Are Apple Watches for Kids?

A quick poll: How many of you have an Apple Watch (or similar smart watch)? What age were you when you got the smart watch?

Now, how many of you think young children (under age 10) should also have a smart watch? Hmm…. Interesting.

Smart watches are now moving to younger children for activity tracking. And, Apple is now actively targeted families with young children for their Apple Watch, promoting the device as a way to reach and track their children. Offered as a simpler and cheaper watch – the Apple Watch SE includes a feature called “Family Setup.” This software allows parents to track children’s location, manage contacts, and limit notifications. (No iPhone is needed for the kids.)

But of course any technology intended for, or used by, children presents questions and concerns for its use. In particular, social media is seen as dangerous to young children as is the increase in amount of time spent viewing ‘screens’. However, smart watches have limited applications; no cameras or browsers so there are fewer games and opportunities for accessing adult content. Parents want connection, but don’t want children to have more screens or screen time. Starting at $249, the Apple Watch SE is cheaper than iPhones or other smart watches, but that is still a hefty price tag.

Where are your kids playing today?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What is their opinion about Apple Watches for young children?
  2. Show video about family setup with watch: https://youtu.be/Ga8hyrp2PkY
  3. Have any opinions changed after considering the video?
  4. Show Apple Watch website: https://www.apple.com/watch/
  5. Have students research other smart watches for children. They should develop a table to compare the watches, trackers, price, and functions.
  6. Garmin: https://www.garmin.com/en-US/c/sports-fitness/kids-wearables-fitness-activity-trackers/
  7. Fitbit: https://www.fitbit.com/global/us/products/trackers/ace3
  8. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a description of the target market (families with young children) for the watch.
  9. Have each team develop a promotional plan for marketing the watch to families with children.

Sources:  Huang, K. and Chen, B. (1 September 2022). An Apple Watch for your 5-year-old? More parents say yes. New York Times.

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