Fitness watches and trackers are all the rage these days and seem to come in every shape and size, equipped to track every sport out there.
While most watches are geared toward adults, there is a select market of fitness trackers designed specifically to help kids get active in a fun and exciting way. Over the past few weeks, we had kids ranging from ages 3 to 13 test activity trackers in a variety of settings to determine the overall best kids fitness trackers.
Some went for walks, others jumped on the trampoline, some played interactive games, and others simply ran around the house while their watch did its thing. We chatted with the kids and their parents to learn what they liked and disliked about each watch.
This article focuses specifically on the best fitness trackers for kids. If you’re looking for watches for adults, check out our The Best Fitness Watches or The Best Triathlon Watches. Or, if you’re looking for a fitness tracker for Fido, take a look at our Pet Fitness Trackers Monitor Dogs on the Move (or Couch).
Scroll through to see all of our recommended buys or jump to the category you’re looking for:
The Best Fitness Trackers for Kids of 2021
Best Overall: Fitbit Ace 3
Featuring many of the same features you know and love in a traditional Fitbit, the Fitbit Ace 3 ($79) is a kids’ spinoff on their classic fitness tracker. In addition to a step counter, the watch is swimproof, tracks sleep, and has bedtime reminders and alarms.
Available in two fun color options, the kids’ Fitbit has the option to purchase additional bands so children can customize the watch to their specific tastes.
Like many smartwatches, the Ace 3 comes with an app to track your stats. The app has the option for a parent view and a kid view.
Through the parent view app, parents are able to create family and child accounts through which they can monitor their kids’ activity and view their connections. If parents choose, they can set up a kid view app where kids can track their stats, badges, and clock faces.
In an effort to help kids stay motivated and active, the fitness tracker includes reminders to move and fun incentives like virtual badges, animated clock faces, and personalized avatars.
While our testers enjoyed hitting their goals and keeping track of the stats on their wrist, they noted an account could only be created for one child per watch. In the case of our sibling testers, they were sharing a watch and wished they could have separate accounts.
Additionally, the app was a fun way to keep track of activities, but in order for a kid to monitor all of their activities on their own, they would need to own a cell phone.
While Fitbit’s line of watches all offer different and fun features with a long battery life and a kid-friendly aesthetic, we found the Ace 3 was the best Fitbit watch for kids.
- Battery: Up to 8 days
- Weight: 19.3 g
- Kids and parents view on app
- Requires phone for pairing
Best for Young Kids: Garmin vívofit jr. 3
Garmin has been in the business of making top-of-the-line fitness and exercise watches for years, and their kids’ Garmin is no exception. While the vívofit jr. 3 ($80) has the features you’d expect in a solid fitness tracker, it also offers a number of interactive experiences to make it kid-friendly.
Available in a number of different fun color options, the watch offers a Marvel, Disney Princess, or classic Garmin band design. Kids then have the option to choose from multiple watch face options to make the watch uniquely their own, which was something they really enjoyed.
Like any good fitness tracker, the waterproof vívofit jr. 3 tracks steps and distance traveled and monitors sleep. Clock features include time/date, automatic daylight saving time, an alarm clock, timer, and stopwatch.
Specific kid activity tracking features include 60-minute activity goals, chores, rewards (coins), task timers, reminder alerts, a challenges app, and an in-case-of-emergency feature.
The app was easy for parents to use and after the initial setup, our kid testers had no problem working the watch on their own. Our testers enjoyed the celebration of accomplishing goals, and the variety of games and activities was ideal for a range of ages.
The only downside of using the app for interactive games and features is its additional screen time, which is something many parents try to avoid during playtime. Our testers were on the smaller side and noted the watch ran a little big, despite being in the recommended age range.
- Battery: Up to 1 year
- Weight: 25 g
- Doesn’t need to be charged
- Added screen time for app features
Best for Teens: Body Glove Activity Tracker
Although not specifically advertised as a kids’ watch, we found Body Glove’s fitness tracker ($90) was well-suited for older kids and teens. Designed for both land and water use, the tracker features waterproof construction, so you can seamlessly transfer from walks to swims and everything in between.
Available in two different styles and six different color options, the watch features a sleek, durable silicone band that is both lightweight and comfortable. Designed to encourage teens to be active, the watch tracks steps and distance covered, includes sedentary alerts.
It also has a sports mode that allows you to monitor over 10 different sports including walking, running, cycling, hiking, climbing, yoga, basketball, and tennis.
Other thoughtful features include heart rate monitoring, call and text alerts, calories burned, sleep monitoring, SNS alerts, and a Bluetooth-compatible app for your phone.
Something unique about this watch is the way it charges. It features a built-in USB, so no cable is required to charge. You simply plug it into a USB port.
At first, it was difficult to figure out how to actually charge the watch. In order to access the USB, you must remove the straps, and it feels like they are going to break when you attempt to pull them off. After figuring out how to remove the straps, it took a couple of tries to determine how it correctly fit into the USB port.
But after getting the hang of it, charging was a breeze. The watch quickly charges in 1 or 2 hours, and then you don’t have to worry about it for up to 10 days — a huge plus with forgetful teens.
The watch pairs with the VeryFitPro app, which allows you to see your data for the day as well as the week. The streamlined app was easy to use. Our teen testers had a lot of fun with the remote control camera and found it was a great way to take post-workout photos with friends.
- Battery: 10 days
- Weight: 23.5 g
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Tricky to charge
Best for Games: Kurio Glow Smartwatch
Designed specifically with kids in mind, Kurio’s Glow Smartwatch ($15-35) is the perfect activity tracker watch for kids that like to stay busy. More than just a fitness watch, Kurio’s Glow Smartwatch is a Bluetooth-compatible watch that includes an activity tracker, music player, alarm/stopwatch, calculator, and over 20 apps and games.
While the watch is Bluetooth-compatible and is designed to allow texting and messaging between phones and watches, it proved to be difficult with an iPhone.
It was able to connect to Bluetooth and function as a speaker, but texting/calling didn’t work between the devices. Although texting and calling weren’t super necessary for a kids’ watch, it was advertised as a function of the watch.
Available in six color options and with fun glow features, the smartwatch has a very kid-friendly aesthetic. The motion sensor games, glow light games, and dance party options were all easy to use and fun. And the option to play single- or two-player games was a hit.
The tracker felt like a combination between a video game and a fitness device, which our testers appreciated. The watch was definitely heavier than the other kids’ models we tried, and the screen broke easily. But at such a low price, it wasn’t a total shocker.
- Battery: 1 lithium polymer battery (included)
- Weight: 90 g
- Lots of fun games to choose from
- App is not compatible with iPhones
Best for Budget: Biggerfive Fitness Tracker
The perfect Fitbit alternative, Biggerfive’s Fitness Tracker ($26) is designed to help kids stay healthy and active. Designed for ages 5+, the waterproof watch is easy to use, has a built-in step tracker, monitors sleep, tracks distance covered, and counts calories burned.
Additionally, the watch includes message and call reminders and an alarm clock through which parents can set up hydration reminders, sedentary reminders, and wake-up/bedtime alerts.
A huge pro of the tracker is it’s sweatproof, rainproof, splash and bathing waterproof so you don’t have to worry about your kid damaging their watch. The tracker comes in three color options, has a comfortable band, and offers an impressive battery life.
The VeryFitPro app is simple and easy to use, however, you must be in close range to sync the watch to your phone.
The built-in USB makes charging with any USB port a breeze, but it would be nice to include a box for plugging into the wall as well, just in case your child doesn’t have a USB port of their own.
All in all, Biggerfive’s Fitness Tracker has everything you could want in a smartwatch at a fraction of the price when compared to other brands.
- Battery: Up to 7 days
- Weight: 17 g
- Simple to use
- Doesn’t come with a USB charging box
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Perfect Kids’ Fitness Tracker
When picking out an activity tracker watch for your kiddos, you’ll want to consider how they’ll be using it and if it’s well suited for their age. While adults may be more focused on counting calories and workout times and splits, kids’ fitness trackers are all about encouraging your kids to be active in a fun way.
If your kids are young or not as motivated to exercise, you’ll want to look for a watch that offers fun games and/or sedentary reminders. Many watches offer fun, interactive games that get kids up and moving, so it’s a great way to keep them active.
But if your kids are focused on tracking their exercise statistics, you’ll want a watch that monitors steps, distance, sleep, calories, and other key stats. A quick search on the companies’ websites will tell you what features are included, so you can make sure you’re getting exactly what you’re looking for.
Ease of Use
If it’s not easy to use, it’s not going to work for your kids. The best fitness trackers for kids are the ones that require minimal setup and offer a straightforward design so kids can use them with little to no assistance.
Additionally, a solid battery life will contribute to a user-friendly experience. If it requires charging daily, there’s a good chance it’s going to end up dead and abandoned in a drawer.
Comfort & Fit
If the goal is to wear the watch 24/7, you’ll definitely want something that’s lightweight and comfortable. Where adult watches may be oversized for a younger audience, kids’ fitness trackers are specifically designed for smaller wrists. Bonus points if the watch is adjustable to grow with your child.
Most of the watches we tested featured slim-fitting silicon bands, which did not irritate any of our testers over the course of their days of play. Something to note, though: if your child is on the younger end of the suggested age range, you may want to look into exact watch measurements before purchasing.
In the case of Garmin’s vívofit jr. 3, we found the watch was a little big on our 5-year-old tester despite being in the recommended age range — the upside is she will grow into it!
App Compatibility & Extra Features
Many fitness trackers and watches come compatible with an app, which is often the most intimidating part. In order for the app to add to the experience, it needs to be simple to set up, use, and pair with the watch.
Of the watches we tested, all but the Kurio Glow came with traditional fitness apps. The traditional apps were all easy to download, use, and with the exception of the Biggerfive watch, synched easily between the phone and watch.
The Kurio Glow watch differed in that it offered a variety of apps and games geared toward a bit of a younger audience. Overall, the apps proved to be a fun way to join interactive activities, monitor stats, and keep track of targets and goals.
Extra features we appreciated in the kids’ watches were fun, bright, and even interchangeable bands for changing moods and different personalities.
Games, challenges, and goal celebrations are great features for motivating little feet to stay active. And we liked the ability to customize watch faces to personalize the fitness trackers.
When you buy something, you want it to last. It’s no secret that kids aren’t typically gentle on their things. So when purchasing a kids’ fitness tracker, you’ll want to be sure it’s built to last.
A feature that is going to help extend the life of your watch is if it’s waterproof or at least water-resistant. Of the watches we tested, all but the Kurio Glow watch were at least somewhat waterproof, which was crucial to keeping them alive.
Additionally, all of the watches held up extremely well during our testing period, but we have heard a number of stories about the Kurio Glow breaking easily.
Price is always a consideration when it comes to gear, as you don’t want to shell out your hard-earned cash unless it’s something you really want or need.
When it comes to purchasing a watch for your kid, you probably don’t want to spend as much as you might on an adult. Kids have a tendency to lose things easily, so you don’t want to drop a wad of cash on something that could easily wind up in their school’s lost and found.
Through our research and fitness watch reviews, we found a wide range of watches available at varying price points. The cheapest watch we reviewed was Kurio’s Glow Smartwatch, costing only $15. The watch offered a lot of fun features but had a tendency to break easily.
Our priciest watch was Body Glove’s fitness tracker, ringing in at $90. While the watch comes at a steeper price point, it is well-made and something your kids aren’t likely to grow out of.
Why You Should Trust Us
We know there are a lot of reviews and opinions out there, so why take our word on these watches? Unlike some sources, we personally put these watches to the test. And to make sure we were getting the true experience, we had friends’ and family’s children test out the watches.
The watches we tested offered a variety of different specs and features and were tested for weeks by our testers ages 3, 5, 6, 9, and 13. Alongside the assistance of their parents, our testers used the watches on their own and synched them with the apps to get the full experience.
The watches were put to the test walking, swimming, playing in the house and the backyard, jumping on the trampoline, and a variety of other activities to allow them to showcase their full capabilities.
We spoke with the kids and the parents to get their thoughts. And if you know anything about kids, you know they’re honest.
At What Age Should My Kid Start Using a Fitness Tracker?
There isn’t necessarily a right or a wrong age for a kid to start wearing an activity tracker. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 80% of kids between the ages of 11 and 17 don’t get enough regular exercise. The WHO recommends that children and adolescents between the ages of 5 and 17 do an average of 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous exercise.
So, the appropriate age for a fitness tracker really varies from case to case. If your kid is more on the inactive side and could benefit from a little extra motivation, perhaps getting them a fitness tracker could help.
Or, if your kid is a fitness fanatic and likes to keep track of his or her activities, there could be a case for getting them a watch as well. Most fitness trackers and watches specify the recommended age ranges on their websites.
What’s the Most Important Feature to Look For in a Kids’ Fitness Tracker?
It’s hard to pinpoint the most important feature in a kids’ fitness tracker because it really comes down to what’s important to you. We think the capability to track a variety of activities, ease of use, a comfortable fit, compatibility with a simple-to-use app, durability, and price are all important features to note.
Additionally, kids really enjoy the option to customize their watch, be it the watch face of their choice, a personalized avatar, or interchangeable watch bands.
What’s the Best Fitbit for a Child?
Although Fitbit has a lot of solid options to choose from, the Fitbit Ace 3 is going to be the best bet for your child. Offering features such as step counts and sleep monitoring, the Ace 3 also includes animated clock faces, customizable accessories, and a parent and kid view on the app.
And the battery lasts up to 8 days. If you’re looking for a slightly cheaper version, check out the Fitbit Ace 2.
What Age Is the Garmin vívofit jr. 3 Suited For?
Garmin’s vívofit jr. 3 is specifically designed for kids ages 4-7, although older kids would enjoy it as well.