Getting kids into running, fitness, and exercise doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Fitness watches designed for kids can help them stay active while having fun. These activity tracking watches tend to be durable and make it easy for parents stay up to date on their children’s activity levels.
Many of these kids’ activity trackers are very similar to the fitness trackers adults where. They count steps, create daily movement goals, and monitor sleep. They generally come in fun colors and themes designed for kids. And most have extras like games and reward systems to make exercising fun.
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 kids.
Top 3 Best and Favorites
1. Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3
If you’re looking for the perfect gift for an active kid, this would be it. Garmin has been making fitness trackers for a long time, and their kids’ product is of great quality and highly recommended.
Whether you have a boy or a girl, or both, there’s a Garmin vivofit jr 3 that would suit them. You can choose from Marvel-themed watches, Disney Princess designs, or Garmin themes.
This watch not only helps kids stay fit by tracking their steps, daily activity, and sleep, but it also offers rewards for hitting certain milestones. In this way, it turns health and chores into a game that becomes enticing and fun.
Getting your kids to do their chores has never been easier. As long as the parent takes some time to set up chores and rewards in the app, your child will be more excited to do their daily chores as they’ll earn rewards and unlock games and new levels every time they do them.
As well as getting points for doing their daily chores, your kid can start early with fitness by learning new exercises from fitness cards. They’ll start off with basics like jumping jacks and mountain climbers and progress to more advanced exercises.
The display is visible in bright sunlight, waterproof so your child can swim with it on, and the battery lasts up to a year.
- Track steps, sleep, and daily activity
- Challenge and chores rewards
- Fitness cards for an active lifestyle
- Some kids may be uncomfortable wearing it constantly
2. Fitbit Ace 3
The new Fitbit kids activity tracker – the Ace 3 – is a dedicated tracker for kids that’s durable, waterproof, and comes in fun colors.
While most people think Fitbits are only for adults, this version is designed specifically for kids. The tough silicone band is durable and adjusts to your child’s wrist. Overall, it feels quite comfortable. A waterproof design means the tracker can be worn swimming in the pool or ocean.
The Ace 3 tracks steps and total active minutes, including a 1-hour active minute goal. Incentives like badges and fun characters provide encouragement to get more steps and continue being active.
Bedtime reminders can be set to keep your child on a schedule. Alarms can be programmed on the watch to wake them up in the morning as well. Like an adult activity tracker, the Ace monitors sleep patterns and nocturnal activity.
The Ace 3 is easy to use. One button makes it simple to navigate between screens. Clock faces can also be changed and customized.
The Ace 3 syncs wirelessly to a phone. The Fitbit app has two views: a parental view and kids view. The kids’ view allows your child to see limited stats like steps, badges, and other basic info. The parental view allows you to set-up more than one child so you can see your whole family on one app.
The Ace lasts about 8 days then requires charging. Compared to Garmin’s vivofit jr, which works on a standard watch battery, this is the biggest downside to the Ace. But if you like the Fitbit ecosystem and want your kids to be part of it, the Ace 3 is a great option.
- Durable and waterproof
- Fun colors and swappable bands
- Incentives for kids to be active
- Must be recharged every 8 days
3. Little Tikes Tobi Robot Smartwatch
The Little Tikes Tobi Robot smartwatch is a fun, interactive gadget for kids. Not only does it have a child-friendly touchscreen, but it also keeps your kid smiling with pop-out arms and legs, sound effects, and even expressions.
Two cameras allow kids to take selfies and even video—up to 3000 photos or 30 minutes of footage. They can customize the photos they’ve taken by adding stickers.
Games are also included, including augmented reality, interactive learning, and active games like treasure hunts. More than 50 watch faces—including analog and digital—help kids learn how to tell them time.
The dance game encourages children to be active and collect rewards as they progress through levels. There’s also a built-in pedometer so that they can keep track of their steps and challenge themselves and each other every day.
It can be worn as a watch or clipped onto clothing for kids who don’t like having something around their arm. You can also use the clip to stand the watch on, converting it into an alarm clock while it’s being charged.
Parents can set reminders on the watch for their child, and if two kids have the same kind of watch, they can send each other messages.
Some parents may not like that there’s no corresponding app for them to track and monitor their kids’ activity.
- Kid-friendly touch screen
- Two cameras to take photos
- Interactive learning games
- Tracks activity levels
- No parent app for monitoring
4. Kurio Watch
Unlike the other fitness trackers we’ve looked at, the Kurio Watch is as much as a kid’s smartwatch as it is an activity tracker.
The watch can take pictures and videos. They can even be customized with fun filters. Bluetooth connectivity allows parents with Android devices to message their child and exchange photos and other media. Texts and photos can also be exchanged between friends who also have the same watch.
The fitness aspects are located in the Sports Challenge games. Choose from three different types of games, including a dancing game.
The bands are interchangeable and can be customized to your child’s style. Each watch comes with two bands, one standard band and a color-changing wristband that changes with your child’s body temperature.
- 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
5. Vtech Kidizoom
Like the Kurio watch, the Vtech’s Kidizoom is more smartwatch than a fitness tracker. It’s 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. The watch also comes equipped with two cameras, one for selfies and the other so you can take pictures and video of your surroundings.
Kidizoom comes with activity challenges installed. The Racing Challenge uses a stopwatch to test how fast your kid can run from one point to another. Motion-controlled games are also in this watch. They get your kids moving by 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. It’ll 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.
- A 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
- Not a true fitness tracking watch
6. Garmin Vivofit Jr. 2
The Vivofit Jr. 2 is Garmin’s second generation in kid’s fitness trackers. It works similarly to the adult version vivofit 4. The Vivofit Jr. 2 counts steps as well as tracking active minutes (total moving time). It also monitors sleep.
Unlike other kids trackers, the Vivofit Jr. 2 is branded with Marvel, Star Wars, and Disney themes. Each tracker has a unique themed band and watch face. When paired with a phone, kids can play a themed adventure app linked to a Marvel, Star Wars, or Disney theme.
The vivofit jr. 2 is also waterproof. The band is made of durable rubber. It comes in two sizes: a stretchy rubber band for little kids. And a more classic band for older children.
Garmin introduced fun games to reward children for hitting daily activity goals. As your child hits their target activity goal, they rewarded with a themed game and story. Badges and new watch faces are unlocked as they keep achieving their daily activity goals.
With the phone app, you can track steps as a family. Enjoy some friendly competition to see who in the family can get the most steps (hint to parents: it probably won’t be you!).
Parents can use the app to set and track chores. You can make up your own or use the installed chores like getting dressed in the morning or brushing teeth. Each chore completed earns your child a coin. Coins can be redeemed for rewards of your choice.
The battery life will last about a year 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.
Overall, this tracker is quite similar to the latest Vivofit Jr 3 but it has a slightly smaller screen with more muted colors. But it does have different themes, so if you can’t find one you like in the Jr 3, try this model.
- 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
- The dim display can be hard to read
- Kids can lose interest in the adventure game
7. Fitbit Ace 2
Design-wise, the Fitbit Ace 2 is very similar to the latest version but with a couple of fewer features and a slightly worse battery.
But it still tracks steps, monitors active minutes, and keeps tabs on sleep levels. It would be a great watch if you love Fitbit but want a fitness tracker a bit more affordable.
The battery is still good. It lasts about 5 hours before needing to be charged. To recharge, plug it into a USB port and wait about two to three hours.
The Fitbit Ace is super lightweight. It’s made from a durable silicone band. The fitness tracker is showerproof and can survive short dunks in water.
Kids can earn achievements for completing activity goals, which then they can share with friends and family members that are attached to your Family Account on the app.
Unlike Garmin’s vivofit jr, the app has two views: a parent view and a child’s view. This keeps the app secure for kids to track and use the app. But allows parents to control settings and “own” the overall account.
- Light and comfortable to wear
- Child-friendly use
- Good LED display
- Good battery life
- Battery not as good as the Ace 3
8. Garmin Vivofit Jr.
The vivofit jr. is Garmin’s first fitness tracker for kids. Like the vivofit jr. 2 & 3, this has an easy to wear an elastic band that secures the device in place, so it doesn’t get lost or broken. Unlike those versions, these are more generic bands, not tied into a theme.
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 create 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.
The vivofit jr. is a great option if you want a budget-friendly fitness tracker. It lacks the themed adventures and games of the vivofit jr. 2 & 3 but otherwise they are very similar.
- Tracks steps and activity levels
- Customizable reward and chore system
- Small display
At What Age Should My Kid Start Using a Fitness Tracker?
Fitness trackers for children are designed for kids aged 4 and upwards. At that age, they’re highly unlikely to care much about their metrics, and are most likely going to be more interested in playing the games on the watch!
But it’s an excellent way to get them used to wearing a tracker and a smart way to introduce them to the importance of health and fitness. Getting your child a fitness tracker at an early age can encourage them to be more active by making a game of it.
What’s the Most Important Feature to Look For in a Kids’ Fitness Tracker?
There’s no simple answer here. If safety is your biggest reason for getting your child a fitness tracker, then functions like the ability to store emergency contacts, medical information, and contact details will be important.
Other features that parents may consider are the durability of the watch, the range of features and activities, an accompanying app, and ease of use.
Children also love the ability to customize their own watch, so personalized watch faces or other features may be a good idea.
Should Children Wear Fitness Trackers?
Children don’t usually need fitness trackers in order to be active. But they can be fun ways of motivating your child to stay active and understand the importance of physical activity from a young age.
Children should not be wearing fitness trackers that monitor calories or demand high step totals. Instead, they should wear fitness trackers that encourage them to be mindful of their own activities while making it fun and exciting for them to actually be active.