Homework time, hockey practice, board meetings, noisy inboxes, music recitals... all things that make weekdays difficult to get the family together and get in some fitness. Couple that with more and more gifts that are tying kids and parents to a screen, and it's no wonder Americans are so sedentary. To help solve both problems, we've compiled some of our favorite ways to slow down, connect, and make movement a family mainstay. Enjoy this list of gift ideas for active families and if you have some great gifts your family loves, let us know in the comments.
1. Yard-zee with Backyard Dice ($36.50): Hit the backyard while dinner is finishing up in the oven to get some activity in everyone’s busy schedule. RusticHomemade on Etsy has this beautifully crafted set of wooden yard dice. We love them because the set brings the family together just like game night does, but gets everyone outdoors and moving. Play Yahtzee, create your own lawn version of Monopoly, or riff off any classic board game that uses dice. (Hint: perfect to take to the beach, too!)
2. Lawn darts ($19.28): These kid-safe, glow-in-the-dark lawn darts are the perfect backyard BBQ game or an indoors rainy day solution to boredom. Available on Amazon.com.
3. Bike Trailers ($99 - $1250). Who doesn’t love to see junior smiling away as he cruises through town on the back of Mom or Dad’s bike?! For little ones that can’t yet master two wheels, hopping in the bike trailer is perfect taking in some fresh air, seeing the sights, and keeping the rest of the family on the move. We are big fans of this comparison chart from TwoWheelingTots.com which is sure to offer a bike trailer perfect for your family.
4. ERGObaby Baby Carrier ($140). Saturday morning hikes top our list as a family favorite. This simple baby carrier gives you all the essential functionality and comfortability you need to hit the trail with your tiny tot in tow. At an affordable $140 at REI.com and with a 5 star rating, this is no-brainer gift for young families.
5. Skis: Hitting your nearby slopes are a great way to get some activity in. Not sure if your kids will enjoy it? We recommend renting ski gear at your local ski house for your kids’ first few times out. Remember… pizza, French fries, pizza, French fries (we’ll leave it to you to YouTube that).
6. Snowshoes: REI.com has lots of snowshoe options for the family, ranging from $39.95 to several hundred dollars. First time snowshoeing? REI also has a super helpful guide on how to get kids started here.
7. Lawn Bowling ($29.99 - $59.99): Strike! For families with little ones, this outdoor bowling set at for $29.99 (sale) is great for small hands. Set up a backyard bowling lane, some scratch pads for score keeping, and don’t worry about those gutter balls! For older kids, this heavier set at $59.99 will hold up to weekend after weekend of strikes. Want to go DIY? RethinkRecycling.com has a great how-to guide on creating your own lawn bowling set. We did this on a recent camping trip and my two year old niece couldn’t get enough!
8. Sno-Markers ($5.95): We all know of the less than socially acceptable… ahem… ways to draw in the snow. Just as fun are these Sno-Markers at $5.95. Play tic-tac-toe, draw designs, or whip up a game of snow Twister with the neighborhood kiddies.
9. Hit the Y! Family gym memberships go a long way in keeping the family active. Find a YMCA near you here.
10. Downhill sledding: Hayneedle.com has tons of safe sleds for toddlers up through adults and the young-at-heart. Or go old-school and stop at your nearby tire shop for a blown-up inner tube.
11. Snow Castle Kit ($26.95): This set comes with multiple tools to build your snow fortress that'll be the envy of the neighborhood, available at FatBrainToys.com.