If you’re a parent that’s concerned about their child’s fitness level and health, getting a fitness tracker to monitor their activity level and motivate them is a great step.
Whether you want a basic model with simple features or a more advanced one that integrates more smart features and technology, you’ll find what you’re looking for on this list of the best fitness trackers for kids that I’ve gathered from the market.
Our Top Picks for Fitness Trackers for Kids 2020:
|Tracker||Battery Life||Suitable Age|
|Garmin Vivofit Jr 2||1 year||From 5 up to 10|
|Garmin Vivofit Jr||1 year||From 5 up to 10|
|Fitbit Ace||5 days||From 7 up to 12|
|Fitbit Ace 2||5 days||From 7 up to 12|
|LeapFrog LeapBand Tracker||4 days||Under 7|
The 5 Best Fitness Trackers For Kids in 2020
1. Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 – Best Fitness Tracker for Kids Overall
The Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 works quite similarly to the adult versions of Garmin’s smartwatches. It does the basic tracking of step counting and active minutes, and also steps it up a notch with sleep monitoring.
To make it more appealing to younger ones, it’s branded with Star Wars, Disney, and Marvel themes. Every tracker comes with a unique watch face and a themed band.
Once you pair it with a phone, your kid can start a themed adventure on the app that’s related to a Disney, Star Wars, or Marvel theme -so, whatever it is that your kid’s into, you’ll find it to motivate them.
Moreover, the Vivofit Jr 2 is waterproof up to 5 ATM, and its rubber band is a durable one with either a stretchy band for younger kids or a more classic band for older children.
To be a motivating activity tracker for kids, Garmin introduces a reward system to encourage your little ones to hit daily activity goals. The more they advance and hit more goals, the bigger rewards they get, with a themed game and story. They unlock newer watch faces and more badges.
What’s more, it has a couple of friendly competition that compares progress between family members to see who can reach the most steps, which is a great way to motivate both the parents and the children as well as create family bonding.
The Vivofit Jr 2 even allows you to set and track chores, either installed ones or making up your own. This includes getting dressed in the morning or brushing teeth, and as your child does each chore, they get a coin that they can redeem for rewards. So, not only is it a good way to motivate them to be more active but also more productive.
Finally, you’ll have a whole year of functionality before the Vivofit Jr 2’s battery will need replacement. It’s a standard coin cell battery that spares you charging cradles or docking platforms.
The Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 is an awesome waterproof fitness tracker for kids because it works on both activity and productivity. It’s appealing and comes at a reasonable price for its functionality, not to mention it’s superb battery life.
2. Fitbit Ace 2 – Best Advanced Fitness Tracker for Kids
Fitbit is a known brand when it comes to producing high-quality fitness trackers, and the Ace 2 is one of its products dedicated to kids and toddlers.
The Fitbit Ace 2 is waterproof up to 165 feet, durable, and comes in a variety of fun and appealing colors. And the new version comes at an even lower price than the original.
The first Ace tracker was designed similarly to the Fitbit Alta, but this version is more kid-oriented and child-friendly.
It comes with a tough silicone band that lasts a lot longer than the metal bands found on the original Ace, and it adjusts to your child’s wrists, so it feels more comfortable to wear.
The Ace 2 comes with step tracking and displays the total active minutes your child has had throughout the day. The goal is always to reach a full hour of activity by the end of the day.
Moreover, it also comes with bedtime reminders that ensure that your child doesn’t mess up their sleeping schedule. There’s also an alarm that you can program to wake them up in the morning to keep a perfect schedule. In this duration, the Fitbit Ace 2 will track your child’s sleep quality and duration.
Like the Vivoactive Jr, you can navigate and use the Ace 2 with a single button. You can also customize the watch and change its clock faces.
After connecting and syncing wirelessly to a phone, you’ll get the information displayed on the app. It will be divided into two views: the parental one and the kids’ view.
The latter allows your child to see certain stats, including badges, steps, and other basic information. On the other hand, the parental view allows you to manage who your child interacts with, view all their stats, as well as set up multiple accounts to keep tabs on the whole family on one app.
I thought this set up was pretty cool. However, compared to the Garmin Vivofit Jr and Jr 2’s battery life, the Ace’s 5-day battery life is way too inferior.
If you’re looking for very dedicated activity tracking for your child and want a device that enables you to do so with accuracy and effortlessly, I’d highly recommend the Ace 2. Apart from its limited battery life, it’s one of the best fitness trackers for kids out there.
Read also: The Best Fitbits for kids of 2020
3. Garmin Vivofit Jr – Best For Durability
I’d consider the Garmin Vivofit Jr a more affordable version of the Vivofit Jr 2. It has the same comfortable, elastic band that secures the device to your child’s rest, but comes in more generic bands that aren’t tied to any themes.
Without any bells and whistles, the Vivofit Jr is equipped with a simple display and a single button through which you can access all the features of the device. Once you get it connected to a mobile app, you can customize your child’s profile and sync it with their Vivofit to display their progress under their name.
Like the Vivofit Jr 2, it enables parents to create tasks that their children can finish to gain points and rewards. The coins can also buy the child an ice cream or the freedom to choose what to have for breakfast, which gives them the motivation to finish the challenges you set. You can even specify durations that dictate how long the child has to finish their chore to create a heightened sense of competition.
Moreover, the Vivofit Jr allows you to keep track of your child’s sleep quality and fitness levels.
There’s an app called Adventure Trail that allows other family members to get involved in similar activities to create a competitive and encouraging environment.
Like the Vivofit Jr 2, it’s water-resistant up to 5 ATM, and its coin battery can last up to a whole year.
The Vivofit Jr is an amazing option if you’re looking for a simple and budget-friendly fitness tracker for your child. It’s also a cheaper alternative to the Vivofit Jr 2 if you’re not concerned with the screen size or the themed bands.
4. Fitbit Ace – Best Fitness Tracker for Older Children
In terms of design, the Fitbit Ace is very similar to the Fitbit Alta but comes with a smaller band to fit a child’s wrist. You can use it to track your kid’s steps taken, active minutes, and keep tabs on their sleeping quality and duration.
It comes with a stainless-steel body and clasps with a flexible rubber material for the band. It’s showerproof and is able to survive short immersions in water.
Moreover, it’s equipped with a 128 x 36-pixel resolution display, which isn’t that much but good enough for what basic information it delivers on the screen. It also has ten digital watch faces that your child can switch between by tapping on the screen.
Like the Ace 2, you get a Family Account on the Fitbit app through which you can monitor multiple children’s progress and have friendly competitions to stay motivated.
Although the Fitbit Ace gives you five days of continuous operation on a single charge, that’s not extremely long relative to a child’s fitness tracker. It’s easy to recharge, though, as you only need to plug it into a USB port for about two or three hours.
If you’re looking for a super child-friendly and simple fitness tracker with minimalistic features and design, the Fitbit Ace is highly recommendable.
Check ALso: Fitbit Charge 3 vs Versa 2
5. LeapFrog LeapBand Tracker – Best Fitness Tracker for Younger Children
The LeapFrog LeapBand is an amazing, game-oriented tracker that highly encourages children to reach their activity goals in a fun and entertaining way.
The fact that it comes at a lower price than most fitness trackers doesn’t mean that it’s any less effective or attractive, and it helps keep your child active.
Instead of simply tracking steps, it gets your child moving through a list of physical challenges through which they earn currency, or in the watch’s terms, jewels. These jewels can then be used to take care of a virtual pet through feeding, cleaning, or dressing it up.
All of this can be done on the 1024 x 768-pixel resolution display. This is pretty high for a fitness tracker for kids, so they’ll enjoy interacting with this appealing screen.
Moreover, the tracker comes with pre-loaded games and another 40 that get unlocked by leveling up in the gameplay.
There’s also a “Petathlon” app that lets your children compete in mini-games that teach them about health and nutrition.
As for the parent, you’ll have full control over which modes are activated. “Move Mode” is the default one that allows you to track motion when your child isn’t interacting with the LeapBand.
On the other hand, “Player Mode” gives children access to their games, challenges, sound, and everything else. Finally, the “Quiet Time Mode” stops any sound or gameplay in order to provide your child with a quiet time to sleep.
However, the LeapBand’s battery life is limited to 3 or 4 days, which is pretty short.
If you have a child that’s less than seven years of age, the LeapFrog LeapBand would be an amazing fitness tracker to get them to keep them motivated and help them reach better fitness levels.
Should You Buy Your Kid a Fitness Tracker?
Getting your child a fitness tracker is a great way to motivate them to get a good amount of exercise on a daily basis and build healthier activity habits. So, if your child is the sedentary type, it would be a good method to encourage them to change that about their lives. However, researches stress the importance of your child’s desire to actually use a fitness tracker.
Moreover, some children get too caught up on hitting targets and tackling challenges to the degree that it distracts them from class or forming better social bonds with their peers. Hence, parents should carefully monitor their child’s use of this device to make the best out of it in a healthy way.
What to Look for in a Fitness Tracker for Kids?
When you’ve decided to get your child a fitness tracker to help them embark on getting fitter and healthier, there are a couple of things that you should consider about said tracker.
Waterproof, Water Resistant or Splash-Proof
Most fitness trackers will be splash-proof or water-resistance to a certain degree. But when it comes to a toddler’s fitness tracker, I’d recommend getting a waterproof one (of IP68 rating), because kids aren’t the best at taking care of electronic devices and keeping them away from water.
This is especially true if your child particularly enjoys swimming or water sports. A lot of adults forget to take their trackers off before hopping in the shower or taking a dip in the pool, so you can’t really count on a child to remember.
Band Material and Comfort
Most of the time, bands of fitness trackers would be made of silicone, which is a good choice. This is because it’s durable, doesn’t get damaged due to sweat, and feels comfortable thanks to its malleability.
I wouldn’t recommend going for something else as children usually have more sensitive skin and move around a lot more than adults.
Battery Life and Charging
If you’re buying an exercise tracker for kids, I’d steer away from anything with short battery life or complex charging methods. This would invariably lead your child to get bored with their device and would make them want to stop using it.
Then again, how often you have to charge your device depends on how many features it has. Naturally, the more feature-packed it is, the more often the battery will get drained and need recharging. So, look for something that combines a decent battery life and a good set of fitness-tracking features.
For a toddler fitness tracker, I wouldn’t recommend anything that is way over the 100 bucks limit. After all, this device will serve a certain purpose for a limited amount of time, and if they like the concept, they’ll exchange it for something more advanced later on.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Starting What Age Can My Child Begin Wearing Fitness Trackers?
There isn’t a rule as to when your child can start wearing fitness trackers. It can begin from the moment they start getting active, and the idea of a challenge seems appealing to them.
Typically, this starts at around six years of age and more, which is also around the time they start getting sociable and making several friends with whom they can compete to finish the fitness tracker challenges.
What Are Good Ways to Motivate My Child to be Active?
While fitness trackers are a great way to motivate your child to move and be active, it may not be enough. You should also implement some other methods, including:
Setting Up Step Challenges
One of the best ways to keep pushing forward is to divide your challenges into levels, with the rewards getting bigger the further up the scale your child goes. Some trackers help you do so on their own, like the Vivofit Jr 2.
Update the Goals and Challenges
After a while, reaching a certain step goal or doing a certain sport might get too boring for your child. This is why you should always have new ideas for their activities like roller skating, dancing, new sports, or rock wall climbing.
Join the Challenges
It’s always super fun for a child to compete with an adult because the reward of beating them is all the more fun. Apart from getting more active, this also counts as great family time and bonding between you and your child.
How Many Steps is Ideal per Day for My Child?
Whenever this question is asked, the constant answer is automatically said to be 10,000. Firstly, this is the perfect average for adults, and kids should be getting around the same -if not even higher.
Generally, your concern shouldn’t be about how many steps your child takes but rather the duration of his activity per day. A child should get around an hour (in total) of moderate to vigorous physical activity on a daily basis. Whether this is achieved through walking, participating in an organized sport, or engaging in any other activity that they may enjoy.
After searching the market for the best fitness trackers for kids, I’ve landed on these five choices. And while they’re all pretty great, I’d recommend the Vivofit Jr 2 for its ability to combine a solid set of features with a reasonable price. It’s a good choice for children between 5 and 10 years old.
If you have an older child, however, I’d recommend going for the Fitbit Ace 2. It has a minimalistic design and less of a game-like nature, so it suits children older than seven and up to 12 years old.
Finally, if your child is less than seven years of age, there won’t be a better choice than the LeapFrog LeapBand.