Everyone seems to own a fitness tracker, and why not? They’re an easy way to monitor health essentials like blood pressure, steps, and heart rate. And if you’re lucky, your health insurance shaves off a few bucks from your premium. That’s almost better than losing calories. There seems to be a fitness tracker for everyone, but what about kids? Now, that’s an unrealized market. After all, starting healthy habits at a young age is always a good thing. Fortunately, many brands are stepping up to create fitness trackers for kids.
Aside from the aesthetics, one of the differences you’ll find with fitness trackers for kids is their durability and kid-friendly controls. With features like exercise apps, animated clock faces, and award badges, a fitness tracker might be just the motivation your child needs to maintain an active lifestyle. It’s not wrong to give your kids an after-school snack and tablet time, but why not give them a piece of tech to encourage more physical activity?
Our top picks for the best fitness trackers for kids
Fitbit Ace 3
Great all-around model for kids
The Fitbit Ace 3 offers kid-centric controls, and a durable build is what you’d expect from this reputable brand. Plus, parents will love that they can send smartphone notifications and track their child’s health progress.
- Great set of features
- Durable and water resistant
- Comfortable fit
- Kids must remember to put the Fitbit in water lock mode before going for a swim
Fitbit has been a trusty fitness tracker for years, and it’s nice to know that they put the same care and attention into the Ace 3 as they have with their adult counterparts. You won’t find a calorie counter or anything weight-loss specific, but it measures your child’s activity. So whether they’re playing tag, jumping on the backyard trampoline, or shooting hoops, the Fitbit Ace 3 tracks it. Keep in mind that there’s no GPS tracking; however, you can monitor your child’s progress with your smartphone. But the Ace 3 doesn’t only track your child’s daily activities; it’s a solid sleep tracker, too.
It has a user-friendly interface, controlled by pinching the sides or swiping the screen, to toggle easily through modes. Its bright monochrome OLED uses simple touchscreen controls, perfect for little fingers. The display is only 1.4 inches, though that should be plenty big for a child’s wrist. Kids will love all the custom clock faces and animations designed to motivate, like a rocket ship that propels once they meet their goals. Battery life is also impressive and a significant upgrade from the Ace 2. The Ace 3 should last up to 8 days, three days longer than the previous generation.
What catapults the Ace 3 to the top of this list, however, are all the little touches made specifically for younger users, like its silicone band. The band is soft to the touch and comfortable enough for long-term wear. Don’t let the softness fool you. Your little tree climber will have a tough time snapping this strap. Plus, the silicone wraps around the screen for extra protection. This tracker is also water-resistant up to 50 meters, so long afternoons at the pool won’t be an issue. That said, don’t forget to select Water Lock mode before going for a swim—this will prevent the buttons from activating.
Biggerfive Vigor 2
A cost-effective choice
Biggerfive’s Vigor 2 offers over ten tracking modes, from biking to basketball, and a rugged build. Couple this with a heart rate monitor, sleep tracker, and custom screen graphics, and you have one heck of a deal.
- Great software for the price
- Full week of battery life
- Lacks advanced functionality
If you’re kids on the younger side, you probably don’t want to shell out $80 or more on a fitness tracker and have it end up broken. That’s where Biggerfive’s Vigor 2 comes in. Yes, it looks like an Ace 3 rip-off, but before you dismiss this budget beauty, check out its features, the most obvious being durability. Similar to the Ace 3, you’ll get a tough but soft liquid silicone band ready for the daily rigors of childhood. But is it waterproof? Well, yes-ish. The watch is rated at IP68, so casual swimming should be okay, but avoid extended submersion. Considering the price, that’s a worthy compromise.
The LCD display is decent, and kids will love the custom watch faces, but it’s less bright than the OLED screen you get with the Ace 3. That’s not a major demerit because Biggerfive also gave the Vigor 2 a generous battery life. It lasts seven days, close to the Ace 3’s 8-day limit and at half the cost. And when the battery dies, it only takes two hours to recharge.
The Vigor 2 also surprises with its robust software, which includes a sleep tracker and 14 custom activity trackers, including dance, football, and swimming, to name a few. One noted feature is a sedentary alert that lets your kid know when they’ve been sitting too long. All of these can be monitored through the watch or the Smartphone app.
Fitbit Inspire 3
Best for teens
Grown-up features for growing kids
The Fitbit Inspire 3 is another hit from the leader in the fitness tracker space and comes full of features to help teens manage their overall health.
- Suite of stress management tools
- Slick design and touchscreen display
- Lots of advanced functions
Fitbit’s Inspire 3 may not be explicitly advertised for teens, but once kids reach a certain age, they’re looking for something less juvenile. So, the Inspire 3 is a great choice for teens wanting a more grown-up pick. The stylishly sleek but unassuming design is neutral enough to go with any wardrobe, and it’s available in three monochrome colors. And the well-lit display stands out even in direct sunlight. While the display is only a half-inch, the color touchscreen is easy to read and manage. It’s durable, too, and is waterproof up to 50 meters. The fast-charging battery is a plus and should last about ten days with regular use.
Unlike the options meant for a younger crowd, the Inspire 3 comes stocked with over 20 exercise modes, all-day tracking, and critical essentials such as 24/7 heart rate monitoring. The Inspire 3’s sleep monitoring is particularly useful as it supplies a detailed score based on your sleeping heart rate and REM. If your teen isn’t getting enough Zs, chances are they might be stressed. The Inspire 3 can help with that too. Based on their Stress Management Score, users can practice daily breathing sessions to calm those nerves. Other apps, like the smart wake vibrating alarm and menstrual health tracking, are easy ways to streamline their daily routine.
If there’s one gripe, it’s with the GPS. It can only be used when paired with a smartphone, but all the Inspire 3’s other perks more than make up for it.
Garmin Vivofit Jr 3
A feature-rich choice worth every cent
With its excellent battery life and equally excellent apps, the Garmin Vivofit Jr 3 boasts the same quality as its adult counterpart. Plus, it provides unique features like chore reminders, personal challenges, and helpful widgets.
- Battery life up to a year
- Actually waterproof
- Engaging incentive apps
- Battery has to be replaced when it dies
Like Fitbit, Garmin is a household name for fitness tracker enthusiasts. Their Vivofit Jr. has been around for a few generations, and the latest iteration is probably its best so far. Its premium price tag might be hard to swallow, but this little guy has much to offer.First off, this thing is durable. Its rugged, silicone strap provides that notable Garmin durability without adding bulk to tiny wrists. This tracker is also built with water in mind, so extended submersion shouldn’t be an issue. Also, the Vivofit Jr. 3 has a battery life of up to a year, so no worries about it running out. However, users eventually have to replace the battery.
The brightly colored display is nice, albeit underwhelming. Depending on which model you choose, your kiddo will be greeted by Jasmine, Baby Yoda, a Marvel character, or one of the several non-Disney-related avatars. It’s not a high-resolution display, nor is it a touchscreen, but you can customize the clock face and select different wallpapers. Still, it gets the job, and most importantly, it’s easy to read in direct sunlight.
Since this is a Garmin fitness tracker, the Vivofit Jr. has plenty of useful apps and widgets. Aside from the standard fitness tracking apps and sleep monitoring, it also provides motivational apps, like the chore tracker. Kids can check off chores, and parents can pay them with digital coins via the Smartphone app. Your kids can then “cash” them in with you for a more palpable prize. Plus, kids can unlock games they can play on their (or yours) smartphones after reaching their exercise goal. It’s a handy incentive and makes the drudge of exercise more fun. And on a more serious note, the Vivofit Jr. comes with practical widgets, like ICE (In Case of Emergency), so you can provide contact information like a phone number or address.
Amazfit GTS 4 Mini
More modes than you can shake a Fitbit at
The Amazfit GTS 4 Mini wows with more than 120 activity modes, allowing kids to track almost any activity their young minds can conjure up, and its petite size suits smaller wrists.
- Huge number of tracking modes
- Exceptional battery life
- Suitable size for younger users
- GPS is very basic compared to top brands
When the Amazfit states that GTS 4 Mini comes with 120 activity modes, they’re not kidding. Any sport you can think of is probably on this phone, even more obscure ones like badminton, rowing, even gardening. Speaking of versatility, the GTS 4 Mini takes customization to the next level with over 50 colorful clock faces. The vibrant AMOLED touchscreen display won’t disappoint, and don’t forget about the battery—which clocks in at 15 days.
At first glance, the GTS 4 Mini may seem expensive, but this fitness tracker doubles as a smartwatch and is the only pick on the list to include GPS tracking. If your kid is prone to wandering off and getting lost, this is a vital feature for tracking them down. Amazfit claims it utilizes five satellite positioning systems and circularly polarized antenna technology for ultra-precise location tracking. That all sounds nice, but the GPS set-up is relatively primitive when compared to the likes of Android and Garmin smartwatches, though for the price, you can’t go wrong.
Like many other fitness trackers on this list, the GTS 4 Mini offers sleep tracking, heart rate monitoring, and water resistance. But this fitness tracker goes the extra mile with built-in Alexa functionality for basic smart commands and the general Q&A your kids love to subject you or your phone to. It’s okay to take a break, parents.
Inspiratek Kids’ Fitness Tracker
Easiest to use
An inexpensive choice for first-timers
The Inspiratek Kids Fitness Tracker is an affordable option for young children or those learning to use smart devices for the first time. It’s one of the most user-friendly trackers and a perfect starter smartwatch.
- Bright, legible screen
- Suitable for even very young kids
- Water resistant but not waterproof
- Limited battery life
The Inspiratek, another great option for the budget-conscious, is also one of the easiest fitness trackers to use. Even younger kids should be able to learn its one-touch interface. It may not include all the fancy features of more expensive brands, but this affordable device covers all the essentials, like the fit. Inspiratek states that it’s for ages 5-16, and they mean it. The sturdy but adjustable strap will grow your child. The display is also surprisingly vivid and bright enough for any time of day—but don’t expect a touch screen at this price.
You’ll also get all the standard features like exercise tracking, heart rate and blood oxygen monitoring, a calorie counter, and more. It does advertise as IP67 “waterproof,” but don’t take this fitness tracker to the water park because it won’t last. Another con is that the battery life could be better, as it only lasts five days. But you have to remember that price tag. Despite these limitations, the Inspiratek offers excellent value for the money.
Cubitt Jr Smart Watch
Make fitness fun
The Cubitt Jr Smart Watch really shines because its games are made for mental and physical stamina. They’re also fun and engaging enough that most kids won’t even notice the edutainment nature of these health-promoting games.
- Robust game library
- Attractive IPS touch screen
- Temperature tracking
- Band could be more durable
If you’re raising a gamer, one of the best ways to encourage them to venture out of the house is to gamify physical activity. Enter the Cubitt Jr. Smart Watch. Its attractive 1.4-inch IPS color touchscreen and extensive game library get your kids burning calories. And the best part is that they’ll have fun doing it. The watch features games specifically built to help boost alertness and intelligence, one of the few trackers on the list to include mental stamina alongside the physical variety.
However, the Cubitt Jr. is more than just fun and games. In addition to all-day fitness tracking, this watch supports some more unique modes, like body temperature tracking. And for kids that already own a smartphone, the Cubitt Jr. plays well with other devices, allowing push notifications and calls to pipe directly to the watch. With an active battery life of up to a week, it’s also great for kids who might forget to plug in their devices.
A fitness tracker that tracks your kid
The Garmin Bounce provides parents with a smartphone alternative and a GPS tracker for peace of mind. Plus, it includes some of the best fitness tracking apps.
- Durable Garmin build
- Plenty of apps and games
- Top-of-the-line fitness tracking
You might think the Garmin Bounce is too expensive for a fitness tracker—and you’re right. However, the Bounce is so much more than a fitness tracker. It does everything a fitness tracker should, like monitor activity levels and sleep cycles. The Bounce even rewards kids with engaging games and quizzes after an hour of activity. There’s also an adventure app where they can learn about exciting landmarks as you and your family travel the world.
But it’s not all fun and games; Garmin seems to understand this. For example, parents worried about unregulated classroom screen time can implement “School Mode” via the parental app so their kids stay on task during the day. Moreover, the Bounce helps organize chores and to-do lists; when these tasks are complete, feel free to reward them with virtual coins.
The Bounce leaps ahead of the competition with its built-in GPS, which lets you track your kid wherever they are. You can also send text and voice messages for a low monthly (or annual) subscription. This is especially helpful for parents who want to hold off on giving their kids a smartphone. All of these apps and features expend a lot of energy. The battery life only lasts two days, and charging takes about two hours. Given all the Bounce’s merits, it might be a calculable compromise.
Be the fun parent, responsibly
The best fitness trackers for kids kickstart healthy habits that hopefully last a lifetime. What your kid will care about, however, is a device that’s both easy and fun to use. All of these picks cover that quite well. The real MVPs also include lots of parent-friendly features so that you can keep a low-key eye on your kids’ fitness goals. The Fitbit Ace 3 does all of the above admirably (and looks great doing it), but if you’re searching for something less expensive that ticks most of those boxes, you can’t go wrong with Biggerfive’s Vigor 2. Alternatively, if you don’t mind spending more, the Garmin Bounce is one of the best kid fitness trackers money can buy.
Whatever you choose, a fitness tracker is a helpful tool for encouraging an active lifestyle in a world that seems bent on having kids stay glued to their screens. Along with fun incentives and family participation, you and your family can keep fit together. Of course, it’s not a cure-all, but for parents worried about technology encouraging idle behavior, a fitness tracker is the perfect way to harness tech to improve health.
Fitbit Ace 3
Great all-around model for kids
The Fitbit Ace 3 offers kid-centric controls and a durable build, which is what you’d expect from this reputable brand. Plus, parents will love that they can send notifications via Smartphone as well as track their child’s health progress.