If you’ve been around kids for a while, you know they love gadgets. Many parents are concerned their children are gripped by technology, but this doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. Devices like fitness trackers can be useful for kids to encourage movement in a way that’s actually fun, and they can help keep them fit and outside in a way not usually associated with technology as a whole. Intrigued? Here’s a roundup of the best fitness trackers for kids.
Best fitness trackers for kids
Fitbit Ace 3
Fan of Fitbit and want to get one for your kid? Consider the Fitbit Ace 3, a kids’ version of the classic Fitbit fitness tracker. It tracks the number of steps taken, monitors movement, sends activity reminders, and even has bedtime alarms to make the parents’ job easier. The tracker is waterproof so you don’t have to worry about accidental spillage, and the kids can even take it swimming.
The device has an eight-day battery life so you can conveniently take it on trips without worrying about charging. Both kids and parents can view the stats, but parents have control over the dashboard for added security.
Garmin Vivofit Jr 3
Just as Fitbit has a kids’ version, so does Garmin. The Garmin Vivofit Jr 3 offers a whopping one-year battery life so you literally never have to worry about charging it. This is great for families who travel a lot or can’t be with their kids all the time. Kids absolutely adore this product as it features stunning Marvel and Disney graphics. Even adults love that! Parents also love this tracker, as it offers rewards for physical activity.
The tracker is waterproof, so you can take it swimming. It tracks steps, sleep, and most types of activities, offering versatile use. The exciting thing is that children can complete fitness-related challenges and earn coins, making movement fun.
Verizon GizmoWatch 2
If you’re OK with sticking only to Verizon-enabled regions, the Verizon GizmoWatch 2 is a great choice. Designed specifically for kids, this tracker offers excellent parental controls so parents can always track the child’s location and monitor behavior. Plus, the device lets you add 10 safety contacts for emergencies. Parents say this is helpful if their child goes to school or classes alone and needs a handy device to stay in touch.
Like the Garmin Vivifit Jr 3, this tracker also rewards kids for meeting exercise goals, creating a cool, motivating gamification system. It is waterproof and durable, so you don’t have to worry about rough use. However, it only works with Verizon, so it won’t be as versatile as other picks on this list.
Biggerfive Vigor Fitness Tracker
If you want something cheaper from a relatively lesser-known brand, go for the Biggerfive Vigor Fitness Tracker. The device is super slim and lightweight, making it ideal even for younger kids. It is waterproof, counts steps, tracks activity, and even monitors calories burned. It has a one-week battery life and works with any USB adapter without requiring an external charger.
Additionally, the watch contains a message and call reminder, as well as an alarm clock via which parents can set up hydration reminders and bedtime reminders. It’s a pretty good fitness tracker that offers many of the same features as high-end trackers at a fraction of the cost.
Inspiratek Kids Fitness Tracker
This one looks similar to the Fitbit Charge and offers many of the same features but at a much smaller cost. The tracker lets you track steps, movement, sports, sleep, and other health metrics like heart rate, blood pressure, and blood oxygen monitoring — something that’s unavailable in other kids’ fitness trackers.
Unfortunately, you don’t get cool gamification of fitness goals in this one, but it does have periodic activity and bedtime reminders to keep the child on track. The battery life is short at one day but it comes in cute, eye-catching colors, which is a huge draw for younger kids.
What to look for in a kids’ fitness tracker
While most fitness trackers on the market are designed for adults, many companies have come up with devices designed especially for kids. Here’s what you need to look for in a kids’ fitness tracker.
Kids’ fitness trackers don’t necessarily need super-advanced functions like adults’ trackers do, but most devices will offer basic features like step counting, activity monitoring, sleep tracking, and more. Make sure the tracker at least has these functions. If you’d like something a bit more advanced, look for heart rate and blood oxygen monitoring.
Most parents don’t want to hand over complete control of the fitness tracker and the app to their children. Look for fitness trackers that offer parental controls. This can look like a parents-only dashboard, a password for kids’ use, a restricted mode, or a different version of the app for kids.
While the looks of a fitness tracker don’t directly impact performance, it’s an important thing to look for in a kids’ fitness tracker, as children are drawn to bright colors and attractive designs. It’s obvious — kids are more likely to use a device with popping colors and their favorite illustrations compared to a plain black band. So look for your kids’ favorite colors, designs, and styles when buying them a fitness tracker.