Looking for the best fitness trackers for kids that won’t break the bank? Read about the highest-rated, top fitness trackers for kids in this post!
*This post contains affiliate links.
Hi friends! My name is Chantal and I’m the owner of this site! I’m also a certified personal trainer and mom of two.
With that, you can probably assume that I’m a health-minded mama that is busy trying to raise healthy kids in a healthy home. (Which is easier said than done, I know!)
I tell you those two details to give you a little bit of insight about just how important health and fitness is to me and my family. I have had just about every brand of activity tracker myself, and my daughter recently took an interest in getting one of her own. So, naturally, I had to explore the best activity tracker for kids and see what’s best for her and her personality.
My daughter is already an active kid, but she loves to feel included in what mom is doing. She’s also a rough and rowdy Tomgirl (oops) and she isn’t easy on her clothes, toys, or pretty much anything else. There is absolutely no way I would spend $100 or more on something I know she’s going to be rough on, and there’s no way she should have something fragile.
So when I started to look into getting a kids fitness tracker watch for her, those are things I had to keep in mind. You’ll see what I found out about the best fitness watch for kids (and my daughter, specifically) below. But first, let’s talk about why you’d want to get an activity tracker for kids in the first place.
When To Consider Fitness Trackers For Kids
I think that any time is as good as any other to get kids interested in fitness and healthy habits. Especially during a time when sports and many normal physical activities are cancelled, and especially for kids who aren’t into team sports.
But of course, there might be times when it might be more appropriate than others.
I have one really competitive, athletic kid, and I would get her a fitness tracker just for the sake of competition – and because I have one. I’m a personal trainer, and after being raised by two sedentary parents, I hope to break that cycle with my own children. Don’t get me wrong – I am not a super-fit, single digit body fat mom who doesn’t have her own struggles with overeating and exercise.
Nope, I have to be very intentional and very careful about what I do. Fitness has been a struggle for me for a long time, and I actually became a personal trainer partially for my own accountability. But thats a different story (if you want, you can read about how I became a personal trainer here).
I make a huge point of involving my children in sports and my own fitness journey, but that’s a huge part of who I am. With my lifestyle and my goals for my family, it makes a ton of sense.
But you might also consider a fitness tracker as a motivator, an incentive, or as recommended by your doctor. Or, maybe you don’t need a real reason to get your child a fitness tracker. Maybe your child just wants one – and that’s okay!
Self-Image, Self-Esteem & A Healthy Body Image
There are times when purchasing a fitness tracker for kids would be inappropriate, in my opinion. Obviously, I’m not a doctor – and I’m not the parent to your child – so use your best judgement. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about this for just a bit.
There are certain kids, medical conditions, personalities, family cultures, and other situations in which I wouldn’t recommend getting a fitness tracker for children.
Sometimes, putting too much focus on weight, food, or other health metrics might harm your child more than some other approaches. If your goal is truly to help your child be healthy, you surely understand how it could be harmful to let your child use a fitness tracker. If you are raising your children to be emotionally and mentally healthy as well as physically, you’ll help them to be strong and confident, too.
For many of us adults, fitness and weight loss can teeter between healthy habits and an obsession. For me, the more I pay attention to myself, the more I realize my personal struggles with self-esteem and self-worth are related to habits and attitudes that started when I was young.
Now, because I don’t want my children to struggle with their weight or be overly concerned about it, I’m really careful about what messages I send them.
I want to try to instill healthy habits in them, as well as foster a healthy body image in them.
I wrote an entire post about how to raise kids with healthy body image, but the idea is simple. A big component of health is confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth.
How we feel about ourselves internally plays a huge part in our overall health. When we feel strong and confident, we are more capable of making healthy food and exercise choices. Confidence spills into every other area of our lives, and it helps us be healthy, really!
So – if you have a kid who is already showing signs of poor self-worth, maybe it’s not a good choice to get them a fitness tracker. And to take it a step further, if YOU as the parent struggle with a weight obsession, eating disorder, or something similar, I would not recommend starting your kids on the same path by getting them a fitness tracker.
The goal is that your child values health, but doesn’t obsess with it in a way that causes them to think that they’re self-worth is related directly to a number on the scale.
I sure as heck don’t want my child to think about weight loss nearly as much as I have in my life, so if I end up getting my child a fitness tracker, I will be very careful about how it gets used. Plus, the conversations we have about movement and food will be positive, hopefully not negative.
Does that make sense?
I would just hate to add to diet culture and teach kids that the way they look is the only thing that matters. There’s a bigger picture here!
Whatever you decide, however, I would encourage you to start having more open conversations with your kiddos about health.
One of the worst things you can do is ignore health as a topic in general. Plus, being healthy isn’t always something that’s easy to figure out. If you decide to get your child a tracker, there should definitely be some conversations involved in the purpose and reasoning behind it.
The tracker could serve as a great talking point! If it brings your child anxiety or obsession over movement and food, however, it might be something to put away. Hopefully you get the idea. A tracker alone isn’t going to “fix” your overall health problems, but it can be a great tool.
Okay. Now that I’ve said my piece, let’s get back to the best fitness trackers for kids.
3 Best Fitness Trackers For Kids
You better believe that I am one of those people who researches reviews, product specs, and price thoroughly before making basically any time of purchase.
I based my list on fitness trackers that I’ve tried personally, as well as ratings, specs, and price. I have personally owned several different brands of activity trackers over the years. I don’t know about you, but I’m not interested in expensive things – only things that get the job done. If that sounds like you, this list is perfect for you.
*I don’t believe that kids should be taught to count calories, so if you’re looking for a fitness watch for kids that has that capability, you’re in the wrong place. I just don’t think it’s healthy to start them in on that so young. 🙂 This post contains affiliate links.
The Fitbit Ace 2 is at the top of my list for a few reasons. Firstly, I have a Fitbit myself, and it stands up to my messy, busy life. I have bonked that think into walls, dropped it, and unintentionally washed it. And it still works!
As far as the Ace 2 goes, it’s affordable (under $50 on sale right now, $70ish full price), reputable, and has over 6,000 reviews with an average of 4.5 stars on Amazon. (If you’re looking for the best Fitbit for kids, this right here is it!)
Here’s what it can do:
- Track steps
- Follow/track achievements (complete with badges and rewards)
- Track sleep
- Go swimming with you kiddo (it’s waterproof)
- Sync with others for challenges
I’m sure I’m missing a few little features on the list, but those were the most important (in my opinion). You can check out the Ace 2 Fitbit here. Trust me, there’s a reason it’s at the top of my list of best fitness trackers for kids! This is the best Fitbit for kids, and possibly the highest quality fitness tracker for kids in general.
Back when activity trackers first came out, I couldn’t afford the latest Fitbit, so I compromised with a Garmin. That seems silly to say, because it was a great little activity tracker, it just wasn’t as fancy. Now, things are different, and Garmin has made waves in the market, too. Competitively priced compared to the Fitbit for kids, the Garmin has a few distinguishing features.
The Garmin Vivofit Jr. makes my list of the best fitness trackers for kids because of its:
- Stretchy, easy to slip on wristband
- Many cute prints and color options
- World Tour App experience
- Activity and movement games to help kids stay motivated
- Chore management (through the app)
- Rewards + emergency information
- It needs no charging! Battery lasts one year+ then needs replaced.
With a few features that are unique to Garmin, this activity tracker seems fun and has a few extra frills for kids who might need it. It might be the best activity tracker for kids depending on your needs. Plus, it comes in so many different colors, plus some are fun character-themed. Go check it out!
I left the most affordable, highly-rated tracker for last! (Found on Amazon.) If the other two fitness trackers were a little out of your budget, you’ll want to pay attention to this affordable one.
The BIGGERFIVE brand actually has a few different great fitness trackers for kids, but I’m going to focus on their most popular, basic tracker for today. It currently runs about $30 on Amazon, and is great for basic activity tracking.
Here are it’s specs, per their Amazon listing:
- 10+ Sports & Activity Modes – so you can track more than just steps!
- Built in alarm clock
- USB charging, holds a charge up to 7 days
- Heart rate & sleep tracking
- Basic activity tracking, i.e. steps and distance
- This model comes in 4 different colors
So – for a basic, affordable kids activity tracker watch, the BIGGERFIVE brand is definitely worth looking into. While it doesn’t have all of the frills that some of the other watches have (think challenges via the apps), this tracker still has the ability to motivate your child to move more. It could even be the best fitness watch for kids who need less screen time and less fuss. Plus, the price is hard to beat!
Also, since it’s USB compatible, it can be charged with most phone chargers, computers, and more. That can be helpful for a kiddo who has a hard time keeping track of chargers. 🙂
There you have it friends – the top fitness trackers for kids! I hope my list helps you decide if an activity tracker is right for your child. (And if so, which one!)
If you decide to get one for your kiddo, I’d love to know which one you pick. So come back and let me know.
What do you think is the best fitness watch for kids?
If you’ve already bought one, do you have any devices you think I should add to my list of best fitness trackers for kids? Weird or good experiences with ones you’ve tried? Tell me about them by leaving a comment below!
Thanks for reading,