Today’s children have a lot of things keep them occupied. But the trouble is, most of these things do not promote an active lifestyle. Video games are immersive and fun but they are played sitting down, and smartphones and tablets are good for nothing but thumb exercise.
Indeed, going outdoors and being active seems novel to many children today. But what if you, as a parent, could make physical activity as fun as a video game? And what if you could get your child to be more active and actually enjoy it?
Well, that’s the aim of the game with kid’s fitness trackers. Below, we have created for you a list of the top 10 kid’s fitness trackers in 2018. So let’s begin:
Nabi Compete band
The Nabi Band Compete is sold in pairs and it promotes cross-training with friends and family. You can take on other people in a variety of fun challenges and children can use teamwork to reach adult-like fitness goals, such as running a marathon.
The device itself is made from silicone and it is available in a variety of colours. It doesn’t need charging because it runs off a regular watch battery which is user-replaceable and lasts 3 months at a time. Designed for ages 6+, this fitness tracker is compatible with iPhone or Android smartphones over Bluetooth and it is sweat and splash proof.
Above all else, this fitness band offers a fun way for children to keep active – or rather, the application which you download to your smartphone does. Rather than simply tell children how many steps they have taken, the app links that activity to famous places. So for example, instead of simply walking 10,000 steps, the app will say that you have walked the length of the Brooklyn Bridge or you have climbed the full length of the Eiffel Tower. Bursts of activity can also be interpreted as what foods have been burnt off such as slices of pizza.
Buying the Nabi Band Compete isn’t exactly easy, however. The official website says it’s on sale at Best Buy and Target however there’s no mention of them on these websites. We recommend that you contact Nabi directly to find out more.
The KidFit is designed for ages 5-13 and it is splash proof. This fitness tracker is designed to be worn every day with a rugged silicone body and shock-proofing. It is available in black, blue, pink or yellow and it syncs with Android and iPhone smartphones or tablets.
This fitness tracker will track a child’s steps, distance and calorie burn and also their sleeping patterns. All of this information is accessed through an application on a smartphone or tablet, which is easy for children to understand. Daily step count goals are interpreted as a percentage so there’s no confusion with younger children and parents can access the application at any time to see how active their child is in real-time.
The KidFit has a unique colour system on the band itself which lights up different colours depending on which mode it is in. This looks pretty neat overall and it blends in well with the rugged silicone band. The battery life is rated at around a week and you can charge the device from any USB port; charging takes around an hour from dead to 100%.
Overall, the KidFit is a fun device that we recommend. Fitness tracking with this device quickly becomes a game to children which makes being more active a lot of fun. However, it is not as good as the Nabi Compete Band which is a better-designed device overall.
The LeapFrog LeapBand is the chunkiest fitness tracker on our list but it’s also one of the most feature-packed. It goes beyond regular fitness tracking to offer up a virtual pet, which children can play with and nurture. To keep their pet happy, children must feed their pet healthy food and keep active. With this in mind, the LeapFrog LeapBand is a fantastic way to get children more active because it’s fun and challenging all the same.
The device itself is a bit like a Tamagotchi on a strap. It’s designed for ages 4-7 years and it is incredibly simple to use. The device has physical buttons with audio instructions to help pre-readers and it has sensors built in to track steps taken. The appeal of this fitness tracker is that it has a fantastic rewards system. By taking part in activities, children can earn rewards which they can spend on their virtual pet. Activities include muscle and bone strengthening activities and cardiovascular activities (all of which have been approved clinically).
Out of the box, the LeapBand offers 10 games with 40 more games which can be unlocked as the wearer progresses. Kids also unlock more pets and the activities are great fun. Add all of this together, and you have one heck of a kid’s fitness tracker. It’s also fairly cheap to buy, with the tracker available in green, pink and blue for a snip under £15.00 online.
Omate Wherecom K3
The Omate Wherecom K3 is actually more of a smartwatch for kids than a fitness tracker, but it’s a top device all the same. It’s designed for 6-10 year olds and it’s a cool thing with an Apple Watch-like design only this device is made from plastic with a soft rubber band.
The display is a surprisingly sharp and responsive 1.54-inch unit and the Wherecom K3 is a light and thin device. It can sync up with a smartphone to offer active notifications however bearing in mind this is a device for 6-10 year olds, the most important thing is how it functions as a standalone fitness tracker. To this end, the K3 is fun and intuitive. It will track steps taken and it also has GPS and parents can download a K3 management app which lets them check in on the location of their child and track where they have been.
The K3 also comes preinstalled with several apps and games and these can be played locally over Bluetooth with other K3 wearers. So it’s perfectly usable without a phone. As a result, we thoroughly recommend this device for children who want a smartwatch. It is priced at $129 in the US and it’ll work perfectly fine here in the United Kingdom should you import it.
UNICEF Kid Power Band
The UNICEF Kid Power Band is UNICEF’s first ever foray into hardware – but it’s a lot more than something to simply promote the charity. With it, children can help poorer and less fortunate children around the world. Here’s how it works: Parents can purchase ‘missions’ which are like levels in a video game. For each mission a child completes, a parcel of food for undernourished kids is created in other parts of the world.
The missions cost around $4 each and they can only be purchased on the primary account holder’s smartphone. And when your child isn’t helping to feed other children, the fitness band will track the wearer’s steps and activity levels. The free Kid Power companion app can be downloaded on Android devices and iPhone and some missions can also be completed without having to effectively donate $4 to UNICEF, so keeping your child fit and entertained doesn’t have to cost you. Although, any money you do spend is for a good cause.
To date, there are over 134,000 Kid Power team members which speaks volumes for how successful the Kid Power Band has been. The device itself costs roughly $40 in the US and $10 of that goes directly to UNICEF when purchased through Target.
Garmin Vivofit Jr
The Vivofit Jr is aimed at children aged 4 to 9. It has a swim friendly design and is available in a range of fun colourways. It boasts a 1-year battery life, which is way beyond what any other kid’s fitness tracker on the market can currently muster, and the Vivofit Jr app - which comes with the device for free – allows parents to keep track of their child’s activity, sleep and more from the comfort of their smartphone or tablet computer.
One of the neatest features of the Vivofit Jr is that for every day the wearer meets their daily activity goal, they unlock a fun and education adventure trail, in which they get to move forwards and collect interesting facts about animals. This inspires and motivates kids to be more active, and makes daily activity a part of a wider, more enjoyable game.
Another interesting feature of the Vivofit Jr is Rewards; parents can create, set and customise specific rewards from within the app, which children unlock by completing daily activities and earning coins. It is up to the parent how many coins it takes to unlock a reward. Rewards can include movie nights, pocket money, games and more, and children can easily check their piggy bank right on their wristband. This is a fun and engaging way for children to earn things, and it teaches them the value of hard work and dedication.
Of course, no kid’s activity tracker would be complete without some goodies for parents, and to this end the Vivofit Jr does well. Parents can download the Vivofit Jr app and keep track of their child’s activity. From the app, you also have full control over what features your child can access and you can also add individual profiles to the app, so keeping track of more than one child is made easy. Parents can also assign their kid’s tasks from the app, such as household chores, to help them remember that they’ve got some tasks to do.
Sqord Activity Tracker
The Sqord Activity Tracker (pronounced SCORED) is an extremely rugged fitness tracker that’s waterproof and “virtually indestructible”.
The Sqord has a comfortable silicone band that’s available in a variety of colours (the band can also be swapped out), and the device boasts and 9-month battery life courtesy of a regular watch battery that’s user-replaceable. Setting the Sqord Activity Tracker apart from the other devices on our list of the best kid’s fitness trackers is the extremely visual companion app (available on Android and iOS), which converts activity data into Awards, and lets kids customise their own character and challenge their friends.
You can also group Sqord activity trackers together, to promote communication among kids and to establish healthy habits. One thing missing from this activity tracker, however, is GPS, a feature which many parents do find extremely useful with young children.
We’re going to start our introduction to this kids fitness tracker by pointing out an immediate flaw: The Fitbit Zip is a clip-on fitness tracker, which isn’t ideal for younger kids because it will probably get lost very quickly. However, if you can look past that, the Fitbit Zip is a great fitness tracker with a user-friendly design and playful interface.
The Fitbit Zip is one of the cheapest entry-points to the Fitbit brand and one of the key advantages to this over other Fitbit devices is that it runs on a coin-cell battery, so it never needs charging. The Fitbit companion app is available on Android and iOS, and the Zip offers full fitness tracking functionality with the ability to set goals and daily targets. You can also enter the Fitbit ecosystem, to see how your activity compares to friends and family.
You can get your hands on a Fitbit Zip now through several retailers online, and it is available in three colours: Charcoal, Midnight Blue and Magenta.
MILO Champions Band
The MILO Champions Band has a bright and clear horizontal OLED screen that can display step count and activity progress in real-time, and it has a funky green design that makes it stand out from all the blue and pink fitness tracker bands on the market.
The MILO accurately tracks steps taken and the wearer’s progress towards daily fitness goals, which the user can set through the MILO app. The app itself is available on Android and iOS, and it is incredibly easy to use for child and parent. The MILO has been designed so that it appeals to all age groups between 6 and 12. One of the best features of this device is that it offers the ability for the wearer to choose what gets displayed on the screen.
Battery life is good too - children will get over a day and a half’s use from their MILO Champions Band on a single charge, and the MILO is waterproof and shockproof as well. So, no matter what your kid throws at it, the MILO should stand the test of time.
The adidas ZONE is an excellent fitness tracker for children and teenagers. However, this fitness tracker is aimed mainly at educational institutions - and their students.
The ZONE is a heart-rate monitor and activity tracker with NFC technology. The tracker sends data to a laptop, or a tablet computer, in real-time so that teachers can monitor the progress of students. This is a particularly useful concept for PE (physical education), since the goal of PE is to get all students active. An app enables students to stay connected by providing assignments and easy-to-read reports that extend the adidas ZONE functionality beyond the traditional school hours. Tracking data is a key feature of the adidas ZONE and it doesn't fall short with its ability to track minutes excercised at an elevated heart rate and esitmated calories burned. Even more impressive is the fact it has the ability to deliver a post workout heart rate report by email to the student, parents and teacher.
adidas ZONE is available from $169 for the personal package, however, schools and colleges can purchase a class set of 28 for $4,599. The class set includes a docking station that holds and charges all 28 devices at once plus the IHT Spirit Classroom reader. Not only that but an informative 1 hour webinar is also included with the class package.
The adidas ZONE then is an interesting fitness tracker. And, should you wish to buy one of your own, you can - although the real target market is schools.