Kids don’t play outside enough. It’s one of the biggest causes of obesity, and it’s also making children more insular, less connected with nature and less active. While banning video games and facebook might be recommended by some bloggers, generally the ‘carrot’ is more effective than the ‘stick’. So incentivise your kids to get out and enjoy the great outdoors (or at least your garden) with these Christmas gift ideas.
Trampolines are an enduring classic. Your kids will never get tired of playing on them; even if they get tired out by bouncing too many times. Full size trampolines can be enjoyed by adults too, and are a great exercise method. There’s no better way of burning calories while having fun. Trampolines come in all shapes in sizes, to get an idea of the range available look at these Trampolines at Big W. Those with big gardens and big budgets can opt for giant trampolines that are big enough for several kids at once, while those with less space – or just a younger child – can opt for a miniature trampoline.
Pets are almost always the best way of getting children outdoors. And there’s no better pet for enjoying the outside with than a dog. By getting a pet dog kids not only are encouraged to explore their local area on walks, but also learn to be responsible by looking after the puppy. Remember don’t buy or adopt a dog for Christmas unless you’re certain you’re prepared to look after it for its entire life. Make sure you understand dog breeds too – every breed has a different temperament and needs a different amount of attention and walks, don’t go for a breed that requires several hours walking a day if you don’t have the time to commit to this.
If you’ve already purchased the big presents and just need a few little extras that will encourage your kids to enjoy the great outdoors, then why not consider some of these stocking filler idea:
- Chalk: Colourful chalks have been a classic childhood toy since your grandparents were young, but drawing hop-scotch boxes or being creative and producing artistic masterpieces on the pavement are things that never become old.
- Fishing net: Exploring ponds and searching for the little critters (and occasional fish) that inhabit them can be a great way of teaching your kids about nature. Combine the present with a guide book of pond and stream life and you might inspire a future career in biology in your little one.
- Gardening tools: Kids love playing in the mud, and while you might not like the extra washing you have to do afterward you can get their love of the dirt to pay off by encouraging them to plant vegetables. Buy them a set of miniature garden equipment such as a trowel and small spade, as well as some seeds and a watering can. Encourage your son or daughter to find a recipe and help you cook what they’ve grown afterwards.