The Best Fitness Trackers for Kids – for 2017
How much screen time does your kid get in a day?
(Be honest, and don’t guilt trip yourself)
Even when you set clear limits, more screen time might sneak in, without you realizing it. Research has shown that kids between 5 and 16 currently spend about 6 hours a day on various screens.
This means that kids also have become way less active, and have copied us in a more sedentary lifestyle. And too much sitting can have very negative impacts on the health and development of your kids.
So how do you get them off the screens, and MOVING? Try an approach that will appeal to your "connected" kids.
Let's combine fun, suitable technology with healthy activities.
We present you with the best fitness trackers for kids, smartly designed so they will use them day in and day out. Our shortlist for the best "fitbits" for kids include:
Table of Contents
- Kid's Activity Tracker Buying Guide: What To Look For?
- The Best Kids Fitness Trackers Reviewed
- Our Recommendation
Kid's Activity Tracker Buying Guide: What To Look For?
Fitness trackers have become the most popular wearables over the past years. There are a wide variety of models available with various features designed to help you reach your specific health and wellness related goals. If you have considered buying a fitness tracker for your kids, you may have found yourself overwhelmed at the wide array of options available.
The following information has been gathered to help you narrow your search and find the right activities tracker for your child's specific needs.
Why Get a Fitness Tracker?
You may decide to get a tracker for a wide variety of reasons. If your kid is a budding athlete, you may find it beneficial to be able to log details about their trainings so you can track their progress from week to week.
If you are simply trying to get your kids to be more active in their day to day life, an activity tracker can help to motivate them to get moving more often. This will increase their physical fitness and decrease their daily exposure to screens to a more healthy amount.
Common Features and Benefits of Fitness Trackers
Some of the most common features and how these features can benefit anyone are detailed below. After that, we will go into the specific aspects you should be looking for when getting one for your child.
Tracking and Logging Fitness Performance
If you're in the market for a fitness tracker, you may enjoy the prospect of being able to log details about each workout that you or your child performs. However, various trackers will have different degrees of accuracy in tracking these details.
Additionally, some types of aerobic workouts like swimming will be harder to track accurately. Aerobic activities such as walking and running are much easier to track accurately and the details provided can be linked to a variety of fitness apps so that all of the statistics are kept in one central location.
Fitness performance details that can be monitored by your fitness tracker can include the distance you travel, the time it takes you to travel that distance, the pace that you keep throughout your workout, and the average heart rate you maintain. This information can then be compared to future workouts so that you can accurately assess your improvements as you become more fit.
You will likely find this to be a big motivator in the task of reaching for your long-term fitness related goals, as it allows you to see your true progress in real time.
Heart Rate Tracking
Maintaining an appropriate heart rate during aerobic activity is vital in accomplishing health and fitness related goals. If you are not working hard enough, you will not continue to show progress over the coming weeks and months. However, if you are working too hard, you can cause unnecessary damage and stress to your body.
Years ago, tracking your heart rate accurately required expensive and more complicated equipment that was usually only provided by membership-based gyms or other fitness facilities. However, using a heart rate monitor now is as easy as strapping your fitness tracker to your wrist and pushing a simple button.
That said, it is important to read the reviews of various models of fitness trackers. Different models will have varying degrees of accuracy when it comes to tracking your heart rate as you exercise. Overall, they all do a fairly good job of providing basic heart rate information that can help guide you toward having more productive workout sessions.
Tracking Calories Burned
If you are interested in losing weight, the option to be able to track the calories you burn during each workout may be an important feature for you to look for in a fitness tracker. Many fitness trackers also come with software or access to apps that allow you to enter detailed food logs each day. By logging your calories in and calories out on a daily basis, you can accurately gauge your weight loss goals and make revisions where needed to keep you on track.
Steps and Distance Traveled
If you have been previously inactive, you may start your new fitness regime with a simple goal to reach a certain number of steps per day. Nearly all fitness trackers automatically assess how many steps you take on a daily basis, and you can set specific goals to reach to keep yourself challenged as well. Many fitness trackers also feature apps that allow you to engage in friendly challenges with family or colleagues, keeping you all motivated to be as active as you possibly can.
Tracking Rest and Sleep
Maintaining adequate rest and sleep is absolutely vital for reaching your health and wellness goals.
Without the appropriate amount of sleep, your workouts will be much less effective and you will likely find yourself struggling to improve. Your body will repair the stress that your muscles undergo during workouts while you are sleeping, so this time is crucial for your continued progress.
Thankfully, many popular fitness trackers allow you to accurately monitor your sleep cycles. By simply wearing your device as you sleep at night, you will wake up to a detailed chart of the time you spent asleep and the overall quality of the sleep that you got.
Monitoring Your Hydration
Hydration is also a key part of health, yet you may find it difficult to drink as much water as you should. Maintaining appropriate hydration levels will help your body to perform better during workouts and will protect your immune system as you push yourself outside of your comfort zone.
Tracking your water consumption in your fitness tracking device will make it easier to keep up with how much water you have consumed and how much more is needed by the end of the day.
What Else to Consider When Buying a Fitness Tracker for Children?
Now that you know a bit more about the features of fitness trackers in general - which additional features are important for kids activity trackers? Here are some questions to answer before you choose one:
1. What are their goals (and your goals for them)?
The first step in choosing the right fitness tracker for your kid's specific needs is to fully assess your (hopefully) mutual goals.
If they simple need to become a little more active by reaching a minimum number of steps each day, a more basic fitness tracker would be just fine. If they're striving to become athletes, you may need a few extra bells and whistles for detailed analysis.
2. What are the specific activities to be tracked?
Next, it is important to consider what types of aerobic activities your kid will likely be engaging in. As previously stated, certain types of exercises such as swimming may not be accurately recorded by all devices. If they engage in watersports, you will want to look for a waterproof or water-resistant fitness tracker.
3. How tough does the tracker need to be?
Knowing kids, you really want something that can stand any weather condition, falling, and anything else that would wear and tear the device to pieces. The wristband needs to be very durable, and easy to adjust, put on and take off. Replaceable ones are also great in terms of longer use and change in personal style preferences.
4. What are the game elements?
Trackers for adults often offer a game element with rewards, which can work great for motivation. Kids fitness trackers usually take this "gamifying" to the next level. With cute graphics, animated pets and mini-games you won't need to nag them into exercising. Even further than that, some trackers include family challenges and chores you can set up, for which the child is rewarded once they finish. So if you think your child would love combining games and exercising - make sure the tracker is filled with fun extra's.
5. Does it look cool/cute?
Kids want to look at something that they like. The more they love how the tracker looks, the more often and longer they will use it. Luckily, there are some great kid-friendly designs available, as well as many customisation options. So choose the tracker with your kids personal taste in mind!
The Best Kids Fitness Trackers Reviewed
Now that you have an idea which aspects of an activity tracker are most important for your kids, here is our list of the latest, most popular and top rated kids activity tracker designs on the market today.
They are in no particular order, because each tracker has a different appeal in terms of age, type of activity and design focus.