We all know kids aren’t staying as active as they should nowadays! So, if fitness trackers can motivate adults to be more fit, then why not kids too? Here’s the best Fitbit for kids so you can help get your little ones more active.
Best Fitbit for Kids
I don’t know about your house, but it mine the kids love devices. Smartwatches and fitness trackers, like the Fitbit, are no exception! I also find, especially in winter, that it’s hard to keep them active and get them motivated to do some physical activity. Of course, I can relate… But we all know how important it is that everyone in the house moves more.
So, if you’re looking for a fun way to keep kids active, Fitbits for kids are a great addition to your family’s health routines, when used correctly. You have to make it fun without focusing too much or obsessing (especially if you’re dealing with kids who already have body issues).
Why get an activity tracker for a child?
Just like adults, kids sometimes need a little bit of extra help staying motivated when it comes to physical fitness. There’s nothing wrong with technology, but sometimes sitting in front of the TV can be a little too much fun, especially when the weather isn’t great for playing outside.
Activity trackers for kids can add a “gamification” factor to physical activity. That means that it can turn fitness into a game and unlock motivating rewards as they reach movement goals.
They’re not just for sedentary kids either; really active kids will also enjoy seeing how much they move about (how many steps were in that soccer game?) and challenging family, friends, and siblings to movement competitions.
What I look for in the best Fitbit for kids
Shopping for fitness trackers for kids is a bit different than adults. After all, their needs are different than an adult. The features I was most interested in was whether or not they were kid-friendly and easy to use, durable enough for everyday wear, and had features that not only would be fun for kids but also makes sense for them.
Design is also essential; you want to get something that kids are going actually to enjoy wearing! Comfort, cool designs, and fun features like changeable watch face all go into a great design.
Activity tracker vs. smartwatch
Although many have features that overlap, what I wanted to showcase here were wearable devices for kids that will help them be more physically active. So, although smartwatch features can be a fun addition, the main goal is activity. That being said, if you’re going to be spending the money on wearable tech for kids, you should pick up something that does more than just track steps.
Some cool extra features like fitness challenges, alarms, and reminders are excellent additions that make the device more “worth it.”
What about apps?
Not all kids have smart devices, so that’s something to keep in mind when looking for a Fitbit for kids. Some activity trackers require a parent or kid’s app, while others work entirely on their own. If your kids don’t have access to a phone or tablet, though, you’ll probably want to stay clear of wearable fitness trackers for kids that rely on an app for motivation and games.
That being said, for most high-end fitness trackers (even kid’s ones), you’re going to need some kind of app access to get the most out of it.
Disney Garmin Vívofit jr 2
Garmin is one of the top fitness tracker brands, so it makes perfect sense that their kid’s fitness tracker would also top the list. The fact that they’re licensed by Disney, meaning the bands come themed in all your kids’ favorite characters, makes these kids fitness trackers even more fun. With a parent-controlled app, you can also help kids keep on top of chores with reminders.
Each Garmin vívofit jr 2 also has a downloadable app for kids. Gems are required for kids to play games, which are earned through active minutes, meaning kids are being rewarded for their activity level. There’s also a story that is unlocked as activity goals are met.
The only thing this fitness tracker doesn’t seem to have is a continuous heart rate monitor, meaning that activity level is estimated using the gyro and step counting.
- Kid-friendly band designs
- Customizable screen
- Kids app has fun games tied to activities
- Parent app helps kids keep on track of chores and daily tasks like teeth brushing
- Water and swim-proof
- A replaceable (non-rechargeable) battery that lasts 1 year, so no recharging woes
- Higher price tag
- Harder to use for younger kids
- Requires a smartphone to get the most out of it
- No heart rate monitor
Best for School-aged kids
Kids Fitness Watch by UNICEF
This kid’s fitness watch does something that other trackers don’t; it actually gives kids the power to have a real-world impact with their physical activity. As kids complete activity challenges, UNICEF donates food packets to hungry kids in need all around the world.
There’s even an app that can help them see the impact they’re having! Finally, this device was also designed without a GPS tracker and didn’t collect any identifiable information to keep kids safe.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a lot of extra features, like sleep tracking or reminders, but for some families, this might be considered a positive aspect.
- Has a real-world impact, rather than just digital “rewards” for fitness
- Goes 2 weeks on a single battery charge
- Interchangeable bands
- Great price
- Not as high tech as other kids’ fitness watches
- No chore tracking or reminders
- Doesn’t track sleep
- “Fun” bands (besides solid colors) sold separately
Best for: Socially conscious kids or those looking for an inexpensive entry to the kid’s Fitbit market
Unlike other activity trackers, this one is specifically designed for younger children. Kids who are familiar with other Leapfrog products will recognize some favorite characters, but even if they don’t, it still has an attractive interface that will appeal to younger kids. This device also combines educational aspects to the experience.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t have actual step tracking, which is usually a huge part of activity trackers.
- Built for younger kids and easy for them to use
- App can be loaded on to Leapfrog tablets, perfect for kids who don’t have their own device
- Downloadable challenges motivate kids in ways other than just tracking steps
- Young kids will love earning points to care for their pet through activity
- Doesn’t track steps
- Short battery life and long charging time
- Not very many features or customizations
- Designed for younger kids; doesn’t really grow with the child
Best for: Preschoolers, especially ones with Leappads
Fitbit Ace 2
You can’t talk about the “best Fitbit for kids” without bringing the actual Fitbit brand kid’s activity tracker into the conversation! If you own a Fitbit already and your kids are dying to copy, this is for you. With activity challenges and virtual incentives, it’s a great way to keep kids motivated. It also has the most accurate activity level tracking for kids out of most wearable technology on the market, thanks to the heart rate monitor.
- Tracks all types of activity, including steps
- Customizable 1-hour activity challenges
- App lets kids challenge their friends and earn badges
- Swim proof
- Animated clock faces and other customizable features
- Heart rate monitor
- No additional features or games
- 5 day or less battery life
- “Fun” bands are sold separately
- High cost compared to features (paying for “brand” name)
Best for: Older kids who want a more “grown-up” device or those wanting very accurate tracking
VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX2
This kid’s fitness tracker combines the features of a smartwatch with activity tracking for a fun all-around piece of kid’s technology. With two cameras, kids can take videos and selfies while on the go and also play a fun monster-hunting augmented reality (AR) game.
Although it does keep track of steps and has games that are designed to get kids moving, this device is more of a smartwatch than a fitness tracker. It’s also important that parents keep in mind that, while you have to download them through a computer, this device does take pictures and videos.
- Smartwatch features like customizable watch faces and photo backgrounds
- Built-in camera and AR (augmented reality) game
- Motion sensor and pedometer for fitness tracking
- Games can be played on the color screen
- Better for younger kids; too babyish for older children
- Not water resistant
- Short battery life
- Less of an activity tracker and more of a smartwatch
Best for: Younger kids who want a camera/smartwatch experience
What is the best Fitbit for kids?
Although all of these kid’s fitness trackers are great options, depending on your family’s lifestyle, there definitely are some clear leaders. The Fitbit brand’s Ace 2 was as strong contender as the best for accurate activity tracking (thanks to the heart rate monitor), but still only came in as a runner up to Garmin’s Disney branded Vívofit jr 2.
The Vívofit jr 2 has some amazing features that set it apart from other fitness trackers. Not only does it keep track of steps and movement, but it also has the daily schedule reminders for kids, a great game, and kid-friendly design out of the box. Add in the fact that its swim-proof, and you don’t need to recharge the battery, and you have a pretty durable kid’s product.
Besides all this, what really sets the Garmin Vívofit jr 2 apart from other kid’s activity trackers is the kid’s app. Physical activity unlocks games and a story with their favorite Disney characters, which will motivate kids to work hard through rewards.
It’s the kind of kid’s activity tracker that can do a lot but also appeal to a wide age range. After all, once kids outgrow the Disney designs, they’ll probably be old enough to move into adult fitness trackers anyway.
So whether they want Marvel, Star Wars, Princesses, or a classic Disney design, pick up one of these Fitbits (fitness trackers) for your kids and help keep your family moving together. As a bonus, parents with compatible devices can download an app to compete in family challenges together!
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