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Garmin Vivofit Jr. Series
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Best Fitness Trackers For Kids

The question, “Should kids wear fitness trackers?” is hard to answer, because it’s the wrong question.  The REAL question should be, “Do I want to have a better window into the health and wellness of my child?” Looking at it this way, it’s a pretty easy answer. Especially when fitness trackers can help your child learn healthier habits, too.

      With kids being inundated with more and more technology every day, what’s wrong with a piece of technology that promotes mental and physical health? We have no problem slapping an XBox controller, tablet, or phone into our kids’ hands whenever we need them to relax, get distracted, kill time, or whatever. What kind of lessons and habits are we teaching them with that type of technology?

Fitbit Ace 3 Fitness Tracker for Kids Active Minutes Tracking
Active Minutes Tracking

Lockdown Side Effects

      The pandemic kept most people away from their normal active lives, and we can all agree that kids missed out on the most. If you’re lucky enough to live in a year-round warm climate, it was easier to get out and stay active with other family and friends, but not everyone has that luxury.

      I have family all over the midwest, and just like everyone else who lives in areas with REAL winters, “Cabin Fever” was worse than ever throughout the pandemic. In reality, even without the lockdowns, most of our healthy habits ebb and flow with the season. Being able to easily monitor your family’s basic health and wellness, and head off bad trends is priceless.

Fitbit Ace 3 Best Fitness Trackers For Kids
Fitness and Fun

Slippery Slope

      Just like with adults, there’s no “magic bullet” when it comes to keeping our kids healthy, but monitoring simple things like steps, sleep, and activity levels is the least we can do. With social media nowadays, we have no problem following our favorite celebrities. Why don’t we follow our favorite organs?

      At the same time, it puts us on the edge of helicopter-parenting, so it’s in your best interest to approach the subject of wearables with caution. The last thing you want is to give health and wellness tracking a bad stigma or get sucked down the rabbit hole of micromanaging.  

Garmin Viviofit Jr. 3 Disney Princess Edition
Garmin Viviofit Jr. 3

     In my opinion, metrics collected from your kids’ wearables should only be used for positive reinforcement. There’s no perfect way to parent though, so making the whole process as simple and rewarding as possible is best anybody can do. Garmin and Fitbit are the two brands that are the best at down that, but Garmin is the clear #1. 

Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3 Chores and Tasks
Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3 Chores and Tasks

Smarter Parenting

     With the Garmin Jr. app, parents can easily assign normal chores, tasks, goals, and more to their kids. Kids can see their tasks, schedule, and other metrics right on their watch. You can also set up digital points and rewards for completing them. 

     Connecting your Garmin Vivofit Jr.’s is also easy. You don’t have to worry about setting up separate accounts, on separate phones, for each kid. Any parent/guardian can download the Garmin Jr. app on their phone and become a sync point for all of their kids’ Vivofit Jr’s.

Garmin Viviofit Jr. 3 | Best Fitness Tracker For Kids
Garmin Viviofit Jr. 3

     The Garmin Jr. app lets you create and compete in competitions with family and friends who also own Garmin wearables. Garmin and Fitbit have plenty of premade challenges to enter, but Garmin Jr. has the better premade and custom options for families.

     They give you complete control over the challenge start dates and duration. You can choose to compete using steps, step average, Active Minutes, and any Daily Goal Completion. Plus, you can customize teams and names to create challenges like “Kids vs Parents Step Competition” or “Sibling Step-Rivalry.”

Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3 Metrics Dashboard
Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3 Metrics Dashboard

Comfort Comes First

     Choosing Garmin and Fitbit as our two favorites had just as much to do with their hardware, as it did with their apps. Both have premium step and sleep tracking sensors, but overall fit and comfort pushed the Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3 to the #1 spot. Even the first two Vivofit Jr. models are perfect for older kids, because they have the same design as the adult Vivofit 3 fitness trackers

     If you already have Garmin or Fitbit for you and/or your spouse, then make it easy on yourself and go with the kids fitness trackers from the same brand. If you’re still on the fence, here’s a breakdown of what we liked and didn’t like when reviewing the Vivofit Jr. series VS the Fitbit Ace series:

Best Fitness Trackers For Kids

Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3

Garmin Viviofit Jr. 3 Best Fitness Trackers for Kids
Garmin Viviofit Jr. 3 Black Panther and Lilac Floral Edition

Pros

  • 1-Year battery life
  • Always-on display
  • Very durable design
  • Many custom replacement bands to choose from
  • Onboard timer, chore list, schedule, and more
  • Cool Marvel, Disney, and other special editions with exclusive bands, icons, and backgrounds
  • Kids don’t require their own Garmin account and/or mobile device
  • Kids can connect with friends outside of your family account (with parent approval)

Cons

  • Small screen
  • Battery isn’t rechargeable (CR2025 coin battery needs to be replaced when dead)
  • No call alerts, or other notifications
Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3 Black Panther Edition
Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3 Black Panther Edition

Conclusion

As parents, the best feature on the Vivofit Jr. series is their replaceable battery. They last 3 months to a year, depending on your kids’ activity level, so it’s one less thing that needs to be plugged in. Plus, in combination with the best-in-class Garmin Jr. app, you have to most tools to have fun with your active time.

Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3 Redeem Rewards
Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3 Redeem Rewards

Fitbit Ace 2:

Fitbit Ace 3 Yellow Fitness Tracker For Kids
Fitbit Ace 3 Yellow Fitness Tracker For Kids

Pros

  • Large and responsive touchscreen
  • Only 8-day battery life
  • Many custom replacement bands to choose from
  • Call notifications if connected to kids phone
  • Kids can connect with friends outside of your family account (with parent approval)
  • Family Faceoff, Adventures, and other step challenges

Cons

  • Requires your child to have their own phone to sync with
  • The protective silicone watchband is bulky on smaller wrists
  • Pre-teens may not like the “style”
  • Large size and curve of screen is less durable and prone to scratches/cracks
  • Limited color options
  • No customizable chores, tasks, and rewards system like Garmin Jr.
Fitbit Ace 3 Fitness Trackers For Kids
Fitbit Ace 3 Fitness Trackers For Kids

Conclusion

     If you’re already a Fitbit user, then it makes sense to get your kids Fitbits. Also, if you’re new to wearables and getting them for the whole family, Fitbit is the easiest to learn and the most user-friendly overall. The biggest drawback for families is that setting up and syncing their Fitbit Ace’s requires the kids to each have their own phone.

Fitbit Ace 3 Fitness Tracker For Kids
Fitbit Ace 3
  • Post last modified:October 6, 2021