Childhood obesity is on the rise and it's more important than ever to prioritize family fitness by finding toys, exercises and activities to help children stay active. However, it can be challenging for sedentary children and families to jump off the couch and instantly profess their love for hiking, yoga and biking. Here are at least a dozen options of toys and activities that will provide some type of exercise for kids that are not only good for their physical health, but that are also... fun, rewarding and motivating.
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The LeapFrog LeapBand is a wearable activity tracker that children position on their wrist, like a watch. It's designed for kids ages 4-8 so they can engage in active play and exercises anywhere, without the need for specific equipment. Children will earn rewards and points within games to unlock various features as a result of engaging in physical activity.
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Super Stretchy Game from Wonder Forge
For fans of gameplay, similar to Twister, Wonder Forge's Super Stretchy Game has kids placing their head, elbow, hands, and feet learning colors and shapes along with their favorite animated Disney Junior characters. Read a full review of the Super Stretchy game here.
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Mobo Luxury Cruiser
The Mobo cruiser bike turns a lot of heads at the boardwalk and the park. It adjusts in length to accommodate growing children, and a handle can also be inserted into the back to help younger toddlers who haven't quite learned to steer effectively. It's a great bike for kids who are having difficulty balancing on a traditional 2 wheel bike.
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Galt Mini Trampoline
Many people are fans of large outdoor trampolines, but in my opinion they can pose a safety risk. I'd much prefer smaller ones like this one from Galt, that includes a supportive handle. Smaller trampolines can be used outdoors in the summer, but set-up indoors during the winter to help provide an opportunity for exercise during the colder weather months.Continue to 5 of 16 below.
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LeapTV is a new video game system for kids ages 4-9 that is similar to both a Wii and an Xbox Kinect. Kids are encouraged to participate in games that will require movement of their bodies as they stimulate their mind by participating in educational games and activities.
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Nothing says physical exercise more than helping your children organize and participate in a blaster experience or playdate. Either with friends or siblings, kids will love working together to use their blaster toys to aim at targets, or each other.
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Magic Moves Electronic Wand
Do your kids roll your eyes when you tell them to stomp like a dinosaur, clap like a goose, swim like a fish? They probably won't when the magic wand gives the orders! This particular wand includes over 90 different commands and 26 different songs. The blinking lights provide kids with a visual clue of how long to move before their turn is over. There's even a repeat button for those who didn't hear the directions the first time or for kids who had so much fun they want to do it... again.
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NERF Bash BallKids have really enjoyed the look and appeal of this particular ball. The small holes allow it to be thrown with one hand and helps give kids something to grip onto when they are learning to catch. The ball is lightweight, easily stores in the trunk of the car, and great for impromptu trips to the park or beach.Continue to 9 of 16 below.
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These little mini-trampoline like discs are extremely versatile and can be used in the pool, or in conjunction with a volleyball or badminton net. Kids can also practice their hand-eye coordination by bouncing the ball up and down.
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OgoBeacher Activity Mat
This beach mat has a water resistant coating, and doubles as an activity game mat for kids. It includes 4 balls in the carrying case where children can design their own games or play 1 of the 3 included games such as Sand Ski Ball.
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Kinderfeets Balance Bikes
Ride-on toys, bikes and balance bikes are great activities for kids to engage in exercise. For children who have difficulty pedaling a traditional bike, balance bikes are a great option to help them learn foundational skills for balancing, while remaining confident as 2 feet are placed on the ground to pedal the bike.
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Magic Moves Jammin Gym
Similar to the Magic Moves Electronic Wand, this toy is in the shape of a dumbbell and encourages kids to engage in more standard physical exercises like knee raises, lifting knees to elbows, leg lifts, and rolling shoulders. For children who are old enough to understand the concept, it also helps them practice differentiating between their left and right side of the body.Continue to 13 of 16 below.
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OgoSport Aero Zipp
Launching foam balls to a friend and retrieving them 200 feet away? This lightweight and portable toy can fit in a pocket and provide great exercise at the park or the beach.
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The Sky Bouncer is a bouncing frisbee. While it can be used like a frisbee, kids can bounce it on its side, try to catch it and run after it.
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Walter balloons are a simple form of outdoor fun. Water balloon races and tosses are a perfect opportunity for kids to get physical exercise and cool off in the warmer weather.
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For more sedentary kids who like indoor play, that are also Disney toy fanatics, there are several Wonder Forge games such as the Planes Sky Race Action Game, Jake and the Neverland Pirates Shipwreck Beach, Angelina Ballerina Dance With Me Game, Disney Fairies Fly and Go Seek and the Cat in the Hat I Can Do That, which provide opportunities for physical activity and movement. Kids will engage in activities such as jumping, spinning, lying on their belly, balancing on one foot, and finding... objects hidden in different rooms within the home.