is a great choice.
Kids Smartwatch with Unlimited Internet, Texting, and Calls
On the opposite end of the spectrum there are fully connected smartwatches. These types of kids' smartwatches are the most common on the market today, and they’re almost identical to adult smartwatches. They have a wide variety of features that popular adult smartwatch models like the Apple Watch offer, such as games, social media, selfie cams, calls, text messaging, video chat, fitness tracking, and much more.
These smartwatches for kids are the exact opposite of the kids analog watch. Not only do they tell the time, but they provide a whole other host of features that allow your child to call, text, and get on the internet at any time.
Parents may go looking for these types of watches primary for their connection features. The benefits of course are that they can help parents stay connected to kids anytime, anywhere. On the other hand, these devices are also a wide open portal to the world wide web. For older kids, who have learned more about smart ways to use the internet safely this may not be a concern. There’s no doubt that your kids will love being able to call, text, and chat on social media with their friends. And many of these devices have a built-in GPS trackers, which is great for a parent's peace of mind.
However, there are some drawbacks to consider. The fact is that these smartwatches, in many cases, have all the functionality of a smartphone, and this raises some concerns for young children especially. While more kids these days are getting smartphones at younger and younger ages, there are no shortage of reasons for parents to be cautious. From cyber bullying to social media addiction, and increasing research about the behavioral and mental health consequences of these devices, there is a growing consensus that waiting until at least 12 years old for a smartphone is best.
For families with older kids who feel they are ready for fully connected devices, smartwatches like these can be a great option. Their power, versatility, GPS location features and more offer plenty of attractive elements for connection. However, it's important for parents to realize that like a smartphone, these fully connected devices also come with potential drawbacks.
Kids Smartwatch with No Internet and Limited Calls and Texts
The third category of Kids Smartwatches are an emerging new type in the market today. While they offer many of the same connection benefits that standard adult smartwatches do, they are also specifically limited to prevent some of the primary drawbacks associated with younger users.
What's somewhat shocking is that until recently, parents had few if any options for something between an analog kids watch and a fully connected smartwatch. Now, that is starting to change with this third wave of family-designed kids smartwatches.
The benefits of these types of kids' smartwatches are that they do not have full or open internet connectivity, so young kids don’t have unlimited and unsupervised access to the internet. In the internet age, there are no shortage of serious threats to children online, whether it be child predators, hackers, or identity theft. A smart device with open connectivity and access to social media is unfortunately a portal not just for your child's exploration, but also for danger. By choosing a device that blocks internet access and social media, many parents find they can rest a bit easier.
These types of smartwatches for kids can also allow you to help keep your kids safe when you’re not with them, in a way that a standard kids smart watch can’t. With leading models in this field, such as the COSMO JrTrack™ 2 Smart Watch for kids, not only can you accurately keep track of them with GPS tracking, you can also set up safe zones from the COSMO Mission Control Parent App, such as your home, your kids’ friends’ houses, your daycare center, the child’s school, etc. Then you can set alerts during certain hours, so you will be immediately notified if your child leaves one of these locations during those set times. Now if your child leaves school early or takes a detour on their way home, you can call them right away to find out what’s going on. The best models also offer SOS alerts that allow your child to send you a quick message in an emergency.
Another benefit of these types of smartwatches like the JrTrack™ 2 is that they block phone calls and texts from anyone, except those who have been approved. In order to do this, parents can set up designated safe contacts from the parent app. This way, you don’t have to worry about strangers and robocalls contacting your child.
For parents looking for a way to stay connected with kids and introduce them to the world of technology safely, then kids smartwatches in this category, like the JrTrack™ 2, are the best choice.
Ultimately, choosing the right kids watch depends on many factors, such as your child’s maturity and age level, their internet safety education, and your needs as a parent.
> Analog kids watches are great for those who want to give their child a stylish, simple, or fun option and aren't looking for any internet or calling features.
> Smartwatches with unlimited internet, calls, and texts are great for older children who parents feel are ready for more responsible internet use.
> Kids' smartwatches with no open internet or social media such as the Cosmo JrTrack™ 2 are a great for young children as an on-ramp to connectivity and technology use. Parents can be at ease knowing that their child can’t access the internet unsupervised.
> Leading kids smartwatches in this field also come with GPS tracking capabilities, SOS mode for emergencies, pedometers and more.