Would you get your kid one of these smart watches?
We take a look at 3 really cool smart watches for kids.
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We're living in a technology driven world and it's a fact that we can't deny. No matter how much we want things to be like the good old days, kids are actually more adept at technology than some adults. 

I am pretty relaxed when it comes to my 3-year-old exploring the world. Sure, I stand there with my heart in my throat as he climbs higher and higher on the jungle gym. But how else is he going to learn to be careful? 

There are two things that I draw a very hard line at - him being strapped into a car seat whenever he's in a vehicle and always having my eyes and hands on him when we're out in public, because child abductions are a very real thing. So if there is tech out there to put my mind at ease about my child's safety, I am all about that.

We take a look at 3 smart watches that can help improve your kids lives from safety to getting them moving and teaching them about time management.

1. GPS Kid Tracker Smart Wristwatch

How it works:

The GPS smart watch is worn by kids but synced up to their parents’ smartphones. Through a downloadable app, the parents can track where their children are, send alerts like “dinner’s ready,” or even dial the smart watch to talk to them.

Features:

  • GPS and LBS dual-locating function
  • Electronic fence function: sends an alert if a child leaves the preset area
  • Remote monitoring: high-sensitivity mic lets parents listen in to children’s surroundings
  • Two-way communication: parents can dial the watch and kids can call their parents
  • Fitness tracker: stores 3 months’ worth of steps data

I'm not sure how much my son needs a step counter at this point in his life seeing as his main method of transport is running. And also, I laugh at the notion that our house will ever be that big that he can't hear me shouting that dinner is ready. But the other functions of this watch would really put my mind at ease.

Price: $60 (around R860) from their website.

2. The LeapBand

The Leapband is designed to get your kids moving.

How it works:

Your kid picks a virtual pet to level up and take of by doing various physical activities. 

Features:

  • Comes pre-loaded with 14 chanllenges
  • In LeapFrog Connect, parents can set up to 36 LeapBand challenges such as “Jump like a frog" and “Walk like a crab" to get kids active.*
  • Manage play times with School/Quiet modes.
  • Teaches Food & Nutrition, Gross Motor Skills and Health & Hygiene
  • Includes rechargeable battery
  • Water-resistant design
  • Hi-res screen

I like the idea of technology getting your kids moving, because if we're honest kids would rather just veg in front of the TV, computer or their phones. It's cool how they've paired taking care of a virtual pet (anyone remember Tamagotchi's?) by having the kids do healthy activities to keep them alive.

    The LeapBand is available from TAKEALOT for R369

    3. Octopus Watch

    The Octopus Watch is the first icon based watch that teaches kids good habits, routine and the concept of time.

    How it works:

    The watch syncs to the accompanying app on the parent's smartphone where you can set up a schedule for your kids. Because it's icon based even little kids who can't read yet can benefit from the watch. While it is fun for the kids, they've kept the level of distraction low. It’s a tool, not a toy!

    There is an optional gamification feature built into the system. If it is turned on, your kid will be able to unlock virtual rewards such as special badges based on their progress. I highly believe in gamification when it comes to getting kids to do things that they'd rather not. Like Mary Poppins said, just a spoon full of sugar...

    Features:

    • It's a watch. It gives the time with icons, making it the first clock that young kids can actually read and understand. It links time to events.
    • A scheduler. It's a scheduler for children that fosters responsibility, independence and self-esteem. Parents can program reminders from their smartphone that pop up on the kid's watch.
    • An assistant. It's an assistant that helps parents prioritize expectations and stay consistent with daily routines. It gives tips and personal notes.
    • It comes in four different colours: grey, blue, green and pink.

    You can pre-order the Octopus Watch from the IndieGoGo campaign page for $70 (about R1000)

    What do you think about smart watches for kids? Are they really necessary or a cool innovation? Send your thoughts to chatback@parent24.com.

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