We tested kids GPS trackers—including kids smartwatches—to bring you our top five faves.
Want to keep your little one safe at school, play, and everywhere in between? We think Jiobit is the best kids’ GPS tracker. Jiobit's parent app provides you with frequent updates and virtual fence capabilities so you can see your kids arrive safely at school and friends’ houses.
But Jiobit's not as feature-rich as some of the other kids GPS trackers on the market, so we'll introduce you to our other favorites too.
Looking specifically for smartwatches? Check out our review of the best kids smartwatches.
Top 5 GPS trackers for kids
- : Best overall
- : Best for kids with disabilities
- : Budget pick
- : Smartwatch pick
- : Best for crowded events
Compare best GPS trackers for kids
Max. battery life
|Best overall||$149.99||$8.99/mo.||240 hours|
|View on Amazon||Read review|
|Best for kids with disabilities||$69.00 (sale price)||$39.99/mo.||24 hours|
|View on Angelsense||Read review|
|Best for budgets||$79.00||$3.99/mo.||30 days|
|View on Amazon||Read review|
|Smartwatch pick||$199.99||$10.00/mo.||62 hours|
|View on Amazon||Read review|
|Best for crowded events||$28.99||N/A||1 year|
|View on Amazon||Read review|
Video: Best Kids GPS Trackers Roundup
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1. Jiobit Next: Best overall
The Jiobit Next GPS tracker for kids stands out for its 10-day battery life, learning technology, and small size. Its data is protected by multiple layers of encryption, and Jiobit's the only COPPA-certified device on our list.1,2
What's new in the Jiobit Next
The Oreo-sized Jiobit Next improves on the original Jiobit with a longer battery life—up to 10 days versus 7 days—and 5G low-power network connectivity that puts less strain on the battery. This means you can check on your kid's whereabouts more often without sapping the battery.
Jiobit's latest iteration also features antenna technology for more accurate indoor location-tracking, plus a new belt or backpack clip.
Jiobit Next learns your child's routine
Jiobit Next has learning technology that will remember your child’s routines, routes, and regular locations. That means Jiobit knows if your child goes somewhere they aren't supposed to or doesn't arrive where they need to be, and you'll get an alert on your phone.
What's missing from the Jiobit Next
There’s no speaker in either Jiobit model, so your child can’t talk to you if they need help, and you can’t listen in to make sure they’re okay. Check out AngelSense or TickTalk 4 for two-way talk.
Learn more by reading our in-depth Jiobit review.
2. AngelSense Kids’ GPS tracker: Best for kids with disabilities
AngelSense GPS tracker was created with one purpose in mind: to help protect children with disabilities such as autism. But it works for any little ones.
Its comfortable design won’t interfere with your kiddo’s range of motion. And it locks tight onto school bags or clothes to stay with them from home to bus to classroom and beyond.
Beyond plenty of tracking capabilities—from safety-zone setup to 10-second updates—AngelSense’s Listen-In function lets parents listen to how their child’s day is going, ensuring they’re not mistreated, neglected, or lost.
With AngelCall two-way voice, you can talk to your child at any time, and they don’t need to worry about buttons or clicking on anything to chat. Plus, you can see what your child has been up to with diary logs that input data every 30 seconds.
AngelSense’s great features do come at a price. Plans start around $30 and go up from there, depending on whether you pay up front or in installments.
This wearable GPS tracker isn't just for kids, either. We recommend AngelSense for people with dementia prone to wandering off.
Read our full review of AngelSense.
Standout feature: Regular updates
AngelSense sends consistent updates throughout your day, so you can feel assured of your child's safety. Check in, listen in, and hold onto your peace of mind while your kids go about their day.
3. Tack GPS tracker: Budget pick
The Tack GPS Tracker costs a little more than AngelSense upfront, but it's our budget pick thanks to a $3.99 monthly fee.
But in many ways, you get what you pay for with this super-simple GPS tracker. It has no audio and no extra features besides one button that activates SOS mode with two quick presses.
In addition to using GPS, Tack connects to the AT&T LTE network and pings nearby Wi-Fi routers for improved location accuracy indoors and out. There's a lanyard channel on top of the device, and Tack also sells colorful protective sleeves and a fabric pouch perfect for attaching to your child's backpack or sewing into a pants pocket.
You can get location updates every 2 minutes, 10 minutes, 1 hour, or 4 hours. While this is fine for basic updates, two minutes is painfully slow during a true emergency, especially considering competitive devices like AngelSense give 10-second updates.
You get to try the Tack GPS Tracker for 30 days without a subscription, so make sure it works as expected in your area before you commit.
4. TickTalk 4: Best GPS tracker watch for kids
The TickTalk 4 is a GPS tracker that also functions as a kids smartwatch, so your older children should want to wear it. It's a solid investment that should last until your kid is ready for a cell phone.
Check out our full review of the TickTalk 4 in action and hear from our kid tester.
In addition to regular GPS tracking, you can set GPS boundaries (also called geofencing) to keep your kids safe. If they cross a boundary, you’ll get an automatic alert. This feature is especially handy if you’ve got a wanderer. You can see your child's location through the parents' app and check their status live.
Standout feature: iHeartRadio streaming
TickTalk4 doesn't include games, but it does allow kids to stream family-friendly music and stories on iHeartRadio. We think this is a great compromise for limiting screen time while still giving kids an entertaining device they'll want to wear. It also doubles as a fitness tracker thanks to a built-in pedometer.
Read more about the TickTalk 4 and discover our other favorite kids smartwatches—including the Verizon GizmoWatch 2—on our full roundup page: Best Smartwatches for Kids.
5. Apple AirTag: Best for crowded events
Hear us out on this one—while we don't recommend Apple AirTags as everyday kids location trackers, they're an affordable supplemental gadget capable of pinpointing your child's location in a crowd.
Why AirTags make sense as a secondary kids tracker
AirTags don't cut it as a go-to kids tracker in our book—they have no emergency features and have some tracking limitations, which we explain in-depth in our Apple AirTag FAQ.
But AirTags fill a gap in GPS trackers' functionality thanks to their Precision Finding feature. GPS trackers can show you your child's location within about 16 feet—which isn't always helpful in crowded areas or when trying to find a child who's really good at hiding. Precision Finding can get you to the AirTag's exact location thanks to its directional arrow and inch-by-inch distance countdown.
It's sort of like using the focus dials on a microscope or pair of binoculars: one gives a general view and the other zooms in much further. For best results, use them together.
Affordable . . . sort of
Apple AirTags retail for around $29 each and don't need a monthly service plan. But you need a nearly $470 phone—the iPhone 11 and above—to use the Precision Finding tool.
Learn more in our full Apple AirTag review.
Other GPS trackers for kids we considered
GeoZilla GPS tracker
The GeoZilla GPS tracker offers worldwide GPS coverage and gave reasonably accurate location updates during our tests. But some of the advertised communication features didn't work right. For nearly $20 a month, it's not worth the money.
Read our GeoZilla review to get the full scoop.
Active Halo from Amber Alert GPS
Child GPS trackers like Active Halo from Amber Alert make the darkest scenarios a little brighter.
This child tracking device uses 4G LTE to track location, send alerts, and detect speed. The Amber Alert GPS locator helps you keep tabs on your child’s whereabouts at all times.
You can program up to 20 safe zones and get updates on your child’s location every five minutes. To prevent distractions during school, you can place the device in silent mode.
All of these features come at a price, though—the Amber Alert GPS Locator is one of the most expensive devices on our list.
Standout feature: Sex-offender detection
Amber Alert GPS is the only device that alerts you if your child is close to a registered sex offender’s address.
—Mary Anne Keegan, CMO of Amber Alert GPS
OurPact is billed as a GPS tracker for kids, but we found that isn't its strong point. Since it's an app on your child's device, if your kiddo sets down their device and wanders away, then OurPact is useless. If you don't have a computer to sync it with your child's device, it's also useless.
We did love it as an internet activity-monitoring tool to protect your child from online strangers or cyberbullying. You can see what your child is looking at, block websites and apps, and schedule screen time with ease.
Learn more from our full OurPact review.
The Tracki is a tiny, no-frills GPS tracker with geofencing and an SOS button. It's small enough to fit inside a child's pocket, or you can attach it to the included lanyard, keychain, or belt clip to turn it into a wearable tracking device for kids. The Tracki also comes with a silicone cover to protect it from water damage.
From your online account or companion app, you can set up geofence zones and change the frequency of location check-ins. The Tracki's battery lasts up to 72 hours with minute-by-minute check-ins. If you check in once a day, the battery can last more than a month.
The Tracki itself costs around $20, but you'll pay that same amount each month for service. If you pay annually, the price lowers to around $10 per month.
Samsung SmartThings Tracker and Galaxy SmartTag
The Samsung SmartThings Tracker was discontinued in October 2021. It used the AT&T 4G LTE network to track anything—including your child's whereabouts. A button on the side let kids notify their parents when they were ready to be picked up or they needed help.
Samsung's Galaxy SmartTag trackers are similar but use Bluetooth instead of cellular technology. That means they have similar pros and cons to the Apple AirTag when used to track a child.
My Buddy Tag
My Buddy Tag has gone out of business.
It was a Bluetooth tracker disguised as a comfy wristband. One feature that set the My Buddy Tag apart was the water safety alert, which was great for pool or lake safety since it could help prevent drowning. We hope to see a similar feature prioritized in other kids wearables in the future.
Relay Kids Smartphone
Previously one of our top picks, Relay switched over to the business market and has no plans to restock their kids' GPS trackers. Only refurbished units are available, and they get scooped up fast. Existing customers shouldn't experience any service issues.
If you can get one, we think you'll like it. This innovative take on a kids' smartphone has GPS tracking, nationwide coverage, and one-touch communication. And its lack of a screen means you don't have to worry about monitoring your kid's screen time. Learn more in our full Relay review.
We chose Jiobit as our top pick because it offers a good value, boasting generous battery life and accurate location tracking for a low monthly fee.
But you might prefer another tracker based on your family's needs:
- AngelSense is feature-heavy and great for kids with disabilities, but it's also the most expensive option.
- Tack GPS has affordable monthly fees, and its performance may reflect that. Test thoroughly.
- TickTalk4 includes video calling and other communication channels.
- An Apple AirTag shows your child's direction and distance relative to you, making it perfect for crowded events or vacation getaways.
With features like geofences, mobile app alerts, and activity tracking, GPS trackers for kids make family outings and their solo adventures a little safer. These simple devices give you the confidence to let them explore their world at a young age.
Want to keep track of more than just your kids? Check out our full lineup of the best GPS trackers for any situation.
We like smartwatches to help keep kids and parents in touch, but your child's device might not be welcome in the classroom. Schools are concerned about distraction, privacy, and cheating.
Be sure to talk to your child's teacher or principal before sending them to school with a smartwatch. And you can help educators out—use parental controls (it's called "Do Not Disturb" on the TickTalk 4) to shut down the device during class.
What to look for in a kids GPS tracker
Whether you’re looking for a kids’ GPS tracking watch or a GPS tracking device you can conceal in a pocket, get to know the basics before making a purchase.
The best GPS tracker is comfortable and fun for kids to use, durable enough to last all day, and accurate in its readings. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- User-friendliness: Choose a tracker that’s easy for you and your child to use. It shouldn’t interfere with their range of motion or get in the way.
- Age range: Check the recommended age range on any tracker you’re considering. Some have anti-tamper features for older kids if you’re worried they will remove it.
- Durability: Kids play rough, so be sure their tracker can withstand all the roughhousing, horseplay, and hazards kids can throw at it. Look for waterproof models that can handle puddles and spills too.
- Range: Not all GPS devices are created equal. Those that use cellular 4G LTE tracking can handle long range connections if your kids visit somewhere out of state while Bluetooth devices are meant for close range.
- Alerts and notifications: Look for a device with adjustable settings to avoid false alarms or blowing up your phone. Your device should be customizable to let you check on your kids when you want and notify you when there’s trouble.
- Panic button: Some kids GPS devices come with a panic button that let your child alert you when something’s wrong or they need help.
- Two-way communication: This feature lets you speak to your child through their tracker like an intercom so you can ask them where they are or if they need help.
- Games: Features like games and step counters give kids more motivation to wear their tracker. After all, the device isn’t helpful if your child doesn’t want to wear or use it. Just make sure the games aren't too distracting.
- Real-time tracking: When you need to know where your child is, this is the most important feature. You can adjust the settings in your tracker’s app to send an updated location to you every minute to every fifteen minutes.
Parent survey statistics
How often do parents lose track of their kids?
One minute you’re cruising through the grocery store with your kid in tow, the next minute your little one has disappeared without a trace. At least one in three parents have been there.
How often do parents lose their kids in public? And how does this affect parents’ decisions about purposely letting their children out of sight or keeping tabs on them with a GPS tracker? In October 2021, we surveyed 1,000 parents with kids between the ages of 7 and 17 to get some answers.
Survey Results: All parents
Our surveyed parents reported the following:
- One in three parents have lost a child in a store.
- Around 32% have lost a child at a crowded event.
- Over one in five have lost a child at a park.
- Nearly one in five have lost a child for more than an hour.
- Nearly one in five have called police about a lost or missing child.
We wanted to understand how these scary situations affected parents’ willingness to let their kids roam free. According to our survey, the average parent lets their kid do the following:
- Walk home alone at age 12
- Take public transportation alone at age 14
- Play outside unsupervised at age 11
- Stay home alone at age 13
- Trick or treat unsupervised at age 13
- Have a cell phone at age 12
Those ages didn’t change for parents who had lost a child at least once, with one exception: cell phones. Parents were more likely to allow their children to have a cell phone by age 10 if the following applied for them:
- Had a special needs child
- Had lost their child in a store
- Had lost their child at a crowded event
- Had lost a child at a park
- Had called police about a lost or missing child
Parents with only one child were less likely to have lost their child in all circumstances. Parents with at least one special-needs child were more likely to have lost a child.
Survey Results: Parents of children with special needs
Surveyed parents with at least one special needs child reported the following:
- Nearly one in two have lost a child in a store.
- More than 50% have lost a child at a crowded event.
- Over two in five have lost a child at a park.
- Over one in three have lost a child for more than an hour.
- Nearly two in five have called police about a lost or missing child.
With a kids GPS tracker, you and your child won’t become a scary statistic. If your child slips away in a crowd or is late coming home from a friend’s house, you can look up their exact location before your imagination runs wild.
Around two-thirds of all parents think their oldest child wouldn’t mind them tracking their location. If your child seems too old for our recommended kids GPS trackers or smartwatches, consider installing a parental control app with location-tracking on their phone.
GPS trackers for kids FAQ
While helicopter parenting is rarely necessary, there are some cases that call for giving your child a GPS tracker. For example, a GPS device can help parents with kids who live in multiple households or have special needs keep tabs on their whereabouts. Toddlers and little tykes may also benefit from a small tracker on their shoelace or clothes in crowded places.
Watch our video to learn more: Why kids GPS trackers are a great alternative to a cell phone
Of course. GPS trackers use the same technology we have in our phones. Bluetooth, GPS locating, and cellular signals are the main methods these devices use.
Most charges last for a couple days. If you plan to use a tracker every day, charge it at night when they get home just like you would charge your cell phone.
Geofencing is a feature found in many different types of GPS trackers. It allows you to draw digital boundaries around trusted areas like schools, homes, and neighborhoods. When your child enters or leaves that area, you’ll get a notification.
How we reviewed GPS trackers for kids
To get the best results for our lineup, we tested some of the best kids' GPS trackers ourselves. We got products like AngelSense, Jiobit, and Relay in-house to give them a spin.
We tested each of these for features like location accuracy (hide and seek, anyone?), portability, and tracking range.
We also wanted to make sure we picked products kids actually wanted to use. So features like games and activity tracking earned extra points in our testing.
Learn more from our methodology page about how we conduct reviews like this one.
Related articles on SafeWise
- Federal Trade Commission, "COPPA Safe Harbor Program." Accessed August 24, 2022.
- KidSAFE Seal Program, "Official Membership Page: Jiobit and Jiobit Next." Accessed August 24, 2022.
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