Garmin vivofit jr 2 Review
The vivofit jr 2 is Garmin’s latest child activity tracker designed to make exercise and fitness fun for kids ages four and up. Following the original vivofit jr, the new version counts steps and creates step goals (just like an activity tracker for adults) but adds some new wrinkles to gets kids moving.
The vivofit jr 2 comes with step challenges and Disney-themed phone apps. It’s also swim-friendly, tough, and durable – and comes with a battery that doesn’t require charging.
One thing the vivofit jr 2 does not do is track kids whereabouts. There is no GPS or cell service connection on the watch to track kids remotely. It’s only for encouraging kids to be more active in a fun, reward-based way.
Watch Bands and Battery
New to the vivofit jr 2 are an option to buy it in two different sizes. The smaller watch for kids between ages 4-7 is a stretchy band, while the larger of the two – for kids aged 6 and up – is an adjustable band similar to an adult watch.
There are 7 band styles to choose from – 3 stretchy ones and 4 adjustable bands. And there are three Disney themes for each size: Mickey & Minnie Mouse, Marvel characters, and Star Wars. Each band is tough and meant to withstand the beating a typical grade schooler would put it through. Bands can be easily swapped to change the theme or upgrade from a stretchy band to an adjustable band.
The display is color – an upgrade over the black and white on the original vivofit jr. It’s water resistant up to 50 meters, which makes it great for pools and beach swimming.
The 1+ year battery is just a regular coin battery. So it’ll last a while – no recharging necessary – and can be swapped out with a small screwdriver when it finally dies.
Activity Tracker and App Adventures
Like an activity tracker for adults, the vivofit jr 2’s main purpose is to count steps, set daily goals, and monitor sleep. But to make it fun for kids, Garmin has come up with a few games to challenge kids to be more active.
The newest motivator are App Adventures. These are turn-based games based on the theme of that particular watch (i.e. Star Wars game for the Star Wars vivofit jr). As kids get in more steps, they unlock different badges and icons. If they achieve their 60 minute activity goal, they advance in the game and get one more step closer to completing it.
Another way the vivofit jr 2 motivates kids is with step competitions. The original vivofit jr let families compete against each to see who could get the most steps in a day. The app shows a leaderboard for each family to see who has the most steps that day.
The vivofit jr 2 adds an extra challenge called Toe-to-toe step challenges. This feature lets kids compete against themselves or other kids to see who can get the most steps in two minutes. This is done directly on the watch. After the two minutes are up, each child can see how many steps they did in those two minutes and who “won.”
Task Timers and Chores
Besides encouraging kids to exercise, the vivofit jr 2 also acts as a chore reminder and reward system. Through the app, parents can assign different chores. Some are pre-set or they can be manually added to be something unique. Then, after the chore is completed, your child earns coins that accumulate until a reward is reached.
Chores can only be marked completed by a parent. Some rewards are pre-set, but they can also be personalized to something your child uniquely loves.
To make chores more fun, a task timer is built in the watch. So chores can be timed to see how fast they can be completed.
Scheduled chores or tasks can be programmed on the app. These will set off an alert on the vivofit jr when they need to be completed. So if you want a 4 pm reminder for your child to do their homework, the watch displays an alert at that time.
The vivofit jr 2 is a fun way to get kids to be more active. With screen time more and more prevalent, the Garmin vivofit jr is a nice way to motivate kids to get moving instead of staring at their iPad.
The new Disney themes should appeal to most kids. And the built-in motivational games and challenges will keep them engaged. The fact that the watch acts as a chore reminder and rewards system is an added bonus for parents to keep kids on track.
Vivofit Jr 2 – Small/Stretchy
Vivofit Jr 2 – Adjustable