Top GPS trackers for kids recommended by parents and experts

Top GPS trackers for kids recommended by parents and experts

A Comprehensive Guide to the Best GPS Trackers and Devices for Kids

GPS Tracker for Kids

Kids manage to wander off no matter how much we keep an eye on them. Whether you’re at the grocery store, park, or airport, a GPS tracker can help you keep tabs on your child’s location and grant peace of mind when it comes to your child’s safety.

“When it comes to tech ethics, GPS tracking raises valid concerns,” acknowledged Dr. Kaitlyn Siu, a child neurologist as well as founder and CEO of Teach Your Kids Code.

“As a mother, ensuring the safety and well-being of my child is of utmost importance. However, I would balance the need for safety with respecting [my child’s] privacy and autonomy, using the tracker as a tool for peace of mind rather than for constant surveillance.” – Dr. Kaitlyn Siu

These GPS tracking tools and devices are equipped with long-lasting batteries, smartphone integration, and portable designs that make them easy to clip onto a child’s backpack or slip into their pocket.

The Best GPS Trackers and Devices for Kids in 2023

Jiobit Smart Tag

Best GPS tracker for kids overall

Jiobit Smart Tag

Pros: – Real-time tracking – Designed specifically for kids

Cons: – Monthly subscription fee

Jiobit Smart Tag features: – Price: $130 – Battery life: One week – Real-time tracking: Yes – Monthly cost: $8.33 to $16.99 per month – Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Cellular, GPS

Jiobit’s Smart Tag is our top pick for the best GPS tracker for kids. It can simply be clipped onto a belt or bag and offers comprehensive tracking features and a subtle yet effective alert system. The device comes with a charging cradle and has a battery life of around a week per full charge, depending on your settings and usage.

In addition to the device price, the Jiobit Smart Tag requires a monthly subscription with three different plans to choose from. The plans include always-on connectivity and real-time location tracking, along with navigational directions to the Smart Tag’s location. The Protect plan also includes an emergency button that sends an alert with the child’s live location to their parent or guardian’s smartphone.

The Jiobit Smart Tag is specifically designed for kids and offers ample features to help you keep tabs on your child at all times, although it is one of the more expensive tracking devices on the market.

Apple AirTag

Best iPhone GPS tracker for kids

Apple AirTag

Pros: – Inexpensive – Battery lasts for one year

Cons: – Only works with Apple products – Problems with Apple’s Find My network

Apple AirTag specs: – Price: $29 or four for $85 – Battery life: One year – Real-time tracking: No – Monthly cost: None – Connectivity: Bluetooth, Apple’s Find My Network

Apple’s AirTags are about the size of a quarter and can be attached to jackets, backpacks, or even slipped into a pocket. There is no monthly fee, and the battery lasts around a year. However, the location of an AirTag is only shared when it is in proximity to another Apple device that is connected to the internet, making it less reliable for tracking kids who may not have their own Apple devices with cellular capabilities.

Invoxia Cellular GPS Tracker

Best discreet GPS tracker for kids

Invoxia Cellular GPS Tracker

Pros: – Schedule location notifications – Create alerts

Cons: – Battery life depends on frequency of use

Invoxia Cellular GPS Tracker specs: – Price: $129 – Battery life: 4 months – Real-time tracking: Yes – Monthly cost: $29.90/year after the first year – Connectivity: Bluetooth, GPS, LTE

Invoxia’s Cellular GPS Tracker has a discreet design resembling a USB drive. It offers LTE and GPS connectivity, with a battery that can last up to four months. The device itself costs $129 and includes a year’s worth of service. After the first year, there is an annual service fee of $29.90.

The tracker proved invaluable in a family camping trip for Johannes Larsson, founder and CEO of Financer. When his youngest child strayed from the campsite, the Invoxia Tracker’s real-time tracking feature helped pinpoint his location to a nearby stream. The tracker can also send location alerts and features an emergency button. The device is better suited for placement in a backpack due to its size.

Garmin Bounce

Best smartwatch GPS tracker for kids

Garmin Bounce

Pros: – Color touchscreen display – Low monthly cost – Loaded with features and tracking

Cons: – Battery life isn’t great

Garmin Bounce specs: – Price: $140 – Battery life: Two days – Real-time tracking: Yes – Monthly cost: $10/month – Connectivity: Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-Fi, LTE

Garmin’s Bounce is a feature-rich kids’ smartwatch released in late 2022. It offers real-time location tracking, communication features, health and sleep tracking, and interactive games. Parents can view their child’s current location on the Garmin app and receive notifications when the child leaves designated areas. LTE connectivity enables two-way texting and voice messaging with parent-approved contacts. The watch also includes health metrics and activity-related games.

SyncUp Kids Watch

Best T-Mobile GPS tracker for kids

SyncUp Kids Watch

Pros: – Camera and task manager included – Easy and fun for kids to use – Free with service plan

Cons: – $10/month for service

SyncUp Kids Watch specs: – Price: $174 – Battery life: Up to a week – Real-time tracking: Yes – Monthly cost: No – Connectivity: 4G LTE

The SyncUp Kids Watch from T-Mobile is a wearable gadget that costs $174, but it can be obtained for free when adding a line to your account. It features a camera, messaging capabilities, a task manager, and a playful interface. The watch includes a “School Mode” to limit distractions during class time.

Verizon Gizmo Watch Disney Edition

Best Verizon GPS tracker for kids

Verizon Gizmo Watch Disney Edition

Pros: – School mode – Real-time tracking – Video calling

Cons: – LTE connectivity costs extra

Verizon Gizmo Watch Disney Edition specs: – Price: $200, plus a $35 activation fee – Battery life: Up to three days (standby) or 1.5 days of constant use – Real-time tracking: Yes – Monthly cost: No – Connectivity: GPS, Cellular

Verizon’s Gizmo Watch Disney Edition features animated characters from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars. It includes real-time tracking, video calling, messaging, and a built-in camera. Parents can add up to 10 trusted contacts, set up tasks, and enable school mode to restrict usage during school hours.

Xplora X5 Play

Best GPS tracker for kids for active play

Xplora X5 Play

Pros: – Camera – SOS button – Three different color options

Cons: – SIM card sold separately – Battery life drains quickly

Xplora X5 Play specs: – Price: $150 – Battery life: 72 hours (on standby) – Real-time tracking: Yes – Monthly cost: $7.99/month – Connectivity: Cellular, Wi-Fi, GPS

The Xplora X5 Play watch uses GPS, active Wi-Fi, and GSM triangulation for real-time location tracking. It offers geofencing, voice calling, text messaging, SOS mode, a camera, and activity tracking. Kids can earn virtual currency for completing steps and meeting activity goals.

Comparison of GPS tracker features:

GPS Tracker Device Price Battery Life Real-time Tracking?
Jiobit Smart Tag $130 One week Yes
Apple AirTag $29 One year No
Invoxia Cellular $129 Four months Yes
Garmin Bounce $140 Two days Yes
SyncUp Kids Watch $174 One week Yes
Verizon Gizmo Watch $200 Three days Yes
Xplora X5 Play $150 72 hours Yes

Choosing the Right GPS Tracker for You

If money isn’t a concern, the Jiobit Smart Tag is the best option overall, designed specifically for kids and offering real-time tracking. However, other options on this list also offer great features and may better suit your needs.

Here are some recommendations:

  • Jiobit Smart Tag: The best overall option designed specifically for kids, with an emergency button feature.
  • Apple AirTag: An Apple-friendly product with no monthly fee and a long-lasting battery.
  • Invoxia Cellular GPS Tracker: A discreet-looking tracker that provides real-time tracking.
  • Garmin Bounce: A smartwatch loaded with features and real-time tracking.
  • SyncUp Kids Watch: A wearable watch for kids under T-Mobile, available for free with a service plan.
  • Verizon Gizmo Watch Disney Edition: A wearable watch for kids under Verizon with video calling capabilities.
  • Xplora X5 Play: A GPS watch that encourages kids to stay active and offers fun rewards.

How Did We Choose These GPS Trackers and Devices?

We selected these GPS trackers and devices for kids through a combination of research, personal experience, and consultations with experts and parents. We considered privacy features, real-time tracking capabilities, battery life, and pricing when making our top picks.

Privacy Concerns

Privacy concerns and the ethical implications of GPS tracking are important considerations, especially when it comes to tracking children. Parents have expressed mixed feelings about the invasion of privacy that tracking devices may bring, despite the desire to ensure their child’s safety.

Regardless of the chosen option, it’s crucial to take measures to protect your child’s data and privacy. When setting up an account, use unique and secure passwords and review the company’s privacy policy for any potential data sharing practices.

Monthly Fees

Unfortunately, many GPS trackers and devices for kids require additional monthly subscription payments. This extra cost should be considered when making a final decision.

Alternative Options

If the options mentioned above do not meet your needs, there are other GPS trackers available on the market. However, it’s important to choose a device that offers efficient functionality at a reasonable price.

We hope this comprehensive guide helps you find the best GPS tracker or device for your child’s safety and your peace of mind. Remember to consider the features and priorities that matter most to you and your family. Stay connected and keep your little ones safe!