Awesome ways to track and protect your kids 24/7

Kids and safety go hand in hand. Whether you’re trying to hone in on a lost child’s location or keep track of your kids in their neighborhood, a GPS tracker can work for you. Much like vehicle GPS trackers keep tabs on your car, the best kids GPS trackers give you the 411 on your child at all times. My favorite unit is Tracki Mini. It’s a small, portable tracking device you can tuck in your child’s pocket or backpack to keep an eye on them all day. That’s not the only tracker I favor. Check out this list of some of the best kids’ GPS trackers out today.

Best Overall: Tracki Mini

The Tracki Mini works in real-time, offering unlimited distance tracking around the world. When you pop in the included international SIM card, you can keep an eye on kids anywhere on the planet. It can also track luggage, keys, valuables, and more. The Tracki Mini so impresses me that I’ve also given it high marks as one of the best vehicle GPS trackers of the year.

The Tracki Mini is small and lightweight, making it ideal for attaching to kids’ belts, tossing in a backpack, or sliding on a lanyard. Battery life is two to three days when monitoring in real-time. If you check less often, the battery holds out for an entire month. There’s a service fee with this model. Short-term users, like those using the Tracki Mini only while on vacation, will pay a bit more than families that commit to long-term plans. The Tracki Mini is tiny, accurate, syncs to your smartphone, and works perfectly inside and outside.

Pros:

  • Small
  • Real-time tracking
  • Fits on a lanyard
  • Tracks anything
  • App support: Android and iOS

Cons:

  • Requires monthly service plan
  • In real-time mode, battery lasts only 3 days

Best Overall

Tracki Mini

Perfectly priced GPS tracker

The Tracki Mini is small, works around the world, and is priced right.

Runner Up: Jiobit Smart Tag

Encryption and privacy are things we all worry about, and with good reason. The Jiobit offers unmatched security and encryption, meeting US-government standards. With the Jiobit Smart Tag, you keep track of your kid’s movements, but hackers cannot.

Jiobit works over cellular, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS. Even so, it does require a subscription plan, which you can purchase on an as-needed basis or as a two-year commitment. All data plans come with unlimited cellular. With the Jiobit, you’ll get real-time tracking in a water-resistant, kid-proof GPS tracker.

The modular design of the Jiobit lends itself well to wearing a multitude of ways. Attach it to a waistband, on buttonholes, over shoelaces, or in a backpack. You receive notifications about your child’s location, and GPS tracking is accurate wherever it’s used.

Pros:

  • Numerous ways to wear it
  • Government-level encryption
  • Geofences and alerts
  • One-week battery charge
  • Uses cellular, Bluetooth, GPS, and Wi-Fi

Cons:

  • Subscription required

Runner Up

Jiobit Smart Tag

Encrypted tracking

With Jiobit, you get government-level encryption and real-time tracking in a portable, water-resistant unit.

Best Smartwatch: TickTalk 3

Younger kids will love having their own smartwatch. The TickTalk 3 blends the best of adult smartwatches with the GPS tracking features of non-wearables. Strapping a watch to your child’s wrist is one of the easiest ways for you to ensure they’ll keep their GPS tracker powered on and with them at all times.

The TickTalk 3 has 4G LTE, Wi-Fi calling, smart messaging, and does an excellent job of location tracking. It works like a standalone smartphone but is designed just for kids up to age 12. You can add a line to your cell plan to power the TickTalk or pay a small monthly fee for prepaid service from RedPocket.

The TickTalk 3 comes with a replaceable nylon sport band. The band and the watch are IP67 water-resistant, so it’s safe to wear in the rain or around the pool. Kids can make 2-way video calls to check in with parents, and adults can monitor a child’s route with the free locator app. The only downside is the short battery life. The TickTalk 3 holds out for about one day. If you’re OK with plugging this smartwatch in nightly, this is one of the best kids’ GPS trackers.

Pros:

  • Accurate GPS
  • Fun smartwatch look
  • 2-way video calling
  • Lots of color choices
  • Quick to charge

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Battery lasts one day

Best Smartwatch

TickTalk 3

Beginner smartwatch

The TickTalk 3 is waterproof, accurate, and has basic smartwatch features for younger kids.

Data Included: Invoxia Cellular GPS Tracker

It looks like a small thumb drive, but it’s really one of the best kids’ GPS trackers. With 4G LTE, the Invoxia Cellular GPS Tracker works anywhere in the United States.

This is a standalone device that takes one hour to charge. Once the battery is topped off, it lasts as long as four months. Using the free app, you can track children, cars, or valuables in real-time as they travel from place to place.

Set up geofencing and get alerted by text or email when your child leaves a specific area, like your backyard or a playground. Invoxia also works with IFTTT to send custom alerts to multiple devices. My only gripe is that the Invoxia comes with a wrist lanyard that doesn’t work well for kids. You can make a neck lanyard or place the included string around a belt or backpack loop. It’s not difficult, but you’ll need to be a little creative with attaching this unit to anyone or anything.

Pros:

  • 4 months of tracking per battery charge
  • Data included for two years
  • 4G LTE
  • Multipurpose
  • Connects with IFTTT

Cons:

  • US-based only
  • Need to be creative with attaching

Data Included

Invoxia Cellular GPS Tracker

No hidden fees

The Invoxia comes with one or two years of free data and accurately tracks kids on the move.

Best for Older Kids: Apple Watch 6

For older kids or those who take care of their tech, the best kids’ GPS tracker is the Apple Watch 6. Even children who don’t own an iPhone can use the Apple Watch as a GPS tracker by adding it to Apple’s new Family Setup on your device.

With the Apple Watch, kids can monitor fitness goals, use the walkie-talkie feature to communicate with you or friends, receive Apple Cash, listen to music, and download apps. And you can also get an up-to-date look at where your child is at any given time.

The Apple Watch is pricey, yes, but it’s still the best smartwatch out today. If you have a child who’s getting an iPhone soon or you prefer to stay within the familiar Apple ecosystem, the Apple Watch is easy-to-use and beautiful on any size wrist.

Pros:

  • Beautifully designed
  • No need for an iPhone
  • Tracks accurately
  • Smartwatch features

Cons:

  • Pricey

Best for Older Kids

Apple Watch 6

Best smartwatch on the market

Kids don’t need an iPhone to be tracked with the Apple Watch 6, plus they can play games, listen to music, and more.

Bottom line

There are a lot of outstanding GPS units on the market. The best GPS tracker for kids is the Tracki Mini. It’s a small, magnetic unit that attaches to belts or lanyards or fits in a pocket or backpack.

The Tracki Mini works around the world, thanks to the included international SIM card. Parents can monitor kids’ locations in real-time via a free app. When used continuously, the battery will last up to three days. If you track sporadically, you can get nearly a month out of the battery. If you’re using the Tracki Mini to keep an eye on kids playing from day to day, a good USB charger will help you get the most out of the battery.

This is the best choice for kids of all ages. With a magnet on the bottom, you can stick the Tracki to the underside of a teen’s car just as easily as you can put it on the belt loop of a toddler. The Tracki is reliable, easy to use, and surprisingly affordable.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Jodi Owan works behind a camera and a keyboard. Find her on Instagram and her website.

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