Did you know you can get fitness trackers for kids, too? Fitness trackers encourage children to stay active in a way that’s fun and can help to forge positive habits that last a lifetime.
These wearables not only help you to keep tabs on just how much your child is moving but also make fitness more fun and interesting. This is especially important for children with known health issues, but it’s also a great way for any parent to instill good habits and help their children feel their best.
This is a rare gift that’s a real win-win: the kids are happy, and the parents are happy too. But how do you choose the right one for your child? Read on, and we’ll take a look at the best fitness trackers for kids.
Buying the right fitness tracker for your kids
In today’s modern, connected lifestyle, it is easy to get caught up in television, video games, and other less active forms of entertainment. This is no different for kids. Indeed, many modern parents lament that their kids spend so much time on their Xboxes and so little time playing with the neighbors’ kids.
Good fitness trackers for kids essentially gamify fitness; they create goals children can accomplish to “level up,” reach an achievement, and so forth. Parents can also create challenges between all the kids and adults to see who can get the most steps or find other creative ways to inspire younger children to get up and move. Many kids fitness trackers have extras like the ability to set chore goals, again in a game-like way. Look for trackers with fun, colorful designs. Think about the interface and whether it is easy to navigate for your child’s age range. Of course, I don’t need to tell any parents reading that these things also need to be highly durable.
And of course, you still need to look for all the same features that make any fitness tracker great. That means it should have an accurate heart rate sensor, decent battery life, and optional extra features like sleep tracking. The latter can be a very useful insight for parents, in particular.
The best fitness trackers for kids
- The Fitbit Ace 3 is the best fitness tracker for kids. This is a durable, smart-looking watch with lots of tracking and all the features you might need, including sleep tracking.
- The Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3 has a wide range of features and boasts a number of branded straps.
- The Fitbit Charge 4 is good for older kids. It packs more advanced fitness tracking smarts and a mature design. It’s an excellent tracker for adults, too.
- The Unicef Kid Power Band donates to charity as the wearer racks up steps. This is a great way to teach your kids about charity as well as fitness.
- The Nabi Compete is a competition-centric band that lets kids compare their scores. It’s ideal for larger households.
Fitbit Ace 3: The best fitness tracker for kids
Fitbit is one of the most well-known and reliable wearables brands on the market. The Fitbit Ace 3 is its third fitness tracker for kids and this time it has a much more child-friendly design.
It isn’t much of a step up over the cheaper Fitbit Ace 2, but it does pack a Do Not Disturb mode, sleep tracking, new monochrome clock faces, and a spruced-up design. New two-tone colorway options, namely Black/Sport Red and Cosmic Blue/Astro Green, are also part of the Ace 3 experience. The Ace 3 also packs a longer battery life than its predecessor and water resistance up to 50 meters.
If most of the family is already part of the Fitbit ecosystem, grabbing an Ace 3 for the kids is a good idea. But if your little one already owns an Ace 2, it might not be worth the upgrade.
Read more about the Fitbit Ace 3 in our list of the best Fitbit trackers and smartwatches.
Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3: The best customizable fitness tracker for kids
The successor to Garmin’s older Vivofit Jr. 2 fitness tracker, this new device has a lot going for it. Kids get a full-color screen, year-long battery life (replaceable), water resistance for swimming, and more. Perhaps most exciting though, are the bands with branded artwork, including several from the Disney family of characters like Marvel and Star Wars. And with customizable wallpapers, the entire setup can be easily customized.
Each of these licensed bands for the Vivofit Jr. 3 also comes with its own mobile app. Kids will be able to take part in missions with both the fitness tracker and app in order to achieve the goal of getting 60 minutes of activity every day. Parents can use the app to keep track of their kids’ activities and set up chores for their children to complete.
Younger kids can pick up the tracker with a stretchy band for smaller wrists, while older kids can get one with an adjustable band.
Fitbit Charge 4: The best fitness tracker for older kids
The Fitbit Charge 4 is the company’s best fitness tracker. It’s perfect for older kids who have a keen interest in sport, or those who simply want a more mature device on their wrists.
It packs a continuous heart rate monitor, an SpO2 sensor to measure blood saturation, and Fitbit’s usual daily metric tracking smarts. Its excellent sleep tracking and lengthy battery life are the cherries on top.
Its design does feature an annoying inductive button that can be tough to press. Despite its relatively compact size, it could be a chunky addition to a smaller kid’s wrist, too. It’s also the priciest option on this list, so be sure to evaluate what your kid really needs before investing in one.
Check out our full review to learn more about the Fitbit Charge 4.
Unicef Kid Power Band: The best fitness tracker for charity
Getting your kids to exercise is a great task in and of itself, but what about helping the less fortunate? With the Unicef Kid Power Band, you get to kill two birds with one stone. As kids collect more steps, a therapeutic food packet will be sent to a child in need. The more steps they collect, the more food they will send. The band also has a set of missions that, when completed, unlock videos your child can watch to learn more about the cultures they are helping.
It doesn’t offer quite enough incentive for the kids themselves but helping others through their activity is an ingenious alternative. The band also comes with a companion app that you can use to keep track of missions and monitor your taken steps.
See also: The best kids apps for Android
Nabi Compete: The best fitness tracker for big families
If you have multiple kids around the house, the Nabi Compete is the band to get. The device encourages you to compete or work with a friend/sibling to reach certain goals and is easily the most affordable fitness tracker for kids on the list.
What kind of goals exactly? The first is a distance goal. Kids will be challenged to travel the distance of a landmark, such as the Brooklyn Bridge, to earn coins. The second is a caloric goal. Kids will be tasked to burn off the average amount of calories of whatever food they choose, such as a cheeseburger. As kids earn coins, they can be spent to acquire a virtual pet that they can raise and take care of. These pets are not just for show, though. They actually give a small boost for kids when they’re in the middle of a challenge, like adding steps to your total count to give yourself that slight advantage when going head-to-head. Keep in mind that the companion app is necessary in order to access all of these features.
Related: The best fitness apps for Android
That’s it for our list of the best fitness trackers for kids. Looking for even more coverage? See below: