How to Choose Toys That Get Kids Moving
In today’s electronic age kids often get too much screen time and not enough active play. Physical activity can help keep your child healthy and even fight childhood obesity. One way to get your kids moving is to provide them with a variety of toys that encourage active play and focus on muscle development and movement skills. For instance, try selecting sport and game based toys that encourage physical activity, and get your kids outside. If your child is only interested in video games then you may want to look into electronic games that promote movement.
Choosing Sport and Game Based Toys
Supply your kids with a variety of balls.Soccer balls, basketballs, and baseballs are excellent toys to get your kids moving. You can also purchase soft and squishy balls for younger kids and indoor use. Balls can be used to play traditional sports, or kids can use their imaginations and come up with a variety of games that will keep them active.
- Balls can also help to develop kicking, throwing, running, and catching skills.
- You can find suitable balls for kids of all ages and abilities.
- Play catch or soccer with your child in order to help them develop fundamental movement skills. This is a fun way to play with them!
Get your child additional sports equipment.Balls are a great way to get your kids active, but as they get older you may want to buy them some additional sports equipment such as nets, gloves, bats, and hockey sticks. This will allow them to play an actual game or sport and can provide a group of children with hours of physical activity and fun.
- You can find both indoor and outdoor nets and sports equipment. For example, small basketball nets can be hung on the back of a bedroom door to allow your child to play inside.
- Miniature hockey sticks are another great way to get your kids playing sports inside the house.
Choose board games that require movement.Board games are another excellent way to limit your child’s screen time and even get them moving. For example, you could buy a board game, such as Twister, that requires kids to stretch and bend in order to complete the desired action and win the game.
- Set aside a family board game night once a month. This will give you an opportunity to play with your children.
Try jump rope.Jump rope is another way to get kids moving. Typically this is an activity for children 6 and up and can be completed individually using a single rope or with friends using double dutch ropes. There are a number of different games and tricks that can be completed using a jump rope. Your child will develop endurance, strength, and jumping skills.
- Purchase a jump rope that is plastic or beaded, not cloth. Cloth ropes are too light and are more difficult for young children just learning the basics.
- Size your child’s rope by having them stand on the middle of the rope. The handles should reach just below the armpits. If the rope is too long tie knots into the rope to shorten it.
- Turn the ropes for the kids so that they can get a chance to jump in the double dutch ropes.
Selecting Toys that Get Kids Outdoors
Provide them with sidewalk chalk.Sidewalk chalk is a fun way to get kids outside. Decorating the driveway with colourful pictures will get your kids up and moving around. You can also use sidewalk chalk to draw a hopscotch pattern on the ground and allow your kids to jump and play.
- Show kids different games they can play, such as four square, or have a drawing competition. Children can also use their imaginations to come up with original games and activities, too.
Set up a swing set or playground in your yard.Any form of play set or climbing apparatus is a great way to encourage your kids to be active. Playground equipment is irresistible for children and there are a variety of ways it can promote movement. For instance, kids can use the equipment in its traditional sense, to jump, climb, and swing. They can also develop their own games using the equipment.
- Allow your children to use their imaginations and free play. Adding new props, such as safari hats or halloween costumes, can stir up new interest in an unloved old playset.
Try out a frisbee.A frisbee is another fun way to get kids moving and there are so many games that can be played using a frisbee. A small group of kids could simply pass the frisbee around, which will help develop throwing, catching, and running skills. Alternatively they could also try playing ultimate frisbee, frisbee golf, or frisbee races.
- Search online to find the rules and equipment needed for a variety of frisbee-based games that your kids can play.
- If there are not enough kids to get a big game going then you can join in the fun and play with them.
Buy your kids toys to get them outside in the winter.During the winter months it can be difficult to get your kids active and moving. In order to encourage them to engage in some form of physical activity you should provide them with some toys suitable to winter. For example, give your child a sled or toboggan that will allow them to play outside during the winter. Alternatively, you could get them skis or skates in order to try a winter sport.
- Take a family ski trip or spend a weekend taking part in outdoor winter activities as a family.
Select toys that are powered by kids.If you want to get your child active and moving you may want to select a toy that is powered by your child. For instance, there are a lot of options for ride-on toys, such as bikes, cars, skateboards and scooters. Some of these options will be motorized, but you can also find human-powered options as well. These types of toys can come in a variety of forms to meet the needs of all age groups.
- For example, toddlers can use toys such as wagons and little scooters that they sit on and push with their feet.
- Slightly older children can use tricycles and bicycles with training wheels that are powered using pedals.
- Older kids can use bicycles, scooters, roller blades, and skateboards that are peddled or pushed using their feet.
- Make sure your child always wears a helmet and proper safety equipment.
Finding Electronic Toys that Promote Movement
Select fitness-based video games.Electronics and video games are such a regular part of life for children that it may be best to find video games that actually promote movement and fitness. Most video game consoles (ex. XBox, Playstation, and Nintendo) have a variety of games available that focus on body movement. These games can be a great way to encourage physical fitness among kids who do not enjoy taking part in sports or other outdoor activities. Try out some of the following games:
- Wii Fit Plus: Provides a number of exercises to be completed.
- XBox Dance Central: Requires the player to mimic the dance moves being completed on the screen. A fun way for kids to be active and listen to their favourite songs.
- XBox Kinect Sports: Using a motion controller, players can take part in 6 sports (bowling, boxing, track and field, table tennis, football, and volleyball) that will get them moving.
- Playstation Zumba: Requires players to complete the dance-based Zumba workout using Playstation Move technology.
- NFL Training Camp for Wii: Uses new remote sensors on your arm and leg to track your fitness while taking part in an NFL training camp.
Try out new wearable technology games.Companies are in the process of creating a multitude of games that combine technology with toys in an effort to get kids moving and away from their tablets and phones. Disney has come up with an excellent solution called Playmation. This game consists of wearable technology that requires kids to complete a mission that includes role playing, running, and jumping. It can be used indoors or outdoors.
- The wearable technology is synced to an app that displays new missions as well as scores and achievements.
Download an app that encourages movement.New apps are also being developed to encourage kids to get moving. For instance, Pokémon Go became a global craze and got children outside and moving around as they hunted for virtual Pokémon characters. By combining mobile app based technology with physical movement this game has inspired kids to get outside. Other apps and games have been developed to encourage physical activity and have even been termed “exergaming.” Other apps include:
- Zombies, Run!: Is set during a zombie apocalypse and users are tasked with outrunning the zombies. While running you listen to zombie noises chasing you. The further you run the more supplies you will collect.
- Geocaching: Uses GPS technology to track down hidden containers around the world. It is like a real life scavenger hunt.
- Jump, Jump Froggy: Is excellent for younger children and actually requires kids to jump around collecting flies for the frog to eat.
- Take your child’s age into consideration when selecting toys. For example, you should not give a young child a hard ball to throw because they could break something or hurt themselves.
- Make sure your children dress appropriately for the weather conditions when playing outside.
- Ensure that your child wears all appropriate safety gear such as helmets and pads when riding bikes or playing sports.
- Some toys will require adult supervision, especially when used by young children.
- When purchasing toys make sure that you read instructions carefully to ensure that the toy is age appropriate for your child.
- When your child is using app based games tell them to always be aware of their surroundings. They need to follow street safety and traffic rules.
- Always supervise your children when they play outside.
Video: Kid Ride on Power Sport Bike to Toys Store for children choose a gift for friend birthday.
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