Best Fitness Trackers for Kids
Kids have the kind of energy adults could only dream of having, and they spend their days being active just for the fun of it. You might not think that a kid needs to track and monitor their health and activity, but fitness trackers for kids are made specifically with children in mind. A fitness tracker can really encourage and motivate your kid to stay active and reach new personal milestones.
Fitness trackers for kids are very similar to the ones for adults but do come with some features with motivational games and rewards systems. Your kid doesn’t really need an Apple Watch to count their steps and monitor their heart rate. Within these trackers, you and your kid can set activity goals — fitness or otherwise. Activity trackers teach kids to be physically active, yes, but they also teach responsibility. Mundane tasks become more fun when they’re integrated into games and rewards. Plus, you won’t have to hound your kid to do their chores or go to bed on time when the cool gadget around their wrist bears that burden for you.
Your child doesn’t need a smartphone as long as you have one. Fitness trackers for kids let you set up a family account within the app, so you can ultimately have control over settings and permissions. Most of these apps have parent views and kid views, so your child can still feel like they’re in charge of their own health and activity. If you want to give fitness tracking a try (but without a wearable), start by using a mobile app that counts your steps. This method requires little to no investment and could be of interest if you’re a beginner. Some apps we like are MyFitnessPal, Argus, Fitbit, and Moves.
A smartphone isn’t necessary to access all the features of an activity tracker — most are built right into the device. Phones are just needed for syncing, in-app games and bonus features, or any extra content. Step tracking, alarms, and other quick-access features are all accessible from your child’s wrist.
Ready to get your kids motivated to move with an awesome fitness tracker? Here are our top picks for the best fitness trackers for kids that will encourage them to get their steps in and have fun doing it.
1. Garmin Vívofit Jr. 2
Kids will actually enjoy doing homework and chores and getting their daily steps in when doing so unlocks games, activities, and rewards from their favorite Disney character. That’s what happens with the Garmin Vívofit Jr. 2 fitness tracker.
The activity tracker comes in different character designs from favorites like Frozen and Star Wars. As a parent, you can use the app to manage your kid’s chores and give them rewards when they finish tasks. Alerts and task timers will have your kid staying on top of their homework and other responsibilities.
As far as fitness tracking, the Vívofit Jr. 2 counts steps, monitors sleep patterns, and provides physical activities to follow along with. These are pretty basic like jumping jacks, downward dog, and mountain climbers — your kid won’t be going through baby bootcamp. Within the Garmin Connect app, the whole family can sync up your Garmin fitness trackers to interact and compete in challenges.
2. Fitbit Ace 2
Fitbit’s industry-leading fitness tracking is made available to kids.
Fitbit families can easily integrate the kids into the lineup with the Fitbit Ace 2, the brand’s fitness tracker made just for children (best for those 6 or older). If you already use a Fitbit yourself, you know that the trackers are intuitive and the app interface is super clean. You can sync it to your app if your kid doesn’t have a smartphone, though switching between Parent View and Kid View can be kind of a pain.
Within the app, kids can challenge their friends to step competitions and send messages. You can set goals, reminders, and more on the tracker and kids get rewarded with virtual badges and on-screen celebrations when they hit goals.
The Ace 2 tracks sleep patterns and has bedtime reminders to get your little one on a proper schedule. It’s also waterproof for any swimmers (or those who forgot to take it off in the bath.) Whether your kid likes to run, jump, or skip, their movement will be counted toward steps and active minutes within the fitness tracker.
3. Verizon GizmoWatch 2
The Verizon GizmoWatch 2 is more of a smartwatch than a fitness tracker, but it does still have some activity tracking built in. It’ll count steps and lets you and your child set encouraging fitness goals.
Parents can also set reminders and tasks and send rewards when those tasks are completed. The watch’s touchscreen face is large enough that kids can easily see all of their tasks, reminders, and fitness data.
Because this is also a smartwatch, it has a GPS tracker so you can monitor your kid’s location — you can even set up boundaries and get alerts when your child travels outside them. The watch also stores up to 10 contacts and has functionality to call or text those contacts.
4. Fitbit Charge 3
Older kids don’t necessarily need incentives, rewards, and games to want to be active and track their fitness. And they don’t need extra-small wrist bands either. Fitbit’s Charge 3 is a great fitness tracker for late elementary and middle school aged kids (and older).
It’s one of Fitbit’s top trackers, and for good reason. This watch has virtually everything you’d want in a fitness tracker. It has 24/7 heart rate monitoring, step counting, sleep tracking, and a swimproof design. It’s pre-programmed with more than 15 goal-based exercises like running, biking, and swimming — it’s more advanced than trackers designed specifically for kids and allows your child to track even more aspects of their fitness life. It even has menstrual cycle tracking if your kid’s getting to that age.
For kids with smartphones, the Charge 3 integrates notifications and a few apps. But it’s not a full-blown smartwatch chock full of distractions.
5. Biggerfive Fitness Tracker Watch
For less than $25, this fitness tracker from Biggerfive is actually pretty impressive. It counts steps, calories, and mileage, fitting kids ages 5 and up. Each tracker comes with two different colored bands, and there are three combos to choose from.
Kids will be more excited to get up in the morning with silent vibrating alarms and sleep tracking data. This tracker is pretty basic and doesn’t feature rewards systems, games, task reminders, or other bonus features like that. It’s a good choice if you just want simple fitness tracking.
The activity tracker is easy to charge as it has a USB built right in, meaning you don’t need any extra cords — just plug it right in to a charging brick. Because of the price, you can’t really expect the same features and durability as some of the name brand options, but this is a nice starter and budget option.