As you know from watching NFL Play 60 commercials every Sunday, kids need an hour of exercise a day. And since it doesn’t matter whether they get those 60 minutes running slant routes with Cam Newton or taking out the trash, this fitness tracker from Garmin schedules and keeps tabs on both.
At its most basic, the Garmin Vivofit Jr. is another in the recent wave of glorified pedometers for kids that gamify exercise and track how much they’re exploring the studio space. In addition to counting steps, it notes how much Junior sleeps (or pretends to sleep) and tallies the number of minutes they spend each day not playing Super Smash Brothers. It then reports that “activity” data directly to the NFL.
Kidding! It actually comes to you via a smartphone app. And that’s where things get fun. Not only can parents use the app to motivate kids with games where they unlock levels or earn coins (to be redeemed by good old you for agreed-upon rewards), but it also lets you assign chores and set reminder alarms. When the band beeps/flashes: your kid knows it’s time to stack the firewood. Or, brush their teeth vigorously.
As for the device itself, it’s a simple, slip-on band that comes in three styles (Broken Lava, Dig Camo, Real Flower) and is powered by a non-rechargeable coin cell battery that lasts one year and can easily be replaced without hitting a mall kiosk. Even better, it’s “swim-friendly” and won’t die when your kid inevitably cannonballs into the pool with it on. Although they shouldn’t expect to earn any coins for that.
Garmin Vívofit Jr. ($80)