Children dressed in CHristmas costumes running in a parkk

Encouraging children to run and play is a good aim

We’ve all heard that too many Aussie kids are becoming sedentary and over weight, even obese.

While Christmas is a time for fun and pleasure, it can also be used to encourage new values and lifestyles, such as helping kids be more active.

Active Christmas gifts

The choice of active-inspiring gifts will depend on the child’s age and current activity levels, but here are some gift suggestions that encourage doing rather than sitting.

  • wheeled transport – a bike, scooter, inline skates or skateboard are all popular and require kids to move and be in the fresh air
  • put a swing up in your yard or on the veranda
  • a skipping rope and set of elastics
  • toy or inflatable bowling pins and ball
  • a ball or bat and ball set
  • swimming pool toys
  • outdoor accessories (hat, sunscreen, water bottle) – good filler type gifts that can be effective if you choose well (e.g. a Toy Story hat and Cars branded sunscreen will be proudly used by my 3-year-old)
  • sand pit toys – if you don’t have a sand pit (which is itself a gift idea!) that’s a good excuse to head to a beach or park
  • gardening tools – toy ones or scaled real ones so they can help you
  • a bucket of chalk they can use outside on the concrete – and run chalk chases if they’re old enough
  • equipment for a kitchen – set it up in a cubby or a corner of the verandah. Their imaginations will get them moving more than you may think
  • a family pass to the zoo, local pool, a water park or even an indoor playground
  • a voucher for some classes – gymnastics, dance, circus, tennis, cricket, yoga, skating. etc
  • materials to build something like a billy cart, cubby, garden box or wagon
  • play dough, clay or other material that needs manipulation
  •  electronic games that go with a Wii board or XBox Kinetics (think Wii Fit, sports and dancing games)
  • a kite
  • things  for blowing bubbles

What else can you add to this list?