Best fitness tracker for kids 2020: what’s suitable & works?

Child standing in garden using smartwatch or smart watch on her wrist.

Updated for 2020!  Getting kids active can be either something that is increasingly hard or something that you don’t need to worry about at all.  If you have a child that’s bouncing around day after day then you might not feel the need to help encourage them to be more active.  On the other hand, if you have kids that prefer watching the tv and playing computer games to going out for a walk then maybe a fitness tracker might be something to consider for a bit of gentle encouragement to get more active.

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What to look for in a kids activity tracker

Fitness trackers for kids should always be something that is fun and that doesn’t penalise kids.  We want them to be encouraged to move around rather than feel like it’s a chore and that’s a tough thing to get right.

When looking for the best fitness tracker for children you probably also will want to have something that is inexpensive, simple to use and comfortable on your child’s wrist if it’s a watch design.  You also need to think about what you want it to track – tracking calories might not be appropriate but a step tracker watch could be just what you’re after.

When I’ve been looking at the best kids fitness trackers that are for sale right now in 2020 I’ve found it tricky to get some that aren’t too expensive and that actually work!  There are plenty for adults but getting something that is good for kids?  A bit harder!

 

Note about buying ‘kid’ fitness trackers – Many sellers, especially on Amazon, state that the trackers are for kids when in reality they are generic trackers with ‘kid’ in the title and they are trying to get you to see their product when searching.

This can mean that they’ll be too big, have emphasis on calories and heart rate that kids don’t need.

 

Take your time and think about what you do and don’t want in a tracker for your children – my guide will help you with genuinely child orientated trackers.

 

I’m also super pleased that over the years, as I’ve updated this article, that more companies are coming out with kid orientated watches.  It’s important to me that we encourage activity but stay away from burning calories while tracking – there’s much more time for that when we’re adults!

 

child running outdoors and being active

 

What’s the best fitness tracker for kids?

Your kids ages will dictate what the best product is – younger kids won’t have the wrist size for some of the more adult-orientated watch fitness trackers that are available so they’ll need something designed just for them.

 

Our Top Picks (Scroll down for thoughts about each one):

Young Kids:

FitBit Ace 2

Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 – (available with many character designs)

they keep kids well away from any adult topics such as calories burnt and are fun!

 

Older Kids:

FitBit Ace – looks like a grown-up tracker but isn’t!

 

Budget:

Letscom – it’s a cheap adult tracker that many of my readers decide to use for their kids and love.

 

 

If you’re looking for fitness trackers for older kids scroll down for my top picks there.

 

 

Best fitness tracker for young kids

The following activity trackers are good for kids up to about the age of 9.  Scroll down if you’re looking for more grown up products.

 

Fitbit Ace 2

 

New in 2019 is this kids Fitbit.  I’m a big fan of this company having used them lots over the years and I’m thrilled to see they are opening up the doors to more Fitbits for kids (there’s another in this list if you scroll down too).

The Fitbit Ace 2 is their answer to a fitness tracker for a younger child and it’s a really good product.  It’s aimed at age 6 and upwards but I think it’s could last a long time – the design of it isn’t too childish and too chunky on your child’s wrist and so definitely feels like kids will want to wear it for a few years at least.

One concern that always comes up about Fitbits is whether kids can have an account.  Fitbit have addressed this in recent years and you can set up a family account with a child view of this tracker so they can see how they are doing.

 

Pros

  • 5 day battery life
  • waterproof
  • can earn virtual badges
  • tracks steps, active minutes and sleep
  • different colours and replacement bands available
  • good quality

Cons

  • at the higher price point due to the brand name

 

This is definitely my choice for the best fitbit for kids if you want to stick with that brand.

 

 

 

 

Garmin Vivofit Jr Motivator and Activity Tracker

This is a good option if you want something from a good brand name that deals with these kinds of children’s fitness trackers.  The Garmin Vivofit Jr is marketed for ages 4-9 but it’s definitely not one that looks too babyish and so I think could last for a long time.  It has some great designs available that are suitable for a wide range of kids tastes.

What is unique about this fitness band is that it has a parent controlled app – they can motivate the kids to do more activity through this!

I liked this one so much I decided to do a more in-depth review that you can see here.

Pros

  • lots of features that are controlled by the parent app
  • doesn’t need to be charged – it’s battery powered
  • can incorporate chores and other tasks as well as active time
  • tracks steps, sleep and active time
  • 2 year warranty

Cons

  • On the more expensive side compared to some

Alongside the Fitbit it’s one of my favourite child pedometers for this age range especially with the fun yet not too childish designs.

 

 

 

Garmin Vivofit Jr 2


Garmin has updated their range and brought out some themed activity trackers from Star Wars, Marvel and also Minnie Mouse – definitely worth looking at especially if you have kids who are crazy about these characters!  As well as being quite unique and having some fun straps, they have new games that are attached to the app too.

You can see more about this new range of trackers here

 

 

 

Leapfrog LeapBand Activity Tracker

If you have young kids and want to get them active then this is one of the best things I’ve found.  It really encourages the child to get active by having games to get them moving.  It’s suitable for ages 4-7 approximately.

The LeapBand has a virtual pet that your child will have to keep healthy by jumping, keeping active etc and there are other challenges that the band gets your kids to do as well.  For the price, it’s a really lovely little toy and it would be a perfect stocking filler if you’re looking for something for Christmas.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Makes a game out of keeping active
  • Comes in different colours
  • Can be set to not be in use during the night and school hours

Cons:

  • might be a bit too ‘young’ for some kids
  • it’s a little bulky

 

 

 

Vtech Kidizoom DX2 Smart Watch

Now, this item isn’t specifically a fitness tracker, it’s a smartwatch, but it does include a child’s pedometer and motion sensor so you can certainly use it to encourage and keep track of your child’s fitness and activity levels.

It’s a child version of a smartwatch, but obviously at a lower price and with child-friendly games on as well.  It comes in  3 different colours – blue, green and pink and is suitable from the age of 4 upwards.

Pros:

  • Multi-use toy with lots of smart apps and a camera
  • the pedometer keeps track of steps and activity
  • Action challenge activities

Cons:

  • should be splashproof but some have had issues with this

 

 

 

 

 

Best activity tracker for teenagers and older kids

Once your kids get a little older you’ll probably be looking for a tracker that’s a bit more grown-up looking and so it’s natural to be looking at what is available for adults.  Here are some good options for kids in the 8+ age range.

 

 

FitBit Ace

If you want a more adult looking tracker for your child, want to stay with the FitBit brand but feel the Ace 2 I mentioned above might be too childish then take a look at the FitBit Ace which was released just recently and is aimed at ages 8 and upwards.   It seems like a nice go between of having a grown up looking tracker but without the focus on calories burned and it certainly looks just like some of the more adult trackers shown on this page.  If staying away from calories burnt is an issue for you then do check it out.

 

Pros:

  • Looks just like an adult tracker
  • tracks steps, active minutes and sleep
  • showerproof
  • parents can set up an account to keep tabs on it
  • FitBit is a great brand I have had personal experience with

Cons:

  • Some may feel like it’s expensive for what you get

 

 

LETSCOM Fitness Tracker Watch

Although an adult tracker this one from LETSCOM is really good option and one of my favourites for the top spot in activity trackers for older kids.  It’s an inexpensive watch, looks very like a proper FitBit, and it is quite high on the features – the value for money is amazing really.

(There are a few different versions available of this nowadays too – have a look at the link below and see what you like the look of!)

It will track your steps, distance and calorie counting as well as tracking sleep.  It has some other pretty cool features including being able to show who is calling you if you attach it to your phone app.  Not bad for a cheap fitness tracker!

Pros

  • Lots of features including a step and sleep tracker
  • Good value for money
  • comes in different colours – purple, green, pink, blue and black

Cons

  • strap isn’t great, but on the plus side is replaceable
  • be aware this is designed for adults so might not be good for small wrists

 

 

 

Fitbit Inspire

My choice of the best fitbit for teens is going to be the Fitbit Inspire.  This is for a couple of reasons:

  • it’s not too expensive compared to others in the fitbit range
  • it tracks more than just steps – calories and activity should you want that
  • it displays the time just like a watch
  • it’s not huge – so won’t feel out of place on a small wrist
  • the app keeps track of everything – you could put it on your phone or your kids.
  • teens do appreciate good brands!

There are a few cons to a real FitBit of course

  • the cost might be too much for a child item – there is the worry that it will get lost or broken
  • You may not like any emphasis on calories burnt for kids or even teens

 

Personally I do also really like Fitbit because they have an excellent customer service – one of our Fitbits stopped working and they replaced it with no questions asked (we just had to show we had a receipt for it), so although there are lots of cheaper versions out there I think getting a good brand is worth it.  If you want to invest in a good tracker this is the one.

 

 

 

BingoFit kids fitness tracker

New for 2020 is this tracker from BingoFit which is really popular.  This is a good option if you don’t want the expense of a Fitbit for your kids which still looks grown up and good quality.  They state it’s designed for kids but comes with lots of tracking options (some of which might not be suitable depending on what you want).

The sports wristband will track your steps, your walking distance, calories, sleep quality and will also do things like notify you of incoming messages if you attach it to your phone.  It’s a really good entry smartwatch and will connect to android (above 4.4) and iOS (above iOS 8) phones with its app (although there are a few that it won’t work with so do check – Samsung H3, Huawei P3, Windows phones and iPads) so you can use it to see incoming calls and messages too.

I really like this one because it does all you’d want a more sophisticated tracker to do but at a much-reduced price – one of the cheapest of the trackers for the older kids.  It will help your kids feel all grown up yet will be cheap enough to have you not worry about getting it broken.

Pros

  • inexpensive
  • looks good quality
  • tracks a variety of different things
  • comes in 5 colours – green (above),blue, pink, purple or black

Cons

  • although they say it’s designed for kids some find the strap too big

 

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Best fitness tracker for kids 2020: what’s suitable & works?

  1. Nicola says:

    Thanks so much for this helpful list including teenage range! I’ve just ordered one based on your recommendations! Thank you!!

  2. Karen says:

    Thank you for the invaluable advice. My 10 year old daughter wants one. My worry is the calorie counter, I don’t want her finding out about that then it becoming a potential issue. I don’t think they should allow that on younger kids trackers. My daughter is skinny enough!

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