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Are you a proud parent of a kid that can’t keep his eyes off your watch collection?
Apart from your great taste in timepieces, there might be another, much more profound reason behind this: your child is ready to learn the basic concepts of time. And in the most conspicuous way possible, he’s letting you know!
Many parents have been scratching their heads when trying to find the best watch for toddlers. That’s because, up until recently, the choice of preschool watches deemed safe to use for children of 3 years or less was slim, not to say non-existent. On top of the safety issues, the watches that were available weren’t really interactive enough for preschoolers – and that’s probably the most important feature when it comes to wearing a wristwatch at such young age.
Luckily, in the last few years, an industry-changing Preschool Watch Collection has been developed. Particularly with toddlers in mind, these watches are built to interact with your kid and make the process of learning time as quick and as fun as possible. All of this while making sure the safety protocols are fully intact.
In this guide, we will look at the 3 best-selling models from the entire collection. But first, let’s learn what makes them so special.
What Makes These Watches Stand-Outs?
It’s okay for many watchmaking brands to advertise their bright-colored watches as “ideal for toddlers”. The fact is, none of them actually are.
While browsing for wristwatches for kids in the 1-3 years age group, not even one of them offered anything unique. Most of the time, these were just regular adult watches reduced in size and adorned with every color possible.
What most watch manufacturers don’t realize is that such young children have zero clues about time-telling. They’ve no idea what it means when you say “it’s twelve o’clock, so it’s time for play!”
At this age, the quickest the kid can learn about time is through routines. And Preschool Watch Collection makes the whole task a lot easier.
With this particular collection, the whole process of learning the concept of time is simplified by the use of colors and symbols. For toddlers, that’s by far the easiest way to categorize and separate items quickly.
The fact that these watches use colors to distinguish clock hours is crucial for kids to grasp the different times of the day. For example, your child will start to notice that you come to pick him up from the nursery or preschool when the small hand arrives at the pink section. Or, he usually hits the bed when it’s pointing to the brown color.
Additionally, all watches and clocks use animals as symbols.
It’s common knowledge that young children, especially toddlers, learn quicker with symbols and images that ring a bell. And most children absolutely love animals (and vice-versa). Hence, not only will they learn to understand the time faster but also enjoy the whole process.
“It’s time to go to bed when the big hand is on the Teddy Bear” or “We will brush your teeth when the big hand points to the Monkey“.
Doesn’t it just sound like a lot of fun? It does for me as an adult, never mind a 3-year old kid.
By giving children a visual way to see what’s in a plan for the day, it helps them understand it easily and reduces the need of you repeating yourself all the time. It’s a win-win, killing two birds with one stone… however you want to call it.
Now let’s move on to a brief review of all three watches for your toddler.
Best Watch for Toddlers (Top 3 Reviewed)
Preschool Truck Watch
Opening up the list is a beautiful toddler’s watch for boys.
The model boasts a truck theme, something gentlemen of this age should greatly appreciate. The watch features a white background dial with 12 different colors separating times of the day. Additionally, there are 12 symbols of pets that further help understand the time and what’s coming next.
Besides being incredibly interactive, the watch is built to withstand a lot. And, knowing the damage capabilities of such young folks, it should be!
The Preschool Truck watch comes with a tiny silicone case, measuring 28mm in diameter and being 8mm thick. The band has a width of 12mm and is made from the very same material. Naturally, it’s hypoallergenic and comes with easy-to-adjust tang buckle closure.
Crucially, the watch is equipped with mineral crystal glass. It’s one of the most scratch-resistant glass materials out there, often used in tactical watches.
What can’t be overlooked in such a budget-friendly watch is the fact that it’s shock and water-resistant. The water-resistance rating sits at 3 ATM / 30m, meaning it’s splashproof. At this age, it’s more than enough.
All the best watches for toddlers from the collection use highly reliable Japanese quartz movement produced by Seiko, one of the well-known names in the watchmaking industry.
Finally, what’s also well-deserving of a mention is the weight. Weighting mere 17 grams, the watch is one of the lightest models you will find online and for sure, at least at times, your kid will forget he’s even wearing it.
P.S. The watch is also available in a dinosaur theme.
Preschool Unicorn Watch
If you’ve got a little girl instead of a boy, don’t worry. The same watch model is available in a variation suitable for young ladies, too.
In contrast to the boyish truck design above, this watch is as girly as they come. The main theme features a unicorn although there’s also a Kitty variation available.
Similar to the model above, the dial of the watch features a white background with a 12-color palette separating different times of the day. It also has the 12 symbols of pets that help distinguish between hours and minutes.
Oh, and don’t let the pink color fool you. The watch is just as durable as the model we discussed a moment ago.
Both the watch case and band are made from hypoallergenic silicone. Identical to the Truck version, the case measures 28mm in diameter and the thickness is 8mm. The band uses a standard buckle closure and is 12mm wide. The weight of the watch remains unchanged: and that’s just 17g.
The same durable type of mineral crystal glass is used in this model, too.
Adding to the durability is the shock and water-resistance. The WR rating is 3 ATM / 30m which makes the model splashproof.
Finally, the watch uses the same type of reliable quartz movement from the Japanese watch mogul – Seiko.
Preschool Wall Clock
On top of the two wristwatches, the company also offers an interactive Wall Clock. This, in my opinion, is an excellent addition that can only make the process of learning even smoother.
The preschool wall clock is available in just one color/design version you see in the image above. It’s a perfect choice for both boys and girls.
The exact same colors/symbols pattern is kept here. The colors signalize different hours while the pet symbols point to minutes. For easy nighttime reading, all the animal icons glow in the dark.
The metal frame of the clock measures 12 inches in diameter. Protecting the clock face is an acrylic dial window, a fairly standard choice for wall clocks in this price range. For maximum safety, there’s also a battery cover at the back.
The clock is powered by an ultra-silent, non-ticking quartz movement. At that cost, it’s probably as inconspicuous as a wall clock can get.
As a little bonus, the product comes with a cardboard Play Clock and 46 stickers that let your child personalize the dial window (12-hour figures like lunch, bedtime, bath time, etc.).
Picking the Best Toddler's Watch: Buying Guide
I’m pretty sure that the list of the 3 best watches for toddlers has delivered at least one product that you think your kid will love.
If for whatever reason that’s not the case, no worries. Below I have prepared a short Buying Guide that will help you find the right watch on your own.
What to look for in watches for toddlers?
There are a few features you’d like to tick off before going ahead with the purchase of the watch.
Wristwatches for kids under the age of three can’t just be mini-versions of adult timepieces with the addition of some extra colors. First and foremost, they have to provide at least a minimum level of engagement/interactivity. Simple analog or even digital watches won’t do!
The color/symbol combo presented in the Preschool Collection is an excellent benchmark of what to look for. But by no means it’s the only solution on earth. Some other brands specializing in watches for toddlers also equip the models with different sounds that help distinguish between all 12 hours.
In the ideal world, you’d like to buy a toddler’s watch that will for a good few years – at least until your kid is ready to wear a regular one.
Little kids break things and you can’t control them 24/7, that’s just the way it is. There’s a good chance your child will have an off day and decide to test the endurance of the watch he’s wearing. And trust me, kids can get creative when it comes to this.
When looking for the product on your own, make sure:
a) The dial window isn’t plastic-made (unless it’s a wall clock). Acrylic lenses are a common choice among budget brands but they just won’t do. Plastic windows are poor protection against scratches and cracks, especially if it’s a kid that wears the watch. Consider only watches that use mineral or sapphire crystal glass. Both models for toddlers I’ve listed in this article are equipped with the former.
b) The watch uses a hypoallergenic silicone/rubber strap and case. On top of making sure the kid doesn’t suffer from any allergies, these materials are also enduring and cleanable. At all costs avoid leather which is a nightmare to clean and easily breakable. You’d also like to pass on stainless steel which in some cases triggers strong allergic reactions.
c) The watch is water-resistant. When it comes to children this young, a 3ATM / 30m water-resistance rating will do the job. It effectively makes the watch splashproof, allowing the kid to wear it during a shower or when it rains outside.
d) The watch is shock-resistant. This feature goes a long way in helping prevent damage to the movement when your child drops the watch to the floor or, God forbid, hits it against something heavy.
The right appearance
Kids love visuals and have an eye for detail. You should pick a watch that your child will be proud and happy to wear. Consider watches rich in colors and symbols, similar to the models listed in this article.
Also, make sure the watch is neither too big nor too heavy. Cases measuring less than 30mm in diameter are a good benchmark size-wise. Naturally, the less it weighs the better. At times the kid should forget he’s wearing it!
What are other brands that offer kids’ watches?
As previously mentioned, there still isn’t a huge choice of brands offering watches for toddlers.
Nevertheless, if you have children who already understand the basic concepts of time, Casio kids’ watches look pretty awesome. If you’re shopping on a budget, Timex kids’ watches should present you with a lot to choose from as well.
What is the best smartwatch for toddlers?
As much as I’m all in for teaching kids the concept of time from as early as possible, a smart watch for toddlers is probably stretching it a bit.
In my opinion, a 3-year old (or younger) should first grasp the basic understanding of time before latching onto all the additional technological perks a smartwatch comes with. Nevertheless, you can find smartwatches designed for kids aged 3-6 years by clicking here.
At what age should a child wear a watch?
There’s no fixed answer to this question. You as a parent should be able to pick up the signals that your kid is ready to wear one.
Just a few years ago, there were basically zero choices as far as watches for toddlers were concerned. Hence, parents usually considered buying a kid’s first watch when he was ready for school.
Nowadays, the number of brands developing watch collections for kids in the 1-3 age group is on the rise. If you’ve noticed your kid’s interest in your watch collection or the watch display of the store in your area, feel free to buy him one already.
Do 3-year olds have a concept of time?
This will differ from kid to kid.
For example, most children might understand sequences (he did it first or last) or how long an activity takes (a long or short time). On the other hand, concepts like the past (yesterday) and the future (tomorrow) might be hard to grasp at first. Naturally, the same applies to minutes and hours.
Having a proper toddler watch will definitely help the case.