Parenting Win of the Week: The Garmin Vivofit Jr.

Teach your kids about health, fitness, and achieving their goals in a whole new way.

January 24, 2022

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Photo by: Javier Pascual / EyeEm

Javier Pascual / EyeEm

For the past year, I have been using a health wearable called WHOOP. It tracks everything from my sleep and fitness to recovery, and it’s become a topic of many conversations in my house. I could wax poetic about my device and how it has changed a lot of things for me, but that’s not really what this one is about.

My youngest son was always very into WHOOP, so for his birthday, we wanted to get him a fitness wearable. We came across the Garmin Vivofit Jr. and a few months in, it has turned out to be such a worthy purchase.

He calls it his "WHOOP," but the Garmin Vivofit Jr. offers added bonuses beyond just tracking steps. Imagine though — a busybody kid who never sits still — he racks up those steps. It also measures sleep, which is equally as impressive. But the unique thing about this product is how it allows for chore and goal management.

The parent-controlled app allows you to set specific chores to remind your kid about (ours is emptying the dishwasher), and it also allows you to set goals that are rewarded with a star system. For instance, my son may want to have double dessert one night, so we can set that at 15 stars. We give him stars when he does chores or does something above and beyond, and once he earns the prize, he can cash it in whenever he wants to (within reason). It is a great exercise in goal-setting. We set a few in the easier-to-reach phase (like double dessert), some longer to earn (like a special playdate with a friend), and some hard to earn (like getting his older brother to do all his chores).

There are also games you can unlock to play. If their friends have one too, they can start friendly competitions. Although, we are still trying to figure that one out.

There is also a widget to plug in your ICE (in case of emergency) contact information, so he’s never without my husband’s and my information.

It is waterproof too, even swim-proof up to 50 meters. We don’t have to worry if we forget to take it off.

The screen is small enough that they can see their steps, but they aren’t drawn to be looking at it all day long. Plus, when they hit their goal, their "watch," as he sometimes calls it, starts to beep. "Watch" actually isn’t too far off; it also helps with telling time.

With a focus on health, fitness, and goal-setting, this is certainly one of the best gifts we have bought in a long time.

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