Features 3 activities, 5 games, action challenges, camera, and photo storage, as well as an alarm, timer, stopwatch, calendar, and a calculator. Keeps kids entertained and promotes active play.
It's like strapping a game system to your child's wrist. It can be fun but distracting.
Impressive functions including calendar, stopwatch, and alarm clock. Water-resistant up to 50 meters (as long as you don't press any buttons underwater). Durable build.
Big watch that may be too much for small wrists.
Minute and hour hand are labeled to help kids learn to tell time. Fun colors and designs let kids show off their personalities. Easy to take on and off with Velcro on the wristband.
The buckle on the band can easily come loose resulting in a lost watch.
Many of the functions of an adult watch like alarm, stopwatch, dual time, date, and calendar. Strap and buckle can take heavy use.
Water resistance doesn't hold up for all units, even when the user doesn't push buttons while in the water.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Living in the moment is an enviable trait, and one that comes naturally to children. Not surprisingly, though, most kids easily lose track of time. And with so many new things to learn and do each day, who can blame them? Kids’ watches come in a variety of child-friendly designs to help kiddos keep up with their schedules.
Whether your little one is still learning the basics or ready for something more advanced, you’ll find a host of kids’ watches to choose from. But with so many options, where do you start? If you need a hand finding the best watch for your child, we’re here to help!
At BestReviews, we’re dedicated to helping our readers find the best products out there with our top recommendations and detail-packed shopping guides. Read on for everything you need to know about kids’ watches before you buy.
Kids’ watches are available in four basic varieties: analog, digital, sports, and smart watches. The best option for your child will depend on several factors, including age, lifestyle, and budget.
Kids’ analog watches have a straightforward clock-face design. These watches typically feature bold, easy-to-read numbers, an hour hand, a minute hand, and a second hand. With each hand physically moving through the seconds, minutes, and hours, analog watches provide a visual image of the passage of time. Many feel this classic design is the best option for little ones who are only just learning to tell time.
Digital watches display the time via numerical digits. With many kids’ digital watches offering features like calendars, stopwatches, alarms, and LED backlighting, these watches are especially popular among older children and adolescents. Some digital watches also have a secondary analog display.
Kids’ sports watches can be analog, digital, or a combination of both. These robust watches are designed to withstand the rough and tumble of active kids. Most offer sports-oriented features, like superior levels of water resistance, shock absorption, and stopwatch timers.
Smart watches are a feature-packed alternative for tech-savvy kids who want more than just a timepiece. Boasting touchscreens, customizable analog/digital displays, cameras, built-in games, apps, and more, kids’ smart watches are multifunctional devices that simultaneously provide entertainment while helping children keep track of time. Some smart watches even have features like GPS tracking and the ability to make and receive calls, allowing parents to easily stay in touch with children.
Whether you opt for a technologically advanced kids’ watch or something simpler, the following features are worth keeping an eye out for.
Marked hour and minute hands: If you’re considering buying an analog watch for a young child, a model with clearly marked hour and minute hands can make learning to tell time that much easier.
Glow-in-the-dark or light-up displays: Many analog kids’ watches feature glow-in-the-dark hands and numbers. Digital watches typically light up at the press of a button. Being able to tell the time in the dark is both fun for kids and a practical function that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Dual analog and digital displays: With a visual comparison to refer to throughout the day, understanding the difference between analog and digital time displays becomes easier. This feature is especially helpful for children who are accustomed to digital time displays and have difficulty grasping the concept of analog time.
Your child’s age
Finding the most suitable watch for your child’s age is a good place to start. Simple analog models are great for learning the basics and tend to be the best choice for a child’s first watch. Many kids’ analog watches also feature colorful designs that little ones find appealing. Older children who are better able to appreciate additional functions often gravitate toward feature-rich digital or sports watches. Depending on the technology, feature set, and design, smart watches can be suitable for both younger and older children. The right smart watch can even act as a learning tool for kids.
Day-to-day activity is another important consideration. Active children or those who frequently take part in sports will naturally require a watch that can keep up with a physically demanding lifestyle. In these cases, kids’ sports watches with rugged exteriors, higher levels of water resistance, and shock-absorbing capabilities are a good option.
For many children, watches are as much a fashion statement as they are a timekeeping tool. Choosing the perfect watch for a younger child can be as simple as finding one that features her favorite color or cartoon character. However, older children often have more developed tastes. To avoid quiet disappointment, ill-disguised looks of disdain, or even outright rejection, we strongly recommend including tweens and adolescents in the selection process. If you’re purchasing a kids’ watch as a gift, asking the child’s parents or taking note of what children of a similar age group are wearing can be helpful.
Youngsters certainly have a knack for pushing the durability of any given item to the limit. Rough handling, energetic play, and enthusiastic gestures are enough to cause scratches, scrapes, cracks, or worse. While it might be tempting to buy a cheap watch in anticipation of damage, doing so could end up costing you more in the long run. Flimsy clasps and thin watch faces will break more easily, even when handled with a reasonable amount of care. Choosing a well-made kids’ watch from the get-go can save you the cost of repeatedly having to purchase replacements.
Kids’ watches are available in a wide range of prices. With various models costing anywhere from under $10 to over $100, there’s an option for every age group and budget.
A budget-priced model can be ideal as a first watch for kids between the ages of four and six. You’ll find cute prints and popular characters galore, but don’t expect the highest levels of durability. Both analog and digital watches are available at this price point. However, cheaper digital watches tend to be basic models with smaller time displays. For the best value for your money within this price range, we recommend opting for an analog kids’ watch.
$10 to $20
There are loads of decent kids’ watches available between $10 and $20. Mid-range digital, analog, and sports watches generally offer additional features and improved durability that will please both children and parents. While there are a few kids’ smart watches available at this price point, their overall quality and feature set might be disappointing.
If you’re looking for a well-known brand, higher levels of durability, or stylish adult-like designs, expect to pay a little more. Kids’ smart watches abound at this price point and typically cost anywhere from $30 to $150, depending on the watch’s feature set and technological capabilities.
Q. My child only knows how to read digital time. Will wearing an analog watch help?
A. Today’s children are growing up in a digital age, and many don’t know how to read an analog clock or watch. Unfortunately, forcing a child who’s already familiar with digital time displays to wear an analog watch will likely cause frustration and might not be the best solution. Instead, opt for a watch with dual analog/digital displays. By comparing the displays, your child will likely learn to read analog time quickly.
Q. Can I change my kid’s digital watch from a 24-hour to a 12-hour display?
A. Yes. Many digital watches are pre-programmed to display military time. With a bit of fiddling, this is usually easy enough to adjust. Most digital watches have clearly marked mode and reset buttons. Try pressing the mode button until you get to a 12-hour display. This is typically indicated by a “P” for p.m. or an “A” for a.m. After this, the hours and minutes can usually be adjusted using the reset button. Once you’ve set the time, pressing mode again should save your settings. However, settings vary from watch to watch, and it might be necessary to refer to your instruction manual.
Q. Should I measure my child’s wrist before buying a watch?
A. Most kids’ watches have adjustable straps, and measuring your child’s wrist generally isn’t necessary. However, if your little one has particularly small wrists and you’re considering a chunkier sports model, you might want to check the watch’s dial diameter first.
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