Which fitness trackers are best for kids?
Learning healthy habits early in life helps set kids up for a more active future. Kids fitness trackers can help encourage kids to be more active or let parents get an idea of how active their children are throughout the day.
Fitness trackers for kids should encourage fun activity without a focus on weight or calories, which can be harmful for young people. Parents looking for a reliable fitness tracker that will encourage kids to be more active should try the Garmin Vivofit Jr. 2.
What to know before you buy a kids fitness tracker
Fitness activity tracker
Different fitness trackers offer different types of activity tracking. Almost all models on the market have a built-in pedometer that tracks how many steps the wearer does in a day. Some kids fitness trackers also log other types of activities that children take part in, such as running, jumping and swimming. Some trackers simply feed this information back to parents while others use it to let kids take part in fitness challenges. Trackers aimed at young children usually focus on making a game out of activities. For more info, see the full guide to kids fitness trackers at BestReviews.
Fitness and sleep tracker
You can find some kids fitness trackers that can track sleep patterns in addition to steps and other activities. This is great for parents or caregivers who are worried that their kids aren’t getting enough sleep or are waking in the night. If your child often complains of feeling tired on waking, it’s a good idea to choose a model with sleep tracking.
The data from any decent kids fitness tracker will be fed directly to an app on a parent’s phone. This lets you easily see how much activity your child has done in a day without needing physical access to their fitness tracker. Making a huge deal out of fitness and activity can sometimes cause kids to either want to do less exercise or can give them hang-ups about weight and body image, so it’s good to be able to quietly monitor activity without bringing it up too much.
What to look for in a quality kids fitness tracker
Ideally, kids fitness trackers should be waterproof so that kids can swim with them on. At the very least, they should be water resistant enough to withstand a soaking from the rain or being splashed during a water fight or when washing hands.
Some kids fitness trackers have bands that feature bold patterns or cartoon characters, which may encourage children to want to wear them.
Kids fitness trackers often have built-in motivational tools, like receiving digital badges for doing a certain amount of activity or letting kids compete in challenges against parents and siblings.
How much you can expect to spend on a kids fitness tracker
The majority of fitness trackers for kids cost $40-$80. You can find some cheaper models, but they’re not always precise and may not offer the best features.
Kids fitness tracker FAQ
Are fitness trackers safe for kids?
A. You might be wondering if fitness trackers are physically safe for kids, keep them safe online or a bit of both. Although fitness trackers encourage kids to stay active, they don’t encourage an unhealthy amount of activity. In terms of online safety, some fitness trackers allow kids to compete with friends in fitness challenges, but any models from reputable brands will only allow this if parents have first approved any friend requests. Fitness trackers don’t allow kids to communicate with others, except in some cases where kids can communicate with family members but only when approved via the parental app.
How much exercise do kids need?
A. Ideally, kids aged 6 and up should get at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity each day, including some aerobic activity and some strength-building activity. We don’t mean that kids should be working out. They can get this type of exercise by playing and having fun. Activities that increase aerobic fitness, strength or both include running around, playing tag, cycling, swimming, jumping rope, climbing on a jungle gym, skateboarding, dancing and team sports like soccer, basketball or baseball.
What’s the best kids fitness tracker to buy?
Top kids fitness tracker
What you need to know: This Vivofit for kids comes in a range of cute Marvel and Disney band designs for young movie-lovers.
What you’ll love: This kids fitness tracker encourages kids to be more active by earning virtual rewards for doing 60 minutes or more of exercise in a day. It also incorporates a chore tracker that’s great for parents trying to get their kids to do more around the house.
What you should consider: Synching the tracker to a parents phone is more awkward than it needs to be.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top kids fitness tracker for the money
What you need to know: You get a lot for your money with this product, which tracks steps, takes photos and features games for kids to play.
What you’ll love: This includes some games that encourage activity in a fun way and a motion sensor to track them. Kids love the included games and camera, which offers fun filters to mess around with.
What you should consider: It’s a little light on the fitness features, so it’s best if you want a multipurpose smartwatch rather than a fitness tracker.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This mini Fitbit for kids aged 6 and up is packed with excellent features to track and encourage movement.
What you’ll love: Virtual badges and on-screen animations encourage kids to reach goals, and the family challenges inject some healthy competition. Sleep tracking lets parents check their little ones are getting enough rest. It also has an impressive 8 day battery life.
What you should consider: The battery life is reduced when you enable on-screen animations.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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