Apple Watches are generally reckoned to be amongst the best smartwatches available. The Apple Watch gives wearers the opportunity to make calls, listen to music, track their workouts, use apps and much more. We’ll discuss if Apple Watches for kids is a good idea.
When it comes to choosing a smartwatch for your children, is the Apple Watch is really the way to go? The Apple Watch comes at a premium price, even for older models. You might consider a few things before choosing one for your son or daughter. You should consider whether it’s age-appropriate and cost-effective. Make sure you research more affordable alternatives.
- GPS + Cellular model lets you call, text, and get directions without your phone
- Large Retina OLED display
- Up to 2x faster processor than Series 3
Families can stay connected with the Apple Watch
Apple recently announced a brand new feature that means families can stay connected, even when they don’t all have iPhones or an Apple Watch.
It’s called Family Set Up and is available on watchOS 7. It lets a parent pair their iPhone to their kid’s Apple watch so they can receive location notifications, stay in contact and use parental controls and limits. It pays to keep the whole family using Apple devices.
Is the newest the best?
The new Apple Watch SE is great for kids
The Apple Watch SE is a lightweight version of the new Apple Watch 6, but don’t mistakenly think it’s a cheap version.
This is simply stripped back. It’s a chance to offer people an Apple Watch for less. However, it doesn’t force them to sacrifice having a newer model and opting for a Series 3 because that’s where their budget sits. This also makes it a great choice for kids.
Some are fondly calling it the Series 3 successor. It’s cheaper than a Galaxy Watch 3 and on par with a Fitbit Versa 3.
The Apple Watch SE has an improved design which was incorporated from the Series 4 onward. It comes in 40mm and 44mm, depending on the age and size of the child you’re considering this for. It also shares the same dimensions as the new Apple Watch 6.
As it’s a new watch, it comes with the newest software version (7). Combined with this is the fact that there will be an LTE version. These features will be of interest to parents who want to use the new Family Setup feature (mentioned later; keep reading).
Things to remember about buying an Apple Watch for Kids
The first Apple Watch launched back in 2015 and it is now in its fifth incarnation. Available in a range of styles, colours and sizes. All models can track daily activities. Exercises like yoga, swimming and running, along with podcasts, gaming, music and more.
If you’re going to enjoy all the features of an Apple Watch, you need to sync it with your iPhone. This is something to bear in mind when deciding if the Apple Watch is suitable for your child. – Most children under 10 probably shouldn’t have access to a smartphone. An Apple Watch isn’t going to be the right choice for your pre-teen, either.
Some kids are careless and prone to breaking or losing items. Apple watches are pricey, so you don’t want to be paying for repairs or replacements on a regular basis.
Why Should I Buy An Apple Watch For My Child?
There are many reasons why you might want to consider investing in an Apple Watch for your son or daughter. They encourage your child to live in a healthy way. Reminders to stand up and exercise for a minimum of half an hour daily encourage movement.
An Apple Watch can also help kids burn more calories. “Move goals are defined by the parent or the child themselves. Exercise challenges are a lot of fun for kids to take part in, too. Many third-party apps persuade even inactive children to start moving. This is one of the most persuasive reasons to purchase an Apple Watch.
The “Find My Friend” feature allows parents to track their child for safety purposes. You can also stay in constant communication through the walkie-talkie feature. Later versions can enjoy the new Family Setup feature.
Apple Watches for Kids – Are they the best?
If you’re choosing a smartwatch for a teenager, consider an older Apple Watch. It might not be worth buying one of the latest models or a brand-new device for your son or daughter due to the cost. But if you see benefit in the features, it might very well be worth the investment.
- Always-On Retina display
- 30% larger screen
Family Setup could swing your choice
Apple announced a new feature on September 15 that revolutionises how families will stay connected. Uncharacteristically for the brand, you don’t even need an iPhone to use the feature. Apple call it Family Setup. This is available on WearOS 7 and lets a parent pair an iPhone to a kid’s Apple Watch so they can remain connected through communication, location notifications and parental controls.
Parents can use Family Setup to set which contacts a child can send messages to. It lets your family members know where the child is through location alerts. You can set boundaries so you know if your child has gone past a geofenced area. This could be their school, for example.
Family Setup is somewhat of a competitive feature to existing apps that offer tracking, like Life360. These tools have shown popularity amongst families who like to keep an eye on each other’s location for safety.
If needed, the watch can be used to contact emergency services using the SOS feature.
Who is the feature aimed at?
Family Setup has been created for families with very young children who aren’t ready for a phone of their own. Grumbles have been heard already from families that although the feature has been designed for them, Apple device price tags have not.
The new feature is worthwhile for those families who have pre-teen kids with their own an Apple Watch already, who can hand them down to their younger siblings.
Users suggest this feature isn’t just useful for kids. They say it’s got value for those with ageing relatives who perhaps have medical conditions that require closer than average monitoring.
To use the feature, you need a cellular model of at least the Apple Watch 4. It will only be available from select carriers, too: T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon. Some International carriers, too. The feature is initially available in the USA, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Poland, Switzerland, Mainland China, Japan, Thailand and Taiwan.
Apple offers an advantage over these competitors as it boasts a focus on privacy. Parents are being told they can trust the brand, as they say they won’t share data with third parties.
Additionally to location tracking, Family setup allows a parent to set downtime. This will limit the notifications and interactions of the paired watch so the child can focus solely on their chores, school, homework or family time. In fact, there’s a dedicated “school mode”. Optionally, there’s a workout integration and the trademark activity rings that have been configured specifically for kids.
Memojis have been added so the child can create their own for use on their Apple Watch. It means they can send messages and stickers or the new-to-WearOS 7 watch face.
Are There Alternatives To Apple Watches for Kids?
Do you feel your child isn’t yet ready for an Apple Watch? Maybe you can’t afford it? There are suitable kid-friendly smartwatches offering function and style, without the expense.
The VTech brand is synonymous with high-quality kid-friendly tech. This smartwatch is a great choice for younger kids who aren’t ready for an Apple Watch. The VTech Kidizoom has an inbuilt camera for videos and photos. You can customisable faces, too. It has a timer, alarm, games and more. It doesn’t offer fitness tracking, but for any young child who wants to feel more mature, it’s great.
Garmin Vivofit Jr.2
If you want fitness tracking functions on your child’s smartwatch, the Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 is a great choice. It offers a reward system and fitness tracking. This teaches your child about doing chores and living in a healthy way. It can sync with a parent’s smartphone for more control. With a long battery life and a wide range of styles to choose from, it’s great for younger kids. Older ones might find the games dull.
With every year, the Apple Watch moves closer to no longer requiring an iPhone to make it operational. At the moment, you still need a smartphone to set up and maintain this device. It’s a great choice, but remember there are lots of alternatives so your son or daughter can still enjoy smartphone functionality on the budget you have.
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- Apple Watch 6 – Everything you need to know
- The new Apple Watch SE – Review
- Apple Family Sharing Functions and Benefits
- The Control and Safety Benefits of Apple Family Set Up
- Apple Watch Comparison
Last Updated on November 28, 2020
Emma is an experienced Virtual Assistant and is our Copy and Visual Editor and Social Media Manager. When not working, Emma enjoys life with her little girl, partner and Jack Russell Terrier in the lovely countryside of the South West UK.