Top Pedometers for Kids

Do you want to encourage your kids to get the 12,000 steps per day that researchers say they need to prevent childhood obesity? A pedometer is a great way to see whether they are on track. Here are pedometer designs that should help motivate kids to get in enough activity per day. One key can be in making it a family game. Don't just give your kid a pedometer, get one for yourself and join in! Each of these pedometers has incentives for parents to be part of the game, too.

1
Striiv Pedometer

Striiv
Striiv. Wendy Bumgardner ©

Best for: Age 8 to 80.
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This is a fun pedometer that kids won't grow out of. It has a full-color touchscreen display that will appeal to today's techno kids and teens. Striiv turns step counting into a game. And not just one game -- you can make your steps count in a variety of ways that will be fun for pre-teens through older adults. Throughout the day you respond to challenges, engage in virtual races, compete with other Striiv wearers and build up energy points to play in the MyLand game. You earn credits in a virtual walkathon for charities. Striiv can upload its data to a computer, but you don't need a computer to enjoy most of its features. It can be carried in a pocket or pack or worn on a waistband.
Drawback: This is an expensive pedometer. If your kid doesn't wear it, don't waste the purchase, start wearing it yourself!

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2
GeoPalz Pedometer

GeoPalz Pedometer
GeoPalz Pedometer. Wendy Bumgardner ©

Best for: Age 5 to 12
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GeoPalz pedometers come in a variety of kid-attracting shapes. They include pretty ones, like the heart pictured, sporty ones, and edgy Skelanimals shapes. A child or pre-teen can enjoy wearing such designs on their shoe or waistband. That can be the key to encouraging them to use the pedometer. This is a simple pedometer that only counts steps, so there are no complicated functions for kids. It comes with an access code to the Walk to Win web site where kids can log their steps and earn certificates and prizes. Parents can get a summary of their kid's activities emailed to them. The pedometer doesn't upload the steps, so you can use any pedometer once you have access to the web site. That is handy in case the GeoPalz goes missing. The GeoPalz are inexpensive and make a good first pedometer.

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3
KidFit by X-Doria Activity and Sleep Tracker

KidFit by X-Doria Activity and Sleep Tracker
KidFit by X-Doria Activity and Sleep Tracker. Wendy Bumgardner ©

Best for ages 5 - 13
This wristband fitness and sleep tracker comes with a slapband, available in four fun colors. It syncs with an app for both iOS and Android. It doesn't display time or steps on the wristband. The app sets goals for the child and displays an activity score of 0 - 100% plus total steps and distance for the day. It also tracks sleep. The app can track more than one child's activity.

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4
LeapBand by LeapFrog

LeapBand by LeapFrog
LeapBand by LeapFrog. Courtesy of Amazon

Best for ages 4 - 7
Keep your child challenged by loading up to 50 fun activities on this band. You can set play times and encourage them to get in enough activity. Play with the customized animal avatar and earn rewards for the virtual pet.

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5
iBitz PowerKey for Kids

iBitz PowerKey Screen Shot
iBitz PowerKey Screen Shot. iBitz Screen Shot by Wendy Bumgardner

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This activity tracker connects with iOS devices to turn steps into games and enable parents to give rewards for their child's steps. The monitor has no display of its own, so syncing it with the device is the key to the fun. They also have an adult version and app, the Unity, which can give you full data on demand. The graphics for the PowerKey are fun.
Review of iBitz PowerKey for Kids

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6
Zamzee Activity Meter

Zamzee Activity Monitor
Zamzee Activity Monitor. Courtesy of Pricegrabber

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This activity meter won the 2012 Gamification Summit award for the Best Use of Gamification in Health and Wellness. It is an accurate tri-axis accelerometer that doesn't track steps, but rather tracks moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. It uploads data to a child-safe web site to track their activity, engage in challenges, earn badges, and get parents involved in setting goals and rewards. The whole family can wear Zamzees and compare their results online. The Zamzee is inexpensive and they even offer 50% off to replace lost or broken units - great for family use! For youth appeal, you can get replaceable skins to customize the Zamzee monitor. Drawback? There is no display on the Zamzee itself, so you have to plug it into a USB port of a computer to see your progress. I find that to be less motivational than having a display on the monitor itself to check your progress offline. It also doesn't give a step count, but rather an activity score, with a goal of at least 60 minutes a day in the "ZamZone."

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