The Best Fitness Trackers for Kids – for 2017

0 shares
Are tablets and ipads bad for young children?

Are tablets bad for kids?

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:

Kid's Activity Tracker Buying Guide: What To Look For?

kids who exercise will usually be healthier adults

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?

swimming trackers

Swimming? Make sure you get waterproof activity trackers

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. 

Garmin VivoFit Jr.

tracks your child's activity and sleep pattern

Best designed kids activity tracker - hands down.

This is the most popular tracker, which is no surprise, seeing all its features and awesome looking design. It's also a bit more pricier, but in my opinion worth the investment, as your kid will actually use it.

Long lasting and highly adjustable

The Vivo tracker is very durable, waterproof and the (replaceable) battery lasts for a year. It is highly adjustable as it comes in many colors and designs. The Garmin Vivo Fit is suitable for kids between 4-9 years. It tracks your child’s activities, as well as their steps and sleep pattern. It also tells the time and date in a sunlight-readable display, and has an alarm function.

Fun and educational​

To encourage your kids to keep fit, the tracker has fun and educational adventure trails which they get to use when they meet their activity goals. Through such, they not only learn facts about animals but also get to be more active while having fun.

Something for the whole family​

Parents can also modify and set the adventure trails and rewards through the app. Such include movie nights, pocket money and many others. By doing so you get an opportunity to engage with and teach your children the value of hard work and dedication. This is such a valuable lesson that will help them in achieving their goals later in life.

Guardians and parents are also not forgotten as they are rewarded with some goodies, and can setup chores in the tracker for kids to complete. The kids earn digital coins for chores, which they can use for rewards you defined.

You can even set up family challenges with the Vivo Fit and reach your goals together. Here you can see the tracker in action:

Pros

  • Very durable and comfortable
  • No need for charging, battery life is one year and replaceable
  • Great looking design, lots of choices
  • Fun challenges
  • Can set up chores for kids, family challenges & adventures
  • Free parent app & bluetooth
  • High-resolution, sunlight-readable display
  • Tells time and date

Cons

  • Regular size fits wrists up to 145 mm; X-large fits wrists 146-170 mm. Larger than that is not available yet.
  • The display is tiny

LeapFrog LeapBand Activity Tracker

Leapband trackers are definitely the funnest activity trackers for kids

Includes 50 fun challenges

Second on our list is a chunky but full of superb features tracker. It exceeds the ordinary fitness tracking by being one that children can play with and comes in green, blue and pink colors.


It works well with kids between four to seven years and has an easy-to-use design. The fitness tracker has inbuilt sensors which track the steps taken and buttons which assist them to listen to the audio instructions.

Virtual Pet, Lots of Activities and Games

It has a wide array of activities such as cardiovascular and muscle strengthening ones. To encourage children to be more active in using it, Leapfrog has rewards which they can use to nurse their virtual pet.

It also offers up to 50 games and more pets which wearers can unlock as they progress with its use. 

If your child loves games that involve playing with cute animal characters, this is a device that will stimulate them to play actively endlessly. There are so many minigames and challenges to play - this won't grow old fast.

One thing I should share about this one: Though the LeapBand is developed for kids  4-7 years old, my 7 year old son said it was "for babies", and he actually loved  the more stylish Garmin VivoFit Jr.​ So keep the preferences of your child in mind, before you choose!

These little ones are having a blast, watch:​

Pros

  • Has plenty of fun games & rewards to motivate moving
  • Cute and colorful graphics
  • The virtual pet gives it extra personality
  • You can charge it with an USB to your laptop, charge lasts for 3 days
  • Has a quiet time mode without noise or animation

Cons

  • Quite clunky design - big device
  • Does not have an interactive touch screen
  • Activities and games might be too "young" for some 7 year olds
  • Does not include a pedometer

FitBit Zip

The zip is great as a kids fitbit

The Zip Fitbit - Small, durable and comfortable

The Fitbit Zip is very popular. It's mostly targeted at adults, but more and more parents buy them for their kids as well. In this way, the whole family is using the same gadget which gives a nice "we're doing this together" feel to it.


The FitBit is a very basic gadget, without a lot of bells and whistles. But as they have been the leading brand for so long, they do what they're supposed to do very very well. The Fitbit fitness tracker can:

  • Count your child's steps
  • Count calories burned (this is usually not necessary with children except if they are obese or with some forms of chronical illnesses)
  • Measure distance traveled: You can see on a daily and weekly basis how much distance has been covered.
  • Clock function: the fitbit zip can double function as a wrist watch (you need to order a fitbit wrist band with it)

Unlike the other activity trackers, the Zip is a clip-on which you can easily attach to your kid's clothes, and even wear it under a shirt. For some kids though, this might mean they lose it in the first five minutes they wear it, so you might want to order the separate FitBit wrist band.

Pros

  • Nice shape and compact design
  • Connects via bluetooth with phone or laptop
  • Enough memory capacity to log for a week
  • The most affordable tracker for great value

Cons

  • No wrist band included, has to be bought seperately
  • No games, challenges or rewards
  • Does not include a sleep quality monitor

Our Wildcard: VTech Kidizoom Watch DX Toy

A super fun and educational fitness tracker watch for kids

A smart kids fitness watch

This is a bit of a wildcard because it technically is a smart watch, and not just a fitness tracker. It offers so many digital activities and functions, you might be worried about actually increasing their screen time instead of decreasing it.

That said, if you think your kids would become bored easily with other trackers, this is a great compromise between either sitting on the tablet for too long and having no screen at all.


Here are some of the features this smart watch for kids offers (and that's not all of them!):

  • Fun and educational teaching how to tell time
  • Can take photo's and record video's, and add photo filters
  • Has a voice recorder with 5 voice effects
  • Includes various arcade, educational and motion games, and you can download more from the LearningLodge site
  • Has a calendar feature for learning the days and months of the year
  • Includes a calculator for learning simple math
  • Games you can play with the touch screen
  • A motion sensor for action challenges
  • Has a pedometer

So the Vtech watch can go either way: it can keep your kid motivated to use it, while increasing their active time. But it can also become a distraction from physical activities, because they prefer playing the games on it that do not involve any movement. The end result depends on your kid's behavior and how you will set restrictions on using certain functions of the watch.

See the Vtech Smart Watch in action here:​

Pros

  • Multi-purpose toy that you will get of use out of
  • Can save up to 800 photo's and 6 one minute video's
  • Durable, splash and sweatproof
  • Lots of features so kids won't get bored
  • Can add more educational games through LearningLodge site
  • Rechargeable battery

Cons

  • Not swimproof
  • Might result in more screentime

Sqord Activity Pod

A super fun and educational fitness tracker watch for kids

  • Fun and educational teaching how to tell time
  • Can take photo's and record video's, and add photo filters
  • Has a voice recorder with 5 voice effects
  • Includes various arcade, educational and motion games, and you can download more from the LearningLodge site
  • Has a calendar feature
  • Includes a calculator
  • Games you can play with the touch screen
  • A motion sensor for action challenges
  • Has a pedometer

So as you can see, the Vtech watch can go two ways: it can keep your kid motivated to use it, while increasing their active time. But it can also become a distraction from physical activities, because they prefer playing the games on it that do not involve any movement.

If this one is the right choice for you, depends on how your child is, and how you will set some restrictions on playing games on the watch. 

Pros

  • Multi-purpose toy that you will get of use out of
  • Can save up to 800 photo's and 6 one minute video's
  • Durable, splash and sweatproof
  • Lots of features so kids won't get bored
  • Can add more educational games through LearningLodge site
  • Rechargeable battery

Cons

  • Not swimproof
  • Might result in more screentime

Our Recommendation

Which fitness tracker is best, is not a straighforward question, especially when it involves kids. In the end, the best tracker is the one that matches their personality and preferences. That is why we selected the top trackers that each will cater to different types of kids and their situation.

Our advice is to closely keep in mind what your intentions and goals are for the exercise tracker, and the likes and dislikes of your child. We hope our shortlist made your choice a little easier.

It's worth it.

To let your children develop healthy habits in terms of eating and exercising, is one of the best things you can do. It will literally save them years of their adult life, and guard them from  many ailments and diseases.

Let them become the healthiest version of themselves possible!

0 shares
Boy counting steps with children pedometer
Olivia Johanson
 

Thank you for reading! I am Olivia, a freelance writer, mom of 2 and a home remedy addict :) If you LOVE natural solutions you can create yourself, for any health, beauty or household problem you have - hop over to EveryHomeRemedy.com.~ Stay Healthy, Stay Happy! ~Love, Olivia

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments