Your kids want a smartwatch? Android Wear isn't where you start.

Best overall

VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX

Vtech KidZoom

Find on Amazon

Instead of a tool for connecting to a smartphone, VTech created an experience that is mostly toy but partially useful. Amid all the games and onboard camera tricks you'll find a functional calendar for appointments, a voice memo app, and several other tools that work well with the smartwatch aesthetic. This is a great way to get kids thinking about using technology for more than entertainment, without completely pulling them away from the shiny world of fun things.

Bottom line: If you have a youngster who wants a smartwatch just like you, this is a fantastic place to start.

One more thing: This watch comes in Blue and Purple, depending on what color you think your child will prefer.

Why VTech Kidizoom is the best

Smartwatches are already luxury accessories, and for kids they become little more than toys. VTech's smartwatch for kids has a few games, but also lets them take photos from their wrist and have some fun with the photos. It's a fun way for a kid to emulate their smartwatch-wearing parent without needing to be tethered to a smartphone, and it actually includes some tools that could be useful. Calendar access, for example, gives you an teaching opportunity. Calculator apps let children explore math on their own. There's plenty of fun to be had here, but the need to charge the watch regularly in order to use it and the availability of actually useful apps could become tools for teaching children how to care for their hardware and use it properly.

Best value

Supvin U80 Smartwatch

U80

Find on Amazon

U80 is a barebones traditional smartwatch. It pairs to a phone via Bluetooth 4.0 and acts as notification sync. It's a limited experience, but one that covers the basics of smartwatch use and fitness or sleep tracking. It's simple, and the biggest feature here is the price. If you're looking for a very basic smartwatch, this is where you start.

Bottom line: This is the beginner smartwatch you buy for a kid on their first smartphone, who really wants something inexpensive.

Only on AT&T

FiLIP 2

FiLIP 2

Find on AT&T

FiLIP 2 is less about giving your child a cool watch full of features and more about giving your child a one-way phone they can strap to their wrist so you can reach them and track them as you desire. The FiLIP app allows you to send one-way text messages and track the GPS in the watch, and because the watch has a phone number you can call to check in whenever necessary. For the child, it's a fairly simple watch with an emergency button that calls each of the contacts built in to the watch while recording the background audio just in case.

Bottom line: This is more or less a tracking bracelet for a child you don't trust with a phone.

Only on Verizon

GizmoPal 2

GizmoPal 2

Find on Verizon Wireless

LG's GizmoPal 2 is a wrist-mounted phone with some simple features for both parents and children. For kids, pre-programmed messages and emoji can be sent to a list of approved contacts. Two-way calling ensures your child can reach and be reached when necessary, and there's a fitness function onboard for jump rope or step counting. The big feature for parents is real-time tracking through the Android app, which gives you GPS coordinates and offers notifications if your child strays from GPS boundaries you have set up.

Bottom line: This is a simple, friendly watch for kids who aren't ready for their first phone yet.

Conclusion

While there are certainly some great Android Wear watches out there, these are the best options for most kids. VTech offers a great fun accessory that doesn't require a phone. U80 is an inexpensive way to offer base smartwatch features. If you'd prefer the smartwatch be more for your peace of mind than your child's entertainment, AT&T and Verizon have you covered with the FiLIP 2 and GizmoPal 2 exclusives.

Best overall

VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX

Vtech KidZoom

Find on Amazon

Instead of a tool for connecting to a smartphone, VTech created an experience that is mostly toy but partially useful. Amid all the games and onboard camera tricks you'll find a functional calendar for appointments, a voice memo app, and several other tools that work well with the smartwatch aesthetic. This is a great way to get kids thinking about using technology for more than entertainment, without completely pulling them away from the shiny world of fun things.

Bottom line: If you have a youngster who wants a smartwatch just like you, this is a fantastic place to start.

One more thing: This watch comes in Blue and Purple, depending on what color you think your child will prefer.