Here it is, the start of the holiday shopping season, or at least the start I’m willing to admit to. I’m trying to ignore all those businesses that had Christmas stuff out back before Halloween, or the ones that tried to move Black Friday a week early.
At this time of year, kids are clamoring for all kinds of gifts. The hottest toys are discussed, and most kids want far more than they could ever play with. It can be pretty crazy.
With all the toys many children already have, I like to suggest thinking about what it is you’d like them to be doing, as well as what they like to do. Any gifts you do give you will want appreciated, after all.
My own favorite gift for my kids to get right now is anything that encourages them to be more active. They’re pretty active already, and I’d like it to stay that way as long as possible. Better for their health and certainly a better way for them to appreciate the world around them.
The really great part about outdoor activities is that whatever equipment they require is not likely to include a lot of small pieces to be left all over the house. Sports equipment and the like left around the yard, sure, but not all over the house.
Here are some ideas to get you going on shopping for outdoor toys and equipment for your own kids.
The right wheeled equipment depends on age. Younger kids will need more stable equipment than older kids, and any kid will need a bit of time to get used to unfamiliar equipment. But it’s all fun.
Consider a bike, tricycle, scooter, roller skates, skateboard, and any of their cousins. These help kids to be more active and learn to balance well. Don’t forget appropriate safety equipment and discussions.
Whether you enroll your kids in a team sport or just play at home with family and friends, team sports help your child be more physically fit and active while learning how to play on a team. Just how good the lesson is will depend on the particular team, since some overly emphasize winning and giving the top players most of the game time.
Your child probably has a favorite sport, and it’s best to stick with that when getting your child into a team sport. You can push for other sports, but if you’re going for more active, you want your child to enjoy what they’re doing. Physical activity should not be dreaded.
How can any young child resist a good swing set? It’s hard for many adults! Figure out the space you have and a reasonable budget, and get things moving.
There are of course many other ways to get kids active outdoors. What are the favorites in your family?