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The best fitness trackers for kids: Get your young ones moving!
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 5 is good for older kids. It packs more advanced fitness tracking smarts, a mature design, and a few additions over the Charge 4. It’s an excellent tracker for adults, too.
- The Fitbit Inspire 2 is also a great tracker for teens and an excellent value proposition for new users, especially thanks to its Fitbit Premium incentive.
- 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.
Read more: The best Garmin watches you can buy
Fitbit Charge 5: The best fitness tracker for older kids
The Fitbit Charge 5 is the company’s most complete fitness tracker yet. It’s a more aesthetically pleasing upgrade to the Charge 4, making it the perfect device for older kids looking for a more mature health tracker.
Like the Charge 4, 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. It also introduces an EDA sensor to track stress, an ECG for heart health analysis, and a new Daily Readiness Score for kids intent on understanding their body’s post-activity recovery pattern.
Sure, it’s one of the pricier trackers on the market, and it does have its quirks. That said, if your kid still owns a Charge 4, there’s no particular reason to upgrade.
Check out our full review to learn more about the Fitbit Charge 5.
Fitbit Inspire 2: The best value-for-money fitness tracker for kids
The Inspire 2 might not be made with younger kids in mind, nor is it as impressive as the Charge 5, but it’s arguably a better bet in terms of value. It’s a relatively affordable tracker that comes with a free year-long subscription to Fitbit Premium for new users. This service, which includes guided workouts and health tracking data, almost pays for the Inspire 2 itself. It’s an excellent way to encourage your kid to exercise more, too.
The band itself includes the basics your teen would need to keep track of their health, including a heart rate sensor, sleep tracking, and menstrual cycle tracking. Adding to the Inspire 2’s utility is an IP68 rating and a lengthy 10-day battery life.
While it’s not the most impressive tracker on the market in terms of sensors or specs, it’s a stellar option if the Charge 5 is out of your budget.
Check out our full review to learn more about the Fitbit Inspire 2.
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: