Are you looking for the best fitness tracker for kids? Check out this guide for some top recommendations in the market.
The best fitness tracker for kids has made waves since the introduction of Fitbit Ace and Garmin Vivofit Junior. And they’re now your go-to smart watches if you want to get and keep your young one(s) on the move.
From monitoring sleep patterns and still moments to counting steps and measuring calories burned, these smart devices can benefit your child a lot more than normal wristwatches ever will.
And let’s be clear on one thing:
The best activity tracker for your child doesn’t have to be the most expensive. It just has to be good enough to collect, analyze, and return reliable results irrespective of the cost.
Today, established brands and newcomers spoil you for choice as far as advanced kids’ pedometers are concerned. And while that leave you with many options on the table, it also means you need to choose wisely.
So in this guide, we’ll walk you through only the best that the big-name fitness tracker brands have ever created so you can get your purchase right the very first time.
Best Fitness Tracker for Kids Review
1. Letscom Fitness Tracker
- Cheap fitness tracker with tons of built-ins
- Accurate, return results that you can trust
- Waterproof but won’t track swim workouts
- The display is hard to read in daylight
- The screen is hard to swipe
- Begins to monitor sleep at midnight
We don’t know for how long Letscom fitness tracker has been in the market. But we’re confident that this is the best digital watch your child needs to stay active and grow into a healthy human being.
Its ability to count steps, calories burned, and time exercised enables you to know how much effort your boys or girls put into their workout. And by monitoring deep, light, and wake-sleep patterns, it’s easy to know if your little one’s getting enough sleep or otherwise.
Even with tons of smart features built-in, this kids’ activity tracker has its limitations. The heart rate monitor is okayish. The screen is hard to swipe. And sometimes you’ll encounter data synch issues.
Letscom requires arm movement to excel in motion tracking. So while it’s effective in counting steps from walking and running, it does a lot less so when biking.
It neither detects nor counts the number of stairs climbed. So if this is an important metric for your child’s fitness analysis, you’ll have to count manually.
This device has a built-in workout tracker feature that you can start and stop via the display. But it’s not as accurate as the step tracker regardless.
Letscom’s built-in heart rate monitor can track your child’s resting and peak pulse rate in the background, not to mention determine the intensity of their workout. It doesn’t have a heart rate zone and that’s fine because your child doesn’t need it anyway.
This tracker’s built-in sleep monitor features deep, light, REM, and awake modes. And it works by movement detection.
The biggest problem with the sleep monitor is that it resets all data at 12 A.M, which is to say that you have to wait until midnight to track your child’s sleeping patterns.
2. Garmin Vivofit Jr
- Garmin Vivofit Jr has a one-year battery life
- Has built-in games that your child can explore after 60 minutes of their daily activities
- Its tracker is accurate
- It’s water-resistant enough to survive a few splashes
- High-quality strap that feels soft on the wrist
- Not waterproof
- Doesn’t count calories
- We wish it has a heart rate monitor
Garmin isn’t a fitness specialty brand per se. But their collection of activity trackers is among the best we’ve ever seen.
And note this:
Garmin doesn’t just design its fitness devices for adults alone. They branched out to the kids’ segment with the Vivofit Jr, and we don’t see them slowing down yet.
Jr is a perfect gift for six to ten-year-old kids. Because it gets kids to move naturally, or with minimal push, there isn’t a better way to start encouraging a healthy lifestyle than with this device.
In our eyes, Garmin Vivofit Jr is a stylish smartwatch with a laid-back, vintage design. It’s still as popular now as when it first appeared despite the entrances of its latest upgrade, the Vivofit Jr 2.
This really cool gizmo is all about motivating your child to get 60 minutes of physical activity every day. And it does so quite effectively. It also tracks steps and monitors the quality of your child’s sleep.
Beyond the basic fitness tracking, Vivofit Jr lets you schedule chores that you’d like kids to complete. The tasks can be anything like getting ready for school, brushing teeth, or doing homework. You can then assign rewards for tasks completed.
Even better, you can extend the chores functionality by inviting the whole family to complete weekly challenges. How cool is that?
Jr won’t count calories burned or monitor heart rate. It doesn’t monitor sleeping patterns and it doesn’t have a reminder to move feature. But if all you need is an activity tracker that lets you unlock adventures and get kids in motion without a push, then this tracker is more than ideal.
3. Garmin Vivofit Jr 2
- It’s a watch and activity tracker with a decent battery life
- Motivates your child to complete 60 minutes of workout every day
- Attractive, easily grabs the attention of your child, they’d probably replace their current watch with this one
- We wish it had a heart rate monitor and a sleep tracker
- It’s more expensive than the original version
Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 is a well-thought-out upgrade of the original Jr. And it’s such a fun fitness tracker built to instill healthy habits in your child at a young age.
Lightweight and comfortable, your little one can have this on their wrist for as long as they want without feeling the load.
With franchise themes like Star Wars, Mini Mouse, and Disney graphics, Jr 2 looks cool enough to grab the attention of your child and get them completely hooked.
Vivofit Jr 2 is about interaction and motivation. You set a particular chore for your child to complete and they earn a little something in return.
For example, each time they hit the daily 60-minute workout target, the watch automatically unlocks a new game for them to play. You can extend this even further by getting them to complete important chores, like making their bed in the morning, getting ready for school, and/or completing homework.
Vivofit Jr 2 fitness tracking is basic at its best. It tracks movements very well and monitors how much time your child spends on physical activities. But that’s it. You aren’t getting a GPS system, a sleep analyzer, or a heart rate monitor.
The steps challenge is one of Vivofit Jr 2’s coolest features. In this challenge, Garmin requires your child to take as many steps as possible in two minutes.
And if you want them to compete to see who logs in more steps in 120 seconds, simply pair their devices to the mobile app and you’re good to go.
The custom alarm function is a good feature to use when kids are at home after school. It makes it possible to get your kids starting and completing chores on time. Simply pre-set the alarm for a chore and you’re good to go.
Like the original version, Jr 2 has a one-year battery life, which is so at the expense of advanced features. It’s water-resistant but downright duff for swimming as it doesn’t track swimming laps.
4. VTech KidiZoom Smartwatch DX2
- Includes three interactive games to keep your kids busy
- Easy to use
- Made of high-quality rubbery plastic for strength and durability
- Can only track steps
- Battery life sucks
KidiZoom Smartwatch DX2 was never to be a fitness tracker for kids in the first place. But somewhere in the design mix, VTech added a motion sensor to the gizmo, making it the most basic activity monitor we’ve ever known.
While not as powerful as Letscom or Vivofit Jr 2, the DX2 makes a good fit for the price. It may not impress older kids. But it will definitely appeal to children aged 3 to 9 years.
It’s sturdy enough to stand multiple drops. It has a simple, easy-to-use interface for kids in this age bracket. And it’s downright interactive, which is good for the price point. However, it requires charging after each use because the battery doesn’t last long.
KidiZoom DX2 has a rubbery plastic build that makes it strong enough to stand unlimited abuse from kids. This is to say that for the price, you get a durable smartwatch that your child can use and outgrow.
In our eyes, the DX2 is all about interaction and adventure. Or why else would it feature a camera and pre-built games?
The watch has three games, each good enough to challenge your child’s intelligence while enhancing their brain development.
The built-in camera makes DX2 fun to use. Because when your child is bored playing the built-in games, they can get busy taking photos and shooting videos indoors or outdoors.
The DX2 camera isn’t anything close to high definition. But your child will still be able to capture clear images and videos. The 1.4-inch display has a clear resolution and the touchscreen functionality works really well.
VTech KidiZoom isn’t nearly as robust as Letscom or Fitbit Ace 2 when it comes to activity tracking. We said it’s basic, and that’s what it really is.
It can only track steps, nothing more. So if a step tracker is all you need to help your kid(s) kick start their fitness journey, go with DX2.
5. LeapFrog LeapBand
- An interactive fitness and activity tracker, that gets your kids moving without a reminder
- 50 fun and exciting challenges for your kids to try
- Audio guide to help your child get the most out of the watch
- We wish the 1.4-inch display were a touchscreen
- Some kids may struggle to push the buttons
- No step tracker, no calories counter, no heart rate monitor
We’ve for a long time only known LeapFrog for their commitment to designing learning tablets and educational toys for kids.
And not for once did any of us even imagine that they’d branch out to fitness toys until they released the LeapBand.
Now, don’t mistake this device for a toy. It’s a smart gizmo, a tool that does exactly what it claims to do.
And let’s be very clear:
Many kids’ activity trackers focus more on tracking and analyzing metrics and less on interaction. LeapFrog takes a completely different approach with its band.
Here’s what we mean:
Instead of focusing on how you can track your kid’s steps, calories burned, and heart rate, LeapFrog focuses entirely on motivating your child to stay active all the time.
With tons of fun challenges that require a child to hop from spot to spot, the band can get your boy and/or girl moving naturally and participating.
With LeapFrog LeapBand, your child has to get down to work. They have to put in the effort to nurture their virtual pet by completing 50 interesting challenges.
To make the band fun to use, LeapFrog adds 8 unique pets to the gizmo. These are a cat, panda, dog, robot, unicorn, dragon, monkey, and penguin. The fun part is kids don’t get access to all these pets at once. They unlock them using points earned from completing different challenges.
And understand this:
The challenges are simple and interesting. They include tasks like walking like a crab, wiggling like a warm, popping like popcorn, and spinning like a helicopter.
The bottom line is this:
LeapFrog LeapBand may not be a step tracker. It won’t track your child’s heart rate either.
But if you’re looking for an activity tracker that can get your kids moving naturally, with zero push, go with this band.
Encourage your little one to complete as many challenges as they can, so they can unlock new features and earn more points to nurture their pets.
6. UNICEF Kids Power Band
- UNICEF Kids Power Band motivates kids to get up and stay on the move. You can’t afford to let your sit around, play video games, and become morbidly obese
- It gets your child to participate in saving the world via the PowerPoints earned from completing education missions
- The band has team-building missions, which not only enhance your child’s fitness but also help them build a social life
- This step counter has decent battery life. It lasts at least 21 days and takes only an hour to recharge.
- The display is touchscreen, so the watch should be easy to navigate
- It has an IP67 waterproof rating, so it should resist spills quite well
- A very basic fitness tracker. It tracks only steps – nothing more than that
- Doesn’t have a GPS built-in, it doesn’t have a heart rate monitor, and it can’t measure sleep
- Loses all activity data after 30 days
UNICEF Kids Power Band is about your kids helping other kids. And while it’s not a popular exercise watch yet, it’s a special smartwatch that has helped save and change many lives.
Granted, this watch isn’t as powerful as Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 or Letscom Fitness Tracker.
Being just a pedometer that only counts steps, it surely doesn’t justify the price tag.
Yet given the role it plays in getting your kids active and inviting them to save lives, the price doesn’t seem to be a deal breaker anyway.
To be clear, we recommend this step tracker because it encourages physical activities, health promotion, and team building among kids.
Plus, it’s part of a global initiative whose primary goal is to enrich your kid’s health while saving more.
UNICEF Kids Power Band is quite effective in encouraging children to complete education missions either as a team or on their own.
At the end of the day, the goal is to ensure they complete as many activities as possible and earn more PowerPoints.
Your child can use the Power Points to unlock resources, which you both can use to deliver nutrient packs to malnourished kids the world over via the UNICEF health program.
One of the things we love about the UNICEF Kids Power Band is that it’s easy to set up and use.
You just have to buy the band, download the app to your iOS or Android smartphone, pair the two devices, and then get your kid(s) down to work.
Once you synchronize the watch to the app via Bluetooth, you’ll be able to track your kids’ missions, their progress, as well as the points they earn. You’ll also get regular updates on global Kids Power mission on the app.
Buying Guide: Here’s How to Choose the Best Fitness Trackers for Kids
When it comes to choosing the best fitness and activity tracker for kids, you need to remember that it’s more about your child and less about you.
That means you need to buy a fitness watch that’s 100% kids’ focused and good enough to track their fitness activities.
So here are a few things to consider before spending your hard-earned money.
Know What Your Child Loves to Do
The first thing you need to do is to identify the kind of activities that your child loves to engage in the most. This way, you can buy them a fitness tracker that easily blends with their interests.
Here are some examples to help you understand what we mean:
- If your child loves walking, running, and playing soccer, you’ll need to choose an activity tracker that easily tracks their steps. The UNICEF Kids Power Band would be a perfect fit for this.
- If they love doing things around the noise, then you should consider buying them an activity tracker that gets them to complete chores and earn rewards while motivating them to stay on the move. LeapFrog LeapBand would be a good fit here.
- If they love swimming, go ahead and buy them a waterproof fitness tracker that can make it easy for them to track all their pool activities. Letscom fitness tracker would be a good fit here.
Simply put, first know what your child loves to do the most and often, and then get them an activity tracker that perfectly blends with those activities.
Check the Battery Life
Many parents focus more on the functionality of a fitness watch and forget to take battery life seriously.
Yet it’s the most important factor that determines the length of interactivity with the device.
It just doesn’t make sense to buy a fitness watch whose battery will day after 24 hours. Your child will probably forget to charge it or get frustrated with the frequency at which they have to charge the device.
We advise that you choose a fitness tracker that has an excellent battery life.
Anything with a five to seven-day runtime on a single charge is fine. The like of Garmin Vivofit Jr can last up to a year.
Make Sure the Device Works as a Watch
Don’t just buy a fitness tracker because it tracks steps and monitors heart rate.
You also need to make sure it can allow your child to read the time of the day.
This is important because it will help your child to keep an eye on time so they can get different activities completed with ease.
Choose Your Child’s Favorite Color
Because fitness trackers for kids are available in different colors, it’s best to choose one that your child will love.
If you aren’t sure which color they prefer, just ask them.
This will go a long way to ensuring they wear the pedometer all the time.