Best Walkie Talkies for Kids
The Wishouse Rechargeable Walkie Talkies is an excellent value with three handhelds, lanyards, rechargeable batteries, and a multiple cord plug-in. This set is excellent for families with multiple kids and worked up to a mile away! We like the bright colors, the easy-to-hold shape, and the cool flashlight was a big hit with testers.
Like others in this review, this product has a ridiculously hard method for channel changes, and somehow, children ended up accidentally changing channels during testing when they didn't mean to. Also, the phone ring sound is a useless feature that annoys even the most patient parent. Those hiccups aside, we think this set offers a lot for the money, and our testers loved playing with them both day and night with flashlights on, making them a great buy.
The Vivibyan Walkie Talkies has the honor of being the easiest to use in this group. Our testers loved how simple they were to operate, and parents enjoyed not being called upon for help every two minutes. This set is basic but gets the job done with enough range for most young testers, even outside with buildings between handsets. It comes with a backlit display that is easy to see and a flashlight.
These handhelds feel sort of flimsy and are lighter than the competition. While ours worked great with no problems, we wonder how long they will last with regular use. They are also smaller than the competition, and holding them isn't as easy for adults as it is for kids, resulting in accidental dropping during testing. However, we think this set is a great value and the best for channel changing and avoiding unintentional changes while playing, making them great for families with younger kids.
The Motorola Talkabout T100 is a sturdy feeling basic walkie-talkie set for kids. It has minimal buttons on a straightforward user interface, and it gets the job done without some of the bells and whistles found on the competing kid's products. We like this set's simplicity, and we had more luck with channel setting and less accidental channel changing from little ones during testing compared to the competition. The pair takes AAA batteries and has belt clips to keep the unit nearby and ready to talk.
The batteries in this unit are harder to change with the belt clip in place than the competition. They also seem to drain fairly quickly compared to the other walkies that take the same number of batteries. In our tests, fresh batteries lasted less than a day. A subsequent test day yielded longer results, so we aren't sure what is happening with this pair. Overall, we like that Motorola usually translates to quality, and the walkie-talkies were easy to use, had a good range, and the voices were clear, making them a good choice for most kids.
The Huaker Kids Walkie Talkies is a 3-pack good for families with several kids. The handsets are the perfect shape for holding, have an easy-to-use talk button, and come with a backlit display and flashlight/lamp. They have a thick short antenna and a jack for a headset (not included). Testers like the bright camo colors, lamp, and pressing the call lock button.
The call lock button stops other players from talking to you, and it makes a ring like a phone. The ring makes it appealing to touch the button, but the way it stops the relay of communication is frustrating for little ones who just wanted it to ring like a phone. Also, the push-to-talk button on one option broke off during testing, but we snapped it back in place, and it stayed there for the remainder of the testing. Overall, these walkie-talkies are an excellent option for larger groups looking for distance-talking fun.
If you're looking for something slightly different from the usual fare, the QNIGLO Walkie Talkies with FM is a fun animal walkie with a wrist band, lanyard, and FM radio. Testers loved the radio components and the cute design, and even older kids overlooked the cute animal for the lighter weight and clear sound. The shape fits well in little hands, and if kids look close enough, they'll see the lights around the eyes change colors.
The buttons on this option are harder to read and press. Also, parents will likely need to read the instructions as the fewer buttons are not readily apparent in what they do. Overall, testers loved this option, and while they are not the typical outdoorsy walkies, we think that is why many testers loved them.
The Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios are grownup walkies with a kid-friendly price. These handhelds come with charging stations, rechargeable batteries, and cool headsets. Older testers like the adult look and the professional feel of this choice, and parents like the straightforward buttons.
These "grownup" walkies probably won't appeal to little kids and those still attracted to bright colors and kid-centric features. However, for the price, they offer a great range, reusable batteries, and a military-type headset that can up the action of strategy games like laser tag and capture the flag.
The Retevis RT628 Walkie Talkies is a solid feeling walkie with a durable feeling design and easy to hold rounded shape. This option comes with a jack for a headset and a call button with a phone-like ring.
The phone call button ringing is annoying, and you can't talk through it. Unfortunately, really young children find this to be the best feature. This option also lacks any exciting kid-centric features like a lamp, radio, or fun color scheme. We like how durable this pair feels and suspect it might take more than one drop before it gives up, making it a good choice for those who tend to drop things easily or want a camping-style walkie more than a toy.
The Topsung Walkie Talkies are identical in every way except color to the Retevis RT628. It is a solid pair with an easy-to-use interface and a jack for a headset.
This pair is slightly more expensive than the Retevis RT628, so unless you must have a camo pair, you can save a few bucks going the other way. Also, like its twin, it has no kid-centric features, and the call button will quickly annoy most parents. Still, we see a place for this durable feeling set for those looking for outdoorsy communication instead of a toy-type model.
The Obuby Walkie Talkies was a big draw to our younger testers as the bright colors are hard to miss, and the lights make the dark so much more fun. Our testers liked the call button, and parents like the lower price for a pack of three. This set comes with flashlights and jacks for headsets (not included). It has a backlit display and voice activation.
These talkies have a challenging channel-changing design that is hard for parents and surprisingly easy for kids to change without intending to. This design means a lot of parent involvement to fix the "broken" talkies. Also, the voice activation didn't work that well in our tests since kids talk all the time. The constant talking meant that kids on other talkies never got to speak. Overall, we see this kid-centric product's appeal and think it might be fun for a short period when playing in a group. However, it isn't the best pair, and we believe parents and kids will be happier with other options in this review.
the Selieve Walkie Talkies is a two-pack set of walkie talkies that are all but identical to the Obuby, varying only in color. The two products have the same plastic case design, take the same number and type of batteries, and have the same buttons and flashlight accessory. We like them both equally, as the only discernable difference is the color of the units. This option ranks slightly lower only because it comes in a pack of two instead of three for virtually the same price.
These talkies, alongside their twins, have a lot of buttons, and to be honest, most are unnecessary or cause unintended channel changes that are hard to fix quickly. There is even an annoying ringer that may draw attention to your handheld buddy but prevents any talking and is irritating to adults. However, this ringer is a younger tester's favorite. Overall, this set isn't bad for a toy, but there are easier-to-use options in this bunch of similar fare.
The Kids Walkie Talkies Watches is a camo-colored watch-style toy with a compass and a cool soldier look and feel. Testers were immediately drawn to the design and couldn't wait to use them. The talk button is easy to access, readily marked, and worked well. It comes with more features than the competition, including a compass, magnifier, reflector, watch, nightlight, and secret compartments.
Unfortunately, this toy came broken, and we were disappointed that both compasses were knocked off-kilter and didn't move. Also, the antenna is an old-school telescoping antenna circa any time before 1990, and it doesn't play well with the wristband design of this "watch." Overall, we think it is a great concept that was poorly executed compared to the competition, and we are sad to say we can't recommend it.
Why You Should Trust Us
We've been testing baby gear and products for kids and pregnancy for more than eight years. We buy every product we test and make our recommendations based on our hands-on testing results. Wendy Schmitz, Senior Review Editor and mother of 2, lead the charge on this review of walkie-talkies for kids. At 8 and 10, Wendy's boys are the perfect age for walkie-talkie fun and enjoyed every minute of testing these cool toys and providing feedback. Want to know which toy is best for kids? Give it to kids and see what happens. We tested each set side-by-side for quality, ease of use, and range to find the best kids' walkie-talkies on the market.
Analysis and Test Results
We purchased the top walkie-talkie products for kids and put them through rigorous testing hands-on "in the field" to find the best of the best, so your little ones will have hours of happy fun on the run, staying connected.
Ease of Use
Many walkie-talkies are similar; some are even identical with a different brand name attached. However, some differences allow some of the competition to stand out for good and bad reasons. The best options for kids are those with limited buttons that are easy to identify with few opportunities to press the wrong buttons accidentally. If a walkie-talkie has too many buttons or kids can accidentally change channels without intending to, they can quickly grow frustrated if the fun needs repeated assistance from an adult.
Channel changing is the biggest problem we encountered during testing. For most of the competition, you need to hold down one button to initiate the continuous changing of channels. You then need perfect timing to hit the talk button to stop the change rotation on your desired channel. This process is more challenging than our explanation makes it sound. During testing, our timing was off most of the time, and we'd have to start over to select the right channel. This process is required for each walkie-talkie in a set, so everyone is on the same channel or different channels, depending on your plans. You might be thinking, no big deal, I'll never change the channel. Unfortunately, your child will, even when that is not their goal or plan. We don't know how our testers did it, but they ALL did it repeatedly, with every set we tested, no exceptions. From two-year-olds to 11-year-olds, they all accidentally started the channel-changing process. This accidental button pushing led to a lot of "This one doesn't work," "Mine stopped working," and adult interventions. We suspect the desire to see what the products can do and discover hidden features leads to random button pushing and holding until the handsets are no longer set to the same channel or stuck in the rotating channel surf.
The only two options that didn't have this problem were the Arcshell Rechargeable and the Vivibyan Walkie Talkies. The Motorola Talkabout T100 is also pretty good at avoiding accidental channel change, though it is possible that it happened less frequently than the troublesome competition in our tests. During testing, kids had the most problems regarding channel-changing accidents with the Obuby Walkie Talkies and the identical Selieve Walkie Talkies, which is a large part of why they didn't fare better in the ranking.
None of the products in this review are high-dollar, and we certainly don't expect them to work on the same level as professional adult walkie-talkies. However, we expect them to work without frustration and last at least as long as kids want to play with them for the entire summer months. If they have additional fun features that also work well, that's just a bonus.
Not all of the competition managed simple feats like working all of the time. The Walkie Talkies Watches came to us broken in the box, and there is nothing quite like the disappointment of a child expecting a cool gift and getting a broken one instead. While we concede that this could be an unfortunate one-off, we still report our experience to bring you the most accurate information we have. This set did come with the most additional features, but maybe this just proved the rule that multi-purpose products rarely do anything well. For ours, the compass on both watches were broken, and the old-school antenna was annoying as it had to be pulled out for use and pushed back in when not using to avoid it getting hung up on everything or accidentally poking kids.
In our tests, the Huaker Kids Walkie Talkies were a mixed bag as they worked well overall, but the push to talk button on the blue one fell off during play. We were able to pop it back in place, and it continued to work, but there is a quality issue here that could affect its overall longevity, and we don't think we played with them long enough to justify a button falling off. The Retevis, TopSung, and Arcshell feel like the most durable options. The Motorola Talkabout T100 is from a brand name you'll recognize, giving it a little more brand recognition clout for quality. They felt sturdy and stayed in one piece in our tests, though they did go through batteries faster than the competition.
Some of the competition offers features outside basic handset communication like flashlights and headset jacks. The QNIGLO Walkie Talkies even have FM radio capabilities you can wear on a lanyard or wrist. Depending on how you plan to use your talkies, these are features you may want to consider. Our testers really enjoyed the flashlights, and it got them playing outside later than they usually would have. All of the flashlights are dim and do not light objects at a distance, and a more accurate label might be "lamp," as some of the products describe them. However, there is something to be said for a straightforward product like the Motorola that is just a walkie-talkie that gets the job done without all the bells and whistles that could complicate things for little ones. Older children might get more out of extra features. In our tests, younger users struggled to use the basic features, and the more buttons they had, the harder it was to use the products.
Occasionally, you can't be sure exactly what you're getting into until after you buy it and use it, and it fails to meet expectations. In the world of kids' walkie-talkies, we definitely discovered that some options are far easier to use than the competition, and as a result, some options stand out for full-on kid fun day or night. We hope our hands-on testing and review provide the details you need to choose the best set for your kids and your goals, whether serious hiking plans or adding to laser tag in the yard.
— Wendy Schmitz