KIDS: Healthy Holiday Gift Guide 2014

There’s a fine line between buying holiday toys that will make my child leap through the roof and ordering every single gimmicky item on his list. The past few years, we cleared the shelves of most Thomas the Train models. And now we own at least 45 Thomas trains with different facial expressions and sizes because we loved our son’s energy-filled reaction when opening them. However, he played with each for a few weeks and then asked for newer, shinier trains leaving the “old ones” behind. So this season, I’m determined to deliver enjoyable gifts that can also provide joyful times for our entire family. As I focus on wellness, I try to be a good role model, but also rely on surrounding his world with images, stories and activities that showcase the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. In time for the holiday shopping season, I’ve created my own healthy holiday gift guide with fun-filled, activity-driven gifts for kids.

Kid Fitness Tracker:
Fitness trackers have been the rage for adults the past few years, so now a few companies have created them for children. I plan to buy the LeapBand. I’m a fan of the LeapFrog brand. They have a reputation for solid educational games and innovative technology. In fact, Time Magazine just named the LeapBand one of their “Top 10 Toys for 2014.” The gadget seems simple enough for a four-year-old with only a few buttons, but can be made age appropriate for seven-year-olds by changing the activity challenges. There are simple games that teach about nutrition, as well.

Mini Ogodisk:
The Mini Ogodisk set comes with two frisbee-sized Ogodisks and a soft ball. Think paddleball, tennis or any game where the ball is bounced back and forth between partners. The disks are sturdy making them quality pieces. Plus, with enough room in my den, we can play this game indoors all year round.

Ok, so this isn’t the gift that my son will jump for joy over, but I love to give them as gifts. I try hard to be a great role model for my son. However, sometimes he doesn’t want to hear (or see) it from me. So if I can surround him with stories of great value, whether they are life lessons about personal character or tales that teach the value of team sports, I’m happy. Showing him that it’s “cool” and “fun” to exercise, play sports and eat healthy through someone else’s voice is priceless to me. Here’s a list of my Top-50 children’s books promoting fitness.

Djubi Dartball:
The Djubi Dartball is an upgrade to the classic dart game with its super-cool-yet-simple ball launcher. Reviews claim this game is a crowd pleaser for all ages and skill levels. It’s also terrific for beach, park, and backyard fun. I love games that are easy to throw in a bag and use at different venues, so this seems to be a winner.

Pro Gold Flag Football Set:
Whether your family likes to toss a football at a park or play impromptu games, this Pro Gold Flag Football set provides everything you need to start your child’s love of the game. With two different colored sets of flags for a 4-on-4 game and a foam football, this is a wonderful gift to develop my son’s throwing and catching skills or to teach our whole family how to play the game.

I’m a fan of the Y Volution Glider XL deluxe because its “lean to steer” method is known to develop balance, coordination and motor skills. This makes it not only a stylish scooter, but also easier to use for kids that are less coordinated to figure it out at their own developmental stage. At six-years-old, this is a great scooter for my son and his friends.

Doorway Jungle Gym:
If you don’t have enough space to host a full jungle gym, or frankly don’t want a huge apparatus in your home, this doorway swing is a super solution. With the ability to be hinged into a doorway, this mini-jungle gym has a weight capacity of 210 pounds, so even an adult can practice chin-ups to supplement their workout. The trapeze and gym rings hold up to 150 pounds, so it can be used throughout the years as a gymnastics or fitness tool for kids, teens and adults, too. While we may gift it to our six-year-old, we will probably install it in the guest room so that we can use it, as well.

What are your favorite gifts to give this season? Please comment below or Tweet @PrettyWellness to share your holiday shopping list ideas.

kids holiday gifts