Best Fitness Tracker for Kids in 2020

#1 Pick

Best Interactive Tracker

Garmin Vivofit Jr 2

Our Score: 4.75 / 5

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  • Modern Disney themed designs
  • Hour-long adventure games
  • Engaging fitness tracker that kids love
  • Parents can set challenges, tasks and rewards

Best for Overall Activity

Fitbit Ace 2 Fitness Tracker

Our Score: 4.75 / 5

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  • Animated watch face
  • Virtual trophies and badges
  • Suitable for swimming
  • Able to set alarms and reminders

Best for Youngsters

LeapBand Activity Tracker

Our Score: 4.25 / 5

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  • Best for very young children
  • Educational games
  • Affordable

A fitness tracker is a small device that monitors your physical activity levels through various parameters such as steps taken, activity minutes, and calories burned. Many trackers offer more in-depth physical data like sleep and heart rate monitoring. As they are usually worn on the wrist, some fitness trackers can also double as a smartwatch.

While fitness trackers started off as devices for adults, increasingly more trackers are being made specifically for children. A healthy lifestyle is just as important for kids as it is for grownups, and a fitness band can go a long way to encourage your child to become more physically active. The World Health Organization recommends that children should get a minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity daily. To help achieve that goal, fitness trackers for kids tend to be more eye-catching, playful and interactive.

You might wonder, are exercise trackers truly necessary for a kid?

Well, it depends completely on your child’s lifestyle. For an active kid who is a keen sports enthusiast, he or she would very likely enjoy having a fitness tracker. It helps them monitor progress and identify areas for improvement in their chosen sport.

On the other hand, if your child is generally quite sedentary, a tracker could help motivate them to get off the couch and start moving. Beyond exercise, many fitness trackers can also be used to send reminders, alarms, and tasks to your kids.

In this article, you will find an overview of the most popular fitness trackers on the market. Each has its own pros and cons, but some are better than the others. Read on for an in-depth comparison of the Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 versus the Fitbit Ace 2. There is also a handy buying guide with some of the factors to consider when choosing the best tracker for you and your child.

Side-by-side product comparison - specifications & features

ImageProductPriceOverall ratingSuitable for agesBattery lifeWaterproof
Vivofit Jr 2 Fitness Tracker for KidsGarmin Vivofit Jr 2$$$4.754 to 91 year (not rechargeable)50-meter water resistance
Fitbit Ace 2 fitness trackerFitbit Ace 2$$$$4.756+5 days50-meter water resistance
Leapfrog fitness trackerLeapFrog LeapBand $4.254 to 73 daysWater resistant
Vivofit Jr Fitness Tracker for KidsGarmin Vivofit Jr$$4.54 to 91 year (not rechargeable)50-meter water resistance
Fitbit Ace fitness trackerFitbit Ace $$$4.58+5 daysSplash resistant
Kurio fitness trackerKurio 2.0$$46+2 daysSplash resistant
Letscom fitness trackerLetscom Fitness$4.5All ages1 weekSplash resistant

A list of the best fitness trackers

#1

Best Interactive Tracker

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Garmin Vivofit Jr 2

Our Score: 4.75 / 5

The Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 is an activity tracker that goes beyond mere exercise monitoring. Paired with the Garmin smartphone app, the Vivofit Jr offers an interactive experience guaranteed to keep even the most easily distracted kids hooked. From a fitness point of view, the Vivofit Jr 2 tracks step count, daily activity time, and sleep quality.

Pros

  • Modern Disney themed designs
  • Hour-long adventure games
  • Engaging fitness tracker that kids love
  • Parents can set challenges, tasks and rewards

Cons

  • Small cell battery might not last one year
  • More expensive than Vivofit Jr or Fitbit Air 2

In this newer Vivofit Jr model, there are a variety of fictional universes to choose from that including multiple Star Wars, Frozen or Marvel characters. The Vivofit Jr 2 offers kids hour long adventures as they achieve the recommended 60 minutes of daily activity, encouraging both physical movement and goal setting.

Parents can dispense further game-related rewards from the app, set various challenges, and assign tasks to be completed with preset incentives. The app supports syncing with multiple Garmin Vivofit Jrs, making it perfect if you are looking for fitness trackers for all your kids. To get a better sense of the Vivofit Jr 2, watch the video by Garmin below that shows you how to make the most out of the tracker.

In terms of looks, the Vivofit Jr 2 outshines the original Vivofit Jr. The choice of designs are far more relevant to the kids today, with a choice of Spiderman Red, Spiderman Black, Captain America, Disney Princess, Frozen Anna, Frozen Elsa, Minnie Mouse, Star Wars BB8, Star Wars Light Side, Star Wars The Dark Side, Star Wars The Resistance and Marvel The Avengers. Not only does the tracker look cute, the straps offer increased comfort as you can choose either a stretchy silicone band or a typical watch-style adjustable band.

The Vivofit Jr 2 is suitable for swimming as it has a water resistance rating of ATM5. Garmin maintained the small cell battery feature in the Vivofit Jr 2. No charging is needed but the battery needs to be replaced after one year. One potential downside to be aware of is that the battery might not last the full year, especially with heavy use. Some parents have complained that the battery ran out within months of using the fitness tracker.

#2

Best for Overall Activity

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Fitbit Ace 2 Fitness Tracker

Our Score: 4.75 / 5

The Fitbit Ace 2 is a fitness tracker that tracks the number of steps taken all day, active time, and sleep data. It also has other functions such as alarms and timers. Similar to other fitness trackers for kids, it allows parents to set bedtime reminders through the Fitbit smartphone app.

Pros

  • Animated watch face
  • Virtual trophies and badges
  • Suitable for swimming
  • Able to set alarms and reminders

Cons

  • Costs more than other fitness trackers
  • Strap said to fall apart for some users

This is an especially great activity tracker for kids who need a little encouragement to be active. Not only are there virtual trophies and badges to keep them motivated, but the tracker also has hour-long activity challenges and you can set reminders on it to avoid prolonged sitting. For the creative child, there are features to play around with like personalized cover photos and 19 different watch faces to choose from. If you are willing to pay a little extra, your kid can choose from different patterned print watch bands.

Compared to the original Ace, the Fitbit Ace 2 is jazzed up with an animated watch face and the build is not as delicate with added bumpers around the watch head, making it more likely to withstand rough treatment. The adjustable straps come in 3 cheerful color combinations – Night Sky + Neon Yellow, Watermelon + Teal, and Grape. Compared to the first Fitbit Ace, it also has significantly improved water resistance at a rating of 5ATM, perfect for young swimmers.

Parents can monitor their children’s activity through the Fitbit app. The app is rather different than other fitness tracker apps as it presents the data in two views, Parent View and Kid View. The Kid View shows information similar to that on the watch, and kids can use the Kid View to change the watch face.

Battery life is up to five days, although using the animated watch face would decrease that slightly. One common user complaint about the Fitbit Ace 2 is the band. Even though it is comfortable to wear, there have been problems with the strap falling apart easily and detaching from the watch head.

Fitbit Ace 2 vs Garmin Vivofit Jr 2

Let’s take a closer look at our top two favorite trackers for kids, the Fitbit Ace 2 and the Garmin Vivofit Jr 2.

At a glance, the Garmin would appeal to Disney fans while the Fitbit Ace 2 has an animated watch face that would captivate the younger ones. The Ace 2 also has bumpers around the watch head and from its appearance, it is clear that this tracker can handle some rough play.

From a fitness tracking standpoint, both the Garmin VivoFit Jr 2 and Fitbit Ace 2 offer similar functions. The basics (step count, activity tracker, and sleep monitor) are included but both lack GPS and heart rate monitoring.

The Garmin smartphone app is directly solely at parents. It shows your activity stats and lets you set challenges or tasks for your child. The Fitbit app has a Kid View as well. Having an app for kids is a nice way to get your kid more involved in their health. That said, the Garmin app is more straightforward to use. Some effort is needed to switch between Kid View and Parent View on the Fitbit app.

Convenience-wise, the CR1632 coin cell battery of the Garmin is better as it doesn’t need charging. However, it needs replacing after a year. This can be troublesome, especially if your child is a heavy user and the battery dies before a year. The rechargeable battery powering the Fitbit lasts for 5 days, which is a generous amount of time. If your child can remember to charge the Fitbit twice a week or so, you won’t have the hassle of replacing the battery after a year.

The Garmin offers kids fun game experiences with mobile adventures, making it a clear winner if your kid loves playing games. It also allows parents to assign chores through the Garmin app, something which can’t be done on the Fitbit. Kids can then earn coins or rewards dispensed by the parent on the app. This can teach them responsibility and get kids helping around the house.

The Ace 2 can be connected to your kid’s smartphone to receive messages and notifications. The Vivofit Jr doesn’t have that capability. Finally, the Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 is usually cheaper than the Fitbit Ace 2.

Ultimately, our top choice is the Garmin Vivofit Jr 2. With its excellent rewards system, easy to navigate app, Disney themed designs, fun games, year-long battery life, and reasonable price, the VivoFit Jr 2 is a clear winner for us. That being said, if you need specific features such as smartphone connectivity for notifications, then it could be worth shelling out the extra cash for a FitBit Ace 2.

#3

Best for Youngsters

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LeapBand Activity Tracker

Our Score: 4.25 / 5

The LeapFrog LeapBand is a colorful cartoon-based tracker that is fun, easy, and perfect for very young children. LeapFrog designed the activity band for 4 to 7-year-old kids.

Pros

  • Best for very young children
  • Educational games
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Might be outgrown quickly

There are 50 fun challenges to choose from. As each activity is completed, kids can collect rewards in the form of jewels or ‘joules’. Collecting more jewels keeps the kids hooked on the tracker. The games are varied; some allow you to keep a virtual pet while others encourage physical movement. Many of the games are educational in nature. For example, there is a fun game for kids to learn how to read a clock by looking at a monkey with one long arm and one short arm.

Parents can monitor progress via daily activity charts and also suggest challenges for their kids to complete. The games are simple enough that even 4-year-olds can play along. It has an option to set bedtime. The tracker automatically locks itself off at bedtime, so there is no worry of your kid staying up all night playing with it. You can also choose to lock the tracker during specific hours during the day.

Overall, parents and young kids love the LeapFrog LeapBand. The battery is rechargeable through an included USB cable and once fully charged, the LeapBand has a battery life of around 3 days. The fitness band is water-resistant.

However, the LeapBand is specifically designed for young preschoolers. This means that your child is likely to outgrow the LeapBand fairly quickly.

#4

Best Fitness Tracker for Staying Motivated

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Garmin Vivofit Jr

Our Score: 4.5 / 5

Next on the list is the original Garmin Vivofit Jr fitness tracker. Like most exercise bands, it measures daily number of steps, daily activity levels, and sleep data. It syncs to the Garmin app to provide more features such as rewards, goal-setting, educational games, and reminders.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Fun rewards-based system
  • Perfect for allocating chores
  • Battery lasts one year

Cons

  • Slip-on band may not fit
  • Silicone band may cause skin irritation

Parents have reported great success with using this app to set chores for their kids. The reviews are glowing; some kids are even proactively asking for more chores as doing them through the tracker is such great fun.

In comparison to the Vivofit Jr 2, the most glaring difference is the design. Instead of Disney-themed designs, the Garmin Vivofit Jr offers a more basic choice of only 3 designs (Real Flower, Broken Lava and Digi Camo). As it is more affordable than the Vivofit Jr 2, it is a good choice if your child is not interested in the fictional universes offered by the Jr 2.

The Garmin Vivofit Jr watch band is only available as a slip-on silicone band. There are no holes in the strap; instead the band relies on being stretchy enough to fit comfortably while staying on. Garmin offers it in two sizes of regular and large, and markets the fitness tracker to kids aged 4 to 9. The lack of holes might be a drawback if your child has very small or very large wrists. The silicone stretchy band could also irritate the skin if worn for long hours, more so for kids with naturally sensitive skin. On the other hand, the silicone strap does make it easier for young children to put the fitness tracker on themselves.

As it is waterproof with a rating of ATM5, swimming while wearing the tracker is not a problem. The battery does not need charging, so you can dispense with pesky chargers. However, the coin cell battery has a lifespan of only one year. After that, you will need to replace the battery to continue using the Garmin Vivofit Jr.

#5

Best for Older Kids

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Fitbit Ace

Our Score: 4.5 / 5

The original Fitbit Ace was first released in 2018. It is targeted at children aged 8 year olds and above, compared to the Ace 2 which is suitable even younger children aged 6 plus. Accordingly, the Fitbit Ace has a sleek and minimal slim look, quite similar to fitness trackers designed for adults such as the Fitbit Alta. It is available in power purple or electric blue, considerably more sedate colors compared to the Ace 2.

Pros

  • Slim classy look
  • Battery charge lasts 5 days
  • App with Parent View and Kid View

Cons

  • Only splash resistant

The water-resistance of Fitbit Ace is only IPX7 or splash resistant. It’s not ideal for a long swim in the pool, but has enough resistance to withstand a spilled drink or a short shower. Similar to the Ace 2, the original Ace tracker has a battery life of around 5 days. The functions include step count, activity duration, sleep monitoring, and text reminders to stay active. Do note that both Fitbits do not have a heart rate monitor or GPS.

The smart band syncs up with the Fitbit app easily and data can be viewed in either Parent View or Kid View. The only catch with the app is that many users have complained of difficulty toggling between the two views. You need to put in your password to go from Kid View to Parent View, which is an extra cumbersome step.

Others have mentioned that the band runs a little small for older children. If you are planning to buy the Fitbit Ace for your young teen, measure before you do. The adjustable band comes in one size and fits wrists up to 155 mm or 6.10 inches.

Fitbit Ace vs Fitbit Ace 2

If you are down to choosing between the Ace and Ace 2, the Ace 2 is the better choice for younger children. Compared to its predecessor (Fitbit Ace), the Ace 2 offers several enhancements. The little ones will love the animated watch face and the rugged build is perfect for rough handling.

If your kid is a slightly older or a teenager, the original Ace might be a better choice as the slim fit looks cooler and more mature. Older children around age 10 and above might feel self-conscious to wear the overly bright colors of the Ace. Both devices are not cheap, but the Ace 2 costs more than the Fitbit Ace.

#6

Best Kid’s Smartwatch Fitness Tracker

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Kurio Watch 2.0

Our Score: 4 / 5

The Kurio 2.0 smartwatch is a children’s smartwatch that incorporates several different functions into one compact watch. It is a smartwatch, a music player, a fitness tracker, a camera and with Bluetooth connectivity, it can even work as a phone.

Pros

  • Multitasking device with camera, music player and games
  • Excellent interactive Kurio messaging app
  • Basic fitness tracker

Cons

  • Screen durability issues
  • Poor battery life with heavy camera/gaming

As a fitness tracker, it measures the basics – number of steps, distance, timer and speed. This level of monitoring is sufficient for most young children. You can also set alarms and reminders on the Kurio watch.

The main draw of the Kurio is the ability to interact with other Kurio users. Kurio has its own messaging app that offers plenty of interactive fun. The messages are not limited to text as Kurio allows users to share drawings, voicenotes, photos and emojis. A pair of Kurio watches would be a fun gift for siblings. Alternatively, if your kid’s friends have Kurios, it would be a worthwhile purchase. Kurio also supports two-player mode for certain games such as tic-tac-toe.

Naturally, since the Kurio offers extensive functions beyond fitness tracking, it costs more than some of the other trackers on this list. Ultimately, it depends completely on the needs of your child. If your primary focus is on increasing physical activity, then the Kurio might be unnecessary. But if you are looking for a well-rounded kid’s smartwatch to buy in pairs, the Kurio might be a choice to consider.

Reviews of the Kurio are generally positive, but there are some negatives as well, one of which is the screen. A few reviews have mentioned the screen freezing, malfunctioning, or otherwise physically breaking easily. The other major drawback of the Kurio is its battery life. If used continuously to play games and tinker with the camera, the battery is rapidly drained after a few hours. With light and occasional use, a full charge on the Kurio can last 2 to 3 days.

#7

Best Fitness Tracker for All Ages

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Letscom Fitness Activity Tracker

Our Score: 4.5 / 5

The Letscom Fitness Activity Tracker is an exercise wrist band suitable for people of all ages, from young children to adults. It monitors activity levels, tracks sleep, and has an inbuilt heart rate monitor. As an added perk, it offers specialized tracking based on sport. You can choose between 14 different kinds of sports and the Letscom will track your stats as you get active. The tracker can be connected to your phone via Bluetooth to receive messages and notifications.

Pros

  • Has heart rate monitoring and GPS
  • Supports 14 different kinds of sports
  • Long battery life – 7 days

Cons

  • Could be boring for young children
  • Lacks interactive features
  • Not suitable for swimming

Essentially, this is a more traditional fitness tracker that is typically used by adults. However, a few factors make it suitable for children as well. First of all, it fits smaller wrists. There are many holes in the wrist strap and it can comfortably fit wrists of different sizes.

Secondly, it is easy to use. The touch screen interface is intuitive and a teenager would not have any issues toggling between activities. The battery life is a definite perk. A full charge of the Letscom is purported to last up to 7 days with moderate use.

Finally, it is exceptionally good value for money. As kids often have short attention spans when it comes to gadgets, it makes sense to avoid expensive products when purchasing tech items for young ones.

If you are looking for a fitness tracker for yourself and want to match with your kids, the Letscom is a good choice. It is the most affordable tracker on this list, making it easy to buy multiple trackers.

One potential drawback of the Letscom is its design. With an elegant slim band, the screen is small and simple. No flashy graphics are to be found here. There are 6 muted colors to choose from, making the Letscom more appealing to adults and teenagers. Young kids might find the Letscom rather boring. It also lacks the fun games, rewards, and challenges that are usually present in fitness trackers made specifically for kids.

Do note that the Letscom is not completely waterproof. The Letscom is marked as splashproof. It can withstand heavy sweating and the occasional contact with water, but it won’t survive a shower or the swimming pool.

The best fitness tracker: buying guide, tips & tricks

Needless to say, when it comes to fitness trackers for kids, you are spoilt for choice. Here are a few factors to consider when selecting a tracker for your child.

1. Choose an age-appropriate tracker

If you are shopping for an activity tracker for a very young child or pre-schooler, look out for fun designs, cartoons, animations and colors. At this age, the key is to capture their attention. The tracker should offer a variety of simple games that are interactive and encourage movement.

For teenagers, think about choosing one of the trackers designed for adults. Pick a simpler one, especially if it is their first fitness tracker. Most teens are aware of their appearance, so they are more likely to appreciate the classy designs of fitness trackers for grownups, instead of the cartoon motifs on kids’ trackers.

For the in-between ages or the tweens, fitness trackers such as the Garmin Vivofit Jr and Fitbit Ace would be a great choice. These types of trackers are fun and playful while giving kids the opportunity to engage in interactive games.

2. Match the fitness activity to the tracker

The next question is to consider how the tracker will be used. If it is for general activity monitoring, a simple device that measures step count and activity minutes might be enough. If your kid plans to use the tracker for a specific sport such as running, cycling, or swimming, look out for extra features such as GPS and heart rate monitoring.

3. Look at the battery life

Battery life should be one of the main features to look at when considering a fitness tracker. Children tend to have busy lives, so it is essential for a kid-friendly fitness tracker to last long in between charges. Don’t forget to consider the actual charger. Some trackers use a standard USB style charger. If not, ensure that it is easy to replace if it goes missing.

4. Is it waterproof?

If your child is especially prone to spilling drinks or jumping into water without taking off their watch, pick a fitness tracker that is waterproof. Some trackers are rated splash resistant. These trackers can handle small amounts of water, but won’t survive the pool or ocean. If your kid loves to swim, go for a tracker that is rated ATM5 which means that the tracker can be submerged for up to 50 meters in water.

5. Check for fit and comfort

Before you commit to a fitness tracker, it might be worth the trek out to a physical store, just to try on the fitness tracker in person. Ask your child whether it feels comfortable or not. Ensure it is not too constrictive around the wrist but snug enough that it stays on.

Of course, buying in-store comes with obvious perks such as sales service. However, the best deals are often found online. Shop around and compare different websites for the best prices. If you are on a tight budget and not quite sure if a tracker is suitable for your kid, do consider buying a second-hand or used fitness tracker, to begin with.

6. Is there an accompanying version for adults?

Most fitness trackers for kids have full-fledged adult versions to match. Consider getting a tracker for yourself as well. Having trackers from the same brand makes it easy for you to monitor your child’s activities. You would only need to install one app on your smartphone.

Not only that, it’s a great way to create some healthy competition as you work towards fitness goals together as a family.

Final verdict

Fitness trackers are nifty little gadgets that can go a long way in improving the health of your child. There are many different types, brands, and models on sale, choosing a tracker can be an overwhelming process. Take your time, shop around and select a fitness tracker that is attractive to your child, easy to use, and encouraging — your kid should be getting active in no time at all!

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Dr. Praveena Asokan
Dr. Praveena Asokan

Dr. Praveena Asokan, MBChB has a background in medicine, having graduated from the University of Leicester before working in various hospitals. Her additional experience as a medical researcher helped her transition to a career as a writer, and she now enjoys researching and writing on a number of health-related topics.

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