The 10 Best GPS Trackers for Kids to Help Keep Them Safe

The Jiobit Smart Tag is small, durable, and packed with great features

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GPS trackers are small gadgets that provide real-time information about your kid's location, whether it’s on the school bus, in the classroom, or on the way to soccer practice, If you’re experiencing a moment of doubt, you can simply look at your phone to note your child’s whereabouts while still granting them the freedom to explore.

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The Jiobit Smart Tag was specifically designed for children and boasts an impressive 240 hours of battery life. We like its small size and smart design that requires a tool to remove—little hands can’t ditch the Smart Tag. For an option designed for children who tend to wander off, we like the Angelsense.

There are many GPS trackers out there with a variety of designs, including watches, phones, and small plastic tags you can drop inside a backpack or attach to a shoelace. Depending on your stance on technology for kids, you will want to consider the age-appropriateness of the device, how long the battery lasts, whether it’s simple enough for your child to use, and the monthly cost. “A simple tracker is better than a phone because it’s easy to carry and can be stored more conveniently,” cybersecurity specialist Naj Ahmed, tells Verywell Family. Desired features are a factor, too. For example, some trackers offer geofencing alerts that allow parents to draw virtual boundary lines to enclose a safe zone like school or home. If a child steps outside that perimeter during a non-approved time, the parent receives a notification. 

In addition to the features, you’ll also want to consider the pros and cons of tracking your child. GPS trackers give caregivers peace of mind and allow them to easily locate their child at any time while affording them some independence (without constant in-person supervision). However, older children may resist monitoring, and Ahmed points out that GPS trackers can be hacked, exposing your child’s real-time location to strangers. 

To save you the hassle of researching the never-ending list of gadgets on the market, here are the best GPS trackers for kids.

Best Overall: Jiobit Smart Tag

Jiobit Location Tracker

Amazon

Pros
  • Real-time tracking

  • Rugged durability

  • Long-lasting battery

Cons
  • Monthly subscription required

The Jiobit Smart Tag is a small-yet-mighty GPS device with real-time location tracking and multiple wearing options. The kit comes with a strap clip, integrated loop, secure loop, and hemlock clip that allows parents to secure the Smart Tag to backpacks, pants, shirts, belts, pockets, and lanyards.

The best part is the useful information provided to parents via the app. Not only can the Jiobit send arrival and departure notifications to update parents in real time, but it can also connect via Bluetooth to any caregiver with the app. This means that parents can see if their child left school at 3 p.m. with a designated pickup person. Parents and other caregivers can be added to the Care Team, and frequently visited destinations like school or home (called Trusted Places) can be set up in the app within minutes. 

This durable device boasts an amazing battery life that can last over a week before needing to be charged again. Our one gripe: Jiobit does require a monthly subscription to plans ranging from $8.99 to $14.99 per month, and the emergency SOS feature is only available with the Jiobit Protect upgrade for an additional cost.

Price at time of publish: $150

Device type: GPS tracker | Network: LPWA networks with Wifi, Bluetooth, and GPS | Range: Any distance | Weight: 0.6 ounces | Battery life: 240 hours | Features: Location sharing, emergency dispatch, alert button | App platform: iOS and Android | Monthly fee: $8.99-14.99

Best for Kids Who Wander Off: Angelsense GPS Trackers

Angelsense GPS Tracker

Walmart

Pros
  • One and two-way communication

  • Wandering alerts

  • Smart design geared toward child sensitivities

Cons
  • Expensive monthly plans

  • Limited monthly minutes for voice

Although the Angelsense was specifically designed for autistic children, it has become a crowd favorite among all families thanks to its automatic pickup option. This feature means that a parent doesn’t have to wait for the child to pick up before speaking. If you call, the kiddo hears you. Families of disabled children especially find this product helpful, and the automatic pickup option is particularly useful for children who are nonverbal. 

Another favorite feature on the Angelsense is its listen-in capability, often appreciated by parents whose children are experiencing bullying. Using the same speaker system, parents can one-way listen to the sounds surrounding their kiddo, ensuring their safety. Continuous tracking and a late-departure warning round out the set of features.

Keep in mind that parents are only given 60 talk minutes per month and will need to purchase additional time if they go over, and clothing can muffle the sound.

Price at time of publish: $59

Device type: GPS tracker | Network: AT&T and T-Mobile towers | Range: Any distance | Weight: 1.4 ounces | Battery life: 24 hours | Features: Two-way talk, one-way listen, real-time tracking| App platform: iOS, Android, or Web | Monthly fee: $33.33-$52.99

Best Watch: TickTalk 4 Kids Smartwatch

TickTalk 4 Kids Smartwatch

Walmart

Pros
  • Voice and video calling

  • Includes iHeartRadio Family

  • In-app messaging

Cons
  • Bulky design

  • No geofencing

For parents who want a smartwatch without the distractions, the TickTalk 4 is for you. Designed for children ages 5-12, this feature-rich watch includes many of the standard GPS tracking functionalities, like emergency SOS, 911 response, and location tracking. But unlike basic GPS trackers for kids, the watch doubles as a phone, so parents and children can video call (or voice call) each other when needed. Tradeoff: The watch must be on Wi-Fi to make these video calls, and battery life takes a hit.

Beyond GPS tracking, the TickTalk 4 includes bonus amenities like step counting and free music streaming via iHeart Radio Family. Parents can limit the quantity of daily music streaming and—thankfully—the watch can be used with headphones. One limitation to consider is that the TickTalk 4 does not work with Verizon or Sprint.

Price at time of publish: $175

Device type: Smartwatch phone | Network: AT&T and T-Mobile networks only | Range: Any distance | Weight: 2.4 ounces| Battery life: 62 hours with normal usage | Features: Voice and video calling, camera, streaming music, step tracker | App platform: GSM carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile | Monthly fee: $9.99

Best for Shoes: GeoZilla GPS Tracker

GeoZilla GPS Tracker

Amazon

Pros
  • Relatively affordable

  • Small enough to fit anywhere

Cons
  • Two buttons without any practical use

If you worry about your child losing their GPS tracker, consider the GeoZilla, a square-shaped gadget that’s small enough to attach to a shoe, throw in a pocket, or tuck inside a backpack. 

The secret is its simplicity. The GeoZilla is a basic GPS tracker for kids that privately tracks and shares your child’s location via the brand’s free app. Beyond that, a one-touch SOS button allows children to send emergency texts to parents and geofencing is available. In reality, the device doesn’t do anything a smartphone doesn’t already handle, but it’s a great, simple solution if you don’t want your kiddo carrying an elaborate device.

Price at time of publish: $60

Device type: GPS tracker | Network: GSM network | Range: Any distance | Weight: 1.1 ounces | Battery life: Up to 5 days | Features: Location sharing, emergency SOS, geofencing | App platform: App downloads to Android and iOS | Monthly fee: Plans as low as $5 per month

Best Watch for Older Children: Apple Watch SE

4.3
Apple Watch SE, Black

Amazon

Pros
  • Pushes back the need for a phone

  • Stylish and cool for older children

Cons
  • Expensive

Giving your child a smartphone is a big step that they may not be ready for, but being able to communicate with them is a basic necessity. Enter the Apple Watch SE, our top pick for a product that acts as a proverbial bridge between parents and children.

The Apple Watch SE offers a lot of the standard iPhone features like calling, texting, and emergency SOS, but it does not allow web browsing. This makes it a solid option if you want to give your child an olive branch but prefer to keep internet time within the confines of your home. And, thanks to Apple’s Family Setup, parents can pair their iPhone with a child’s watch to receive location notifications, geofencing alerts, and parental controls like approved contacts for texting. (Note: You must have the Apple Watch SE with LTE for this to work.)

There are certainly fancier watches available from Apple, but we like the SE lineup thanks to its more affordable price range. And, did we mention it passes the “cool test” for most kids?

Price at time of publish: $280

Device type: Smartwatch | Network: Most carriers | Range: Any distance | Weight: 1.1-1.3 ounces | Battery life: 18 hours | Features: Calling, texting, emergency SOS | App platform: iOS | Monthly fee: Varies depending on your network carrier plan

Best for Kids Who Drive: Invoxia Real Time GPS Tracker

Real time GPS

Amazon

Pros
  • Small

  • Anti-theft alerts

  • Long battery life

Cons
  • Not waterproof

There’s nothing like a kid with car keys and the open road to make a parent worry. Thankfully, Invoxia considers the mobile crowd with a discreet GPS tracker—it looks like a thumb drive—that can be tucked with your kid or inside the vehicle itself. Once the car has been stationary for over five minutes, intelligent sensors send real-time alerts to notify you of suspicious tilts, shifts, and jostling motions that could indicate potential theft or tampering.

As with other GPS trackers for kids, the Invoxia device also offers real-time location tracking and geofencing capabilities. You can also scroll through the included app to peruse their location history and retrace their routes. 

There are a few features your child will appreciate, too, like the proximity radar. If they forget where the car is parked, they can use the app to activate a Bluetooth-enabled “hot-cold game” until they discover the location.

Price at time of publish: $159

Device type: GPS tracker | Network: Low-power networks like LoRa or Sigfox with Bluetooth, WiFi, and GPS | Range: Any distance | Weight: 1.1 ounces | Battery life: Up to 4 months depending on use | Features: Real-time location notifications, geofencing, auto-theft alerts | App platform: iOS and Android | Monthly fee: $129 for product + one-year subscription or $159 for product + 2-year subscription

Best Small Device: Tracki Mini GPS Tracker

Mini GPS Tracker

Amazon

Pros
  • Easy setup

  • Speeding alerts

Cons
  • Higher monthly cost

No muss, no fuss, and affordability: that’s what you get when you opt for the Tracki Mini. This tiny GPS tracker for kids has one of the simplest setups we’ve seen; in less than five minutes, you’ll have the tracker and accompanying app ready to go.

While the device is pretty basic, the Tracki’s features are quite efficient. Geofencing alerts and real-time location tracking are standard, but the Tracki also offers speed alerts that notify you when a child (or a child’s caregiver) is driving at speeds in excess. The set also includes a few wearable accessories like a lanyard, belt clip, and a keychain clip, making it easy to send off with your child.

Price at time of publish: $19

Device type: GPS tracker | Network: GSM network | Range: Any distance | Weight: 1.3 ounces | Battery life: 3 days-3 months, depending on use | Features: Real-time location notifications, geofencing, speed alerts | App platform: iOS and Android | Monthly fee: $9.95-19.95 monthly

Best Bluetooth: Apple AirTag

4.8
Apple AirTag

Apple

Pros
  • Affordable

  • Small

  • Long battery life

  • No monthly fee

Cons
  • Limited range

  • Not compatible with Android

The AirTag is designed to locate objects like luggage, wallets, or keys, and Apple specifically does not recommend using it to track your children. However, due to its small size, relative affordability, and easy synchronicity with iPhones, many parents still use it for this purpose.

Not only does the AirTag emit a small beeping noise when you can’t find something or someone, but it can also provide you with step-by-step directions to reunite with your loved one. When used with an iPhone 11 or newer, the tracking device pairs with the Find My app to give you real-time directions. This can be useful if you lose your child in a shopping center or grocery store, for example.

The flaw with the AirTag is that it is a Bluetooth tracker, not GPS. Whereas GPS trackers have unlimited range, Bluetooth trackers can only respond if the child and tracker are within 30-40 meters (100-130 feet) of an Apple device. If you are somewhere with multiple Apple devices (including those owned by strangers), the AirTag piggybacks off the location data of those devices to send you (the owner) a location notification. However, once the AirTag moves out of range of any device, it won’t detect them. But, if you’re looking for a tracker to use on a variety of objects with occasional use for a child, this could be your pick.

Price at time of publish: $29

Device type: Bluetooth tracker | Network: Bluetooth only | Range: Within 33 feet of any Apple device | Weight: 0.4 ounces | Battery life: One year | Features: Beeping alerts, pairs with Find My app | App platform: iOS | Monthly fee: None

Best for Verizon Users: Gizmo Watch 2

4.9
Verizon GizmoWatch 2

Verizon

Pros
  • Calls and texts

  • Parental controls

  • Fitness tracking

Cons
  • Only available on Verizon

  • Small contact list

This feature-rich watch doesn’t quite have the same popular aesthetics as an Apple watch, but it’s pretty darn close—and a lot more affordable.

Geared toward children ages 3-11, the Gizmo 2 is a GPS watch that allows parents to log into the app to see where their child is. You can also set up location-based alerts for certain times of the day so you’ll be notified if your child left school early, for example. The watch also receives calls and texts, and parents can upload their contact info to be one of the 10 approved contacts. 

The watch is a lot of fun for kids, too. There is no web browsing, but the child can track their daily step count or play the included jumping game. 

Price at time of publish: $100

Device type: GPS watch | Network: Verizon| Range: Any range if watch is turned on | Weight: 1.9 ounces | Battery life: Up to 4 days | Features: Voice calling, texting, real-time location tracking | App platform: Android or iPhone | Monthly fee: $10 for required LTE service

Best Phone: Pinwheel Smartphone

Pinwheel Smartphone

Pinwheel

Pros
  • Extensive parental controls

  • Therapist-approved apps

  • Safelist-only calls

Cons
  • Expensive

If your child has been begging for a phone, a Pinwheel smartphone could be the solution you’ve been waiting for. In short, parents monitor what the child sees on their Pinwheel by managing the content from the app or the parent’s computer. Parents determine which apps and contacts are available and when. All of the available apps are therapist-approved, but only the parent sees the full list. From there, they can authorize particular apps that they want on their child’s phone.

There is no internet browsing or app store available, so parents don’t need to worry about their child scrolling for hours. Caregivers can also see the text conversations from their own phone, and text-delay is available for unknown contacts.

While Pinwheel doesn’t offer many of the other features included in GPS trackers on this list, the phone does have GPS for location tracking. Parents can just check into their app to see their child’s real-time location.

Price at time of publish: $200

Device type: GPS smartphone | Network: Works on most carriers but some may require Pinwheel Plus | Range: Any range if phone is turned on | Weight: Unavailable | Battery life: Varies | Features: Voice calling, texting, camera, GPS location tracking | App platform: Android | Monthly fee: $14.99 + your monthly cellular plan

How We Selected the Best GPS Trackers for Kids

We researched dozens of GPS trackers for kids sold online and at a variety of retailers. In doing so, we compared the up-front costs alongside monthly subscription fees, GPS capabilities, additional features, data security, and type of tracker. 

We also chatted with two experts to gauge their overall thoughts on the GPS market. We consulted with Naj Ahmed, a cybersecurity specialist for VPNOverview. Additionally, we spoke with Liz Lindly, a licensed clinical social worker for the Wyoming Children’s Society and a placement supervisor for the Colorado Children’s Society.

What to Look for in GPS Trackers for Kids

As technology advances, many digital brands have realized that parents’ top concern is their child’s safety. As a result, there are dozens of GPS trackers for kids on the market, and it may feel daunting to choose one. Here are a few factors to consider.

Age-Appropriate Device

Your child’s age definitively affects the type of tracker you need. If your kiddo is younger than 8 years old, chances are good that a basic GPS tracker device like the Tracki Mini is sufficient. However, as your child grows, they may want a fancier option like a smartwatch or even a smartphone.

Ease of Use

According to cyber security specialist Naj Ahmed, your child’s GPS tracker “shouldn’t pose a choking hazard and it should ideally be something you can neatly stow away so as not to worry about losing it.” Be sure the size of the tracker doesn’t feel cumbersome or annoying to your child. If you have an older child, consider a stylish option like a watch or even an age-appropriate smartphone to be able to keep up with your kid’s daily activities.

Data Safety

While parents often want a GPS tracker to identify their child’s location, be sure to research the brand’s reputation and security policies. “The most common privacy risks are data leaks,” Ahmed says, noting that data breaches put children at risk. “The child’s daily routine, including home, school, and favorite activities can be exposed.”

Additionally, Ahmed suggests researching where the brand stores its data. “GPS trackers that use the cloud for data storage are especially vulnerable to attacks,” he says. When this information is leaked, hackers can gain access to your child’s real-time location.

Battery Life

A GPS tracker won’t do you any good if the battery dies constantly. Basic GPS tracking devices have the longest battery life since they don’t need to push out as much information as smartphones or watches. Keep in mind that more frequent data pushes will drain your battery faster. If you opt to push real-time notification updates every few minutes, chances are good that you won’t get the promised battery time out of your device. 

This same rule applies to higher-tech devices like phones and watches. GPS trackers in this category often need to be charged daily, and that especially applies if your child uses the device to make calls or send texts. Bottom line: The more features you use, the less battery life you’ll get.

Monthly Cost

All of the devices on this list require an upfront cost to purchase the tracker. However, since most of them (save for the Apple AirTag) are GPS trackers rather than Bluetooth devices, you will also need to pay a monthly subscription fee that covers the cost of the GPS tracking and satellite data. 

It’s important to note that this monthly fee widely varies between devices, so definitely read the fine print. Often, the monthly cost is less if you are willing to commit to a longer contract of a year or more, so be sure to consider your timeline. In general, you’re looking at anywhere from $5 to $20 per month to operate your GPS tracker.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I put a GPS tracker on my child?

    In general, if you are the parent or legal guardian of a child under the age of 18, you can legally put a GPS tracker on your child. Moreover, legislation known as “Kevin and Avonte’s Law” passed in 2018 specifically created programs to provide location technology to children who may wander from caregivers due to developmental disabilities. This means that parents of disabled teens and adults can also legally put a tracker on their child (regardless of age) for their own safety.

    It’s important that parents and caregivers discuss listening in with their children, though, as an unexpected breach of privacy can decrease trust in parent-child dynamics.

  • How necessary is it to monitor your child’s activity?

    According to Ahmed, GPS trackers for kids are rarely needed and should only be considered in special circumstances. “It generally depends on how often you move about,” Ahmed says. “But in most situations, I don’t think there is ever a need to monitor your kid’s location.”

    Lindly agrees, noting that the consequences (more below) of a tracker frequently outweigh the potential benefits. “The necessity of monitoring children depends on a lot of things like the age of the child, the activity they are participating in, the location, their cognitive ability, and more,” she explains.

  • Do Fitbits have GPS trackers?

    Many people use Fitbits as fitness trackers these days, so you may be wondering if you can also use the device as a GPS tracker. While some Fitbits do use GPS tracking to route your activity during exercise, it is not the same as a GPS tracker designed to share real-time location updates for a child’s safety. For example, if your kid goes out for a run, you can view her route upon her return. However, you would not be able to use the device to receive real-time location updates or geofencing alerts. 

  • What’s the best app to track my child?

    If your child already owns a smartphone, there are numerous apps that parents can use to track their child’s location. For example, if your family all uses iPhones, you can use the Find My app. After your family members are set up to share their location, all you need to do is open up the app and it will show you a pulsing dot where your child’s phone (and presumably, your child) is located. The FindMy application is also available on the Apple Watch SE.

    Another option for other smartphones is the Google Maps app, which has a built-in feature that allows you to share your real-time location with trusted family and friends. All you do is go into settings in the app, determine how long you want to share your location and who you want to share it with, and you’re all set.

  • What are some drawbacks to having a GPS tracker?

    According to Lindly, the drawbacks of using a GPS tracker are often more considerable than the potential upside. “My general belief is that adults tracking kids usually does not increase safety and certainly does not help develop a trusting relationship [between parent and child],” she says. 

    Beyond the ethical dilemma, parents also face cybersecurity concerns. In other parts of the world like Germany, children’s smartwatches have been banned with telecom regulators suggesting they are “spying devices.” These decisions came on the heels of a Norwegian Consumer Council study that determined critical security flaws exist in most smartwatches.

  • How much do GPS tracking devices cost?

    The prices of GPS trackers for kids will vary widely depending on the type of device and features, and the monthly fee should also be factored into the overall cost. For example, you can buy a simple smart tag, such as the Tracki Mini, for $19, but its subscription will range between $10 and $20 per month. The Apple AirTag, on the other hand, retails for $29, but since it’s a Bluetooth tracker that connects to any Apple device in its vicinity, it doesn’t require a monthly fee. A more elaborate mini tracker, like the Jiobit Smart Tag can cost as much as $150 plus monthly fees. 

    Watches and smartphones with GPS tracking capabilities designed specifically for kids can range between $100 for the Gizmo Watch 2, $200 for the Pinwheel Smartphone, and $280 for the Apple Watch SE. These devices require cellular service, which will significantly increase their overall cost.

Why Trust Verywell Family

Heather Balogh Rochfort is a full-time freelance writer and mom to a 5-year-old. Throughout her storied career, she has written on numerous topics including technology and families. She also has a graduate degree in education, specializing in at-risk youth populations. She frequently skis and hikes with her daughter, so she has personal experience with how it feels to lose track of a child in a large area.

3 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. 115th Congress (2017-2018). S.2070: Kevin and Avonte's law of 2017.

  2. Germany bans children’s smartwatches. BBC News.

  3. Sand H, Bjørstad T. Smart watch re-test vendor disclosure summary. Published May 12, 2017.