Your child was born to MOVE! He was not born to win every game or even be good at sports but he was born to move a lot! His/Her brain needs movement to develop properly. The scientific research is so clear that technology overuse does not help our kids move at all. The problem: finding enough time and motivation to move requires thinking ahead and discipline; finding enough time to sit on the couch and play with screens is much easier and becomes the default go-to (non) activity for most of us including our kids.
While the discipline and social skill development of organized sports is great for kids of all ages, free play is just as if not more important. If you think that organized sports is not your child’s thing (although the benefits are fabulous regardless of talent), you can help them discover something they like to do outside. One fact is pretty clear: it is hard to play with screens and be outside and move a lot. Unplug your kids and get them something to spark a new outdoor interest this Christmas. I think every boy needs some sort of ball at every gift giving opportunity and girls need to discover their movement thing too with sports or dance.
The gift of Sports, Coordination, Recreation: Any ball: basketball, soccer ball, bag of baseballs, Nerf footballs, whiffle balls, handballs, tennis balls, golf balls, ping pong balls, four square ball etc. Sporting equipment, baseball bats, Frisbee, soccer equipment, basketball hoop in driveway and over door in bedroom, archery, Hacky Sack, dart board, Indo Board, Hula Hoop, jump rope, Pogo sticks, RipStik, Long Board (skateboard) helmet, knee pads, Disk golf case with disks, inline skate, ice skates. Dancing: jazz, modern and hip hop lessons and attire. Bikes, scooters, mountain bikes, wagons, trampoline, ping pong table, cup stacking (great for coordination), table hockey. Yard games are great for family fun too. Some classics include: bocce, tetherball, badminton, croquet or a volleyball net! Goal and nets for street hockey and don’t forget water sports and snow skiing!
Don’t forget that your child doesn’t need to be on a team to enjoy a sport:
Research backyard equipment that can build eye hand coordination and provide hours of fun brain building activity. The Sklz Lightning Bolt Pitching machine is one of our favorites (they are hitting small foam balls.) This company offers many other ideas too. Jump start your recreation shopping experience by going to a sports consignment store to open even more doors for potential gifts.
Give them a gift that will encourage them to get off the couch and move this Christmas! How about a good ‘ol fashion family football game in the front yard on Christmas Day?!
12 Days of Non Tech Gifts