Back in the day, if a kid needed to contact his parents, he could find the nearest payphone. Good luck finding one in 2020. Your kids need a way to get a hold of you, and you want a way to stay in touch but without opening the Pandora’s Box of social media. Do regular talk and text phones without social media apps even exist anymore? Yes, they do! We have your list of the best phones to help your kids stay in touch without all the distractions.
Best For Young Kids Who Might Lose a Phone
Verizon GizmoWatch Kids Phone Watch: This neat little device comes in several color options, including a Disney themed design and has a kid-friendly touch screen. A watch is harder to lose track of than a phone, and it’s always handy when your child needs it. Your kids can use the GizmoWatch to call and text, and it allows parents to set GPS boundaries for their child. If your kid crosses your GPS line, you’ll get an alert on your phone. It also allows you to track your child’s steps to see how much activity they’re getting. Best of all, the battery lasts for four days. The GizmoWatch only works on the Verizon network and retails for about $175.
RelayKids Screenless Phone: This little square speaker with a button in the middle is slightly smaller than a post-it note, rugged enough to handle bumps, drops, and the occasional dip in a puddle, and has a battery that lasts two days on one charge. It retails for $50, and you can buy an armband or a carabiner to help your child keep track of it. In addition to calls and voice messages, Relay allows you the same geofencing and GPS tracking options that the Gizmowatch does. It also has an emergency alert feature. Relay syncs with an app on your phone to set the geofencing boundaries, decide who can communicate with the Relay, and keep track of any voice messages that have been left. It’s like a high tech walkie talkie that runs on 4 LTE.
Best For Older Kids
These phones will hit the spot for older kids who love the look of a smartphone but aren’t quite ready for the responsibility.
KidsConnect KC2 Phone for Kids: It looks sleek like a smartphone but has no internet connectivity. The user-friendly display features three favorites buttons so your child can quickly call preset numbers. There is also an emergency call button. In addition to the three favorite numbers, you can store up to 15 numbers in the phone, so your child can communicate with everyone in their life. Kids can’t turn off the phone; only parents can by using the app on their smartphones. The phone retails for around $87, and plans vary depending on which one you choose.
Gabb’s Wireless Phone for Kids: Gabb’s nationwide network will only cost you around $20 per month, and the phone itself retails for $70. The Gabb phone has a few more bells and whistles than the other options on this list. It has a front and rear camera so your child can take selfies, photos and videos, a headphone port, and 12 preinstalled apps. The apps include a calculator, calendar, and text messaging, but this phone has no internet connection, app store, or social media access. It runs on the 4LTE network, and the battery lasts about two days.