Are your kids continually on the go? If so, that’s a great “problem” to have in our screen-dominated culture. In fact, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services, only one in three children is active each day. Moreover, the average child spends 7 1/2 hours per day in front of a screen. This is why it’s so important to encourage physical activity and find fun ways to get your kids moving.
This holiday season, give gifts that foster your family’s natural athleticism. Although athletic gear can come with a hefty price tag, there are plenty of budget-friendly ways to encourage a healthier lifestyle this season. Here are a few things you can do to find activity-boosting gifts that don’t break the budget.
Search for Deals
Buying athletic gear at full price can cause serious sticker shock. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to find new gear at a substantially lower cost. For example, you can use coupons and cash-back offers to get athletic equipment and clothing that doesn’t break the bank. You can find these kinds of offers in local coupon books, which The Simple Dollar points out can save some money here and there if you’re careful. Or you can look into offers like Rakuten athletic wear to see what kind of deals you can find online.
Consider Second Hand
Depending on what you’re looking for, you may be able to find a good deal by seeking out second-hand items. Bikes, for example, can be a great second-hand purchase. This is because many people buy bicycles impulsively, and then quickly lose interest in actually riding them. Although a second-hand bike may need a tune-up, the maintenance will almost certainly cost less than buying a bike brand-new.
The same principle applies to many different kinds of athletic gear. A snowboard may need new bindings, or rollerblades, new wheels, but these little upgrades often save you money compared to buying new. You can search online through Craigslist, local message boards, and sports-oriented second-hand shops to discover great finds at excellent prices.
Give the Gift of Experience
A great way to encourage physical activity is to gift the activity itself. For example, you might consider buying your children passes to a local ice-skating rink or tickets to a ropes course. Many places offer discounts on passes or tickets during the holiday season, so take a look online or call local venues to see if you can find any deals.
You can also do some research to find local hiking paths, disc-golf courses, and other public activities, and consider checking one out as a family over the holidays, weather permitting. Not only does gifting experiences encourage your family to get up and get moving, but it also provides built-in time you can all spend together. Children who exercise alongside their parents are likely to keep those healthy habits for life, so go ahead and make it a family affair!
Another great way to encourage your children’s physical activity is to make something that supports their athletic endeavors. If they participate in winter sports, you can make them hats or scarves to protect them from the cold. Or, you can make a bag they can use to carry their gear. Try to think creatively about what kind of items they need for their favorite activities, and see if there’s something you could make just for them. This is a great way to give them a gift from the heart, and they’re sure to think of you every time they use it.
Having athletic kids can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. This holiday season, give your children gifts that encourage their natural interest in movement and instill a life-long love for physical activity. After all, healthy habits are one present they can use forever.
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Anya Willis is the owner of the blog fitkids.info, is a mother of three and has been a yoga instructor for the past 12 years. For most of her childhood Anya struggled with her weight. She was a bookworm since the moment she could read, and had zero interest in physical activity. In school, she was bullied because of her weight, and it wasn’t until she took a yoga class in college that things started to change. She fell in love with how yoga used her whole body and mind. For Anya this was the catalyst she needed, she found a new interest in her physical health and started striving for a healthier life. Reflecting on her younger years, Anya became passionate about kids being active and healthy.