Best fitness tracker for kids 2021: our ultimate guide

Updated with the latest available kids fitness trackers – November 2021!

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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 – although if they are asking for a fitness tracker this might be how you’ve ended up here.

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

 

Whether you’re concerned about your child’s potential for becoming obese or just simply wanting to instil some good habits around being active a Fitbit or fitness tracker is a good tool and it’s worth checking out specific child friendly versions.

 

 

 

Our quick guide to our TOP PICKS (Scroll down for thoughts about each one):

Young Kids:

FitBit Ace 3

Garmin Vivofit Jr 3 

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:

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

 

 

 

 

Are fitness trackers good for kids?

When I first started looking at the many fitness trackers kids might enjoy a few years ago I had no idea that they would become a big thing.  My kids were young teens and there was not anything suitable for them that didn’t focus on more adult themes.  Many people have also asked me whether Fitbits are good for kids so I figured writing about this exact subject might be worth it!

 

In short:

Fitness trackers are great for getting kids more active but adult trackers may well have features that might be harmful to kids (for example having a calorie focus).  Specific kids trackers are definitely more recommended and there are a lot around nowadays.

 

How old should you be to have a Fitbit or fitness tracker?

It’s such a personal question this one and it really does depend on the child I think.  As well as that, it depends on the kind of fitness tracker you’re looking to purchase.  There are some really good trackers that are aimed at ages 4 upwards which definitely aren’t the same as the older kids versions or adult trackers.

 

TIP – When looking for older kids definitely check whether it is just a normal adult’s tracker that is being marketed to kids – I see that a lot, especially on Amazon.  A regular tracker has ‘kids fitness tracker’ in the headline to pick up a greater amount of people searching.  It DOES NOT mean that it’s suitable for kids!

 

I’m really pleased to see that Fitbit has started making trackers solely for kids now too as I do really like their trackers and have had good experiences with them.  For older kids wanting the brand name, it’s good to know that you can get something that looks just like a normal adult version but aimed at kids.

 

Here are some ideas of things to think about when deciding if your child is old enough:

 

  • What is the strap size – will it fit my child’s wrist?
  • Does the tracker need an app – if so is it parent-controlled (most are) or does the child need their own account and app?
  • What does it track?
  • If calories burnt is tracked it’s definitely NOT a kids tracker but for teens, it could still be an option worth considering

 

 

 

So, are fitness trackers good for kids? The pros and cons:

Pros:

  • It does encourage them to get moving – reminders work!
  • They are fun – many have activities and games
  • The games help to keep the novelty of the idea fun for longer
  • I like that they track sleep habits – a good one for kids to see, especially those who like to stay up late
  • They can feel part of the family if the adults all have one
  • Most are customisable with different straps so great for multiple kids

 

 

Cons:

  • Buying adult versions can have calorie emphasis which isn’t suitable for kids
  • Some schools don’t allow them so might be hard to get into a habit of using outside of class
  • Some people think they can be expensive for what you get – many compare with adult features on cheap trackers though which I don’t feel is fair

 

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 2021 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 – As I alluded to above, many sellers, especially on Amazon and eBay, 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 simply don’t need at their age.

 

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.

 

 

Overall I am a huge fan of these devices to get kids more active, but I do think that a little bit of research is needed before blindly buying a cheap tracker thinking that it would be good for kids.

 

If you’re at all worried about excessive screen time or just your kids being more sedentary then it’s got to be worth a try.  Pair it with an open conversation with your kids about why it’s a good idea to be more active and they’ll likely relish the novelty – then the kid-specific ones come into play since the games will help prolong the interest!

 

I’m super pleased that over the years, as I’ve updated this article (I started it probably back in 2014!) , that more companies are coming out with kid orientated watches.  It’s important to me that we encourage activity but stay away from talking about burning calories while tracking – there’s much more time for that when we’re adults!

 

child running outdoors and being active

 

So, what’s the best fitness tracker for kids?

Your kids age 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.

Older kids will probably not feel the need to have the game orientated watches that dominate the young kids fitness trackers.

 

If you’re looking for fitness trackers for older kids and teens 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 3

New in 2021 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 3 is their latest 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.

This one is a Minions Special Edition – always a winner to have a branded character in there, but they do have some plain ones like this one which is perfect if you’re worried about it looking too childish in future.

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 3

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!

 

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, the Garmin is 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 also got the slightly older range still available and what’s fun is that they brought out some themed activity trackers from Star Wars, Marvel (including Spiderman above) 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

 

 

Biggerfive Fitness Tracker watch for kids

If budget is important to you then this option might be worth looking at as it comes in at under £30.

I’ll be honest and say that I’m disappointed that this one shows calories burned – be aware that it is a feature – the reason it’s included here is that it’s a budget option and has lots of positive reviews from parents.

 

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • heart rate and sleep tracker
  • lots of activity modes
  • usb charged
  • comes in 4 colours

Cons:

  • tracks calories – ugh.

 

 

 

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

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Biggerfive kids fitness tracker

Recently new is this tracker from Biggerfive which is really popular.  This is a much more sophisticated and less child like looking tracker than the one listed above from the same manufacturer.

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 both android and iOS smartphones with its app 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
  • tracks calories burned

 

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “Best fitness tracker for kids 2021: our ultimate guide”

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

  2. 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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