Does your child or grandchild have a birthday coming up? Are you stumped about what the best birthday present for them is? These days, kids spend far more time in front of a television, computer, or video game than they do playing outside.
In fact, statistical research shows that during the school year when “screen” time is at its lowest, most kids spend at least six hours a day watching television, playing video games, or surfing the internet. It’s no wonder the obesity rates in the United States are rapidly increasing. Studies have also shown that children’s brains are affected by this large amount of “screen” time.
Children who play outside for larger amounts of their overall time have longer attention spans. In a time when ADD and ADHD is practically an epidemic, how do we get kids back outside playing actively again?
Choosing a great birthday present that lures kids outside again is an investment in the health of your kids disguised in a toy they will love. Here are some top ideas for great birthday presents kids to get your children up and moving outside:
1. Kids’ Electric Scooter: Many kids are less enthusiastic than a generation before them about a traditional bike or scooter, but when you put a motor on something it is infinitely more adventurous. Electric scooters for kids go fast enough to be a blast but not fast enough to be dangerous. The top speeds increase with the age recommendations.
2. Hula Hoops: Most kids have never played with this simple but fun toy, except maybe the Wii version of hula hooping. Purchasing several will allow them to try tricks and make up games. However, since kids spend so little time in unstructured play they may need some help at first coming up with things to do.
3. Sidewalk Chalk: This outside artistic tool has seriously changed since we were kids. Now, there are 3D kits with glasses, a myriad of colors, sidewalk spray paint, and a variety of other products. Sidewalk chalk can still be used for traditional games of hopscotch too.
4. Trampoline: Modern trampolines come in many sizes with safety enclosures so kids don’t fall off or get caught in springs. Jumping, bouncing, and flipping are great forms of fun exercise for kids.
5. Sprinkler Attachments: In the shapes of animals and licensed characters from TV, sprinkler attachments for a simple garden hose have come a long way too! Hours of summer fun can be found with a swimsuit and backyard sprinkler.