11 Fun Gifts to Keep the Whole Family Fit

My son turns 2 in January, meaning this is the first time he really knows something’s going on during the holiday season. He avidly pointed out where each of our ornaments should hang on the Christmas tree and he tells me approximately 3,000 times a day that I need to turn the twinkling white lights “ON, on, ON!” He’s not completely aware of the whole gift-giving and receiving thing yet, but I’m sure he’ll catch on to ripping off the wrapping paper in no time. I struggle with what to buy him for Christmas, especially because he doesn’t know yet he’s “supposed” to get stuff. I don’t want to set a huge precadent, but I still want to give him things just to see the joy on his face on Christmas morning.

We’ve decided this year to give gifts that will benefit the whole family as well as gifts that will make us healthier, fitter, and happier. It sounds easy, but those are kind of big requirements to fill. Here are some ideas I’ve come up with that can make fitness and physical activity fun for the whole family, especially when we’re inevitably stuck indoors during the long winter months.

  • Familiy Fitness Favorites 1 of 12

    From books to games to videos, these ideas are sure to get the whole family up and moving.

  • Cranium Hullabaloo 2 of 12

    Even as an adult, Cranium is one of my favorite games. Cranium Hullabaloo takes it to a whole new level of fun and activity. There's bouncing, spinning, twisting, and dancing. So much for quiet board games. This one will get the whole family up and moving. 

  • Mini Trampoline 3 of 12

    I don't think this one needs much explaining. What kid wouldn't want their very own trampoline to jump on whenever they please? Have you jumped on a trampoline recently? It's hard work! The Pure Fun Kids Jumper is perfect for toddlers (it might be under my Christmas tree already) or a Mini Trampoline for older kids. Trampolines aren't just for old-school 80's style aerobics anymore.

  • Just Dance 4 of 12

    As hard as we try, we can't keep kids away from video games forever. Just Dance 2014 is one video game you won't mind your child playing. Better yet, you won't mind playing with them! The latest version of this high-energy dancing game includes songs like Robin Thicke's  Blurred Lines and Roar by Katy Perry, plus classics parents can appreciate like I Will Survive and 99 Luftballons.

  • Twister Dance 5 of 12

    What kid doesn't love Twister? Twister Dance is a fun spin on the tried and true classic game of tangled arms and legs. Kids (and parents) can learn fun new dances by following the different color lights on the console. You always wanted to know how to do the Cupid Shuffle, right?

  • Busy Body Book 6 of 12

    There's no doubt that reading to your kids is a beneficial and worthwhile activity for you both. The Busy Body Book lets you kill two birds with one stone:  you get the quality time and language development that reading provides while also teaching kids about fitness.

  • Monster Bowling 7 of 12

    For a game that gets kids off the couch but not going totally crazy, the Melissa & Doug Monster Bowling Set is fun for all ages. Use the monster ball to knock the furry, plush bowling pins over, or have your kids come up with another unique version of the game that's all their won. Don't forget to take a turn yourself!

  • Dance Dance Revolution 8 of 12

    Dance Dance Revolution is probably the only video game I've ever asked to play by choice. (It's also the only one I'm good at, but that's a different story.) My now 2-year old and I spent hours playing this game together when he was a tiny little infant. He loved being bounced to sleep by my dancing. Dance Dance Revolution Extreme 2 goes beyond just dancing and features a special workout mode that makes it fun to get in shape. 

  • Fit Kids Club 9 of 12

    The same trainer famous for the crazy-intense workout program Insanity and Hip Hop Abs, Shaun T., has a special workout program designed with kids in mind : Shaun T.'s Fit Kids Club. The Fit Kids Club combines a board game plus and exercise DVD to make it fun for kids to be physically active.

  • Workout Kid 10 of 12

    This is a great exercise DVD for kids because it's led by none other than a kid himself! The Workout Kid gets kids motivated and excited about working out. Don't think for a minute that just because he's a kid he won't whoop your butt into shape too.

  • YogaKids 11 of 12
    yoga for kids

    Not all fitness has to be high-impact, high-energy, bouncing-off-the-walls type activity. Yoga is great for kids and adults alike. My toddler has a better downward dog than I do! The book My Daddy is a Pretzel is designed for kids and parents to learn yoga together and YogaKids from Gaiam is a yoga DVD that keeps moves safe and fun for kids. 

  • Family Gym Membership 12 of 12

    Don't rule out a gym membership for your whole family just because you have kids. Lots of gyms offer kid-friendly exercise classes. So instead of dragging your kid into the gym daycare, you can let them workout while you do, too.

Do you have any family fitness favorites to add to my list?!

Photo credits: product websites


More from Heather:

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20 Ways to Use Healthy Winter Foods

8 Workouts to Keep the Winter Blues at Bay

What if a Bra Could Put an End to Emotional Eating?


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