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 years, we’ve 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.
The Best Kids’ Fitness Trackers of 2023
- Best Overall: Fitbit Ace 3
- Best Budget: Biggerfive’s Fitness Tracker
- Best for Young Kids: Garmin vívofit jr. 3
- Best for Games: Kurio’s Glow Smartwatch
- Battery Up to 8 days
- Weight 19.3 g
- Band size 116-168 mm
- Water rating WR50
- Screen Black and white
- Kids' and parents' view on app
- Customizable band colors
- Bedtime reminders and alarms
- Requires phone for pairing
- Simple to use
- Impressive water resistance
- Budget price
- Doesn’t come with a USB charging block
- Doesn’t need to be charged
- Highly customizable
- Easy for kids to use themselves
- Added screen time for app features
- Higher price compared to other trackers
- Battery 1 lithium polymer battery (included)
- Weight 90 g
- Band size 130-250 mm
- Water rating No
- Screen Color
- Lots of fun games to choose from
- Color screen
- App is not compatible with iPhones
- Not water-resistant
|Kids’ Fitness Tracker||Battery||Weight||Band Size||Water Rating||Screen|
|Fitbit Ace 3||Up to 8 days||19.3 g||116-168 mm||WR50||Black and white|
|Biggerfive Fitness Tracker||Up to 7 days||17 g||130-190 mm||IP67||Black and white|
|Garmin vívofit jr. 3||Up to 1 year||25 g||130-175 mm||WR50||Color|
|Kurio Glow Smartwatch||Up to 10 days||90 g||130-250 mm||No||Color|
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.
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 and 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 silicone 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 and 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 with 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 $19. The watch offered a lot of fun features but had a tendency to break easily.
Our priciest watch was the Garmin vívofit jr. 3, 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.
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. And if your teen is expressing interest, they’re likely ready to step up to a fitness tracker for adults.
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.
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.
After many months of playing in the dirt, mud, and water, we found the most durable, long-lasting kids’ clothes out there.