Did you know that kids need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day? That’s a lot of time to fill, but it doesn’t have to be boring or difficult. With the right active toys, your kids can have a blast while getting the exercise they need. And with the holiday season just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about active toys to gift the kids in your life who are always on the go.
In this gift guide, I am sharing the best active toys for kids in 2023 and where to get them. As a mom of 3, a certified personal trainer, and a registered dietitian, I am a huge fan of active toys. And I’ve pulled together the must-have options this holiday season.
There’s something from everyone on this list, from outdoor play to indoor games to sports equipment. So get ready to find the perfect active toy for your child this holiday season!
This post contains affiliate links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always, all opinions are my own.
The Benefits of Active Toys for Kids
Active toys aren’t just fun. These toys can also provide numerous benefits for your child’s development. Some of the benefits of active toys for kids include:
Physical development: Active toys can help children develop gross motor skills, balance, and coordination. For example, ride-on toys can promote physical activity and enhance balance and coordination.
Cognitive development: Educational toys can help children learn essential life skills such as memory retention, coordination, reading, and mathematics. Children who master these abilities are more likely to see their IQ rise over time.
Social interaction: Toys can encourage children to socialize and interact with others. For example, playgrounds provide a safe and comfortable environment for children to play and interact with each other.
Imagination and creativity: Toys can stimulate children’s imagination and creativity. Educational toys can help promote children’s imagination and turn something that a kid may find boring, such as math or grammar study, into a fun pastime for them.
Sensory stimulation: Inflatable toys can provide sensory stimulation to children.
Encourages physical activity: Active toys can help children become more physically fit and reduce the high risk of obesity while instilling a lifelong love of movement and exercise.
The Best Active Toys for Kids 2023 Holiday Gift Guide
From toddlers to big kids, this list of active toys has you covered. Whether your kids are into board games, bouncing, or just want something new to do, I am pretty confident you will find at least a few new toys your kids will love. I’m covering both the best indoor & outdoor active toys so there is something for everyone on your list, regardless of weather!
The Best Indoor Active Toys 2023
These indoor active toys for kids are perfect for keeping kids moving no matter what the weather is like outside. There’s something on the list for every budget and every home.
In my dream world, I would fill my backyard with large, inground trampolines that I could jump on with my kids all day long (former gymnast here if you can’t tell). But since my husband doesn’t share the same vision for our backyard space, I’ve had to compromise. So, the next best thing is a scaled down version- an indoor toddler trampoline, which works great for year-round indoor fun as well. This active toy is best for your tiny tots (trust me…my older ones get a little too crazy on this thing), but it will certainly help your little ones to burn off some much needed energy. I highly recommend getting a mini trampoline with a toddler bar, like this one, to help your little one balance and reduce the risk of falls. Buy it now
Indoor Playground Climbing Mat for Toddlers
If you have ever taken your kids to an indoor playground, you know how popular indoor climbing mats can be. These soft mats let your little ones jump, climb, and roll safely…which keeps them happy and usually makes naptime less of a battle. You can’t fit an entire playground in your house (well, maybe you can… but I definitely don’t have the space for it) so a scaled-down version like this one can be the next best thing. Buy it now
Indoor Playground Gym
The little kids can’t have all the fun. This indoor playground door gym for bigger kids is an incredible way to let them climb, swing, and stay active without having to head out to the park – which is perfect for cold, winter days (and rainy days too). The doorways in my house unfortunately don’t work with this style of climbing gym, but if they did, you’d bet I’d be using this everyday with my kids (because why should they be the only ones to get to do fun things, am I right?) Buy it now
Sit & Spin
I have so many happy memories of spinning out of control on a similar Sit & Spin as a child, so how could I deprive my little ones of similar dizzy adventures? This toy is a fun way to build both coordination and upper body strength while spinning around until you want to fall over – which for some reason my kids love to do non-stop no matter where we go anyway. Buy it now
Hide ‘n Seek Tunnel
I absolutely love pop-up tunnels for so many reasons. For one, they are just fun to look at. But they also can be used in so many ways, from hide and seek to ball pits, and imagination games. But outside of all of that, my favorite part is that they can be folded down in less than a minute and take up virtually no storage space. I mean, how much better can it get? Buy it now
If you have ever had to give up on a workout because your kids wanted to ‘join in,’ then this gift is for you. These foam dumbbells are probably one of my all-time favorite active toy purchases. Perfect for little hands, these colorful dumbbells make your kids feel like they are a part of your workouts, but in a safe way. The light weight and foam material make them safe for little kids while also allowing you to introduce your child to weight lifting and get them learning proper form and technique. Buy it now
Jump rope & Hula hoop Set
A jump rope and a hula hoop may seem pretty basic, but this inexpensive gift can provide hours of active play. I hadn’t considered a jump rope as an active toy gift idea until my six-year-old told me how much he missed jumping rope in gym class at school. And it makes sense. Learning to jump rope is a challenge. And once you master it, you can challenge yourself to jump faster, to jump on one leg, to learn tricks…the list goes on. It makes the perfect active gift for a kid who may need to play on their own from time to time (or a kid that wants a little alone time). Pair it with a hula hoop and you can introduce your child to even more fun & challenging physical activities. Buy it now
Just the other day, my six-year-old and I were looking at board games online and we saw Twister. It’s such an old-school game I didn’t even think about it for my kids, but when I saw it I knew they would love it. I remember being a kid playing Twister for hours with my sister and my friends. We’d practically tie ourselves into pretzels trying to win, but oh man we had so much fun in the process. And because it’s a game that relies on color recognition, even young children can play along with older siblings or parents. Buy it now
Think & Learn Smart Cycle
When I first saw an exercise bike for kids, I wasn’t really sure what to think about it. But then I remembered this little giraffe toy at my parents’ house that my kids fight over to play with every time we visit. It’s basically a kids exercise bike with a giraffe head on it. So, if my kids love an exercise bike in disguise, what’s wrong with the real thing? Nothing! What’s great about this bike is it incorporates games not only as a way to keep your child excited about cycling, but also as a way to encourage learning. If you have been stuck at home virtual schooling your kids, you know how important that combination can be. If I can get my preschooler to sit down to learn, it’s a miracle. So if he can jump on a bike and learn at the same time….well that’s just amazing and worth every penny in my book. Buy it now
Growing up, I think we all had one of these, right? But for some reason, I don’t see hopper balls as much anymore. What I do see though is my three children fighting over my exercise ball on a daily basis trying to jump on it or over it. So, buying a hopper ball for each of them not only frees up my exercise equipment again, but it also is much safer as it is sized better for their small bodies. Plus, the handle makes it way more fun for bouncing all around. And honestly, is there anything more entertaining than watching a bunch of tiny kids trying to race each other as fast as they can on a hopper ball? I think not. Buy it now
Space Adventure Toy Shooter Game Set
This fun and engaging kit includes a standing target, a Space Blaster Toy Gun, and five foam balls, providing children aged 4-15 with an exciting shooting game that encourages physical activity, hand-eye coordination, and friendly competition. Its scoring options add an element of challenge, making it an ideal gift for both boys and girls who love space-themed adventures. Buy it now
Hover Soccer Ball
The Hover Soccer Ball is an excellent active toy for the entire family! It’s an indoor floating soccer ball with colorful LED lights and a soft foam bumper, offering hours of fun and physical activity for a wide age range, from 3 to 16 years old (and adults too, I love playing this game with my kids!) With its upgrade features, including rechargeable capabilities and a durable design, it’s an ideal gift choice for both boys and girls, providing endless entertainment during the holiday season. Buy it now
Toddler Basketball Hoop Stand Adjustable Height
The Toddler Basketball Hoop Stand and is adjustable so it can grow with your child and is suitable for children aged 3 to 8 years old. It can be used both outdoor and indoor for year-round play. Plus, it comes with a ball and pump, allowing kids to enjoy active sports and develop their basketball skills while having a blast during the holiday season. Buy it now
Atlasonix Dance Mat
We cannot get enough of this fun & portable dance mat. Specifically designed for children aged 4-8 years old, this dance pad is the perfect blend of active toy while boosting memory skills. It features LED lights, adjustable volume, built-in music, and offers an entertaining way for kids to express themselves through dance. Buy it now
If I had a top choice for an active toy this holiday season, it has to be TubeLox. I was so excited about this toy, I couldn’t wait for Christmas and gifted it to my kids early. And I am glad I did. This building toy is amazing. It’s like having life-sized Legos to build with. You can make everything from forts, to playgrounds, to a real go-cart you can steer. I love that TubeLox not only keeps my kids moving and way from screens, but they are also using critical thinking skills and creativity to determine what to build and how to put the pieces together. Another bonus with this toy is how easy it is to store. With some active toys for kids, they take up a lot of space and you can’t easily store them (I’m talking about you large plastic swing & slide that lives in my basement year-round). With TubeLox, you can build giant forts, but then take them apart and easily story the parts in a box or in the carrying case the website sells. It’s also a toy I feel my kids won’t outgrow anytime soon. Buy it now
The Best Outdoor Active Toys 2023
Water Slide Slip n Slide
This inflatable water slide offers endless fun in the backyard, providing a thrilling and refreshing experience for all ages. With its impressive size of 30×8.5ft, it guarantees hours of outdoor entertainment, making it a perfect gift choice for families looking to beat the summer heat. Buy it now
For younger kids, bounce houses offer a more portable option than traditional trampolines and can be used both indoors and outdoors. Since this bounce house is easy to deflate and fold, it is perfect for those who want to enjoy bouncing without the space commitment a trampoline would require. This bounce house offers hours of fun and comes complete with a storage case and compressor for easy set up and storage. Buy it now
For the gymnast or cheerleader in your family (or future tumbling star), air traks provide the ideal surface for practicing both beginner and more advanced tumbling moves. This air trak can be used both indoors and outdoors and is easy to deflate and fold for storage. Buy it now
Giant Inflatable Rolling Wheel
This inflatable rolling wheel is so much fun for toddlers and young kids. This active toy encourages balance, coordination, and strength while providing hours of fun. And since it is an inflatable, it is easy to fold and store as needed to save space. Buy it now
Corners Championship Ring Toss
I was introduced to Corners at a recent Toy Showcase and fell instantly in love. My kids also couldn’t get enough! Corners, which can be played indoor or outdoors, is the ultimate ring toss game that has unlimited scoring options like three-in-a-row, canceling your opponent, and instant wins. It is easy to play, but difficult to master, which makes it non-stop fun for the entire family. Buy it now
Inflatable Body Bubble
What could be more fun than bumping into your sibling or friend? How about if you are both inside an inflatable ball so you can bounce off of each other again and again in a safe way? That’s exactly what these bumper balls offer and they couldn’t be more fun! Just set them up and watch your kids play for hours to come. And since these bumper balls and inflatable, it is easy to deflate them and store so they take up little space in your home. Buy it now
Outdoor Climbing Dome
Outdoor climbing domes are not just for the park. Now you can have your very own right in your own backyard. This climbing dome can help your child to build upper body strength, coordination, and encourage hours of active outdoor play. Buy it now
Homotte Toss and Catch Set
This toss and catch game can be played anywhere from the beach to the backyard. I love that the velcro feature makes it an easy way to play with younger children who are still learning the concepts of catching and throwing as well as with older, more advanced children as well. The low cost, easy storage, and portability also make this a winning outside active toy as well! Buy it now
Outdoor Trampoline with Basketball Hoop & Enclosure
Is there any kid that doesn’t love a trampoline? Bouncing can provide endless hours of active play while building strength, endurance, and coordination. This ten foot trampoline comes with an enclosure for added safety as well as a basketball hoop to help even your youngest baller refine their shooting skills. Buy it now
Find the Perfect Active Toy
When it comes to ensuring your children stay active and engaged, the 2023 Best Active Toys for Kids gift guide has you covered.
With the holiday season fast approaching, there’s no better time to explore the exciting world of active toys that not only captivate your child’s imagination but also promote their physical well-being.
As a mom and healthcare professional, I understand the importance of keeping our kids active and healthy. From outdoor adventures to thrilling indoor games and top-notch sports equipment, this curated list offers something for every child.
So this holiday season, let’s make a conscious choice to give the gift of activity, fun, and fitness to the children we cherish most. By selecting from my recommended list of active toys, you’ll be contributing to their health, happiness, and unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.
Make this holiday season an active and exciting one for your kids, and watch them thrive in body and spirit.
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