Activity Trackers for Kids

Would one of these tech trackers motivate your kids to move more?

Adults have dozens of activity trackers to choose from, including wristbands, watches, necklaces and smartphone apps. If your kid is motivated by data gathering and fitness through gamification, consider one of these activity trackers made especially for kids.

LeapFrog LeapBand

LeapBand activity bands for kids

LeapFrog jumps into the activity tracker game with these durable bands designed for young children. The LeapBand tracks activity plus issues challenges to encourage kids to play actively with a virtual pet. The more they move, the more energy points they can use to care for their pet, as well as unlock additional activities and animals. Ages: 4 to 7. Price: $20 to $30.

GeoPalz Classic

GeoPalz activity tracker - open

Like many pedometers designed for adults, the GeoPalz unit records your child's steps (and other vigorous activity) and displays totals on a screen. But it then goes a step further and awards points for every 2,500 steps. These points can be redeemed for prizes on GeoPalz' website. The site also offers virtual awards for achievements such as reaching 5,000 steps or recording steps on several consecutive days. Ages: 5 and up. Price: About $25.

iBitz by Geopalz

IBitz PowerKey sensors from GeoPalz

GeoPalz followed up its classic pedometer device with a sensor called the iBitz PowerKey. These candy-colored wireless units allow a whole family to track steps together (each person needs a device). Unlike the Classic, the iBitz doesn't have a display window, so users need to sync it to an app in order to see activity. But they can also play games with the app, based on the amount of activity recorded... Ages: 7 and up. Cost: $20 to $25.

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x-Doria KidFit

x-Doria KidFit activity tracker

This activity tracker launched in 2014 and adds a new feature: sleep tracking. Parents can help kids set personalized targets for activity, with indicator lights providing feedback throughout the day. If you like, you can even grant your child a real-word reward (like a toy or an outing) based on tracked activity. Ages: 5 to 13. Cost: $40 to $50.

Striiv Smart Pedometer

Striiv pedometer

While not strictly a kids' activity tracker, the Striiv can be a good choice for children because includes a colorful, informative display and also incorporates races and games that will appeal to most kids and tweens. The Striiv also rewards more intense exercise by granting extra energy points. (The downside is its cost.) Ages: 8 and up. Cost: About $75.

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Zamzee Activity Meter

Zamzee activity meters

The Zamzee meter is easy to use and loads of fun for kids, with an accompanying website that's thoughtfully designed and motivating. As with GeoPalz and some other activity trackers, kids can convert real-life movement into both virtual and actual rewards. One drawback to the Zamzee is that it is no longer commercially available. It is provided through health insurance programs and medical centers. Ages: 6-12. Cost: n/a.

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Miiya Smartwatch

Miiya smart watch

This kiddie wearable incorporates tracking for both fitness and safety. Parents can create a virtual leash via the device, which will trigger an alarm if the child roams out of range. For motivation, the Miiya offers kids "missions" to complete via physical activity. Ages: 4 and up. Cost: $75 via Indiegogo donation (available May 2015).

Fitness Tracking Apps

If your tween or teen has a smartphone, then she can use a route-mapping or activity-tracking apps​, such as Endomondo or MapMyRun, without an accompanying device.

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