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
GeoPalz Pedometer

Geopalz Pedometers
Geopalz Pedometers. Courtesy of Amazon.com

Best for: Age 5 to 12
GeoPalz pedometers come in a variety of kid-attracting shapes. They include pretty ones, 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 website 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 website. That is handy in case the GeoPalz goes missing. The GeoPalz are inexpensive and make a good first pedometer.

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2
Garmin vivofit jr.

Garmin vivofit jr.
Garmin vivofit jr. Courtesy of Amazon.com

Best for: Age 4 to 9
This activity tracker band is designed by Garmin to make reaching daily activity goals fun. It also allows parents set rewards for kids doing their chores or timed tasks, such as spending an hour on homework. Kids earn virtual coins towards the rewards that are controlled by the parental app. The band has a one-year battery life and is soft and kid-friendly but can be swapped for the Garmin vivofit 3 bands as they grow. It's water-friendly as well. The band tracks steps, active minutes, and sleep. It has a Move Bar that displays when the child is inactive, encouraging them to be active throughout the day.

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3
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. One positive element is that it doesn't require a smartphone app to manage it like some of the other activity monitors. You can set play times and encourage them to get in enough activity. They play with the customized animal avatar and earn rewards for the virtual pet. It doesn't count steps or distance but it motivates activity while engaging and entertaining the child.

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4
Sqord Activity Tracker

Sqord Activity Tracker
Sqord Activity Tracker. Courtesy of Amazon.com

Best for: Age 8 to 14
This wearable tracks play rather than steps. It converts all sorts of movement into points, including swimming (it's waterproof) into activity points. Then the certified kidSAFE app connects these points to awards. Your child can use the app to create a character, then enjoy activities to earn points that will let them do more fun things with the character. The are able to set new records for themselves and also to challenge friends who have the Sqord. Parents can set goals for the child and create unique awards just for their child. You don't have to worry about recharging, it uses a standard replaceable watch battery with a nine-month lifespan. The drawback is the need for a smartphone or tablet to run the app. But families can set up a family account and all participate together. Since the Sqord bands are less expensive than many adult fitness trackers, with a pack of four selling for less than the cost of a Fitbit,  it's definitely an option. They come in a variety of colors and the bands can be swapped to change your look.

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5
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, so your child has to rely on the parental app for feedback. The app sets goals for the child and displays an activity score of 0 - 100 percent plus total steps and distance for the day. It also tracks sleep. The app can track more than one child's activity. It's splash-resistant and you recharge it every seven days with a USB power cable.

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6
iBitz PowerKey for Kids

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

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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