iPhones, Nintendo Switches, Oculus Rifts (or whatever they’re called)… Our kids are more tech-savvy at 5 than we’ll ever be. And yes, the humble wristwatch has somehow aced the survival-of-the-fittest test (with some adaptive strategies) and proved itself to be timeless—kids still want ’em, and we love that. Check out our list of parent-approved picks of the best watches for kids, whether it’s to help them learn to tell time or just look really, really cool.
1. BiggerFive Fitness Tracker Watch
Best for: Fitbit fanatics (but at a much better price)
Maybe you have an exercise enthusiast on your hands, or maybe you’re just hoping to pry your kid away from Prime Video for a few hours (no judgment here). Either way, this fitness tracker has the features of a Fitbit—pedometer and sleep tracker, to name a few—for a fraction of the price. Best of all, parents say it really works: With rave reviews for comfort, quality and versatility, this watch is a perfect, budget-friendly gift for any child.
2. Timex Expedition Classic Digital Watch
Best for: Kids going to camp
Ready for some rugged, outdoorsy adventures? This resilient number is waterproof enough for kayaking, snorkeling and swimming, so it’s certainly fine for sprinklers and bathtubs. It’s built like an adult watch but boasts a super-comfy kid-sized wristband, and parents love its durability.
3. Timex Ironman Essential Midsize Watch
Best for: Future varsity athletes
Sleek and lightweight, the Timex Ironman is a great choice for a young athlete. Your future track-and-field star won’t complain—she can time her own laps, and the thin silicone band makes it comfortable even when small wrists get sweaty. Bonus: At least one reviewer says it survived military training, so it probably can survive a toddler sibling’s attempts to abscond with it.
4. Timex My First Easy Reader
Best for: Kids learning to tell time the old-school way
If your child is learning how to tell time the old-fashioned way, this classic analog style is a great place to start. The dial has big numbers and well-defined hands, so it is easy to read, and the simple, sleek aesthetic makes it a good accessory for a young fashion lover—it goes with pretty much anything. This Timex watch is water-resistant, so it can stay on for routine handwashing, but make sure she takes it off before getting into the tub.
5. Lacoste Kids’ TR90 Quartz Watch
Best for: Miniature hype beasts
This Lacoste watch has a scratch-resistant face that features bold, easy-to-read numbers—perfect for kids who are still learning. The flexible silicone strap is lightweight and comfortable, and fans of the famous French polo brand will appreciate the cute croc logo on the dial.
6. Tonnier White Resin Nebula Watch
Best for: Kids with that sartorial je ne sais quoi
The striking colors on the face of the watch are offset by a sleek white wristband—a style statement that’s sure to satisfy the trendy tween in your home. Note: This bargain is best for kids who have a lot of practice telling time, as the dial does not display numerals. That said, parents report the watch is well made and looks even better in person.
7. I-See Smart Watch For Kids
Best for: Kids who want the Apple Watch (but are not getting one)
We don’t think you have to ditch the classic watch design to keep up with the times, but we do think this gadget has some pretty cool bells and whistles that are sure to keep your kids interested. Practically a smartphone for the wrist (minus being an actual phone), this watch boasts pretty much every bonus feature you could imagine: a camera (for selfies, of course), games and a customizable clock face that can be set to digital or analog. We’re impressed, and so are the parents who have purchased it—the reviews are glowing
8. VTech Kidizoom Smart Watch DX2
Best for: Kids with a birthday coming up
This VTech version is similar to the I-See smart watch but with even more capabilities. This high-tech toy (er, watch) has a motion sensor for active play challenges—like the “augmented reality gaming experience” of its Monster Catcher game, a micro USB cable for uploading photos taken with the camera and a fitness-tracking feature to boot.
9. VTech PJ Masks Learning Watch
Best for: Precocious 3- to 5-year-olds
Your preschooler might not be ready to read a clock yet, but this digital watch makes telling time easy. Fans of PJ Masks can choose a customized face from nine different designs, all featuring a favorite character. This watch also doubles as an educational toy with built-in games that explore shapes, numbers and basic math. More than enough fancy features to keep boredom at bay and simple enough for smaller kids to use, this watch is a winner.
10. Venhoo Kids Time Teacher Watch
Best for: Comfort and tactilely sensitive kids
Simple, straightforward and easy to read, this analog watch is a perfect way to introduce your little kid to the challenge of telling time the old-fashioned way. The silicone wristband is a good fit for toddlers and 10-year-olds alike, and children love the detailed cartoon designs. Most important, parents report that (unlike shoes) their little ones love wearing this watch.
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