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A Tech Mom’s Review of the Garmin Vivofit Jr

January 03, 2017 6 Comments

A Tech Mom’s Review of the Garmin Vivofit Jr

At the top of my son’s Christmas wish list was the Garmin Vivofit Jr., an activity tracker band that retails for $79.99 and makes it easy to reward and motivate kids. The smile on his face was beaming Christmas morning until he opened the box to put it on. Much to our disappointment, the band was way too small for his wrist. He is 8 years old and the band is rated for ages 4-9.  

Luckily, after exploring the parent managed app via my smartphone, we found a link about fit and wear of the band (under the “menu” tab). I was happy to discover if the band doesn’t fit your child Garmin is mailing out new bands in black or white for free!  You just need to follow the prompts within the app to order the new band. My son is anxiously awaiting the new band but until it arrives we are still enjoying other features of the Vivofit Jr.

The features on the band are easily accessed through a single function button. As kids reach their daily 60 minute activity goals which are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, fun facts and the adventure trail, is unlocked in a “parent managed app” that inspires kids to do their best every day.

Besides tracking and motivating kids’s activities, the Vivofit Jr. also offers these features:

  • Digital Clock
  • Stop Watch
  • Chore tracker w/coin system to reward kids
  • Task Timer
  • Sleep Monitoring
  • Swim Proof

Images Courtesy of Vivofit Jr app on Apple App Store

One of the most exciting things about the Vivofit Jr is the app and the ability for kids to track their progress! However, this is all done on a parent app. WHAT?!! This limits kids from accessing their progress, synching the band, and challenging friends. I understand that the Child Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) would require the parents to jump through some hurdles to verify they are an adult before letting a kid use the app which is collecting and storing their personal information. But, pretending this app is for parents is inaccurate and undercutting the cool features that could exist if this app was truly a “kids” app. I will admit, I did find the features to be a little juvenile for a kid 8 years old but since Fitbit and other devices are only sold for kids over the age of 13 (because they are NOT legally approved for kids according to their privacy policy), this was one of the few options fitness tracker options on the market for my son.

Just imagine kids with Vivofit Jr bands being able to compete against friends on the Safari Trail, puzzles or score board to keep them engaged on the app, as well as getting their daily activities accomplished.

Where the iOKids Platform Could Help Garmin

Dynepic's iOKids platform would allow Garmin to launch a real kid’s app for the Vivofit Jr. Since the parents are COPPA verified in the iOKids Parent App, Garmin can easily gain the verifiable parental consent from parents for their kid’s use of the Vivofit Jr. app. It would reduce parent setup time because with the iOKids parental consent, the kid’s iOKids profile information would auto-populate the user account information. Additionally, the Vivofit Jr could be gamified and could use the iOKids parent-approved friends list to allow kids to compete against each other.  

Hey Garmin – Let’s chat! As a mom, I would love to help improve the next Vivofit Jr release so we can get more kid’s motivated and moving with technology.

You may also be interested in this article - "The Kid's Wearable Market is About to Explode!"


Review By: Crystal Arn - A mom to three boys, with 15 years of experience in the health care industry focusing in kids’ health and development. Crystal is now hard at work with iOKids to help build a safe Internet playground for kids. Follow her at @tribemompdx.

iOKids is a safe, social platform and apps developed by Dynepic to allow kids to connect with friends and brands based on parent permissions. Download the iOKids app here.

6 Responses

Christina Hoffman
Christina Hoffman

September 09, 2017

The vivofit3 bands will fit this and is like a watch band, fully adjustable.

The fact that Garmin (you know, the GPS company) released a kids activity tracker without GPS tracking is so ANNOYING!!!

Kris T
Kris T

September 06, 2017

how do I get the tracker to update the sleep tracking? I synched it but nothing showed up.

Elizabeth Nicol
Elizabeth Nicol

August 20, 2017

How long did it take to arrive once you oredered the larger size band – my kids are dying!!!!

Hallgeir Lødøen
Hallgeir Lødøen

August 11, 2017

Jacinta – have you tried the small Vivofit 2 bands ?

Sarah Knowles
Sarah Knowles

August 08, 2017

My daughter got one for Christmas and she loved it…until the app ran out of trails. She completed all the trails available (when she reaches the 60 min. activity goal) and since June, the app just says ‘new trails are being developed.’ It’s infuriating. Did they think kids wouldn’t use it anymore after 6 months?

Jacinta Jesser
Jacinta Jesser

July 21, 2017

What if band is way too big? My son is 7 yo and was so excited to get his vívofit, only to discover it’s way too big for his skinny wrists. I tried buying another type of band on eBay. Same problem. Any ideas for the skinny kids??

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