Walkie-talkies have been a kid favorite for years. Your child is starting to develop the necessary cognitive functions to speak and communicate their thoughts and emotions. Inevitably, they’ll be drawn to new ways to flex this new muscle in their brains. If your child isn’t already, they’re going to start watching the ways you communicate, notice the mechanisms and mediums by which you try as parents to get your point across on a daily basis. Your child might even begin repeating some of your methods. They’ll scribble on paper when they see certain things you do, even before they’ve started mastering the use of letters; they’ll hold toy phones to their ears and carry out babbling conversations with an imagined person on the other end of the line.
This is why children also love two-way radios. Not only are they easy for a child to use but they’ll love the way that they’ll be able to whisper in their spy voice to their best friend a block away, or to their trusty family member from a different room in the house or even passing messages along for secret club meetings. Whatever the case, your child will have endless hours of fun using any one of these walkie-talkies on our list below.
Our Top 3 Picks
- Spy Gear Ultra Range Walkie Talkie
- Range Of 2 Miles
- Kidzlane Durable Walkie Talkies
- Easy To Use and Kid Friendly
- UOKOO Kids Walkie Talkie
- Best Gift For Ages 4+
Criteria Used for Evaluation of The Best Walkie-Talkies for Kids
When it came to choosing the best products for our list we looked at three key points: safety, imaginative play and cooperative play. For safety, we looked at the overall range of each walkie-talkie and for what specific age group the different toys were for. Parents also should be reminded that most walkie-talkies use radio signals to communicate and that sometimes changing a channel on your walkie-talkie you’ll pick up another signal. This is why we felt that the safety features for each toy on our list were needed to avoid that other signal completely. With imaginative play, we looked at each design, range and number of connections when it came to pretend play. Finally, we considered features like age, range, and clarity of signal, regarding cooperative play. When you look below, we go into a greater description of each aspect we focused on.
Like most parents, safety was #1 on our list of concerns with walkie-talkies. While having these devices around your house can be fun and engaging for children, there are risks. If there’s no supervision or proper monitoring, the devices themselves could pick up other signals such as ham radios which can expose your children to people that you and they do not know. This was concerning for us when we considered safety. We researched and took caution with each range of the walkie-talkies and the specific signals that they pick up. A lot of the devices on our list only have a signal range of 200 feet. This makes it extremely unlikely that your children will encounter anyone besides whoever else is using the walkie-talkies. When looking at the signal, we judged the strength and frequency of each walkie-talkie in comparison to ham radios and other similar devices. While most of them have the chance of crossing with another signal, this is unlikely to happen with these kid-friendly walkie-talkies.
When determining which walkie-talkies to include on this list, we also weighed imaginative play heavily. For this feature, we studied the age range of the toys and compared this data to the typical types of pretend play children of that age engage in. We then determined whether or not the walkie-talkies aided in that play given features like range and design. Though range is also a huge part of safety and cooperative play, range also determined the reach of the child’s play. The range ultimately determines if your child is relegated to the backyard or if they have the whole neighborhood block to play and pretend. Features like design also affect this imaginative play. We looked at the size of the walkie-talkie, the portability of the walkie-talkies, and the overall ascetic appeal of the walkie-talkie for imaginative play.
Walkie-talkies were designed for communication over long distances, so of course were concerned with the cooperative play aspects of the walkie-talkies on this list. It was extremely important to us that the signal for these walkie-talkies were clear and strong so that children would have an easier time communicating with one another. We also took special notice of walkie-talkie packs that came with multiple devices, making it possible for multiple friends to play and communicate with one another all at once. Range was also a huge concern because we didn’t want too large of a range, but we also didn’t want too small of range. Most of the walkie-talkies on this list hit that sweet spot of not too far away, not to close, but just right.
How We Chose the Top Kiddie Walkie Talkies on Our List
Picking a radio communications device for kids was not really difficult since what we were really after was the functionality of the toy. It is essential that these radio transceivers provide a means of communication between two kids over some distance. It really did not matter for us whether the effective radius of communication was only several meters apart or even several miles. The more important thing was that the device was able to introduce the concept of “long-distance” communication, which is essentially the very nature of walkie-talkies.
To help us in our search, we considered the current consumer ranking of these products and included only those that have very favorable feedback. We believe that if countless consumers-–moms and dads like you-–are saying a lot of good things about a certain product, then we know that there’s a very strong chance you’ll like them, too.
These handheld radio transceivers run on some form of power and as such, it was imperative for us to look at the product’s design integrity, particularly its power source. There have been a lot of issues lately about exploding rechargeable battery systems so we have to be sure that these products have been dutifully tested and passed the stringent requirements of the federal government. Your kid may have fun playing with these electronic gadgets but if they get injured in the process, then that would be unfortunate.
A small part of our evaluation took into consideration the overall style of the walkie talkie for kids. As children, these devices must be seen more as toys and not the real stuff, although they do function like the real ones. Therefore, their design must be loved by kids. And if kids love it, parents will be happy too.
Role-Playing and Your Kid’s Development
We all know that there are plenty of benefits of role-playing activities among children. Whether it is with computer-based role playing games (RPGs) or even the actual act of role playing, these types of play can do a lot of good things to our children’s development.
- It cultivates creativity – When children role-play, they use their cognition to come up with different ideas that will help them play their expected roles. They don’t have to abide by the rules of the real world; hence, they try to create their own rules. As such, they are able to enhance their creativity.
- Enhances their social skills – Role-playing is best achieved when done in the company of others. When playing the role of a police officer, for instance, someone else must be able to perform the role of another police officer or even a crook. This helps provide the circumstances wherein children learn to use their social skills in communicating their ideas.
- Encourages cooperation and teamwork – As we have already discussed above, role-playing is best performed with other players or individuals. Roles are often defined within the context of a group. As such, children will learn how to perform their roles in conjunction with the roles played by others. And since the game has an objective, each member will have to play cooperatively and work cohesively as a team to make sure that the objectives of the game are achieved.
- Helps enhance problem-solving skills – Different scenarios often present different challenges or problems. These will require the problem-solving skills of children as they attempt to work out the solutions to the different challenges. For instance, if they are presented with a communications problem, then they must try to figure out how to solve this.
The Bottom Line
Role-playing is an important play activity for children. One way we can enhance our kids’ role-playing activities is by giving them the appropriate tools to communicate with others. Our top 10 walkie-talkies for kids can help you in this regard.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What’s the importance of long-distance communication between children?
A: Long-distance communication between children is important to their communication and cooperative skills. Walkie-talkies only work if the child has another child to play with and only if both children are willing to cooperate in the activity. Walkie-talkies teach patience and good listening skills because each child needs to carefully listen to what the other says and wait for a response. The long-distance aspect comes into play when the children can be miles apart but still engage in the same activity.
Q: How does a child understand the concept of long-distance communication?
A: This depends on the age of the child. Children ages 4 to 6 usually understand that the walkie-talkie is not the actual person talking, but they don’t yet understand the science behind the walkie-talkie. They’re still in that “amazed” stage where everything seems magical and wonderful. Children ages 7 to 10 usually grasp the science behind the walkie-talkie, and while they’re no longer amazed by the technology, they still think the devices are very cool.
Q: What makes walkie-talkies better for long-distance communication versus other products, like a phone?
A: Walkie-talkies have that intrinsic play value to them while phones are seen as an everyday communication device. And, unlike most phones, walkie-talkies can only be used for communicating with another person. They pick up radio signals only and not internet signals, meaning parents have a greater, more comprehensive idea of what’s going on with their child. If walkie-talkies aren’t an option for your family, then a brick phone might be a better option as these usually don’t have internet connection and they can only contact a select number of people.
Q: I’m concerned with my child playing with long-range walkie-talkies. What other options do I have as a parent?
A: There aren’t many other alternatives to walkie-talkies, but, as mentioned previously, you could invest in a “brick” phone. A brick phone is an older model of a cell phone which have limited internet access and are typically only used during emergencies. While you will have to add this phone onto your mobile plan and pay the monthly fee, it allows the parent access to the child at all times. This might seem a bit extreme, but there is no chance of your child picking up other signals or getting calls unless the give out the number. This also can be used as a starter phone to teach your children about phone safety and responsibility.
Q: How do walkie-talkies support cooperative play time?
A: Because walkie-talkies are designed for communication, it’s nearly impossible to get the full fun out of walkie-talkies without another person. This prompts children to create friends in order play with the walkie-talkies, but also to experience all that these toys have to offer. If your child is still a little shy with these toys, then play with them using the walkie-talkies for a bit before prompting them to find another friend to play with. Once your child has learned how to use the walkie-talkies, it’ll be that much easier to teach others and to play with others.
Q: What’re the benefits of long-distance communication for children?
A: In general, long-distance communication allows children to have friends all over the world. This exposes them to other cultures and gets them thinking about other ideas and ways of living. But in reference to walkie-talkies, this still allows children to have friends in faraway places, but still within a contained area. The strongest walkie-talkie on this list goes a few miles, allowing children to still communicate and play with their friends even while they’re at home.
Q: Would walkie-talkies support my child’s interest in technology?
A: Yes! If your child is techy and likes computers, or things of that nature, then walkie-talkies will most certainly support this interest. A great activity to do with your child is to take apart the walkie-talkie and show them how it works. If your child is a tinkerer or just likes to take things apart to see how they work, make a game out of it. Disassemble the walkie-talkie and challenge them to put it back together. Not only is this extremely fun for the child, but very educational and beneficial for their overall knowledge and complex problem-solving skills.
Q: What are the danger’s associated with walkie-talkies?
A: No matter what toy you purchase for a child, always practice safe play and teach your children about the specific safety of each and every toy. The main danger with walkie-talkies, and what you need to be very clear with your children about, is that the devices can pick up other radio signals. This opens up possible communication with other people, and possibly individuals you don’t want around your children. Create a plan with your child about what to do if they pick up a signal from an unknown source. Tell your child to immediately cut the signal from their own walkie-talkie and locate the nearest adult or safe location. If the child is younger, or you don’t feel comfortable letting them engage in this activity alone, go with them or only allow them to play with the walkie-talkies in a safe, contained location.
Q: How do walkie-talkies support imaginative play?
A: Walkie-talkies support imaginative playtime by engaging three key factors of your child’s brain. By engaging your child’s communication skills, social skills, and creativity, Walkie-talkies produce a well-developed mind space. This means that the walkie-talkie promotes your child to use multiple parts of their brain during playtime. This supports imaginative play by giving your child more ideas and an augmented sense of creativity during playtime. And, best of all, walkie-talkies also support imaginative play by making the practice cooperative. Rather than just playing by themselves, walkie-talkies allow for a child to play over long distances with other children.
Q: What are the benefits of imaginative play?
A: Imaginative play is great for exercising your child’s creativity, collaboration, and communication skills. Walkie-talkies combine all these aspects into a single toy by allowing the child to not only communicate with their friends over long distances, but also by engaging their creative mind space. Walkie-talkies can be used to play a number of games and create countless pretend scenarios, thus engaging your children in this creative mind space. Other than exercising your child’s creativity, collaboration, and communication skills, imaginative play also enhances your child’s complex problem-solving ability. This is because both high creativity and communication are indicative of problem-solving abilities.
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