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Fit bit or similar for kids.


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#1 LucyGoose

Posted 27 October 2018 - 08:27 PM

Fit bits or Garmin or whatever else seem to be hugely popular at my DDs school.  She is in grade 3.  She wants one but isn’t that sporty or an athletic type.
What do kids around 7-10yr actually use these for?  Are they just a step counter or do they do other things?


#2 Serenity Now

Posted 27 October 2018 - 08:34 PM

My 8yo DD loves her vivofit jr. She uses it to count steps, has step contests with friends, and has reminders for doing chores. It has a game that you can progress through but she’s not very interested in that.

#3 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 27 October 2018 - 08:35 PM

Telling time.

#4 ExpatInAsia

Posted 27 October 2018 - 09:34 PM

While on topic - which Fitbit is best for a 12 yo? The children’s version or the adult?

#5 ~J_F~

Posted 27 October 2018 - 10:56 PM

My DD is getting a Garmin JR for her birthday in a couple of weeks.

Used for - time, steps, activity, chores, step contests.

I think for us it will just be a general tool to get more activity in.

Expat I would probably go one of the cheaper adult ones for a 12yo :)

#6 Crazyone26989

Posted 27 October 2018 - 10:57 PM

Interrupt their teacher five times a day to tell everyone the time or how many steps they've done LOL

#7 aluminium

Posted 28 October 2018 - 07:34 AM

My girls' friends have the junior ones (Fitbit and Garmin) - for time-telling, step counting. They also prompt them to move.

Whereas my girls (8 and 10) have the Fitbit Flex 2 because they swim for sport and are getting serious about it - the Flex 2 counts laps. It also doesn't have a face for the time, step-counting or calorie counting - you have to look at all of this on a device.

Does your daughter swim? I found these encouraging for my girls.

#8 AdelTwins

Posted 28 October 2018 - 08:22 AM

Garmin Jr here.
Used for steps/active minutes, time, set timers (e.g. 1/2 hour screen time) and wake up alarm on weekdays. We also do a step competition with adults on days we go to the zoo, etc.

Because you only change the battery once a year, they don’t take it off their wrist. No lost devices.

#9 ~J_F~

Posted 28 October 2018 - 08:24 AM

The once a year charge was a selling point if the Garmin Jr for me too.

#10 BornToLove

Posted 28 October 2018 - 08:29 AM

DD has the Garmin Jr watch as well.

She mostly uses it for reminders to do things/chores - daily vitamin, practice her cello, feed the cats, etc. She also uses the timer function when she brushes her teeth.

She’s not fussed about the activity features like step counting, sleep monitoring etc. There is also a token system for doing things, but we don’t use it.

#11 timtam92

Posted 28 October 2018 - 09:21 AM

I don’t think kids need to count steps. Getting them to focus on the wrong things. They shouldn’t be corned about this. Adults shouldn’t be either!

#12 ~J_F~

Posted 28 October 2018 - 09:23 AM

View Posttimtam92, on 28 October 2018 - 09:21 AM, said:

I don’t think kids need to count steps. Getting them to focus on the wrong things. They shouldn’t be corned about this. Adults shouldn’t be either!

Well then don’t buy one for yourself or your kids....

#13 spr_maiden

Posted 28 October 2018 - 09:25 AM

I'm not trying to be inflammatory,  I really am interested in knowing - does anyone worry about the impact of children monitoring their health so closely from a young age,  where the health information they are checking is really just data without much of a context?
I am asking as I am in two minds about them for my child.  I know my 8yr old has mentioned wanting one because friends at school have one. He is very much into numbers and facts in general also.
Do they really have a calorie counting function?

#14 spr_maiden

Posted 28 October 2018 - 09:26 AM

Ahhh, I see this thread may have already turned,  and my genuine question may be taken the wrong way....

#15 ~J_F~

Posted 28 October 2018 - 09:29 AM

View Postspr_maiden, on 28 October 2018 - 09:25 AM, said:

I'm not trying to be inflammatory,  I really am interested in knowing - does anyone worry about the impact of children monitoring their health so closely from a young age,  where the health information they are checking is really just data without much of a context?
I am asking as I am in two minds about them for my child.  I know my 8yr old has mentioned wanting one because friends at school have one. He is very much into numbers and facts in general also.
Do they really have a calorie counting function?

Isn’t it a good idea for kids to be monitoring their health from a young age? That way it’s just second nature to them and they don’t have to spend their adult years figuring it out, like so many of us have had too.

If it gets my DD up and moving more then I think it’s a win personally.

#16 Charli73

Posted 28 October 2018 - 09:29 AM

View PostAdelTwins, on 28 October 2018 - 08:22 AM, said:

Garmin Jr here.
Used for steps/active minutes, time, set timers (e.g. 1/2 hour screen time) and wake up alarm on weekdays. We also do a step competition with adults on days we go to the zoo, etc.

Because you only change the battery once a year, they don’t take it off their wrist. No lost devices.

Unless your DS7 with ASD loses it on the first day he wears it to school and someone steals it when they find it and ditch the band... he was very upset..

#17 spr_maiden

Posted 28 October 2018 - 09:51 AM

View Post~J_F~, on 28 October 2018 - 09:29 AM, said:



Isn’t it a good idea for kids to be monitoring their health from a young age? That way it’s just second nature to them and they don’t have to spend their adult years figuring it out, like so many of us have had too.

If it gets my DD up and moving more then I think it’s a win personally.

I get that, that is one side of the coin. And for some children with whatever conditions, I can see how they could be helpful.

For an average child who gets activity in their day regardless,  I question the value and long term impact of focussing their attention on numbers, and data rather than listening to their bodies and moving because it feels good.  "Healthy" in a larger context rather than healthy because I've reached this amount of output or I've won the step competition. Internal vs external motivator, I guess.
Monitoring of input and output is not always the healthier option.

#18 spr_maiden

Posted 28 October 2018 - 09:56 AM

These are things I am considering,  and I wonder if I'm missing some points in my "do I/ don't I".

#19 aluminium

Posted 28 October 2018 - 12:45 PM

spr_maiden,
I had concerns about developing obsessive behaviours which is why my girls got the faceless Flex 2 - it still counts everything but they need to be on a device to check it (which they do after swimming). In our case, it has motivated them to achieve pbs in their swimming and they can track their progress.

#20 BeAwesome

Posted 28 October 2018 - 01:48 PM

My 6 year old has a Garmin Jr, specifically for the alarm feature, so I can set an alarm for her to go to the office each day as she takes medication.

Though, she wanted that particular style watch, as that's what all her friends had.

#21 pitzinoodles

Posted 28 October 2018 - 02:06 PM

View Postspr_maiden, on 28 October 2018 - 09:25 AM, said:

I'm not trying to be inflammatory,  I really am interested in knowing - does anyone worry about the impact of children monitoring their health so closely from a young age,  where the health information they are checking is really just data without much of a context?
I am asking as I am in two minds about them for my child.  I know my 8yr old has mentioned wanting one because friends at school have one. He is very much into numbers and facts in general also.
Do they really have a calorie counting function?

I feel uneasy about it for my active healthy DD of a similar age. I’m definitely in two minds about it too.

#22 spr_maiden

Posted 28 October 2018 - 05:53 PM

^ can I ask what is on your pros/cons list too please? Because there is something that makes me hesitate,  so I wonder what it is.

#23 AdelTwins

Posted 28 October 2018 - 08:46 PM

For those that are on the fence...

I have noticed that my two boys were original obsessed with how many active minutes they had done. To the point that they would run around the house before bed to get to 60 minutes. But that only lasted a few weeks.

Now they only tend to notice it on days when they do lots of sports or we go to the zoo. The rest of the time they ignore it and just use the time, timers, alarm, etc.

It might help that I only sync their devices once a fortnight. It doesn’t show previous days on the device itself.

#24 ExpatInAsia

Posted 28 October 2018 - 10:37 PM

View Postspr_maiden, on 28 October 2018 - 09:25 AM, said:

I'm not trying to be inflammatory,  I really am interested in knowing - does anyone worry about the impact of children monitoring their health so closely from a young age,  where the health information they are checking is really just data without much of a context?
I am asking as I am in two minds about them for my child.  I know my 8yr old has mentioned wanting one because friends at school have one. He is very much into numbers and facts in general also.
Do they really have a calorie counting function?

I have been thinking about this too but the reality is that young tweens are already thinking about this. My younger child has always been healthy without thinking about it too much. She started a new school this year and is suddenly thinking a lot about what types of exercise, how much and how often.

I know that many other children at her school have fitbits and assume she is being influenced by peers. We have always talked about overall health/exercise but her focus has really sharpened this year.

My DH, who has always been very fit and fitness focused, thinks giving her a Fitbit encourages her to be obsessive rather than focus on an overall healthy approach. I am wondering if it will make her feel more in control to reach her objectives or just more focused - I am in two minds.

Edited by ExpatInAsia, 28 October 2018 - 10:39 PM.


#25 QuirkyMum

Posted 29 October 2018 - 05:32 PM

My DS9 has vivofit jr. We bought it for him to track his sleep. How melatonin works and when. And to potentially not let him have any screen time the day after he didn't have 10 hours of sleep ( when it is his fault).
He did track his steps and activity for 3 days. Still enjoys the fact that he can swim and shower while wearing them.
But the main ( and unexpected) thing for us - chores! He asked what chores he can set up and I said without thinking - brushing teeth, shower without complaints, dishwasher, wheelie bins on garbage collection days. He set them and two months later is still obsessed with them. Wants more. We bought a lighter vacuum cleaner so now he vacuums every day.
All chores earn him points which he can redeem on screentime. With all his chores done he gets his 30-45 mins TV time ( we used to fail at getting him change after school, now he showers and changes straight after!).
Oh and me changing 24 hour format to 12 and back for a few days made him more confident with time and got him to compare 24/12 format time  to time on mechanical clock on the wall.
Also my son chose strap design of an older model which is cheaper now. Main difference between jr models is design of the strap.




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