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Pick an Inexpensive Active Toy

These low-cost goodies pack a powerful fitness punch.


Updated November 01, 2013

Sure, a brand-new bike, scooter, snowboard, or soccer goal will inspire physical play—but you can also encourage kids with smaller, simpler, and much cheaper active toys. Try these small-size, but high-impact gifts to inspire action. Pair with a healthy snack for a fresh take on a stocking stuffer, report-card reward, or birthday party goodie bag, Or pile a bunch into a basket or gym bag for an active-themed present.

  1. Bubble solution and wands
  2. Jump rope (classic or the stretchy Chinese kind)
  3. Ball: Look for adorable, animal-faced balls from Gertie for little ones (Compare Prices), or the innovative Phlat ball from Toysmith for bigger kids—it changes from a disk to a ball mid-flight (Compare Prices).
  4. Diving sticks or pool rings
  5. Goggles for swimming or skiing
  6. Sports trading cards
  7. Paperback books about sports or athletes
  8. MP3 gift card (such as iTunes) for tweens and teens who like to take music along on walks or workouts
  9. FitDeck playing cards (Compare Prices)
  10. Sand toys
  11. Passes or membership cards to an ice rink, bowling alley, driving range, etc.
  12. Coupons good for family play—a game of catch in the backyard or trip to the playground, for example
  13. Pedometer
  14. Cool-weather gear such as earmuffs, mittens, hats, and socks
  15. Flip-flops or travel-sized toiletries for the locker room
  16. Sunhat or sunglasses
  17. Reusable water bottle (stainless steel or BPA-free plastic)
  18. Sidewalk chalk


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