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5 Active Holiday Gift Ideas for Kids

December 12, 2022

by kevin gardner, guest contributor

Some children enjoy being active while others prefer to participate in sedentary activities. Regardless of your child's preferences, it's a good idea to make sure he or she has a mix of both types of activities in his or her life. Here are five ideas for holiday gifts that will encourage a love of movement and help your kids stay active.

1. Sports Equipment

Some of the most popular holiday gifts related to physical activity are pieces of sports equipment. If your child is already involved in or has expressed interest in a particular sport, then the holidays provide a perfect opportunity to give him or her the tools needed to participate in and succeed in it. For example, if your child enjoys baseball or softball, consider whether he or she prefers aluminum or wood baseball bats and purchase one. If your child is interested in a sport such as rock climbing, which may not have easily-accessible equipment, consider purchasing a membership to a gym that has a rock climbing wall.

2. Personal Inflatable Bounce House

Bounce houses are perennial fixtures of childhood. Most children love opportunities to bounce around in them and some parents feel more comfortable with them than with trampolines. You don't need to wait for a birthday party or carnival to get your child access to a bounce house. There are personal ones you can buy and inflate whenever you want. These bounce houses tend to be smaller than the ones rented out for parties, which means fewer children can go inside at one time, but they're perfect places for children to get active and work off some energy. Make sure you follow all directions and secure the bounce house appropriately when setting it up.

3. Classes, Memberships, and Excursions

If your child is not interested in traditional sports, there's no guarantee he or she will be interested in the ones a school might offer. If either of these situations applies to you, talk to your child about his or her interest in sports or physical activity and look for classes, memberships and excursions that might meet that interest. Sports that tend to be easy to find lessons for include martial arts, swimming, dance, hockey, and gymnastics. You can also purchase a gym membership and enroll your child in fitness classes. If you want to be more creative, take your child on trips to hiking trails, ski mountains, or trampoline parks.

4. Safety Equipment

Depending on your child's activity preferences, you may need to invest in safety equipment to keep him or her safe. Safety gear needs will vary depending on the activity or the sport, but safety staples include helmets, gloves, elbow and knee pads, and mouth guards. If you're buying your child a bike for the holidays, you should also invest in reflectors, spoke lights, and a loud bell. If your child plays a sport such as baseball or football, he or she will need a specialized helmet designed for that sport.

5. Active Toys

You don't need to give your child gifts related to sports, especially not if he or she is uninterested in them. There are many active toy options you can give your child to ensure he or she is physically active without requiring participation in sports or classes. These toys are often meant to help develop a child's fine motor and critical thinking skills in addition to encouraging physical activity. They include hula hoops, frisbees, swing sets, kites, and boomerangs.

Remember, physical activity is important for us all and should be encouraged, but you shouldn't pressure your child to participate in a physical activity he or she truly dislikes. If, for example, your child doesn't like team sports, consider activities he or she can perform individually.

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