Smartwatches for Children

Smartwatches for Children: How to Keep Connected With Calling and More

For parents seeking a quick and convenient way to keep in touch with their children, it may be worthwhile bypassing smartphones altogether and to instead opt for a smartwatch.

Smartwatches can be a great option for kids. There is less potential for a smartwatch to be misplaced or broken, while cellular models have built-in calling and messaging capabilities. Of course, there are a range of other factors to keep in mind, including both the upfront cost and the ongoing cost of mobile provider plans.

Meanwhile, smartwatches are also notably limited when it comes to online capabilities. In fact, models designed for children may not have internet access at all, helping to keep a handle on screen time. In this respect, smartwatches may be viewed as something of a stepping stone to eventual smartphone ownership, however you’ll need to clearly determine their use case prior to purchase.

In the following guide we’ll take a look at what to keep in mind when it comes to standalone smartwatch calling and messaging, along with children-specific smartwatch features worthwhile weighing up, and will run through the capabilities of a number of smartwatches currently available.

Standalone smartwatch calling and messaging

Standalone calling and messaging will be a key consideration for most parents when shopping for a children’s smartwatch. With this in mind, it will as a starting point be useful to have an understanding of how this technology works and the different options on offer.

Many smartwatches designed for children’s use integrate a physical SIM card, enabling smartphone functionality in a smartwatch form factor. Much like a smartphone, the SIM card may be packaged with the device or sold separately, allowing for various plan options.

This type of smartwatch is typically designed to pair with a parent’s compatible smartphone via a specially designed app. The app in turn paves the way for a range of capabilities, including calling and messaging between approved contacts.

Meanwhile, eSIM (embedded SIM) technology, a rewritable SIM that sits permanently in a device, also allows for standalone calling and messaging. This is a relatively recent feature that is now being integrated with many new-release smartwatches.

→Related article: What Is an eSIM?

Under this setup, users can share their smartphone’s mobile number with their smartwatch. The smartphone needs to be on (connected to Wi-Fi or a mobile network) to access the mobile service, however the smartwatch can be used without the smartphone on hand.

Of course, when sharing your mobile plan and number with a smartwatch, keep in mind that you’ll also need a separate plan and number to both make calls to and receive calls from the smartwatch (when sharing the devices between different users).

Smartwatch shopping for children: Features to keep in mind

Of course, children interact with technology in different ways to adults, and this should guide your approach to smartwatch shopping. With this in mind, different types of smartwatches (and smartwatch features) may to varying degrees be suitable for children in different age brackets.

For instance, as we’ll look at below, the newly released Apple Watch SE may be more suitable for older children, while a dedicated children’s smartwatch, such as the Spacetalk Adventurer, could be a good option for children in a younger age bracket.

Taking this into account, the following are a range of specific smartwatch features worthwhile keeping any eye out for:

  • Smartphone compatibility – you’ll need to ensure your smartphone is compatible with a specific model of smartwatch. If pairing a smartwatch with a smartphone via app, you’ll need to confirm the app is compatible with your smartphone.
  • Calling and messaging – as covered above, this will be a key consideration for most parents. You’ll want to ensure reliability and ease of use. Smartwatches for children may have safe contact lists and an SOS feature.
  • Location tracking – a smartwatch fitted with a GPS tracker may allow for real-time location tracking via your smartphone. Related to this, you may be able to set up features such as safe zones, receiving alerts if a child enters and leaves specified zones.
  • Limited internet access – some smartwatches for children may not have open internet access, helping to manage screen time.
  • Do not disturb modes – enable the restriction of certain smartwatch functions when your child is in class, removing potential distractions.
  • Camera – a smartwatch with a camera may allow for video calling, along with video and photo messaging.
  • Health and fitness – smartwatches may come with features such as heart monitors and step trackers which you can monitor via your smartphone.
  • Battery and charging – you’ll want to ensure there is enough battery to get through the day, confirming how often you will need to charge.
  • Durability – from the screen to the band, you’ll want a smartwatch that can stand up to the full range of activities your child is likely to throw at it. Also keep in mind water resistance.


Below are a range of smartwatches which may be suitable for children in different age brackets. The Spacetalk Adventurer and Moochies Connect could be particularly good options for younger children, and the Apple Watch SE a solid choice for older children.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to consider both the upfront cost and the ongoing cost of mobile plan/app subscriptions.

smartwatches for children - spacetalk

Spacetalk Adventurer ($369*)

Spacetalk describes its Spacetalk Adventurer as a “4G mobile phone, GPS tracker, all-in-one wearable”. It is designed to connect to New Zealand 4G/3G networks, with it requiring a nano SIM card and a plan with calls, SMS and data.

The Adventurer has no social media or open internet access. The Spacetalk app provides for full parental control from your smartphone, with features such as School Mode defining classroom time and making the Adventurer distraction-free.

  • Calling and messaging – is enabled via a parent-approved safe contact list. Features include photo and video sharing, setting reminders and sharing upcoming events, and SOS alerts.
  • Location tracking – view your child’s location at any time, with the option of receiving GPS updates at regular intervals. Safe zones can be set up, providing notifications when your child arrives and leaves pre-programmed zones.
  • Health and fitness – a heart rate monitor lets you know if your child is exercising, while children can be encouraged to keep active with a built-in step counter.
  • Camera – high-res 5 MP.
  • Display – OLED screen with high brightness.
  • Battery and charging – a 750 mAh battery; the Spacetalk website offers advice on how to extend battery life, stating it needs to be charged every night (comes with a magnetic charging cradle and USB-C cable).
  • Durability – IP67 water resistance. Is not waterproof, with swimming, diving or bathing not recommended. Features scratch-resistant safety gorilla glass and a detachable hypoallergenic silicone band, and comes with a screen protector kit.
  • Connectivity – Bluetooth and 4G.

Do note that a Spacetalk app subscription is required (pairing a compatible Android or iOS smartphone with the Adventurer), with monthly subscriptions available for up to two devices at $6.99 or up to five devices at $9.99.

Mobile provider Spark offers the Adventurer for $31.48 per month (including the Spacetalk app and connected plan cost) over 24 months.

smartwatches for children - moochies

Moochies Connect ($189.95*)

Moochies describes its smartwatches as “a standalone phone with a built-in SIM card”, designed to work in conjunction with the free MyMoochies Guardian app (for Android and iOS). This app provides parents control over all features of their child’s smartwatch.

The Moochies Connect smartwatch has no social media or internet browser. In addition to this, the MyMoochies Guardian app allows parents to remove distractions via Class Mode, helping children to focus on learning by disabling all features besides SOS alerts.

  • Calling and messaging – a safe contact list controls who can call or be called, with voice and video calling, text, photo and voice messaging. Reminders can be set, while SOS alerts see everyone on a child’s safe contact list receive a live GPS location and a 30 second audio recording of a child’s surroundings at the click of a button.
  • Location tracking – live GPS location tracking, with parents able to set up safe zones and receive alerts when their child leaves an area.
  • Health and fitness – comes with an in-built step tracker, with information available via the MyMoochies Guardian app.
  • Camera – a front-facing camera.
  • Battery and charging – a 730 mAh battery; Moochies advises that standby time is around two days, while if using a SIM card, users will mostly likely be recharging at the end of every day (with a USB cable charger included).
  • Durability – IP67 waterproof, protecting against rain, sweat and splashes. Features a toughened glass screen, and a choice of soft, sturdy straps.
  • Connectivity – 4G.

Moochies offers two pay monthly, no lock-in contract options: Basic (500 MB data, unlimited minutes) at $15.95 per month, and Popular (1 GB data, unlimited minutes) at $20.95 per month (a $4.95 one-off SIM activation fee applies for both plans).

smartwatches for children - Apple Watch SE

Apple Watch SE (GPS + Cellular) ($569*)

Apple recently took the wraps off its redesigned Apple Watch SE, which it states “delivers the core Apple Watch experience”, slotting into its line-up at a lower price. This makes it a potentially suitable option for older children.

However, you’ll need to keep in mind that for calling and messaging, the Apple Watch SE (GPS + Cellular, sporting an eSIM), will need to be paired with a compatible iPhone and mobile plan. This means you will be sharing a number across the two devices.

As advised above, under this type of setup you’ll also need a separate plan and number to both make calls to and receive calls from the Apple Watch (when shared between two users).

  • Calling and messaging – you’ll need a compatible mobile plan, sharing your number (see below).
  • Location tracking – GPS enables location and navigation features.
  • Health and fitness – a heart sensor monitors heart rate and provides notifications; the Sleep app tracks and provides insight into sleep patterns; an Apple Fitness+ subscription provides real-time workout metrics, with a choice of 11 workout types.
  • Display – a 40 or 44 mm Retina display.
  • Battery life and charging – up to 18 hours all-day battery life; magnetic USB-C cable charging (about 1.5 hours to 80 per cent and about 2.5 hours to 100 per cent).
  • Durability – sports a 100 per cent recycled aluminium case, Ion-X front glass; is water-resistant to 50 m, can be used for shallow-water activities.
  • Connectivity – 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0.

Spark is the only provider currently offering eSIM wearable plans, with its One Number Wearable plan letting you share your primary plan’s minutes, texts and data at $12.99 a month (you’ll need an eligible iPhone, Apple Watch and pay monthly mobile plan).

Compare phone and internet providers with Canstar Blue

About the author of this page

 Martin KovacsThis report was written by Canstar author Martin Kovacs. Martin is a freelance writer with experience covering the business, consumer technology and utilities sectors. Martin has written about a wide range of topics across both print and digital publications, including the manner in which industry continues to adapt and evolve amid the rollout of new technologies.

Enjoy reading this article?

You can like us on Facebook and get social, or sign up to receive more news like this straight to your inbox.

By subscribing you agree to the Canstar Privacy Policy

Share this article