You probably came here looking for an activity tracker for kids. Let’s find out the best ones available in the market.
The Best Fitness Tracker for Kids – Top Picks of 2018
Before diving down into in-depth reviews of kids activity trackers, let’s take a quick look at our best picks of 2018:
Being a parent myself, I am well aware that all parents want the best for their kids. We also know that this world is changing rapidly specially the technology advancements in the past couple of decades have changed a lot of stuff. Who knew that motivating your kids to play outdoors could be a nightmare.
We are in 2018 and encouraging our kids to play outdoors is getting tough day by day especially when they are keen about spending most of their time with electronic devices. Lack of physical activity also results in obesity and the rate of obesity in kids has reached an alarming rate. According to a report, 41 million children under 5 years old around the world are either obese or overweight which is an alarming situation for all of us. While no device is bad in itself, it’s the usage that makes it good or bad. The inventors never created anything with a bad intention.
A kid under 5 years of age must spend at-least 60 minutes daily in a physical activity like brisk walking or running. Motivating your kids could be a tough thing but thanks to science, we now have a lot of cool gadgets that play an important role. You can use a kids fitness tracker like Fitbit as an incentive to get your kid involved in physical activities. Kids love fancy stuff and activity trackers are a great way to encourage your kids for outdoor activities.
Top Rated Kids Activity Tracker Reviews
1. Fitbit Zip
Ages: 13+ years
Fitbit trackers have gone famous since they launched. Everyone seems to be talking about fitbits. Fitbit Zip is a wireless smart watch that can be used to track steps, distance and calories burnt during the whole day. This is the cheapest activity tracker in their whole product line. The reason I recommend this for kids is its low price. Kids tend to break/misplace stuff quite often. So giving them a fitness band that costs $250 won’t be a good idea especially if you are on a tight budget.
You can use Fitbit Zip to set goals, track your progress and earn badges for the goals you’ve achieved. It comes with a free iPhone and Android application that allows you to access your data right from your smartphone. Kids can also share their achievements with friends and compete with them.
Fitbit Zip comes with a no-recharge easily replaceable battery that is good for up to 6 months. Though it’s waterproof, it is advised not to wear it while swimming as it’s not swim-proof. It’s not a band but a clip based wearable tracker. You can clip it to your shirt, belt or pocket. The clip-on feature isn’t a problem for adults but there is a high probability of kids misplacing it. So if you plan to give it to your kid who is habitual to losing stuff, I would recommend you get them a WoCase ZipBand that allows them to wear Fitbit Zip on their wrist.
Another thing I like about Fitbit Zip is that it displays time as well, so no need to wear a wrist watch or get back to your smartphone just to check time.
Fitbit Terms of Service state that you need to be at-least 13 years of age in order to use their services. Some parents try to get away with this by creating an account under their own name and tracking activity of their kids. The U.S. law does not allow kids under 13 to have any kind of online accounts.
I have published a detailed guide talking about the best Fitbit for kids. See it here.
2. Garmin vivofit JR.
Ages: 4-9 years
This kids fitness watch is an excellent addition to kids gadgets to make them take part in outdoor activities. The device has a built-in battery that does not need recharging and lasts for 1 year. Once the battery is out of power, you can easily replace it and buy a new coin cell. Its stylish yet comfortable design is perfect for 24/7 wearability and can be used during swimming or taking shower as it’s water resistant.
The best thing about Vivofit is the concept of rewards that motivates your kid to do physical activities. They earn virtual coins when they complete assigned chores and those coins can then be claimed for rewards that you have agreed on.
The easy to use smartphone app allows you to add multiple children and keep track of their physical activities- all in one dashboard. It automatically syncs with your phone and you can see their steps, sleep patterns, physical activities and chores data. You, as a parent, can assign chores right from your smartphone and then keep track of their progress.
It is designed for wrists up to 145 mm and it does fit for kids up-to 9 years but it might be too tight if the wrist is bit bigger.
3. LeapFrog LeapBand
Ages: 4-7 years
This is a special activity tracker solely designed for kids. The LeapBands comes loaded with 50 built-in challenges that are more than enough to get your kid started. These challenges include wiggling, dancing, hopping and much more. Mini-games and other built-in rewards motivate your child to take part in healthy physical activities.
Kids also have the ability to customize their own pet for an active playmate from 8 customization options available. The parental controls allow parents to configure play times and challenges. The device has an accelerometer and a rechargeable battery. It’s water-resistant and can be used during swimming as well.
What I don’t like in the LeapBand is that the lack of customization. i.e. you can’t add custom challenges for your kids like you can in the Garmin vivofit JR. You can only assign from the 50 built-in challenges. Other than that, it’s good option in a low price tag.
While it’s not the best fitness tracker for kids, it would be safe to call it one of the best options at such an economical price tag. You get what you pay for, and these features are totally worth it for the price tag.
4. Sqord Activity Tracker
Ages: 8-14 years
The Sqord Pod is a kidsSAFE-Certified waterproof activity tracker for kids that encourages them to perform healthy activities. A research conducted by a 3rd party health system with 5th graders concluded that kids using Sqord managed to increase their activity levels by a whopping 55%.
Sqord pod doesn’t need recharging since it comes with a long-lasting battery that is good for more than 9 months. You can then easily replace the battery at a very minimal cost.
You can download the Sqord App and get started by creating your character. Once kids start doing activities and collect points, they can claim those points against some rewards. Earning more points means doing more crazy things with your character. The app allows kids to connect with other players, challenge them or send them high-fives.
It could have been a Plus if the band would tell time. Sqord Pod also doesn’t have any reminders like a drink reminder but it’s a cool gadget for your child if you’re on a tight budget.
5. FitBit Flex 2
Ages: 13+ years
This is a good FitBit for kids who are aggressive, tend to run around, fall and do all sorts of stunts. Since the hyper active children embody a lot of mobility, there is nothing that would stick to them and monitor their activity. The Flex 2, however, is an exception. It comes attached to a wearable wrist band so that whatever your child does is recorded right at their wrists. The tracker itself can be taken off from that band and worn any other way, if the wristband doesn’t really appeal your child. The tracker usually records the number of steps, sleep hours, activity time, distance traveled, calories burned and even records the inactivity time. All these recorded stats can be easily accessed on the smartphone app.
Talking about specifications, the fitness tracker is swim-proof. This makes it an ideal choice for those kids who are balls of hyper-energy and love playing in the pools. Once the tracker is on, you won’t have to worry about it being destroyed, it’s a pretty tough one. Moving forward, this tracker does not come with a screen, rather it uses vibrations and LED notification lights. Once the set goal has been achieved or when the activity levels are low, the tracker would vibrate and your child would know what’s going on.
Due to its design and operation, this tracker is fit for the bigger kids or for those who like to keep it simple and not get tangled in all the touch-screen stuff. Plus, those kids who are already into sports and have strict training schedules will find this tracker useful, for it has the most convenient design and works as their personal pager. So parents, if you and your child are looking for a product that would help them stick to their routines, all while they smash one goal after the another, the FitBit Flex 2 is the perfect choice and not to forget it comes in a variety of colors.
6. Fitbit Charge HR
Ages: 13+ years
What about those kids who are pretty finicky when it comes to picking their stuff? They won’t settle for the ordinary ones at all. This generation Z has got the goods from us- especially when it comes to dressing and choosing things for themselves. If you have a child who always keeps his/her things on point, and has taste so classic that you second-guess their age, then you must be confused about what sort of FitBit tracker would suit them or on the least, they will accept. Of course, they can pin in the FitBit Zip, but come on! It’s just not the appearance that they’ll scream at you for, it’s the features too. In fact, the more features the tracker has, the more chances are that your child will love it and carry it around. Hence, keeping in mind all these queries and demands, Fitbit Charge HR is for your fancy kid.
This band-like-tracker is the most sophisticated and aesthetically pleasing. Your children would be fighting to try this on, the moment they see this. So there’s that for motivating them to take the first step towards fitness. Secondly, this tracker comes with real-time heart rate update, records all your day time activity and workouts carried out, can notify one about calls and messages, monitors your sleep automatically while setting an alarm as well (like wow!). Due to its advance technologies like smart-track and automatic wireless syncing, it makes it very easy to counter-review your child’s progress throughout the day. In fact, this tracker is just so intelligent that all your kids have got to do is move, and it will guide them about what to do whilst recording the calories burned, distance covered, steps taken, current heart-rate level and if your child rests, it will automatically record the stationary time as well. Plus, the accuracy on this thing is just mind blowing. Therefore, it is safe to conclude that the FitBit Charge HR stands as an ideal candidate for those parents and kids, who need to follow some strict exercise plans all while looking fabulous.
Whats most impressive about this tracker is its size. It fits more like a band and won’t irritate your child by getting in their way. Also it comes in many different colors like Pink, Blue, Tangerine, Plum, Black and Teal. So if you have a moody child, present them this beauty and see them jump right up. And in case of rejection from your younger one, don’t worry, you can keep it for yourself with the same enthusiasm.
7. Nabi Compete
Ages: 6-15 years
Nabi Compete is a competitive kids fitness band that allows them to compete in head to head contests and other collaborative tasks. These fitness bands contribute an important role towards a healthy lifestyle for kids. Nabi Compete has the ability to measure food burn and steps covered during the day. The fitness watch encourages kids to walk and run distances that are equivalent to famous landmarks in the United States of America.
With the app displaying activities completed and calories burnt, kids get to learn the concept of miles and calories in relation to the food they consume. Kids can select a pet of their choice, and there are even more pets that they can unlock when they have earned certain points by completing activities.
I have personally used Nabi Compete but didn’t find it too accurate. Measurements are way off most of the times. It also lacks some key features as compared to other options, like no digital display or custom challenges.