Get them moving! Give your kids the gift of active fun this Christmas

Get them moving!  Give your kids the gift of active fun this Christmas

The best-buy list for Christmas is out and the message is loud and clear… toys that get kids moving and fun activities are hot on the wish list and don’t need to break the bank!

With four weeks until Santa Claus’s arrival, North Coast parents are being urged to give gifts that encourage children to be more active this Christmas.

Manager of Health Promotion at Northern NSW Local Health District, Jillian Adams, said active presents help children develop fundamental movement skills and encourage children to be more physically active while having fun.

“Three out of four children (aged 5-15 years) in NSW are not active for even one hour a day, with 44% of kids spending two or more hours a day on sedentary activities such as screens,” Ms Adams said.

“Encouraging children to become more physically active is one of the ways we can help tackle what is a major health issue for parents and families.”

Giving at least one gift that requires some physical activity will encourage children to be more active, which is integral to preventing obesity. Parents can triple the fun by joining in the activities and by spending time with their children.

“Christmas holidays are a great opportunity to get outside and have fun being active with your kids,” said Ms Adams.

“Presents such as skipping ropes, Frisbees, balls, sports gear, bikes, totem tennis, sandpits, swing sets, push/pull along toys, beach toys, play dough, seedlings and gardening tools are equally as entertaining as some of the more expensive toys available on the market.

“Club or group memberships like sports, dance, gym or circus will also encourage children to try a new physical activity that they could really enjoy,” said Ms Adams.

Visit for links to local outdoor gyms, walking and cycling trails and more!


Age Active toy ideas
Babies under 1 year Soft blocks, a large soft ball, bath toys, ring stack toy toys that make a noise when pushed or played with.
1 – 2 year olds Push along/pull along toys, ride-on toys, water toys to pour with, small paddle pool (use under direct supervision), toy cars, sand and beach toys (such as bucket and spade), sieve for the sand tray, drums, large blocks, puzzles, balls, finger and hand puppets, balance bike, jumbo chalk for drawing on pavers and footpaths.
3 – 4 year olds Play dough, large crayons, sets with large pieces, cars and trucks, dress-ups, finger or hand puppets, paddle pools (always under supervision), cubby house (or very large cardboard box painted to make cubby house),  tricycles with helmet, building blocks and sets, dress-ups, jumbo chalk for drawing on pavers/ footpaths, junior stilts, hopper ball, doll pram, skittles, ‘fishing rod’ and magnetic fish, children’s gardening tools and seedlings, footballs, sandcastle bucket and spade.


5 – 6 year olds Bicycle with trainer wheels and helmet, tents and cubby houses, building blocks and sets, skipping ropes, building toys with magnets, roller board, Velcro target games, boogie board, snorkel and goggles, fishing rod, garden tools, seedlings, soccer / football, netball / basketball
7 – 8 year olds Brick building sets, construction kits, swimming pool toys if appropriate, bats and balls, craft equipment, magic tricks, skipping ropes, elastics, hula hoop, kites, trampoline, table tennis bats and balls, netball or basketball and hoop, age appropriate dance music, Frisbee, Skateboard, scooter, boogie board, snorkel and goggles, fishing rod, beach cricket set.


Active Experiences




Family cycling (or walking) adventure, learn to surf lessons, kayaking or Stand Up Paddle Boarding, family snorkelling at a local beach, waterfall exploring, a trip to a local farm, fruit picking, camping, Aboriginal led culture and adventure tours.



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