The Best Fitness Trackers for Kids in 2018
Getting kids into running, fitness, and exercise doesn’t have to be a daunting task. There are fitness watches designed for kids that help them stay active while having fun. These watches tend to be more durable and make it easy for parents to have access to their children’s activity levels.
We’ll take a comprehensive view of some of the most recommended fitness trackers for kids and list the benefits of each to help you determine what’s the best fit for you and your little one.
Top 3 Best and Favorites
1. Garmin Vivofit Jr. 2
The Vivofit Jr. 2 is the second generation in kid’s fitness trackers by Garmin, working similarly to the adult version Vivofit 4 or the Vivosport. This little tracker functions on a fundamental level, counting steps and monitoring sleep as an example.
However, Garmin introduced fun features to reward children for hitting daily activity goals; rewards such as virtual coins that they can exchange for rewards and progress in some of the games that the app comes with.
Parents get to use this fun little tracker to set reminders for their kids; these settings can help get them into bed on time or set reminders for a chore schedule. Not to mention that this fun little gadget comes with cute and cool designs made by Disney and Marvel that will keep your little ones interested, their choice in design also reflects in the app that monitors their progress.
The battery life can last to about a year’s worth of tracking before needing to be replaced. The battery is a standard coin cell battery so there’s no need to worry about a docking platform or charging cradle that can be misplaced.
- Fun designs on a comfortable wristband.
- Interactive App games geared towards getting kids fit.
- Real rewards for active kids
- Parents can set up chore reminders
- Dim Display
- Kids can lose interest in the adventure game
2. Fitbit Ace
Design-wise, this device is like the Fitbit Alta but with a smaller band to compensate for younger audiences. If your child grows out of the Ace’s smaller band size, you can interchange bands with the Alta to use on the Ace. The battery lasts pretty well, averaging at about five days of continuous activity, to recharge, plug it into a USB port and wait about two to three hours.
One of the more helpful features of the Fitbit Ace is that it’s super lightweight. It’s made from a stainless-steel body with matching clasp while the band is made with a flexible rubber material. Because of how it’s built, it’s durable and shower-proof, perfect for kids who may forget that they’re wearing them. Other than that, the Ace takes care of the basics by tracking steps, active minutes, and sleep stats.
The 128 x 36-pixel resolution display is the main feature of this product, tapping it can change to any of the ten digital watch faces, check messages that arrive, and update the device. Kids can earn achievements for completing activity goals, in which then they can share with friends and family members that are attached to your Family Account on the app.
- Light and comfortable to wear
- Child-friendly use
- Good LED display
- Good battery life
- Fitbit Ace is limited to two colors
3. Leapfrog LeapBand
The Leapfrog LeapBand is an activity tracker that certainly has kids in mind. Even though it’s cheaper than most fitness trackers, the LeapBand is a colorful and attractive tracker that keeps kids interested in fitness. Instead of tracking steps, it focuses on getting kids moving by setting up a list of physical challenges that gain a form of currency called ‘jewels’ when completed.
This currency allows them to take care of a virtual pet of their choosing that they can feed, clean, and clothe.
Children have a choice between several pets such as a cat, dog, dragon, monkey, panda, penguin, robot and unicorn. Kids can earn toys for their pets by going through different activities all to keep their pet happy.
Ten pre-loaded games come with the watch initially, plus another 40 that are unlocked by gaining levels in gameplay. With the “Petathlon” app, your kids can compete as their pet in mini-games. Some mini-games teach children about healthy, nutritious foods that can get them started early on eating healthy.
Parents have full control over when specific modes are activated. “Move mode” is the default state which allows the watch to track motion, when your child is not interacting with its LeapBand, the screen returns to “Move Mode”.
“Player mode” gives children access to their games and challenges, sounds and all. Finally, “Quiet Time Mode” banishes sound and gameplay so children can sleep or have quiet time, only showing the clock when activated.
When you hook up your child’s LeapBand to your computer, there is an app with settings that allow you, the parent to decide when your child can access the play modes and their activities based on their age level.
- Interactive fitness games keep kids moving
- Parents can control when ‘play’ time is over/ begins
- Fun display allows kids to do most everything from their watches
- Teaches children about nutrition
- Can be loud, no volume control option
4. Nabi Compete
Fuhu is the mastermind company behind these fun fitness trackers, having made the Nabi Tablets for kids prior. Nabi Compete has a flexible, rubber wristband that snugly holds the tracking customized button in place.
These buttons come in different colors and designs, including Barbie and Hot-wheels, and connects to the Compete for the mobile app, which helps track your kid’s fitness levels and steps for the day.
Since the Nabi Compete comes with two wristbands, your child can either compete with a friend or a parent on the different challenges that come with it. Completing these challenges can unlock virtual rewards and pets that grow with your child as they continue using the Nabi.
Your child can also see how far their steps take them; comparing the distance, they’ve trekked to real recognizable places across the United States.
Nabi also includes a calorie comparison to different foods that kids enjoy, allowing them to see how many calories they’ve burned by comparing them to foods like pizza and cake. This feature helps them understand the caloric density of certain foods and can encourage them to eat healthier.
- Kid-proof and comfortable to wear.
- Fun designs
- Interactive App makes fitness fun.
- Virtual Pet entices kids to stay engaged.
- Many consumers had troubles connecting their Nabi Completes to their Android version of the app.
5. Kurio Watch 2.0
The second in its line, Kurio Watch 2.0 comes with updated features of its predecessor and a larger screen. The bands are interchangeable and customized to your child’s interests and style. Each watch comes with two bands, one standard band to the color of your choosing, and a cool color-changing wristband that changes with your child’s body temperature.
The watch has all the features of an adult smartwatch, Bluetooth connectivity allows parents with Android devices to message their child and exchange photos and other media. This feature extends to friends who may also have the same watch.
The fitness aspects are located in the Sports Challenge app, choosing three different tiers of activity, one of which is a dancing challenge where your child can participate in activities that the watch shouts out.
- Activity-based games in the watch
- Scratch resistant and waterproof
- Cool color options for wristbands
- The activities for exercise are limited.
- Kids can be distracted by other features of the watch and limit mobility.
6. Vtech Kidizoom
Vtech’s Kidizoom is an interactive smartwatch geared towards keeping your child engaged and entertained throughout the day. The interface on the watch-face is easy to use and attractive; the bands come in a broad array of different color choices depending on your child’s style preferences. The watch also comes equipped with two cameras, one for selfies and the other so you can take pictures and video of your surroundings.
Of course, these watches come with activity challenges installed like Racing Challenge which uses a stopwatch feature to test how fast your kid can run from one point to another. Motion-controlled games are also a feature in this watch that get your kids moving, triggering sound effects when they move around to keep their activities fun and engaging.
There’s also a Monster Catcher game that uses augmented reality to help kids capture monsters in the real world; a great way to motivate your kids to get outside and run around.
With this fitness watch, your kids won’t exclusively keep their bodies active, but also exercise their logic skills with mini-logic puzzles with the Noodle Booster. Another fun feature that Vtech provides is the ability to download more games for your child to interact with from the Learning Lodge.
- Fun design that appeals to kids.
- Games are interactive and keep kids entertained and active.
- Great price for what you get.
- Helps children learn to tell time.
- Not waterproof
7. Garmin Vivofit Jr.
This fit tracker is Garmin’s first design for kids, using an easy to wear an elastic band that secures the device in place, so it doesn’t get lost or broken. This model keeps a simple display, using one button to access all the features of the device. Once it’s connected to the mobile app, you can customize your child’s profile and sync it with their Vivofit to display their name and progress.
Garmin allows parents to customize tasks and rewards that they can complete to get access to coins. These coins can purchase rewards such as getting ice cream or choosing what to have for breakfast. Their profiles can help parents keep track of their daily fitness levels and even monitor their sleep schedules, and with the Adventure Trail app, the whole family can get involved in staying active.
Another great setting that parents can use for their child is to preset timers for tasks. You can set a two-minute timer for brushing their teeth or use a thirty-minute timer to clean their room. This feature helps kids stay on task while actively seeing a reward granted once the chore is completed.
- Tracks steps and activity levels
- Customizable reward and chore system
- Small display