If you have been wondering how to engage kids in the world beyond their screens, Christmas offers a great opportunity to help them get up and active.
There are a broad range of options for gifts that will get kids moving and having fun outside and indoors.
Health Promotion Manager with Northern NSW Local Health District, Jillian Adams, said active presents such as a bat and ball, hula hoops, bikes, scooters, skipping ropes and sports gear encourage fundamental movement skills.
“Active toys don’t have to be expensive. A packet of chalk is the beginning of a game of hopscotch, and there are hours of enjoyment in a bucket and spade at the beach,” Ms Adams said.
“These are great ideas to add to a charity toy collection, too.
“Another option is to give an active experience – a voucher for adventure activities such as horse riding, surf lessons, kayaking or pedal boats.
“In our region there are all-weather activities too, such as roller skating, indoor rock climbing, ten pin bowling or trampolining.
“Active gifts are a great way to encourage children and young people to try new activities and find out that being active can be lots of fun. It’s even better when parents can be role models for these activities.
“Of course, it’s always important to wear the appropriate safety equipment such as helmets, and elbow and knee pads. And children with their first bike or scooter or skate boards need to be shown safe ways of riding.
The latest statistics from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show that only one in four children and one in 10 adolescents are getting enough daily physical activity.
“It is important that kids do activities that will get them ‘huffing and puffing’ every day, and strengthening and developing their muscles and bones,” Ms Adams said.
“When you are thinking of gift giving, what could be better than a gift which helps your child move towards better health and fitness?”