6 Best GPS Trackers for Kids in 2021: Handheld, Watches, & Budget

best gps trackers for kids

The best GPS trackers for kids will not only provide you peace of mind, they will help your children wander further afield with confidence. There are also a number of educational and entertaining GPS games that families can play with their children, or that kids can play amongst themselves.

A great solution to keep in touch with kids who aren’t quite ready for a phone, GPS trackers are also useful for kids with special needs like autism, pets, or even the elderly. No matter why you’re here, there’s a GPS locator for you.

Top Picks

Follow the clues: here are the best GPS locators for kids.

AngelSense-Personal-GPS-Tracker-for-KidsBest Overall: AngelSense Personal GPS Tracker for Kids.
With intelligent iAlerts and accurate safeguard GPS, AngelSense makes the best GPS tracking device for kids.
JiobitSmall Pick: Jiobit.
Small and discreet, Jiobit offers progressive beaconing technology and 5G compatibility.
LynQ-Smart-CompassBackpack Pick: LynQ Smart Compass.
Keep track of groups up to 12 with LynQ, featuring a carabiner-style attachment for backpacks.
Apple-Watch-SEThe Teen Pick: Apple Watch SE.
Trust your older kids and teens with the Apple Watch SE: the best GPS for kids available.
RelayCommunication Pick: Relay Screenless Phone/Walkie Talkie & GPS Tracker.
Versatile and fun, the RelayGO is not just a GPS for kids: it’s also a phone and walkie talkie.
Tracki-2021-Model-Mini-Real-time-GPS-TrackerBudget Pick: Tracki 2021 Model Mini Real time GPS Tracker.
Tracki 2021 offers all the safety and peace of mind at a fraction of the price.
 

A Closer Look: The Best GPS Trackers for Kids

Connect the dots with these in-depth reviews.

1. AngelSense Personal GPS for Kids

The best GPS trackers for kids overall.

AngelSense Personal GPS Tracker for Kids

Brand: Angel Sense | GPS Data: Unlimited | Tracking: Non-Stop | Voice Minutes: 60/month | Price: 💰

Not only is the AngelSense GPS tracker the best for kids, it’s a great choice for teens, the elderly, or anyone with special needs like Autism. The long list of functions and features setting this GPS locator apart includes step counter, listen-in, and location activity playback. What’s more, parents can control all these functions during school hours, limiting access for children.

There is a monthly subscription required, however, but the first month’s free. Otherwise, think of it a bit like a small device that connects to your phone through an app, and so long as your child has the device (it’s sold with a soft, wearable sleeve and non-removable fasteners), your loved one can communicate through 2-way talk and an SOS button.

Parents call the tracking accurate, and a good substitute for a cell phone for children who aren’t quite ready. And children with sensory processing issues don’t mind wearing the device at all, according to reports

  • Very helpful features
  • Kids get used to wearing it
  • Great for school bus updates
  • Too bulky for some
  • Battery life could be better

2. Jiobit

The best small GPS tracking device for kids.

Jiobit

Brand: Jiobit | Connectivity: 5G-Compatible | Tracking: Real-Time | Users: Multiple | Price: 💰💰

When it comes to the best GPS tracking for kids, the device can’t be too big and bulky or they may not wear it. If that’s of particular concern for you and your child, we recommend the 5G-compatible Jiobit. What we liked about the GPS locator is that it’s both Android and iOS compatible, and no additional cellular contract is necessary, though a subscription is required.

Small and lightweight, the Jiobit also clips easily to clothing or a backpack for school, and it tracks well, even indoors. With Jiobit, you’ll receive arrival notifications, and it resists hacking with TrustChip, which meets or exceeds the US-government standards for encryption. 
Something else notable is the geofencing feature around your home, school, or a daycare and alerting you when your child leaves that designated area. That’s particularly useful for special needs children, but it’s also an effective way to give your kids some added independence, letting them venture with the assurance you’ll know if they’ve gone too far.

  • Even works for pets!
  • Tiny with good battery life
  • 15 second updates with live mode
  • Fees can add up
  • Some drop off reported
  • Falling off is a real possibility

3. LynQ Smart Compass

The best attachable GPS for kids.

LynQ Smart Compass

Brand: LynQ | Connectivity: USB | Tracking: Real-Time | Users: Multiple | Price: 💰💰💰💰

This next option is the best GPS tracking device for kids who like to camp, or for groups of kids or families who like to play GPS games. With the LynQ smart compass, which attaches to backpacks or clothing with a carabiner-style mechanism, you can create groups of up to 12 — in fact, it’s only meant to be used in groups — and establish a homebase, such as a car, campsite or front yard.

Otherwise, whenever anyone enters or leaves that designated area an alert will go out to all the other devices in the private network. It’s all pretty easy and straightforward: no cell phone app or any other kind device necessary, and it all operates through a single-button interface. 

Overall, it’s relatively low tech, and the battery life is good, lasting about 24 hours with a 3-day standby — ideal for a long weekend in the woods.

  • Can be used in groups
  • Sold in packs of up to five devices
  • Self contained: one button, one display
  • Charges slowly through USB
  • Pretty pricey to buy multiple units
  • Pretty basic — not a lot of extra functions

4. Apple Watch SE

The best GPS tracker watch for older kids.

Apple Watch SE

Brand: Apple | Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, NFC, GPS | Wireless Standard: Bluetooth | Input: Touchscreen, Dial | Price: 💰💰💰

Although the next pick in our ranking of the best GPS devices for kids might be too expensive for younger children, it’s ideal for responsible tweens and teens. In addition to being GPS and cellular-enabled, for example, allowing for calls, texts, and wayfinding, all without a phone,  there are features like fitness and sleep-tracking apps. There’s also the ability to stream shows and podcasts. 

The Apple Watch is spendy, no question, but what’s most important here is that with the Apple Watch SE and family setup, you won’t need to buy a phone and a GPS tracker. The SE puts both those gadgets in just one device with the quality and reliability that Apple is known for: the best GPS tracking with the ability to access the internet and make phone calls,  as well. What’s not to like?

  • Good gift for grandkids
  • Waterproof and durable
  • User friendly and customizable
  • Fees and taxes can add up
  • Too thick and bulky for some
  • Some wristband issues reported

5. Relay GO

The best walkie talkie & GPS tracker.

Relay Screenless Phone/Walkie Talkie & GPS Tracker

Brand: Relay | Connectivity: 4G LTE and Wi-Fi | Tracking: Real-Time | Features: Voicemail & Geofencing | Price: 💰💰

Think back to when you were a kid: who didn’t love a walkie talkie? Well, the best GPS for kids walkie-talkie and phone functions is the Relay GO. Screen-free and push-to-talk, this small device offers both 4G LTE and Wi-Fi connectivity, with standard functions for a kids GPS tracking device like geofencing and SOS. But unlike other GPS locators, this one also has 911 escalation should the unthinkable happen.

The range is unlimited and the voice assistant function makes it especially user friendly. The battery life is good, we found out, and it’s also easy to wear, clipping to belt loops and backpacks. But to clarify, the lanyard and holder are sold separately, which dismayed some first-time users. 

According to reports, though, Relay GO is especially useful when tracking children on the school bus, and it even comes in a few fun colors to match their style. It’s also an MP3 player!

  • Easy to use app
  • Kids can “call” home
  • Good choice for the littlest kids
  • Need to be charged daily
  • Connectivity issues reported
  • Listening to messages not intuitive

6. Tracki 2021 Mini Model GPS

The best GPS tracker on a budget.

Tracki 2021 Model Mini Real time GPS Tracker

Brand: Tracki | Connectivity: GPS, Wi-Fi | Tracking: Real-Time | Distance: Unlimited | Price: 💰

For an affordable GPS locator for kids, we like the Tracki Mini. Both GPS and Wi-Fi enabled, the Tracki with real-time tracking data sent to your phone through an app notification. 

There’s also geofencing, SOS, low battery, and moving alerts sent not only to the app, but also SMS and email. Whenever GPS is not available, the Tracki uses Wi-Fi, and it attaches to surfaces with a magnet or a secure belt clip.

A subscription is required, but feedback from users say the low upfront costs plus monthly fees are worth it. One family used it for their daughter on a trip to Disney World, and they called it easy to set up, and since it attaches to the stroller, it not only helped keep track of the toddler, but the stroller itself. 

For mobile kids, it also attaches to a lanyard that can be worn around their neck. Look out, though, because the SOS button is awfully easy for little fingers to push by mistake.

  • Decent battery life
  • Good for young and old
  • Extended battery pack available
  • Location history reports erratic
  • Account management could be better
  • Only works in 5-mile radius, some say

Our Process

For this guide on the best GPS trackers for kids, our team spent 4-5 hours researching the 30 most popular options from a variety of brands and manufacturers. We then read about 5-10 user reviews per GPS tracker (both positive and negative) to discover what shoppers thought about each one. After comparing this data, we narrowed our list down to the top 6 GPS trackers for kids on the market. You can count on this research to guide you to a mindful purchasing decision.

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