Back in February, I placed an order for 3 watches & 3 companions via Indigogo.
The weekend of August 26, we received them. While the fulfillment date push backs have been a sore spot for many customers, they were to be excepted from a start-up company.
However, I’m not writing to touch on those issues. What I’m going to review is the product itself. While most reviews you’ll see on my blog have been sponsored and I will state this at the beginning of each post, this review is not. Like I mentioned, we purchased these watches for our children and I have absolutely no agreement with JOY to provide them advertising and whatnot.
We have 2 kids; ages 4 & 1.5 years old. They each got a watch. The third watch went overseas to my nephew!
Our big boy picked blue for his band, and I had originally chosen grey for baby girl, but when the options were shown to her, she picked pink, so pink is what she got. In addition, we ordered the companions for charging the watch at night and for a night/okay-to-wake light.
They both couldn’t wait to open their new watches, and little hands definitely sped up the unboxing process.
- The watch works quite well! I know this is the first question on every parent’s mind before shelling out a fair amount of money on a small plastic product. So, does it work like it says it will? Yes, yes it does. It is extremely customizable and I have built a time-blocked schedule for each child.
- It isn’t a toy. I didn’t want yet another gadget for my kids. They have plenty of tech. This watch was only ever intended to be a tool to keep us on a daily schedule since both kids stay at home with me, and so I appreciate that it functions the way it does.
- It sends push notifications to my phone. I especially like this for our son’s schedule because I know if he’s doing what I asked him to do (through the watch) even if I’m in another room.
- It allows you to set each task to vibrate and require a ‘check-off’ from older children. Since K is not quite 2, I have her alerts set to vibrant once and they don’t require her to do anything else. She mostly wears hers for fun and because big brother does. Though, she does tell me when her watch vibrates and when it’s time for a new diaper, lunch, TV, etc., so I’d say we’re building good habits. But, for our son, his watch vibrates and then requires him to hit his ‘home button’ to confirm he has actually done what he needed to do. Soon to be released is the Gamification option, so that when he does his task he can collect ‘points’ or ‘stickers’ and work towards a reward. I am anxiously awaiting this update!
- The in case of emergency screen! You set up emergency contact information including phone numbers for parents/grandparents and your child’s blood type. I love this feature! I didn’t realize it was coming with the watch, but I feel better knowing that our kids have this information on them at all times. I’d like to think it’d never happen to me, but if we were to get separated, it’s a start to someone helping them find us.
- The watch is water-resistant. Why didn’t I list this under ‘Great,’ because I’m being nit-picky and I’d like the watch to be waterproof because it is going on children. If you’ve ever seen a sink after a 4 year old washes their hands you’d know that waterproof is preferable to water-resistant. However, this watch has held up beautifully to hand washing and all other manner of water play, excluding bath time because we obviously take it off prior.
- The magnetic USB is nice because it makes it easy for kids to plug in themselves.
The ‘Needs Work’:
- The watch button is too stiff & therefore makes it slightly difficult to push. That being said, our 4 year old can push it no problem now, but the first few days of use, he struggled with it. Our not 2 year old cannot check the watch by herself, but she is under the age limit of 3+ that is right on the box, so I can’t fault them for that. I will also concede that it needs to be slightly firm just so kids aren’t accidentally checking off tasks without ever having seen or done them. I’m honestly not too sure where the balance lies. I’d like it to be a little less hard, but I’d still buy the watch for my kids, so don’t let this deter you if you think this watch will help your children.
- The watch band. Specifically the bumps on the inside of the band. It provides texture to keep the watch from rotating on tiny wrists, but it almost works too well and makes it challenging to secure the watch tail inside of it’s clip (see above picture). I’m sure there are specific terms for all these parts, but they elude me.
- More icons for activities are still needed. It’d be nice if you could somehow upload your own into the app, too.
Overall, I highly recommend the Joy Octopus Watch. It’s been great for us. If you’re going to get one and you don’t have a nightlight yet, I recommend the Companion, too, and you can get your watch + companion in a bundle. Our kids love to read before bedtime and I have the light programmed to turn off when it’s time to sleep and to turn on when it’s time to wake. The moment the light turns on in the morning, both kids sit up and ask to put their watches on. Then we begin our day. I think the watch has given them some great stability because they know how their day will run and this consistency is invaluable for children.
You can purchase a watch through their website (recommended) or from select Targets with less color choices.
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