Toys that Equal Fun Exercise Indoors for Kids
7 Toys and Games to Help Kids be More Active
Several years ago when my husband and I were making plans for our son's Christmas, I knew one must-have for him would be something to help him stay active during the coldest winter days or when the weather is not suitable for outdoor play, such as during rain or extreme hot temperatures we sometimes get in the south.
This lens offers ideas for parents and other gift-givers looking for ideas for kids. If we can include in our gifts for kids at least one toy that will be a fun way to keep them active, then we are giving more than just a Christmas gift. We are also hopefully helping them establish habits that can help keep them healthy in the future.
The problem of childhood obesity in America has become a growing concern in recent years, and rightly so, as it can cause social problems for children as well as serious medical problems later in life. Statistics show that more than a third of American children between the ages of 10 and 17 are considered overweight or obese. [Source: Childhood, obesity and diabetes -- reversing the trend, OrlandoSentinel.com]
[Photo used under Creative Commons by are you my rik?]
Food or Exercise?
Share your thoughts!
(NOTE: If you think it is a good combination between the two, please decide if you think it is slightly more one than the other and select that one, then comment below.)
Do you think the problem of childhood obesity lies more in what children are eating or that they are not getting enough exercise?
Gift Idea #1: Fisher Price Smart Cycle - Challenges Kids Mentally As Well As Physically
Following is a summary of our experience with the Smart Cycle. It is recommended for ages 3-7.
The product we ended up purchasing for our son for Christmas several years ago is the Smart Cycle by Fisher Price. He still rides it and still enjoys it. There are additional cartridges that can be purchased for a variety of activities and games. He has the Bob the Builder and Thomas cartridges in addition to the one that came with it, and he cycles regularly and fairly evenly through each of them. It has been perfect for days when I needed to keep him inside due to work or home responsibilities I needed to get done in addition to days when it has been either too hot or too cold. Truly a win-win toy for us!
Brief Video Overview of the Smart Cycle Racer
See and hear about its features here.
Additional Cartridges Available for the Smart Cycle - Something for everyone
There is a good variety of cartridges available geared towards boys and girls so the child will always have different activities to choose from if multiple cartridges are purchased.
More available cartridges
Home video - Our son trying out his Smart Cycle
This was in 2010 just after he had received it for Christmas.
Gift Idea #2: Award-Winning Cat in the Hat I Can Do That! Dr. Seuss Game
Recommended for ages 4-8, the game has won several awards, including:
Parents' Choice Gold Award
National Parenting Center Seal of Approval
Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Best Toy Award
Dr. Toy 10 Best Creative Products
You can hardly go wrong with a gift inspired by one of the most well-loved children's book authors of all time, Dr. Seuss, and on top of that, one of his most popular books, Cat in the Hat! My son, 6 years old, loves playing this game.
Gift Idea #3: Curious George Hide and Seek Zoo Game
Also recommended for ages 4-8. Amazon customers have given it a 4.5 star rating, which speaks well of its success with other children and families.
Another game that offers familiarity, but this time with three childhood favorites: Curious George, the zoo and the classic hide-and-seek game. Hide-and-seek has been a regular activity this year for my children, 6 years old and 2 years old. This may end up under our tree this year!
Gift Idea #4: Musical skirts - Perfect for the little girl who loves to dance
Recommended for ages 3+.
Gift Idea #5: Cranium Hullabalo
Recommended for ages 4-10. Kids can play alone or with others. Amazon customers have given this game a 4.5 star rating!
Bouncing, twisting, spinning and dancing to the commands of Hullabaloo, this game is guaranteed to keep kids moving, while also improving their problem-solving skills and rewarding them for quick thinking and cooperation.
Gift Idea #6: LeapFrog Zippity High-Energy Learning System for Preschoolers
Recommended for ages 3-5. Additional games available to suit children's varying interests.
The activities not only get kids moving, but help them learn letters, shapes and numbers, too. It also includes familiar and loved Disney characters.
As much as kids like being in front of the television, this game's use of the television makes it even more attractive, I think, for kids.
Shows kids going from doing "nothing" to having fun with this game
Additional Zippity games
For more activities kids can choose from.
Gift Idea #7: Dr. Seuss Super Stretchy ABCs Game
Recommended for ages 36 months - 6 years.
It's another Dr. Seuss game that is sure to be a blast, while providing your kids with a fun way to get some exercise and challenge their letter recognition skills.
Your gift will keep giving long into the child's lifetime!
Childhood obesity carries health risks both short and long-term. You can visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more specifics.
Helping children to incorporate some physical activity into their daily routines as a family is one of the top prevention methods for childhood obesity, according to stop-childhood-obesity.com, because it helps regulate their metabolism and appetites.