Best apple watch for kids and tweens in 2023

As usual, Apple has a wide range of options for the Apple Watch, but which is the best for kids?

The primary differences between the different Apple Watches are in their sizes and bands: 

  • The smallest, which is called the 38mm case size, has a smaller display than the other two sizes.
  • The next-smallest, 42mm case size, has a larger display than the 38mm but not as large as the 44mm.
  • The most extensive option, or 44mm case size, has an even larger display.

>> Also, find out which is the best Phone for Kids and recommended kids camera.

Best apple watch for kids

Below are the top recommended Apple Watches for your Kids and teens. We would only recommend an Apple watch that comes with GPS + Cellular data. We didn’t include the Series 3 model because it does not support family setup and only comes with GPS.

A smartwatch is an excellent choice for kids because it’s something they can use to stay connected to their friends and family while keeping them safe. We’ve already discussed how easy it is to set up your Apple Watch with other Apple devices (like an iPhone) and how to choose the right kind of band for your child. 

Like family setup on Apple watch, you can also use parental control app on your iPhone to control and keep an eye on your kid’s devices.

Key takeaways

If you’re looking to buy a smartwatch for a child, there are a few different things to consider before you take the plunge. Smartwatches for kids and tweens come in different shapes and sizes, so the first thing you should figure out is whether your child will be comfortable with a wearable. Some kids might feel like they’re being punished if you put a smartwatch on their wrist; others might think it’s really cool, but not be able to use it effectively. A good smartwatch for kids should be easy-to-use, durable, and age-appropriate. These factors will help you narrow down your options to find the best apple watch for kids and tweens.

For kids under 14: Any of the models listed above are a good choice if your child is over 10 years old or so. For example, the  Apple Watch SE is an excellent choices because it has an affordable price and a strong feature set that includes a heart rate monitor + Cellular data. 

An apple watch with an activity tracker built in is an excellent way to get your child on the path to better health, and even some of the cheaper models have enough functionality that your kid can learn how to use it independently (if you’re looking at cheaper models, we’d recommend getting a model with GPS so that it can track speed and distance just like their phone).

If you have an older child who’s already comfortable with technology, we’d recommend one of the more advanced apple watches that are available. The  Apple Watch Series 8 with Cellular connection  is our top pick in this category because of its great battery life and sports related features.

How I tested?

I bought two Apple watch’s: Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Series 8 for my neice and nephew who are 13 and 14 years old. They are using it for the last two weeks and I recorded what they think about it.

The results:

  • They love the new design of the watch, it looks great on them both.
  • They love the new fitness features that came with watchOS, especially their favorite one: swimming workouts. They can use all of their favorite swimming apps on this watch too!
  • They also like how easy it is to connect with other people with an apple watch (like other family members) because you can send messages to each other directly from your wrist without needing a phone in your hand. This way everyone stays connected no matter where they are or what they’re doing.
  • The Series 8 is a little bit bigger than the SE, but it doesn’t bother them at all. In fact, they both like the larger screen because it makes the watch more convenient to use.
  • They can read notifications easily on either watch. However, they say that the Series 8 is easier to read because of its larger screen.
  • Both watches have a good battery life which lasts at least 16 hours without recharging them.

Apple Watch SE is great for kids of any age. It’s a well-made, durable watch that looks sleek and stylish, but most importantly, it’s comfortable to wear. The band is made from soft silicone material that feels good on your wrist, and the watch itself has a simple design with no sharp edges or corners—perfect for small hands. The screen is also bright enough so that you can easily see the time even in direct sunlight, which is important when you’re outside playing sports or just trying to get from place to place without getting lost!

But Which Apple Watch is the Best for Kids This Year?

  • If you’re buying for a younger kid, you might want to consider getting them the most miniature Apple Watch—it’s much more likely that they’ll be able to wear it as they grow up, and it’ll have a minor impact on their daily routine.
  • For older children interested in keeping track of their physical activity, or if you want to reward them with something more advanced than an activity tracker, you may want to consider something bigger and more powerful, like the Apple Watch Series 5 or SE.
  • If your child is a bit young for an Apple Watch but still wants an interactive device, the iPad is a great option—it can be used for education apps and is also quite durable.
  • If you’re interested in using Family Sharing and setting up a family group with your child, be sure to get the watch with GPS + Cellular (as opposed to GPS only).
  • We recommend the Sport models—it’s more fun for tweens to have a colorful band than a black one, so choose one that will match their personality! As far as which size is better for children…that depends. If you want them to wear the watch on their wrist as an adult would, we’d say go with the 40mm option.

1. The Most value for your Money with vital features – Apple Watch SE GPS + Cellular ($299) for kids and tweens

Screen Size40 and 44 Millimeters
Special FeatureSleep Monitor, Activity Tracker, Voice Control, GPS, Heart Rate Monitor
Compatible DevicesiPhone
WaterproofYes
Age recommendation8 years old and above
Price$299

Apple Watch SE GPS + Cellular ($299) for kids and tweens

With the Apple Watch’s newest launch, the Apple Watch SE GPS + Cellular, for $299, it’s clear that this model is the best smartwatch for kids. This model brings all of the features from previous Apple Watches, like its crisp display and fitness apps, but adds more advanced technology.

The most significant difference between this watch and most others is that it comes with cellular service—which means your kid can now call you or other contacts directly from their Apple Watch without having their phone around.

Knowing that your child can contact you at all times may help you feel more confident knowing that they’re safe if they need something or want to tell you about something fun they did while out with friends.

watch face sharing in watchOS 7
If you have a kid who’s too young for their own iPhone (and you don’t want to pay for a separate device just for them), you can still get them access to some of the best features of the Apple Watch, including watch face sharing in watchOS 7.

You don’t have to worry about a potentially dangerous situation becoming dangerous because of a lack of communication. If your child has a history of getting lost, especially if they have Autism or social anxiety, then this feature could be especially helpful in keeping them from getting lost or needing help.

With the Apple Watch SE and LTE network capabilities, you can keep your family connected more than ever. The new model and cellular service will allow you to send messages, make calls and use Siri on the go without needing to connect to a phone nearby.

Features like SOS, Fall Detection, and Crash Detection are great for parents with children who like to explore the world on foot or bike. The SOS emergency system is one of the best features of this Apple watch because it has been specifically designed for kids.

With a press of the side button, your child can call you, or another trusted contact with a single tap.

The Apple Watch experience is great for kids and adults alike, but it's even better when you get the whole family involved.
The Apple Watch experience is great for kids and adults alike, but it’s even better when you get the whole family involved.

If there is no response, the watch will send your location information to the emergency contacts until someone responds. Fall Detection is another excellent feature that provides your child protection when they need it most. If your child has fallen or isn’t moving after a particular time, an alert will be sent out to their contacts, and you will be notified that they need help.

The crash detection feature is similar in that it sends notifications if your child has been in a car accident or other incident where they could have been hurt.

The Apple Watch SE is a good option for families because you can pair multiple watches with one iPhone. For example, if you have two kids, each can have their own Apple watch, and you can control what apps they can access on their phones.

Send money to your kids
Parents can securely send their kids money to spend on their Apple Watch using Apple Pay.

If your child does not have an iPhone, but you have an iPhone, you can still pair your watch with your phone so that your child will be able to use all of the features of their watch. The Apple Watch has a lot of apps that you can download for it. Some are games, some are educational, and some are just there for entertainment. You can also download music onto your watch to listen to music while you are out on the run or something like that.

The Apple Watch SE is a good option for families because it’s durable and provides reasonable safety for your kids.

Pros

  • Find Devices. Locate your Kids. Find Items
  • Family Setup
  • Watches out for your heart health
  • Fall Detection and Crash Detection for Kids Safety

Cons

  • Bit expensive then other brands
  • Cellular data need to be enabled

2 Best Watch for Tweens or older Children – Apple Watch Series 8 GPS + Cellular ($449)

Screen Size45 and 41 Millimeters
Special FeatureActivity Tracker, Heart Rate Monitor, Sleep Monitor, Blood Oxygen
Compatible DevicesiPhone
WaterproofYes
Age recommendation14 years old and above
Price$499

Apple Watch Series 8 GPS + Cellular ($449)

Apple Watch Series 8 GPS + Cellular for ($449) is the best watch for tweens or older children. It supports a family setup, which allows you to connect with different family members who don’t have an iPhone. 

This allows them to make and answer calls, send messages, and check their heart rate. It also lets you monitor the location of those running late and even receive notifications if they get into a car accident. The Apple Watch Series 8 GPS + Cellular is water resistant up to 50 meters and includes a built-in speaker so they can listen to music while they work out.

The Apple Watch Series 8 is one of the few smartwatches that can make phone calls without an iPhone. It has a SIM card slot and its own wireless data connection to make calls in areas with patchy or no phone service. This is a big deal for tweens and teens who are not old enough to drive but still want the freedom their friends have when they go out at night. This watch will let them call for help if there’s an emergency or they get lost while walking home from school. It also allows them to stay in touch with their parents when they’re out and about, which is a much safer option than texting or using social media to tell them they’re staying late at a friend’s house.

Family setup for kids with Apple watch
With Family Setup, a family member’s location can be shared with their guardian through the Find People app on Apple Watch.

The Series 8 also has other features that make it especially suitable for younger users. The fall detection and crash detection features will notify you if your child takes a nasty spill on the soccer field or skis off-course down a steep slope. The accelerometer will automatically detect your child’s activity type, even if he forgets to open the Activity app. You don’t have to worry about monitoring his health specifically.

The Apple Watch Series 8’s unique feature is its “Emergency SOS” function. If you ever feel like you’re in danger, you can hit the side button and hold it for about two seconds until it asks if you want to call emergency services.

If you say yes, your watch will automatically place an emergency call and send your location to emergency services so they can find you. This feature is handy if you live alone or have no one to help in an emergency.

The Apple Watch Series 8 GPS + Cellular is available in 41 mm and 45mm.  

This smartwatch is great for kids who don’t have their phones.

Pros

  • Locate your Kids With GPS
  • Family Setup and talk to your children
  • IP6X dust and water resistance
  • Fall Detection and Crash Detection for Kids Safety

Cons

  • Bit expensive then SE model
  • Cellular data need to be enabled

Family Setup and optimised features for kids 

Apple Watch can be tremendously useful to families, with features that span from health and safety to independence. For parents, it’s a way to be notified about their kids’ whereabouts and activities, as well as an easy way to instantaneously contact them in case of an emergency. For kids, it’s a way to stay safe while exploring their world. In the latest update, Apple Watch becomes even more useful for families with the introduction of “Family Sharing.”

The Watch’s new “Family Sharing” feature makes it easy for the whole family to share an Apple Watch. This means that everyone in the family can benefit from the health and safety features of Apple Watch, like Emergency SOS. Everyone can also choose how they want to use their Apple Watch, and you don’t have to worry about your kids spending all their iTunes money on video games. You can find more details about Family Sharing on Apple’s website.

Memoji app in watchOS 7 lets kids personalise messages directly on Apple Watch,
Memoji app in watchOS 7 lets kids personalise messages directly on Apple Watch,

With Family Sharing, up to six family members can share a single account, and each person with an Apple Watch can set up an independent iCloud account to use with their device.

The best part is that this allows each member of the family to access all the features of Apple Watch without needing their own iPhone: they can make and receive phone and FaceTime audio calls, send and receive messages and emails, connect with other users over Walkie-Talkie, and even stream Apple Music—all right from their wrist.

And for kids under the age of 13 who want to track their fitness and be active by using Activity or Workout apps, there’s no need for them to have an iPhone at all!

Memoji are available in a selection of skin tones and hair styles, and users can refine further by adding facial details such as freckles and glasses. Parents have the option of approving all contacts before allowing their child to use the communication features of Apple Watch, so they can rest easy knowing their child is interacting safely with friends.

Specific apps for Kids

One of the most intriguing aspects of Apple Watch is its ability to operate independently from your iPhone. This means that apps and experiences can be enjoyed without having to unlock a phone, unlock a passcode, or download an app from the App Store.

What’s even more exciting is the way developers are able to take advantage of that independence. As part of our research into kid-friendly content on Apple Watch, we uncovered a wealth of educational material that was built for standalone use. These apps draw their content from the internet directly via WiFi or cellular connection, so they can make learning fun even when kids are not connected to their parent’s iPhone.

“Coloring Watch,” for example, encourages kids to color in an interactive coloring book while also teaching them how to read numbers and letters. What’s more, these lessons are sharable via AirDrop, Mail, and Messages so parents can participate in the learning process too!

“LookUp: English Dictionary” is another great app for kids, completely free on the App Store. It provides definitions for a variety of words and includes tools like “Verb Conjugation” and “Word Origin.” The app also includes pronunciation guides, making it perfect for young learners.

Schooltime and Classroom Mode

The new Apple Watch feature, Schooltime, solves this problem while also ensuring children are only using Apple Watch during their designated learning time.

With the new feature, parents can set schedules on their iPhones so that Apple Watch automatically goes into Schooltime mode at specific times of the day. For some parents, this will be from 8:00am to 4:00pm, but for other families, where the child gets home earlier than that or needs more flexibility in their schedule, the schedule can be customized to fit individual needs.

>> Why Parents Should Limit Internet Time After School

In addition to setting up Schooltime schedules on one’s iPhone, parents can also enable their child’s device from Control Centre on their child’s watch before the start of school. Once enabled, five minutes before the scheduled time for Schooltime begins the child will receive a reminder that they need to put away their Apple Watch until it is later in the day.

As an extension of Screen Time, Downtime has been added as another option that gives parents even more control over how much time their children are spending using Apple Watch.

How Young Is Too Young for an Apple Watch?

While some parents are eager to embrace the latest technology, others fear that Apple Watches could become “just another thing for our kids to worry about,” as one mom put it.

A survey conducted by a technology news site found that many parents were uncomfortable with the idea of strapping an Apple Watch onto their children, which seems to be why so many parents feel the need to keep their kids’ new devices secret.

Will your own family share this sentiment? It depends on how your kids will use the watches from here on out. For example, if you’re fine with your children getting a phone when they turn 13, but you want to give them some space before that, then you might consider giving them an Apple Watch instead.

Then again, if you feel strongly about not letting them have cellphones until they’re 16 or older, then buying watches for them at age 5 is probably too early. The best way to decide is also with age in mind: If you think your child will benefit from having a watch (beyond just telling time), then go ahead and give them one. If not, wait until they’re older and closer to needing smartphones for school and work.

In the United States, more and more parents are turning to the Apple Watch to solve a common problem: how to keep track of their kids. The watch is proving useful for this purpose because it doesn’t feature cellular capabilities. That means that kids don’t have access to the internet on an iPhone, which might give them more freedom but makes it hard to keep tabs on what they’re doing at all times. Instead, parents can use an Apple Watch to communicate with their children and monitor their locations—the device is much easier to use than a smartphone in these cases, because its small screen easily lets kids control who they talk to and when.

Unlike smartphones, watches are also easy for most children to wear comfortably. Children usually aren’t as interested in having things that look like jewelry as adults are, so parents can feel confident that Apple Watches will be more practical than any other kind of accessory. Still, though the watches work well for tracking kids who aren’t too young (say, over 6 or 7 years of age), there are still some potential issues that come up when children are younger than that. Children under the age of 8 or so may not be able to handle wearing a watch for long periods of time or remembering to charge it every night.

Things Parents Need to Know About the Apple Watch

Parents are always looking out for their kids, and the Apple Watch is no exception. Here’s what parents need to know about the new device:

  1. Kids will become even more connected. The Apple Watch has a number of features that make it easier for kids to stay connected with their families. You can send them text messages, or even play games together. With GPS tracking capabilities built into the watch, you can see where your child is at all times (and even track them if they ever get lost).
  2. You’ll be able to track your child’s every move. All of these features make it possible for parents to monitor their kids’ activities at all times—which can be helpful if you’re worried about your kid getting into trouble online or hanging out with the wrong crowd.

They can receive texts and calls from friends, family members, and other people they know. They can use Siri to send messages or make phone calls with their voice instead of typing out messages on their phones or tablets. They can even pay money via Apple Pay from the watch itself! Being able to communicate easily is important for kids today because it helps them feel less isolated and more connected to their peers than ever before.

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