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Best GPS tracker for kids to keep your child safe

Keep an eye on your child from afar with our selection of the best GPS trackers for kids, ranging from mobile apps to smart watches with many features such as making and receiving calls and tracking fitness

Best GPS trackers for kids
Published: July 12, 2022 at 12:30 pm

There's nothing more important than knowing your child is safe. With a GPS tracker you can check that they are where they're meant to be, and keep an eye on their movement. If you feel your child is too young to have a smartphone, some of the GPS smartwatches featured in this list allow your child to call you or even the emergency services if they feel they are in danger or need your help. If safety is a concern, these tracker can offer a simple way to keep tabs on or get in touch with your child whilst they're out and about, without giving them a smartphone (thus access to the internet and social media).

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Obviously, there is plenty of debate around the concept of tracking your child. You must be careful that you don't break the trust you've built with them, but if you've decided that you'd like the reassurance of knowing where they are, there are multiple options that offer different ways to track.

If your child is old enough to have a smartphone, then the best option may be an app where they can voluntarily share their location with you if they so wish to do so.

If you decide you want a GPS tracker for your child, we have compiled a list of the very best GPS trackers for kids on the market, and have asked other parents whether they track their kids and if so what device they use.

Best GPS trackers for kids at a glance

  • Best GPS tracker for special needs: AngelSense Personal GPS Tracker, from £59 (+£25 a month subscription)
  • Best budget GPS tracker: Spacetalk Kids Watch, from £8 a month
  • Best GPS tracker app for older kids: Find My Friends, free
  • Best GPS tracker for rewarding physical activity: Xplora X5 Play Kid's Smartwatch, from £159
  • Best GPS tracker for versatility: Apple Air Tags, £29
  • Best GPS app for extra safety features: Liefe360, free
  • Best GPS tracker for battery life: Weenect, from £49.99
  • Best GPS tracker for younger kids: Vodafone V-Kids Smartwatch, from £32.39
  • Best GPS tracker for accuracy of locations: SFL 4G Smartwatch for kids, from £119.99
  • Best GPS tracker for video calling: Moochie Connect Smartwatch, from £79.99

What to consider when choosing a GPS tracker

Ability to make calls – If you want to be able to get in touch with your children as well as being able to see your child's location, then make sure you look for a GPS tracking device that allows calls. Some even allow video calls and text messages too.

Alerts/SOS button – To give you peace of mind an SOS button allows your child to alert you when they're in danger. Some even connect straight to emergency services.

Subscription costs – A good amount of the GPS trackers available come with a monthly subscription so as well as considering the upfront cost of the device, make sure you consider the added monthly cost too before purchasing.

Battery life – Always take a look at the battery life of the device. Some have a very long battery life – up to a year – whereas some only last a few days. If you don't want to have to keep charging it up then go for an option that will last longer.

Range – We have only included GPS trackers that can locate your child no matter how far away they are. However, there are slightly cheaper GPS trackers that can only track across a certain distance. Although this isn't practical for general use, they can come in handy when you're out and about with a very young child who has a tendency to run off: at a theme park or zoo, for example, or even in a supermarket.

Added features – Some of the GPS trackers are smartwatches too, meaning they come with lots of added features such as video calls, text messaging, games, camera and many more. If you want to spend a bit more, and don't just want a tracking device, then take a look at the fun smartwatch options.

Our pick of the best GPS trackers for kids

1. AngelSense Personal GPS Tracker, £59 and £25 per month

– Best for children with special needs

AngelSense Personal GPS Tracker

Ability to make calls: Yes | Alerts: Yes | SOS button: Yes | Ability to play games: No | Subscription required: Yes | Battery life: Approx. 48 hours

This GPS tracker is designed for children with sensory sensitivities. It can be worn in many different ways, in a sensory-friendly sleeve, or with optional extras as a watch, undershirt or belt. It's also non-removable without the special parent key, so your child can't just take it off.

The assistive speakerphone allows you to talk to your child during an emergency and the SOS call request button alerts you immediately if your child is in trouble. You can also set it up so that you get immediate alerts for unfamiliar places, late arrivals and any other things you wish to flag.

Although the upfront cost is only £59 you do need to consider the monthly costs (from £25) that come with it. Most of the devices on this list do require a subscription but this one is quite pricey, so you'll need to consider if it is worth it for your particular situation.

Pros: Can make calls, great for children with sensory sensitivities
Cons: Expensive monthly subscription, fairly short battery life

Available from: Amazon and AngelSense

2. SPACETALK Kids Watch, from £8 a month or £159 upfront + £3 a month

– Best budget buy

Spacetalk Kids Watch

Ability to make calls: Yes | Alerts: Yes | SOS button: Yes | Ability to play games: No | Subscription required: Yes | Battery life: Approx. 24 hours

This stylish smartwatch GPS tracker comes in teal, pink or silver and is a great value device. With Sky, there is no upfront cost and it only costs £8 a month, making it great value when compared to all the other smartwatch devices that have a high upfront cost and a monthly subscription on top.

It has all the benefits of a 3G mobile phone without the dangers that come with social media and the internet. You can manage your child's watch using your Spacetalk app. You can create a list of contacts your child can make and receive calls and SMS messages. You can also view location history, set alarms and enable school mode to make sure the watch isn't a distraction during lessons.

The SOS alert can be sent to you and straight to emergency services.

With the help of safe zones, you can get alerts to inform you when your child leaves the safe zones. The actual watch has a scratch-resistant glass touch screen and a hypoallergenic silicone band. Although the watch is dust, splash and water resistant, it is not swim proof.

Pros: Ability to make calls, good value monthly subscription, school mode
Cons: Fairly short battery life

Available from: Sky, Currys and Amazon

3. Find My Friends, Free for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

– Best app for older kids

Find My Friends

Ability to make calls: No (can use phone but not directly through app) | Alerts: Yes | SOS button: No | Ability to play games: No | Subscription required: No | Battery life: Device battery life

For older kids who already have a smart phone, you may not want to buy a device and could just get them to download an app instead. Find My Friends is a good option for this, but it's worth noting it is only compatible with Apple products.

With the app you can set up your whole family so you can all track where each family member is (if that's what you want). You can also set it to get notifications based on your child's locations. As a parent you can also apply parental settings on their device. For privacy, you don't have to share location permanently, you can share it temporarily when it makes sense for your family.

One big downside of using an app is that your child can easily switch it off if they don't want you seeing their location. An iPhone battery doesn't last as long as some of the other devices in list list, and if your child's phone runs out of charge then you won't be able to see their location.

Pros: Free, can share location temporarily
Cons: Only works for Apple products, child can turn location off

Available from: App store

4. Xplora X5 Play Kid's Smartwatch, £159

– Best for rewarding physical activity

Xplora X5 Play Kid's Smartwatch

Ability to make calls: Yes | Alerts: Yes | SOS button: Yes | Ability to play games: No | Subscription required: Yes (sim card) | Battery life: Approx. 72 hours

The Xplora X5 Play is a great GPS tracker, but it also has so many other features that make it a fantastic smartwatch in general. It allows your child to make and receive calls from 50 pre-approved contacts and they can respond with text, voice messages and emojis. There's also a built-in 2 MP camera with storage space for over 1000 images to capture all your child's adventures.

One unique feature that's really great is it encourages your child to stay active: using the Goplay platform your child can play games which reward them for being active. 1,000 steps converts to 1 Xplora coin which can be exchanged in the Xplora Goplay Store for game time or physical rewards, such as toys and craft materials.

The GPS features have safety zones and a school mode to stop the watch distracting your child. There's also an SOS button that will call all the primary and secondary contacts set in the app. The watch is also water resistant.

It is quite an expensive watch, and to activate the calling and messaging features it does need a sim card.

Pros: Can make calls, has a camera and rewards for staying active
Cons: Fairly expensive

Available from: Very, Currys and John Lewis

5. Apple Air Tags, £29

– Best for versatility

Apple Air Tags

Ability to make calls: No| Alerts: Yes | SOS button: No | Ability to play games: No | Subscription required: No | Battery life: Approx. 1 year

Apple Air Tags can be used to track your child, purse, pet or anything else important. Its precision finding shows you directions and distance to whatever item or person is wearing the air tag.

The AirTag works by using the Find My Network on iPhones, and uses hundred of millions of Apple devices around the world to track the air tag. Although this doesn't sound great privacy wise, there's no reason to worry as the location and user data is encrypted so not even Apple knows your location and identity of the air tag.

They are so simple to use, instantly connecting to your iPhone or iPad with a one-tap setup.

Another great thing about using an Air Tag to track your child is the battery lasts up to 1 year so there is no need to worry about it running out of battery. However, you can't just charge it, it does require a whole new battery.

Parent tester Emily, mum of 3 also uses this to track their 2 and 4 year old and likes that they're discreet and they make a noise to track them if they've been dropped or lost.

Pros: 1 year battery life, great price and very easy to use
Cons: No SOS button, doesn't have some of the safety features other devices do, very basic tracking

Available from: Amazon, John Lewis and Currys

6. Life360, free

– Best app for extra safety features

Life360

Ability to make calls: No (can use phone but not directly through app) | Alerts: Yes | SOS button: Yes | Ability to play games: No | Subscription required: Optional| Battery life: Device battery life

Like Find My Friends, this is also a GPS tracking app. However, Life360 can be used on any smartphone, not just Apple. It also has a lot more safety features than Find My Friends.

Although, as it still is a phone app, it does mean your child needs to be old enough to have a smartphone and as with Find My Friends, they can turn their location off or if their phone dies you will not be able to see their location. Therefore, it is not 100% reliable.

The benefits of the app include the fact you can be notified as people come and go from most frequented spots, and you can navigate directly to someone in your circle. You can also view their history and past routes/trips. You can also set safe zones and it has an SOS button to notify your emergency contacts and emergency services.

You can pay extra for a membership for the whole family to unlock exclusive features.

Parent tester Cat, mum of 2 uses Life360 with their 11 year old daughter and likes how reliable it is. "The best thing is you can save 2 addresses and know when they arrive and leave those places, so it's ideal for knowing she's left school on time or arrived when she has to make her own way," said Cat.

Pros: Free app, has an SOS button on the app, can have the whole family connected
Cons: Can turn location off, does not work if phone is dead, child needs to be old enough to have a smart phone

Available from: App Store and Google Play

7. Weenect, £49.99 (subscription from £3.75 a month)

– Best for battery life

Weenect

Ability to make calls: Only emergency | Alerts: Yes | SOS button: Yes | Ability to play games: No | Subscription required: Yes| Battery life: Approx. 7 days

Weenect's handy device has no distance limit and with its 7 day battery life it's very reliable and you can rest assured you will always be able to see your child's location. It also has a handy SOS button with 10 emergency calls a month included in the subscription.

You can set up safe zone entry and exit notifications to be automatically notified when your child may be somewhere they shouldn't. History of their previous movements is also available so you can look back and check their routes.

It has a medium upfront cost with a low monthly subscription cost starting from just £3.75 a month.

Pros: Very long battery life, can make calls and low monthly subscription cost
Cons: Only get 10 calls a month so can only be used for emergencies not general calls to check-in

Available from: Amazon

8. Vodafone V-Kids Smartwatch, from £32.39 (+ £4 a month subscription)

– Best for younger kids

Vodafone V-Kids Smartwatch

Ability to make calls: Voice notes up to 30 seconds | Alerts: Yes | SOS button: Yes | Ability to play games: Yes | Subscription required: Yes| Battery life: Approx. 3 days

This fun smartwatch is fantastic for younger kids thanks to it's chunky and robust design. The watch connects with Vodafone's TCLMOVE app where your child can send alerts to your smartphone via the SOS button on their watch.

The Safe Zones feature will send you alerts if your child's location leaves the safe zones you have previously specified.

It has a 3 day battery life, meaning it doesn't have to be charged every day, however, it is shorter than other devices such as the Weenect.

As the watch used a Vodafone sim it means it doesn't just rely on Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

Your child can also stay in touch with you by sending voice messages up to 30 seconds. Although it doesn't act like a phone like some of the other smartwatches, it is still a great feature to enable you and your child to check in on each other.

With Vodafone's fixed £4 a month sim deal and a fairly low upfront cost this watch is great value with the ability to play games too.

Pros: Has a fairly good battery life, chunky and robust design and can send voice notes to ensure safe
Cons: Does not have the regular phone ability

Available from: Amazon

9. SFL 4G Smartwatch for Kids, £119.99

– Best for accuracy of location

SFL 4G Smartwatch for Kids

Ability to make calls: Yes | Alerts: Yes | SOS button: Yes | Ability to play games: Yes | Subscription required: Sim card needed | Battery life: Approx. 3 days on standby mode

This is another fun smartwatch that has excellent accuracy when tracking your child. It uses a 4G signal, GPS, acceleration sensor and gravity sensor to locate your child. This allows you to see their exact location with a precision of 200m indoor and 20m outdoor. In the very best conditions it can even get to as accurate as 10m.

The accuracy isn't the only great thing about this watch, as most of the others on this list, it also allows you to make calls anytime, including video calls thanks to its 0.3mp camera.

The SOS button, will dial 3 numbers in 2 cycles and send a notification to the app or call an emergency service when needed. It also has a handy electronic fence function that will send a notification to your phone when your child is out of range. It's possible to shield calls from strangers too.

The battery should last for up to 3 days and only takes an hour to charge when it does need a top up. The watch is waterproof and can withstand washing hands and rain.

It has lots of additional features such as games, calculator, a way to access their class timetable and more. If their friends have the same watch they can gently tap the watches and pair up.

Pros: Fairly long battery life, very accurate location and lots of added features such as video calling
Cons: Quite expensive if just being used as a tracker

Available from: Smartwatch For Less

10. Moochies Connect Smartwatch, £79.99 (+ subscription)

– Best for customising

Moochies Connect Smartwatch

Ability to make calls: Yes and video calls | Alerts: Yes | SOS button: Yes | Ability to play games: No | Subscription required: Yes | Battery life: Approx. 3 days

With the many watch straps you can buy and easily attach, this watch can be customised to perfectly suit your child's style and personality.

You can see your child's location anywhere in the world, making it great for if they're on school trips abroad without you. The SOS function, like the other watches lets you know when there is an emergency and will immediately call the contacts set. The watch has no social media and browser, making it safe and secure.

You can text, voice message, call and video call your child to check in and make sure they're okay. The camera is a great feature on the watch for them to capture all the amazing memories they make.

This watch is more than just waterproof, it can take up to 1.5m depth of water for 30 minutes, allowing your child to play in the water without having to worry.

Another great thing is you're not locked into the contract, you can leave at any point. It also has a battery life of up to 3 days so shouldn't need to worry about it dying on you everyday.

One downside is that the monthly sim card subscriptions do start from £10 a month which is quite high for a kids smartwatch but might be worth it for their safety and all the added features.

Pros: waterproof, customisable strap, video call ability and no lock-in contract
Cons: The sim card deals are quite pricey

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Available from: Amazon

How did we choose our 10 of the Best?

When testing and selecting the best GPS trackers for kids, we considered features such as an SOS button, ability to make calls, receive alerts as well as battery life.

Our 10 of the Best lists are compiled by qualified and experienced parenting journalists. They rely on a number of sources, including our independent reviews, testing undertaken during the MadeForMums Awards, and feedback from our home testing panel and Top Testers Club. Each year thousands of products are put through their paces by hundreds of parents across the country on behalf of MadeForMums, to ensure we’re bringing you honest and true reviews and recommendations.

Our list is not an ordered ranking from 1-10, instead it is a carefully selected group of tried-and-tested products, each of which we believe is best for a different situation or requirement. We don't just tell you what is best, we help you discover what is best for your family.

About the author

Chloe is a Digital Reviews Writer and Coordinator for Immediate Media's Parenting team. She researches and writes articles, recommending the best products for parents, ranging from best sleep aids to best playpens. She has a First-Class Honours Psychology degree where she developed a strong interest in child development.

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