No matter what age your child is, there is now a wide range of fitness trackers and smart watches that can help monitor sleep schedules, activity, and even provide some communication. They’re also a great option for parents who aren’t yet ready to buy their child a smartphone, which is understandable given the dangers of social media and other privacy concerns. Whether you’re trying to teach them to be more aware of their body, training them to wake up on time for school, or trying to get to the bottom of why they aren’t sleeping, chances are good that there’s a fitness tracker option that’s perfect.
The problem most parents have, though, is trying to decide the right option for their little ones. That’s why we’ve tested some of the most popular fitness trackers to find out.
Why you should consider a fitness tracker for your child
Fitness trackers have become increasingly popular in recent years, and their benefits extend beyond just adults. Children can also reap numerous advantages from using these devices, promoting a healthier and more active lifestyle. Here are some key benefits of children using fitness trackers.
First and foremost, fitness trackers encourage physical activity. In an era dominated by technology and sedentary behavior, these devices serve as a constant reminder for children to move and engage in physical exercise. They provide step counts, distance covered, and even reminders to take breaks from sitting. By setting daily activity goals and tracking progress, children are motivated to increase their movement, leading to improved fitness levels and overall health.
Fitness trackers also promote a sense of responsibility and accountability. Children can take charge of their health by monitoring their activity levels and making conscious choices to stay active. These devices foster a sense of ownership and encourage children to take control of their well-being, instilling lifelong habits of self-care and personal responsibility.
Educating your child on fitness early on
Fitness trackers can be educational tools, too. Many devices offer features like heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, and calorie expenditure estimation. By analyzing this data, children can learn about the importance of heart health, the significance of quality sleep, and the relationship between physical activity and calorie expenditure. This knowledge empowers them to make informed decisions about their health and well-being.
Plus, they can foster healthy competition and social interaction. Some devices allow children to connect with friends or family members, enabling them to participate in challenges or share achievements. This social aspect encourages friendly competition, teamwork, and peer support, making physical activity more engaging and enjoyable.
But there’s one thing that might be the most valuable about adding this device to the mix: Fitness trackers provide valuable insights for parents and caregivers. By monitoring their children’s activity levels, parents can identify patterns and make informed decisions regarding physical activity and overall well-being. This information can be helpful for identifying potential issues, setting goals, and providing necessary support.
Below, we’ve identified a handful of fitness trackers that you should take a look at, including our top pick, the Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3…
The Perfect Fitness Tracker Overall: Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3 for $69.99 (reg. $89.99)
If you want an all around fitness tracker with a focus on young children, the Garmin Vivofit Jr. is probably your best bet. Some of the biggest advantages are that you do not need to worry about constantly charging the device for at least the first year you have it, as a device that constantly needs to be charged isn’t likely to become a staple gadget in your child’s life. (Note: Parents can replace the battery manually once it does run out of juice.) The Vivofit Jr. offers a simple step counter, a heart rate monitor, a sleep tracker, timer, alarm clock, and a few other bells and whistles. And, this one comes in a variety of styles, including some licensed versions such as one with Disney’s Frozen branding.
Budget Pick: BIGGERFIVE Vigor 2 Kids Fitness Tracker for $23.99 (reg. $29.99)
If you’re still deciding whether to dive into to Fitness Trackers for kids, but want to take a baby step before investing further, the BIGGERFIVE Vigor 2 is a great option for the price. This Amazon Choice gadget routinely sells for about $30, and offers many of the same options as our Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3 pick. There are, however, some trade offs to be aware of. First and probably most importantly, this fitness tracker doesn’t have an extremely long battery life. You’ll need to make sure you’re charging this one about once a week, but the manufacturer does state that charging takes just 2 hours. And of course you’ll still be getting access to features like the step counter, an activity tracker with 10 modes, alarm clock, sleep tracker, and more. Plus, it comes in five different colors.
The Best Fitness Tracker for Preteens: Apple Watch SE for $189.00 (reg. $249.00)
For older children and younger teenagers, a fitness tracker offers just as many benefits as it does for children. However, issues with charging the device often seem like less of an issue if you decide to treat the fitness tracker as one that could be a substitute for a smartphone. Case in point, the Apple Watch SE with a cellular plan could be perfect for your preteen. It offers the wearer the ability to receive and send phone calls, communicate via text messages, and offers location tracking. Additionally, parents will be able to track their child’s activity and monitor usage. Plus, they’re still able to learn good fitness and sleeping habits like with the other two options.
GPS+Cellular: Apple Watch SE for $199.99