I have a love-hate relationship with kids’ technology. I want my six-year-old to thrive in her digital environment and be able to navigate ELearning, online school platforms, and learning programs but I prefer her to spend time running around outside and riding her bike. I want the benefits of technology without maxing out on screen time every day.
Yes, her screen time is arbitrarily set by me but honestly, while she is still doing some ELearning days, I shorten the time she can spend on all other screens. When I saw this fun technology that my daughter longed for, I wondered if I could harness its powers for good.
The new GizmoHub Verizon watch Disney Edition combines the whimsical Disney characters my daughter loves (including the new baby Yoda character) with practical, usable features like a daily step counter, GPS location tracking software (more on this later), ten parent-approved contacts for wi-fi texting and calling including an SOS contact number, a weather app, and my daughter’s favorite feature… a camera.
All of the features are controlled by the app that is installed on my phone. The dashboard on my phone is easy to use. I can ping her watch any time I want to locate her, I can see her step goal progress and send and receive pictures and voice messages, all while being perfectly accessible to her to call, check-in by sending me a location ping or send me the 50th selfie of the day.
The GPS tracking is a feature I am super excited about, I can see the location of her watch on a typical map view or on a satellite image (similar to what you see on a “street view” on other maps on your phone). I can also turn on real-time tracking (but that uses up the battery faster) and I can set parameters that will send me alerts if she goes outside of the set boundary.
Now, my daughter is six so she isn’t intentionally going anywhere without me knowing it, but I like this option to grow with her and as her biking boundaries expand within our neighborhood.
The only issue with the GPS tracking is that I would prefer not to add this watch to my cell phone plan so seeing her location when she gets out of wi-fi range could be an issue. I plan to work on that issue this summer when she is outside more often. Verizon says there is a $10 per month fee to add the watch but I don’t know if that is a limited plan or exactly what is included with that $10 plan.
The battery life on the watch is great, she charges it most nights but it doesn’t need to do so every night. The face on the watch is customizable and changeable between several characters including Elsa, Minnie Mouse, Buzz Lightyear, and Baby Yoda. The one small downside to this watch is that I think the face on it is a bit large for my daughter’s and most kid-sized wrists… I guess the makers needed lots of space for the fun animations and loads of features.
In short, the kid wins on this watch are: fun step tracking, a simple introduction to calling (including the ability to pick an icon for each contact in case the child can’t read), voice recordings sent as texts, taking selfies (front-facing camera only), sending pictures with the ability to add a Disney character into the photo, and animated Disney character interactions.
The mom wins on this kid watch are: easy kid-tracking, school mode to keep the watch disabled during school hours that I set, a simple way to make step goals fun, limited child ability to call and send voice texts. I can also give my daughter a to-do list.
I am super thankful this watch is not a gaming device cleverly disguised as a watch, it is much more functional and useful! I can also add multiple kids’ watches on the same Gizmo app if I want.
This watch gives my kiddo the technology features she loves and gives me the mom win I was hoping for and it’s well worth the $199.00 investment.