A few things that I didn't know, or took a while to learn, before buying:
1. Additional themes/adventures cost $30
2. I tested the watch on the wrist of an 11yo and it fits just fine.
3. The watch can be paired to multiple devices.
4. "Family Guardians" can be invited to help manage the child devices, chores and rewards.
5. You can freely adjust the child's earned points, adding or taking away, as needed.
6. A half-second press on the button activates the backlighting for a couple of seconds.
I have three of these Vivofit Jr 3 watches in different designs. My primary reason for buying these is for chore/reward tracking; fitness tracking was secondary. If you simply want a fitness tracker for your kids, and you don't already use a Garmin watch yourself, just go with the latest Fitbit Ace. Even though it has to be charged every ~5 days, I've found it to be a better fitness tracker.
For me, the best thing about these watches is the chore/reward tracking. You can create separate chores for each child/watch. Each chore can be a single event or recurring. You can set a time for when the chore is due. For example, you can set "Take Out Trash" for Monday and Thursday at 7p and recurs weekly. You can set a reminder to alert the watch. The reminder can be accompanied with a graphic (selection from maybe 20 images) and a short title/message. That's great and works like any calendar/task reminder alert would from a smartwatch.. but kiddified. Also, it's called "chores" in the system but you're not limited to typical household chore options. You can define your own title and so you can define your own task. The "chore" could be "10k Steps" or "30 minutes on trampoline" or "4 mi on the stationary bike".
How it becomes motivating is the fact that you can assign a point value (gold coins) to each chore. Feed the dog might be 1 point; taking out the trash might be 2 points. The child then checks in with you so you can verify and mark the chore as completed in the app. When you do, the points are then synced back to the watch. They can see their point bank on the watch at any time.
In the app, you can (and probably should) establish a rewards shop where the child can spend their points. This is the primary motivator for the kid. Setting up the watch itself takes just a few minutes. The reward shop took me quite a while to think the items through and balanced. This would look different for every family, it can look different for each child, and you can be as simple or complex/creative as you care to be. I have about 20 items in my shop from a "chore pass", extra bedtime book, choose the boardgame for game night... to outdoor experiences and outings... or app/game purchases of varying values, cash redemption, or matching for larger purchases that they may have been saving their cash for. It would be interesting to see other families reward shops to get ideas. I created my own, but you can find any allowance/rewards idea list and just recreate it as a digital shop here.
ANNOYANCES AND WISHLIST
Short screen wake time — Garmin boasts a battery life of 1yr but the experience takes a hit for that. While the screen is in its dimmed, power-saving state, you can still use it as normal as long as you are in a very brightly lit area. You can long-press on the button (0.5 second) to turn on the backlighting but that goes away in just a couple of seconds if you're not actively clicking/navigating. This results in constantly long-pressing to activate the backlighting. As of right now I don't see a way to extend this time. This is something the kid can get used to but it would've been nice to be able to set the backlight duration at the cost of shortening the 1yr battery life. Even if we're not able to define the exact time, having the ability to select a "suggested" or "extended" backlighting option would've been nice.
Only one button — Everything on this watch is controlled by one single button. The Fitbit Ace 2 has one button but it also has a touch screen; this does not. You short press to flip through the screens. You long press (0.5 second) to turn on the backlighting. You press and hold (2 seconds) to jump to your Menu where you can do things like manually sync with the app, start a step challenge or timed activity or use the timer and stopwatch. The press-and-hold is also how you select from the menu. It would've been nice to have 2 buttons. Personally, I would've liked a second button to control backlighting or be a mappable shortcut button to start a challenge, timed activity, or something.
Additional Adventures are expensive — Each watch design comes with one of 3 watch themes and app Adventure game: Disney Princess, Marvel Infinity Saga, or a generic World Tour adventure theme. The only difference in the two Marvel watches is the band as both watches have access to the same character options and watch faces. The Disney Princess watches are similar. The Camo, Floral, and Star watches come with the generic World Tour adventure and theme. The only way for you to switch themes/adventures is to buy a whole new band for $30... which comes with the code to unlock that theme. I find this to be extremely annoying and would've preferred to be able to purchase themes separately. As of the time of writing this, your only option is to buy the bands directly from Garmin. So if your kid prefers a green band and wants the Marvel theme, the only way you can get this is to buy the $80 watch plus a $30 band from Garmin.
No family chore calendar or unified organizer — As of right now, you have 2 chore views in the app. You can view what chores a specific child has for a specific day or you can view a list of all chore titles assigned to that child. So you can see that Child01 has "Take out Trash" and "Unload Dishwasher" in a list, but you can't see any details until you drill down into each. Some chores could be worth different points, some might have different recurrences, and some are likely due at different times in the day. The lack of a detailed overview makes organizing chores cumbersome... especially if you have multiple kids. If you don't create a lot of chores, it may be fine. Otherwise, you may still need to have a master calendar or chart elsewhere to keep things organized. It would be nice to be able to view a child and family calendar even if it's a week view. While we're at it, having the option to manage everything from browser (like through Garmin Connect) would be even better.
Cannot view chore list from the watch — The child can see only the number of chores they have that day and they can receive a notification for each chore at a designated time. They're not able to see a list of chores they have for the day on the watch; They'll need to access the app for that. Without being able to see the chores they have, they're unable to plan ahead, complete chores early, or review chores. If they get a notification to "Feed the Fish" at 5p and dismiss it, there's no way for them to see that chore again on the watch. Unless you change your chores around, the child will eventually learn what they have to do each day. Still, a daily chore list on the watch seems like it should've been an obvious function to me. As is, the system seems like it's designed more for children who have regular access to a phone/tablet. Those who don't might need to rely on a separate calendar/chart and the watch notifications would serve only as reminders.
Challenge options are limited — The "challenges" are categorized as "Family Challenges" and "Toe-to-Toe" challenges. With Family Challenges, you can set Step Count, Active Minutes, or Goal Completion challenges for select family members over a time span of at least 1 day. It's not possible to set a family challenge to say 15 minutes. Toe-to-Toe let's the child initiate a 2-minute Personal Best step challenge for themselves or a one-on-one 2-minute step challenge against one other watch. There's no way to set a toe-to-toe for longer than 2 minutes or for more than 2 kids. Even with both options, it's not possible to do something like a 10-Minute Family Step Challenge... something that seems like a missed opportunity.
Ever since the first Vivofit Jr came out, I've found it rather surprising that chore/reward tracking on kids watches didn't become more popular. Sure, it's essentially a fitness smartwatch with a slightly more robust task reminder function (and a widget to show points accumulated) but it works pretty well. It could definitely be improved for sure, but it's good enough.
I do wish that other companies would offer a chore/reward function because I feel that some would do it better than Garmin... or at least maybe competition would facilitate some improvements here. Garmin hasn't exactly been innovating on this front lately. Those with the Vivofit Jr 2 would find little reason to upgrade. The only real change from v2 to v3 is the screen. But while the larger size is nice, the upgrade from 8-colors to 64-colors sounds a lot better than it is in practice. The screen is quite dim and the added colors can't really be appreciated. While the Jr 3 appears to be a significant improvement over its predecessor, it ultimately feels more like a dot release. Some design and pricing choices make this iteration slightly disappointing... At least for someone who waited a year for this watch to be released.
That being said, it's still a decent watch in my opinion. If you don't own the Jr 2, and are looking for a way to motivate your child(ren) to do chores and stay active, this is a good option.