As any parent will tell you when it comes to choosing sports watches for children, there are so many different ones on the market that it can be something of a minefield knowing which ones are best.
Our guide should help you come to some conclusions before you hit the shops.
What to consider when choosing a boys sports watch
The younger your child, the fewer features you really need on a sports watch. The simpler it is to use the better at this stage. As they get older, you may want to replace their sports watch with one that does a little more, but for a first watch look for something that is nice and simple to use with just a few features.
Furthermore, it’s often a good idea to start them with a basic simple sports watch which won’t cost you too much if they do lose interest.
Sports watches vary significantly when it comes to the features that they have. So, if your child has specific sporting passions (perhaps they love swimming) then it is important to consider which features will be useful to them. This means they are more likely to use it rather than discard it
What features do children’s watches normally include?
The majority of sports watches for kids include alarms and usually have backlighting to help make reading the screen easier. Some children’s sports watches also have countdown features or a stopwatch to help children count their biking or running laps.
Water-resistance is a common feature of many sports watches and a good one to have for outside play. Other features you may want to consider in a boy’s sports watch are comfort – you want a strap that will grow with your child, and durability, because let’s face it; children are not always that careful.
Basic Sports Watch
If you are looking for a really basic sports watch for a boy that has some of the necessary features but isn’t overly complicated, then you really can’t go wrong with the Limit Children’s Active Watch.
While this is one of the most basic sports watches available, it still has the capability to be water resistant to 100 meters. It also has a countdown timer and that all-important back light. This is a great analogue sports watch, so if your child is learning to tell the time, then this is, of course, an added bonus. The face is bright and easy to read. The straps are sturdy and durable, great for outdoor play and of course easy to wipe clean.
If, however, you would prefer a digital watch, then the Limit Active Range also has a digital alternative. The good news is that both watches are around the same price and have the same features.
If you are looking to buy a watch with excellent water resistance, then the Limit 5590.67 is a great functional sports watch for children. It has a durable case and is water resistant up to 100 metres. It’s ideal for swimming and lighter water sports. The Limit 5590.67 comes in a good colour range, including red and black – nice practical colours for children who like to get a little muckier.
In addition to being durable, the strap is nice and easy to clean. The screen is a good size, so there is no need to squint, but still small enough to fit a child’s wrist, making it a very comfortable watch to wear.
Serious sports watch
If you are looking for something a little more serious, perhaps for an older child or a child who is ready to move on from a more basic watch check out the Timex Ironman Transit Watch. This is a robust watch with a more grown-up look. It is ideal for older children or preteens and is an excellent introduction to more adult sports watches.
The face of this watch has a highly visible display. The resin straps are flexible, and the perfect fit for a good range of wrist sizes. It has some great features as well including a ten-lap memory, 100-metre water resistance, and a countdown timer – which makes it a great running watch. It also features a customisable alarm.
This watch comes in a range of colour options so is perfect for any fashion-conscious young man and in appearance very much like a smaller version of many adult sports watches.
Sports and fitness trackers for younger children
We can’t talk sports watches without taking a look at the wide range of sports and fitness trackers that are currently available.
Garmin’s Vivofit JR2 is a stunning tracker that has been designed with children in mind. It has the sturdy band that you would expect with a Garmin and a handy one-year battery life, so there is no charging required. The display is a good size and features sunlight visibility, another handy feature for outdoor use. It keeps track of sleep, steps and the recommended 60 minutes of activity. Of course, it can also track more than that for any child who is into their sport. It is also swim-friendly.
It can connect to an iPad app comes in a variety of different characters, everything from Star Wars to Marvel characters. These themes link in with the tracker’s clever feature which rewards children with the ability to advance in an adventure app. Meeting their daily activity target rewards them with special bonuses.
Sports and fitness trackers for older children
The Fitbit Ace 2 activity tracker is also another great fitness tracker option for children, probably pre-teens and upwards. This model is sleeker than the Garmin, has a water resistance of up to 50 meters and five days of battery life before it needs to be charged.
It also has all the standard features you should expect from a tracker, including step counter and the ability to track active minutes. The screen is easy to read and features a small graphic. The strap is sturdy, wipes clean and comes in a variety of options and colours.
Themes and colours
While these sports watches are targeted at boys in particular with the colour and theme choices, there is such a fantastic range of sports watches available that any child has a great selection to choose from.