Best GPS Tracking Devices for Kids: Top Picks for Keeping Track of Your Child

#1
AngelSense Guardian
Starts at 
$39.99
/mo.
Pro Bullet Highly durable
Pro Bullet Alerts when your child arrives/departs
Pro Bullet Pocket or locking belt attachment
#2
PocketFinder+
Starts at 
$12.95
/mo.
Pro Bullet Waterproof
Pro Bullet Updates location up to every two minutes
Pro Bullet Wristband, pocket or belt attachment
#3
Trax Play
Starts at 
$4
/mo.
Pro Bullet Lightweight
Pro Bullet Updates every 10 to 20 seconds
Pro Bullet Belt clip attachment
#4
Amber Alert
Starts at 
$15
/mo.
Pro Bullet Two-way calling
Pro Bullet Registered sex offenders alerts
Pro Bullet Several attachment options
#5
LG GizmoPal 2
Starts at 
$5
/mo.
Pro Bullet Two-way calling
Pro Bullet Alerts when device crosses safety zones
Pro Bullet Wristwatch

*Prices listed based on listed retailer prices as of this writing. Data effective 8/15/2019. Prices and availability subject to change.

Nothing is more heart-stoppingly scary than realizing you don’t know where your child is, and if you have a child who is prone to wandering off, you know firsthand just how true that is. We know keeping your adventurous child with you at all times just isn’t possible, so we created a list of GPS tracking devices that will help you keep tabs on your children while they are away from you. Each device offers a way for you as a parent to track your children’s movements and be alerted when they wander off or go out of range. There is a wide selection of product types and security features to choose from, so we’ve narrowed down the options to our top ten recommendations.

kids holding hands with mom

Top 5 best GPS tracking devices for kids

AngelSense Guardian

AngelSense Guardian
    • Price: $199
    • Per month: $39.99
    • Network: GPS 1: AT&T or T-Mobile; GPS 2: Verizon
    • Dimensions: GPS 1: 1.8 x 3 x .75 inches; GPS 2: 2.3 x 4.3 x .5 inches
    • Weight: GPS 1: 2.3 oz; GPS 2: 4 oz

    Our #1 recommended GPS tracking device for kids is the AngelSense Guardian. There are two models: the GPS 1 is smaller and uses the AT&T and T-Mobile networks, while the GPS 2 is larger with a longer battery life and uses the Verizon network. The two models have all the same features beyond those few differences; however, the GPS1 is only now being offered on a case-by-case basis.

    The AngelSense comes highly recommended by parents and has exceptional customer service. AngelSense is specifically intended for children with special needs who might be prone to wandering or escaping from school. For this reason, AngelSense has the most comprehensive and reliable security features of any device we looked at:

    • The tracker will create an automatic geofence every time your child is in one place for longer than five minutes.
    • You’ll receive an alert every time your child arrives or departs (or is in transit) from any location.
    • The device’s location can be updated as frequently as every 30 seconds and the battery is designed to last 12 to 14 hours for the GPS 1 model and 24 hours for the GPS 2 model at that frequency.
    • If your child takes off or goes missing, you can use Runner Mode to get location updates every 10 seconds.
    • You can create a group of people to alert (including teachers, caregivers, and emergency personnel) with a live view and directions to the child’s location.
    • There is also a My Location feature that shows your position relative to your child on a map, which is especially helpful in open spaces (like a park) without an address.

    The app includes a detailed history of your child’s movements, including how long they spent at each location, transit times, and even the maximum speed during transit. AngelSense attaches securely to clothing using a magnetic lock that has be removed with a parent key. There is also a locking belt option that goes under a child’s clothing if you prefer that.

    A one-way calling feature allows up to two users to listen in on your child’s environment for up to 60 minutes each month; if you exceed that amount, it costs $0.10 per minute. This feature is usually quite muffled and indistinct from inside a pocket, but the company is working with Verizon to improve the reception. That and the relatively expensive monthly cost are really the only drawbacks to using this highly recommended top pick.

    Pros
    • Pro BulletCannot be removed without a key
    • Pro BulletAttached to a pocket or worn on a locking belt under clothing
    • Pro BulletDetailed location history
    • Pro BulletAlerts you when your child arrives or departs from any location
    • Pro BulletUnlimited number of automatic safe zones
    • Pro BulletCan listen in on your child’s surroundings
    • Pro BulletRunner Mode updates location every 10 seconds
    • Pro BulletCreate group of contacts to alert if child goes missing
    • Pro BulletMy Location feature
    • Pro BulletHighly durable materials
    • Pro BulletHighly positive parent reviews
    • Pro Bullet30 day free trial
    Cons
    • Con BulletMore expensive monthly fee compared to similar products
    • Con BulletLimited to 60 minutes of listening to your child’s surroundings per month without additional charges
    • Con BulletSounds are muffled and indistinct
    • Con BulletNot waterproof

    PocketFinder GPS Child Tracker

    PocketFinder GPS
      • Price: $129.95
      • Per month: $12.95
      • Network: AT&T
      • Dimensions: 2 x 2.6 x .8 in.
      • Weight: 1.4 oz

      This small GPS tracking device earned our #2 spot through its reliability, extreme durability, security features, and overall lack of disadvantages. It is waterproof and very durable—its plastic casing can survive a trip through the washer and dryer. There isn’t an SOS button, but the wearer can tap the device three times on a hard surface to send an emergency alert to the parent’s phone. Parents also receive an alert when a pre-set speed is exceeded (so you can be alerted right away if your child is in a car) or when any of the geofences are crossed. You can set up an unlimited number of geofences, so you can be alerted if your children leave school, soccer practice, piano lesson, a friend’s house, or pretty much anywhere they’re supposed to be. The device’s location is updated as frequently as every two minutes and you will get between one and three days of use between charging.

      This is one of the few devices we found with a specific international service plan available for $29.95 per month, and you can modify your service type to accommodate your travel plans. The app interface is pretty user friendly, though some users reported difficulty logging in. Although the PocketFinder is small, it is not as streamlined as other devices so it’s a little clunky when worn on the wrist, but it’s perfect for a backpack or jacket pocket.

      Pros
      • Pro BulletUpdates location as frequently as every two minutes
      • Pro Bullet60-day activity log
      • Pro BulletWaterproof and highly durable
      • Pro BulletUnlimited safety zones
      • Pro BulletInternational service plan available
      • Pro BulletCan be attached in several ways (wristband, pocket, belt)
      • Pro BulletThree hard taps signals an emergency alert
      • Pro BulletBattery life of one to three days depending on usage
      • Pro BulletUnlimited number of contacts for the device
      • Pro BulletAcceleration alert
      Cons
      • Con BulletNo calling feature
      • Con BulletClunky when worn

      Trax Play GPS Tracker

      Trax Play
        • Price: $99
        • Per month: $4 to $9
        • Network: GSM/GPRS Quad-band
        • Dimensions: 1.5 x 2.2 x .4 in.
        • Weight: 1 oz

        Like our #2 pick, the Trax Play GPS Tracker is a small yet very reliable GPS device that slips in a pocket or clips onto a belt. Trax Play updates several times per minute when your child is on the move, plus you can set it to monitor a specific area during certain hours of the day—for example, you can set it to monitor your child’s route home from school. Trax Play also has a unique augmented reality feature in which a tracker icon will appear in the image of your surroundings to let you see which direction your child is in. This is especially helpful if you’re at a crowded amusement park or another large, open space without street directions. Another unique feature that gets approval from parents is that you can draw your geofences in any shape, not just a square or circle. All of these features are easy to use on the app, though some users reported that updates to the phone made the app slow or glitchy.

        The small size and light weight of the device is great for young children, though the proportionately small battery will need to be recharged every night or more more frequently if your child is on the move all day (for example, at an amusement park) so that Trax Play is constantly updating. This battery drain, combined with the lack of durability and a couple of safety features that the PocketFinder has (such as the emergency alert feature), bumped the Trax Play down to our #3 spot, but its unique features and comparatively low price kept it high on our list.

        Pros
        • Pro BulletUnlimited number of safety zones
        • Pro BulletDraw your own safety zone borders
        • Pro BulletAugmented reality feature
        • Pro BulletUpdates every 10 to 20 seconds when your child is moving
        • Pro BulletAcceleration alert
        • Pro BulletWorks in 33 countries
        • Pro BulletInexpensive compared to similar products
        • Pro BulletLightweight
        • Pro BulletCan be clipped to a belt or slipped into a pocket or bag
        Cons
        • Con BulletShort battery life
        • Con BulletNo SOS alert or calling features
        • Con BulletNo activity log
        • Con BulletLess durable than similar products

        Amber Alert GPS Locator

        Amber Alert
          • Price: $125
          • Per month: $15 or $18
          • Network: AT&T
          • Dimensions: 1.5 x 2.8 x .8 inches
          • Weight: 2.3 oz

          This tracking device has a couple of unique features that earned it the #4 spot on our list. Like many other devices we looked at, it has a two-way calling feature so you can connect with your child, but it also has a School Ready feature, which blocks all incoming calls to the device to avoid interruptions while your child is at school. The Amber Alert device is also the only one we found that will send you an alert whenever you child comes within 500 feet of a registered sex offender’s home. There are also alerts for when a preset speed is exceeded, when a child crosses a safety zone border, and if the device is turned on or off.

          The biggest drawback is that the device updates its location only every five minutes, which is not helpful if your child needs to be constantly monitored. There are limits to the number of safety zones you can create and the number of programmed contacts. The app is generally reliable, but there are a few less-than-convenient features—for example, you have to create safe zones on the web portal instead of directly in the app. However, for parents looking for a reliable way to track their children throughout the day or in case of an emergency, this is an all-around solid choice at an average price.

          Pros
          • Pro BulletTwo-way calling
          • Pro BulletSchool Ready feature to block incoming calls
          • Pro BulletAlerts for proximity to registered sex offenders
          • Pro BulletAcceleration alert
          • Pro BulletSOS button
          • Pro BulletLow battery alert
          • Pro BulletAlerts when device crosses a safety zone border
          • Pro BulletAlerts when device is turned on/off
          • Pro BulletCan be attached in many ways (on the wrist, arm, or ankle; on a lanyard; in a backpack; on a belt or belt loop)
          • Pro Bullet90-day activity log
          • Pro Bullet40-hour battery life
          Cons
          • Con BulletUpdates location every 5 minutes
          • Con BulletOnly 20 safety zones
          • Con BulletOne primary contact
          • Con BulletOnly 10 additional users
          • Con BulletInternational roaming charges will apply

          LG GizmoPal 2

          LG GizmoPal 2
            • Price: $79.99
            • Per month: $5
            • Network: Verizon
            • Dimensions: 1.5 x 2 inches (watch face; strap length varies)
            • Weight: 1.6 oz

            The LG GizmoPal 2 is sold through Verizon and uses its extensive network to bring you two-way calling and live GPS tracking of your children. You do have to have an account with Verizon and there is a $40 activation fee for the device; however, the monthly fee is just $5 and you can have an account for just the watch without switching phone providers. The GizmoPal is aimed at younger children with fun ringtones, sounds, and voice prompts including speaking the time. It also gives children a way to call their parents with a simple, one-button calling feature, though only four phone numbers can be programmed into the watch. Another potential drawback is that instead of getting constant location updates, you have to either initiate a search from the app or schedule location updates throughout the day. If you just want to periodically check in, this will be sufficient, but if you need to be alerted right away if your kid wanders away from school or makes an unscheduled stop, this device won’t be as convenient for you.

            The GizmoPal 2 earned our #5 spot because while it lacks some of the features of similar watches on our list, it is less expensive and has had fewer reported issues. Plus, the app has great ratings from users (4 out of 5 star rating from over 1,200 reviews for the Android version). The GizmoPal 2 is essentially a wristwatch phone so it’s a great option for parents who simply want to check with their kids throughout the day.

            Pros
            • Pro BulletUses Verizon network
            • Pro BulletLow monthly cost
            • Pro BulletTwo-way calling with auto-answer feature
            • Pro BulletCan create safety zones and receive alerts when device crosses them
            • Pro BulletAverage battery life
            • Pro BulletProvides activity log
            • Pro BulletVoice clock states the time
            • Pro BulletFun sounds and other functions for kids to use
            Cons
            • Con BulletOnly updates location when scheduled or initiated by the app
            • Con BulletNo panic alerts
            • Con BulletOnly four contacts/app users
            • Con BulletWorn only as a wristwatch
            • Con BulletNot for international use

            My Buddy Tag

            My Buddy Tag
              • Price: $39.99
              • Per month: None
              • Network: Bluetooth
              • Dimensions: 1.2 x 1.2 x .4 inches (tag); wristbands are 5.5 to 8 inches long
              • Weight: 1.8 oz

              My Buddy Tag is a Bluetooth-connected device that immediately alerts you if your child wanders out of Bluetooth range (approximately 40 feet indoors and 80 to 120 feet outdoors) or if the device is submerged in water for more than 10 seconds. This makes it a great device for parents who are looking for something to simply keep track of their kids while at a park, store, or mall. My Buddy Tag allows you to set your alert distance at near, medium, or far so you have some control over how far you want your child to wander. Because it uses Bluetooth, there are no monthly fees and the device itself is very inexpensive. The battery should last a full year or more, and if the battery dies before the end of the year, the company will send a replacement Tag.

              The drawbacks to My Buddy Tag are mainly with the limitations of using Bluetooth. Losing connectivity will set off a false alarm, and running Bluetooth constantly can drain your phone battery quickly. Only one user can connect to the Tag at a time, but this was intentional so that one person would be primarily responsible for the child. My Buddy Tag’s low cost and basic safety features earned it a spot on our list for your consideration.

              Pros
              • Pro BulletLow cost
              • Pro BulletNo monthly subscription fees
              • Pro BulletCan be worn on the wrist, in a pocket, or tied to a shoelace, necklace, etc.
              • Pro BulletAlerts as soon as child leaves set Bluetooth range (near, medium, far)
              • Pro BulletEmails with the last known location of the device
              • Pro BulletWaterproof and durable
              • Pro BulletAlerts if device is submerged in water
              • Pro BulletPanic button (can be disabled from the app)
              • Pro Bullet1-year battery life
              • Pro BulletAdjustable strap
              • Pro BulletCan be used anywhere with Bluetooth connection
              Cons
              • Con BulletCan connect with only one parent phone at a time
              • Con BulletNo live tracking features
              • Con BulletLimited Bluetooth range of 40 to 120 feet
              • Con BulletBluetooth connection issues will issue false alerts
              • Con BulletUnit must be replaced after battery dies
              • Con BulletMay drain phone battery
              • Con BulletSilicone wristband difficult to remove

              Lineable

              Lineable
                • Price: $12.99
                • Per month: None
                • Network: Bluetooth
                • Dimensions: 5, 5.5, or 6 inches long
                • Weight: 0.5 oz.

                Lineable is a basic silicone wristband with the big advantage of a low cost and no monthly fees. It is available from the company for just $10, but that comes with a hefty international ($20) shipping fee to the U.S. It’s also available from Amazon at a slightly higher price but with reduced shipping.

                Like My Buddy Tag, Lineable uses Bluetooth connectivity to alert you if your child wanders out of range, which is limited to 65 to 98 feet. You’ll be able to see the last known location of the band when it went out of range, and the Lineable app also has a unique feature called Crowdsourcing GPS that allows anyone with the app to help locate your child. If your child is within the range of another person’s phone, that location will be sent to the parent phone so you can find your child more quickly. Another advantage to Lineable is that the battery lasts one year so you don’t have to worry about recharging—you will need to replace the device once the battery wears out.

                The disadvantages are the lack of additional tracking features and problems with Bluetooth connectivity that may set off false alarms; the lack of even a few extras (like a panic button) put it below My Buddy Tag on our list. However, the durable, waterproof device is a great low-cost option for parents who want to make sure their kids don’t wander off in crowded spaces (like a park, mall, or amusement park).

                Pros
                • Pro Bullet1-year battery life
                • Pro BulletLow cost
                • Pro BulletNo monthly subscription fees
                • Pro BulletAlerts when child leaves Bluetooth range
                • Pro BulletCan check the last known location of the device
                • Pro BulletCrowdsourcing GPS
                • Pro BulletThree sizes (small, medium, large)
                • Pro BulletConnects to multiple guardians
                • Pro BulletWaterproof, durable, lightweight
                • Pro BulletWill work anywhere you can use Bluetooth connection
                Cons
                • Con BulletNo live tracking features
                • Con BulletLimited Bluetooth range of 65 to 98 feet
                • Con BulletBluetooth connection issues will issue false alerts
                • Con BulletUnit must be replaced after battery dies
                • Con BulletStrap may be too small for older children
                • Con BulletMay drain phone battery

                kidsport GPS Tracking Band

                kidsport GPS
                  • Price: $199
                  • Per month: $9.95
                  • Network: T-Mobile
                  • Dimensions: 5.5- or 6.5-inch circumference

                  The kidsport GPS Tracking Band is a colorful wristband that uses GPS and the T-Mobile network to let you track your children from your phone. The location of the device updates every five minutes and the battery is designed to last for 24 hours at that setting. You’ll receive three kinds of alerts: if the SOS button is held down for more than three seconds; if the child crosses a geofence; and if the wristband is removed. The band has a safety latch that is moderately difficult to release (it requires a paperclip or something similar). There is a monthly data plan charge, but you don’t have to sign a contract so service can be cancelled at any time.

                  There are several drawbacks to this product, however. While you can create geofences, you can assign only two to each kidsport device. This means you can’t create a geofence for every friend’s house or every team practice location. You are also limited to 30 emergency location updates per month before you will be charged an additional $5 for up to 50 manual updates or $12 for up to 100 updates. The additional costs for extra updates might be worth it, though, if you have an adventurous child who likes to go new places without telling you. The wristbands come in only two sizes and cannot be adjusted, which means they may not fit well or for long. We gave the kidsport a spot on our list for its straightforward functionality, but placed it low on the list because of its limitations.

                  Pros
                  • Pro BulletSOS button
                  • Pro BulletAlert when the wristband is removed
                  • Pro BulletDifficult to remove wristband
                  • Pro BulletNo service contract; can be cancelled anytime
                  • Pro BulletWaterproof and durable
                  • Pro BulletActivity log
                  Cons
                  • Con BulletOnly two geofences per device
                  • Con BulletLocation updates only every 5 minutes
                  • Con BulletLimited number of emergency location updates
                  • Con BulletAvailable in only two sizes
                  • Con BulletMust be charged every night

                  Features to consider in GPS tracking device for kids

                  Before you buy, there are a few things to particularly take into consideration. First of all, your budget, both upfront and monthly, is going to be a big factor. Secondly, consider how you want and expect to use the device—while you are with your kids in a public space, to track them during the day, or as a way to communicate with them anytime.

                  Other features to keep in mind have to do with your child’s personality, maturity level, and preferences. If you have a child who doesn’t like to wear things (or refuses to), a wristwatch option probably won’t work. If you have children who often escape from their caregivers or from school, frequent updates are more important. Take into account the age and size of your children to make sure you get a tracking device that won’t be uncomfortable, the wrong size, or immediately lost.

                  What else we looked for

                  As we sifted through the many tracking devices on the market, we focused on the features that would make them more reliable, usable, and convenient for parents. Location update frequency, battery life, pricing, geo-fencing (predetermined geo-boundaries or safe zones), and durability were particularly accounted for. We also did not include anything that was only available for preorder, as we wanted to recommend only products that have been tried and tested.

                  Finding a GPS tracking device for your kid

                  With such a large variety of GPS trackers for kids out there, choosing one can be overwhelming. However, the variety also means you can prioritize the features your child needs and choose the one that suits your family best. Such a small device will likely go a long way in keeping your child safe while allowing them their independence.

                  Comment below to share your thoughts. We’d love to hear about your experiences, good and bad, with wearable GPS trackers.