Encouraging active kids

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?

4 Responses to Encouraging active kids

  • Metarex says:

    Lots of these activities really mind me of what I used to do. I think some board games will be helpful in getting kids active mostly for the younger ones. I remember playing some (though I don’t remember their names) games where you had to do a silly dance or perform a certain (safe) action to try to win. I think Twister is also a good game as long as there are adults or someone mature to monitor them just in case as you never what what happen.

  • tajnz says:

    What a great article! I’d also recommend boogie boards as a cheap but fun present for kids. Especially those in the Southern hemisphere as Christmas falls in summer each year.
    One of the most unique memorable gifts I received for Christmas was rock climbing vouchers from my uncle. It’s not an activity I would have thought of trying on my own but I had a wonderful time and over the years I’ve repeated the activity.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Yes, a boogie board is a good addition to the list.

      Rock climbing vouchers is a cool idea – my family does that sort of thing through scouting so I’m glad your Uncle introduced it to you so you got to experience the fun! I hadn’t thought of vouchers though – maybe this year!

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