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FOR AGES 4 YEARS TO 18 YEARS
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We all know that exercise is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle.
But getting kids up and active seems to be getting harder and harder in these technology-heavy times. When there's a screen on hand, a lot of children inevitably find it hard to pull themselves away from it and get moving.
So why not tie the two together? Fitness trackers are the perfect solution: a screen that also encourages kids to be active, it's fitness for the modern age!
A fitness or activity tracker is a device, usually worn on the wrist, that tracks your activity. This can be everything from steps walked, to heart rate, to miles run and laps swum. Used in the right way, they can be a fun way to encourage your kids to engage actively in their health, promoting awareness of what constitutes beneficial exercise, offering rewards or incentives for completing certain goals and engaging them in the best kind of competition: with themselves. Just remember to keep an eye on your child's usage to prevent unhealthy or obsessive use.
Whilst most trackers will act as your basic exercise recognition and heart rate monitors, lots of the best also come with a host of other cool features that will suit different families' needs. Some offer reminders to get moving. Some offer rewards or incentives to encourage kids to complete certain fitness activities. Some even allow you to track your child with the use of built-in GPS; useful if you want to make sure your child is safe whilst out running or playing sports with friends.
We've compiled a list of the best fitness trackers for kids with a guide to the price, age-range and their key features so you can decide which sounds best for your child.
For more products for active kids, check out these swimming goggles and these climbing shoes for kids.
The Fitbit Ace 2 features tons of fun fitness challenges, friendly reminders to get moving and cool reward badges to keep kids motivated. Bedtime reminders, sleep tracking and silent alarms ensure kids are well rested between exercise and with a good five days of battery life, this Fitbit for kids is a great all-rounder. Kids can choose from three cool colours and pick the little graphic that shows beneath the clock face. This tracker also comes with both a small and large and small wrist band, allowing for longevity of use as your child grows. The best fitness tracker for kids on the market.
This great Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 interactive activity tracker offers Disney-themed incentives for kids to do 60 minutes of exercise. Once they have completed the allotted time they unlock 'Frozen 2' adventure games on the app that the tracker is paired with. The same app allows parents to assign tasks, give rewards and generally monitor activity. It's water-resistant, so can be used for swimming, and has over a year's worth of battery life.
This slick fitness tracker from Letscom comes with 14 different fitness tracking modes, including running, walking, badminton, football, hiking, cycling, dancing and yoga to give you a more accurate read on your child's workout data. It also has GPS capabilities, perfect for parents looking to track their child's walks, runs or cycles. It has a heart rate tracker, comprehensive sleep monitor and connects to phones to notify kids of incoming calls and texts. With 6 cool colours to choose from, this one's a winner.
The original Garmin Vivofit Jr. model comes in a range of cool colours and patterns that older kids will love. There are adventure game incentives on the adjoining app that are great for motivating kids to complete fitness challenges. A slightly chunkier design than a lot of the other contenders on this list, this tracker is both durable and very comfortable. What makes the Garmin Vivofit Jr models stand out, though, is their battery life. With up to a year of juice, kids will be saved the hassle of having to charge it.
Lightweight, user-friendly and good value, this watch is a great buy. There are six different activity modes, so your child can get active feedback whether they're running, biking, playing football or doing sit-ups. It can track and monitor heart rate for 24 hours and a corresponding graph can be viewed in the free-to-download app that comes with the purchase. It can also synchronise with your child's phone so it will vibrate when calls and messages come in.
The original kids Fitbit Ace, this one is a little pricier than its follow-up. It's lightweight, showerproof and has a 128 x 36-pixel resolution screen that changes to ten different watch face displays when tapped. Like the Ace 2, it motivates children to complete fitness goals by showing celebratory messages when they achieve them. You can't track their movements like you can with some other brands, but the corresponding Fitbit app does link to a family account where kids can share their achievements with you.
The 0.96mm TFT screen on this Huawei fitness tracker is its best feature: it's full colour, has complete touch screen capabilities and a brightness level that can be adjusted, so kids can review their daily activity before sleeping without it waking them up too much. It features a heart monitor, target setting and activity reminders as well as the usual sleep and activity monitors.
This tracker's slim, lightweight design is simple and unassuming and it comes in three mature colour schemes, making it, in our opinion, the best tracker for a tween or 10-year-old. As well as the usual activity and sleep tracking features, the tracker can be linked up to a smartphone to notify kids of calls and texts, and links up the VeryFitPro app for further tracking and interactivity. Rain-proof, sweat-proof and splash resistant, it has a good battery life (up to seven days) and easy cordless charging via USB.
This fitness tracker from Letscom is a bit of a steal. It doesn't include a heart rate monitor, but it covers almost all the other basic features you could want, with step counter, calorie monitor and mile calculator included, and a side-along app that allows you to see a more detailed activity report. It monitors sleep quality and hooks up to your phone too. Accuracy may be a little off at times (though kids are unlikely to notice), and, for this price, we'll take a few missed steps here and there.
If you're looking for a fitness watch for kids that's more of an all-rounder, this VTech Smart Watch is a great option. It features a pedometer, motion sensor, timer and stopwatch alongside several motion-controlled games and a 'Racing Challenge' which times how fast kids can sprint from one spot to another. Time limit controls also allow parents to monitor and block screen time.
Kidadl Best Buys selects the top parent-recommended products across the web for families of all ages. If you loved these fitness trackers, check out these smart watches that kids will love, or for something different these educational science kits.
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