When we think about smart watches, we often consider purchasing them for ourselves. They’re a versatile, sleek, and convenient tool to boost our healthy habits.
But smart watches can have benefits for the whole family, kids included! They make physical activity fun and gamified. Not to mention, they encourage early habits of independence and accountability. We’ll explore the best perks and things to consider in the world of kid-friendly smart watches.
The couch potato cure
Especially in our current pandemic era, children are spending increasing amounts of time in front of computers and TV’s. According to one report, by the time a child is 8 years old they are already spending an average of 2 hours and 19 minutes a day on a screen. This can quickly lead to childhood obesity and a plethora of other frightening health statistics. Smart watches combat these statistics by helping kids establish daily habits and make active choices.
With smart watches, you have an opportunity to get creative with how our younger generations get up and get moving. Smart watches for kids still have all the great benefits of adult watches; they can have fun with step counting, visible distance tracking and heart rate monitoring. It makes a self-paced, competitive game out of being active! When they reach certain activity milestones, they can earn badges
Kids are increasingly tech savvy, so smart watches are also a perfect vehicle for technology that lets a user take control of their actions throughout the day.
Putting the fun in fitness
Smart watches still speak to a kid’s desire for fun and games, while encouraging movement and fresh air. With the Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3, for example, you can get your child active with Marvel or Disney themed fitness missions. They can step into the shoes of one of their favorite superhero characters and take on challenges that add to their daily step count at the same time.
Parents will love that they can sync their child’s smart watch to their own smart devices, to stay on top of the entire family’s increase in activity. They can also set goals for their children in terms of step per day, going up and down stairs, calories burnt and overall activity levels. With some smartwatches (e.g. Fitbit or Garmin), kids can earn badges for meeting specific goals or also share challenges with friends or parents. The social possibilities are indeed fun and motivating so kids can stay fit and parents happy.
Most fitness trackers nowadays monitor heart rate. More advanced ones also have fall detection and can also detect and alert emergency contacts when a monitored abnormality occurs. Depending on the watch and sophistication levels, the health monitoring features vary.
A kid that monitors time and is aware and responsible for timekeeping is also an educated and responsible kid. The most basic function of a watch is to tell the time! Encouraging children to know the time and their commitments is both a learning experience for them and an educational one from the parent point of view.
A healthy mind
Smart watches encourage not just a healthy body, but healthy minds too! At its most basic level, a smart watch will teach a younger child how to tell time. Smart watches with built-in calendars also encourage organizational skills.
The Orbo Kids Smart Watch, for example, has 16 learning games pre-installed. The LeapFrog LeapBand Activity Tracker has a whopping 50 games! Your child can explore challenges that encourage them to be physically active, interact with virtual pets, and earn points by completing challenges.
And if distraction in class is a concern, the COSMO kids smart watch has a “class mode” setting to turn off notifications of incoming texts or calls from friends.
And don’t forget sleep
Sleep habits are just as important to a healthy lifestyle as fitness. Many brand smartwatches for kids come with sleep trackers built in.
Kids can have fun creating this healthy habit too! They have the autonomy to set their own alarms in the watch, and can see a celebration screen at the end of the day when their activity and sleep goals are met.
Safety without a cell phone
One of our favorite benefits of a smart watch for kids? They are an easy way to postpone the inevitable begging for a cell phone when they’re just not quite ready for one. Unlike smartwatches for adults, kids’ smartwatches don’t promote social media sharing and usually don’t have the option to get on the internet at all.
Although it’s fantastic that smart watches get kids up and on the go, it does mean they’ll be out of sight a bit more. Not that we recommend you let them be all by themselves without supervision as Technology is not a replacement for parental responsibility.
Some standard (though unfortunately not all) smartwatches, for kids and adults alike, include GPS trackers. For parents, this gives great peace of mind in ensuring they can monitor their kid’s location, make phone calls and message them without requiring a full cell phone. The drawback to contant GPS tracing is an added drain on the smartwatch battery. The accompanying app either supports location tracking and in some cases you can integrate with third party apps for even more flexibility and customizations. Many kid smart watches also have the option for parents to program emergency contact information into them. And of course, almost all smart watches have incredible battery life and are splash-proof, so you can rest assured that in the case of an emergency, the watch will be on for your child to enable an SOS button. Superwatches.com have a great guide on GPS tracking smartwatches for kids which you might want to have a look at.
For kids, they immediately get a sense of freedom from having their very own connected device. They’ll probably love showing off their wrist bling to their friends too. Perhaps they could even be able call their friends with some of these smartwatches. The key to success is making all a fun educational process for them while you get the benefit of the added health and safety features.