Are your kids climbing the walls? Do you need ideas to keep them busy and help them burn off all that extra energy? Whether you need some time for self-care, housecleaning, or sneaking in a workout – toys that keep your children busy are a lifesaver! I have created this list of the best toys for active kids to keep them busy and having fun.
Toys that encourage physical activity and movement
As a “practical minimalist” I am not one to buy my children a ton of toys.
Instead, I look for high quality and engaging toys that my children will use for years to come.
Over the years I have created selection criteria to help me decide if a toy is worth bringing into my house.
Here are a few key features I look for when selecting toys:
- Encourage outdoor play
- Require movement
- Develop coordination
- Offer sensory input
- Inspire creativity and imagination
How Toys can Improve Behavior
Many toys on this list help to develop fine and gross motor skills.
Fine motor skills are small movements — such as picking up small objects and writing with a pencil — that use the small muscles of the fingers, toes, wrists, and face.
Gross motor skills are the bigger movements — such as jumping and balancing — that use the large muscles in the arms, legs, torso, and feet.
As a teacher, I see more and more students struggling with these issues. Without these skills kiddos have trouble writing, skipping, tying their shoes, and playing.
When children struggle with these basic skills they become easily frustrated. This can easily lead to tantrums, anxiety and anger.
However, when they are able to to master these skills it also helps them to become more confident and tolerate frustration more easily.
Also, kids who are active and are able to “get their energy out” tend to be more relaxed.
This gift guide is perfect for children with lots of energy, ADHD or sensory processing disorder
At the same time they also work great just to keep kids busy so you can take a shower too 😉
The Best Toys for Active Toddlers (Age 2-5 years)
Howdy Cow Inflatable Hopping Toy
A fun, healthy activity that develops their fitness, balance, and coordination. All while keeping them entertained. Perfect for ages 3 and up, they will definitely love this indoor/outdoor hopper! Made from extremely heavy duty durable eco-friendly material – soft rubber and phthalate free.
12’ Parachute for Kids
A super-fun parachute perfect for play and fort building. Promotes cooperative group play while helping to build muscles. Great for building upper body strength and can even be used as a beach or picnic blanket.
A simple, elegantly shaped and magically attractive toy. The Bilibo inspires creative, imaginative, limitless play. The shell shape and bright colors are immediately appealing, arousing curiosity, and attention.The award winning Bilibo was designed in Switzerland in conjunction with child development experts. Made from nontoxic, shatterproof polyethylene it is incredibly durable and appropriate for both indoor and outdoor play
Schwinn Transitional Toddler Bike
We have tried a lot of bicycles over the years and this was our favorite by far. There is a quick release seat post for fast growing kids. You can start off with training wheels and the “parent push” handle. Overtime, remove these and allow your kiddo to ride independently.
Step2 Up & Down Roller Coaster Ride On
This toy has been my sanity saver for years. We have used it inside, outside, down the hallway and for birthday parities. It’s a 10-foot long roller coaster ride on track, built for years of play outdoors or in the playroom. It has a recessed retainer well keeps ride on car in place during mounting. Also, the riding car has high back, handrail, and foot rests for riding securely down the track.
The Original Glow in the Dark Stomp Rocket Jr.
100% KID powered: Run, jump and STOMP to launch these rockets up to 100 feet in the air! The Jr. Glow Stomp Rockets glow-in-the-dark, so they stand out against a dark sky! The all-foam rockets are great for younger kids — ages 3 and up (versions for older children can be found in this post below).
The Best Toys for Active Kids (Age 5-8 years)
Perfect for the ultimate version of “The Floor is Lava”! Great for improving coordination and balance. Each side of the stones vary in steepness and difficulty. One of my favorite features is that the stones can be stacked for easy storage. There is also a rubber rim that prevents slipping – they thought of everything!
Sturdy Birdy Balancing Game
Winner of Preferred Choice Award by Creative Child Magazine and Parents’ Choice Award. This is a fun and silly game of striking poses and balancing seed bags. Helps children hone balance and coordination skills for better control. Improves gross motor skills, social interaction, self-esteem; No reading required, easy for the youngest in the family to join in the fun. Also helps strengthen number recognition and counting skills.
Your little adventurer can explore and discover from the peak of the summit. Looks just like a real rock climbing wall! Four different climbing surfaces create endless options and challenges. Also has two climbing cargo nets, one mid-level platform net and 12 junior hand grips.
This is the perfect option if your kiddo is a little older or taller if you were checking out the Step2 Roller Coaster above.
Recommended by occupational therapists and healthcare specialists! Bring the playground indoors. This playground can support up to 300lbs and does not required drilling any holes!
Help your little learners learn early coding concepts in this engaging, non-digital game. Your kiddo will hop, turn, step and jump their way across the activity mat as they practice their problem solving skills. This step-by-step approach is the perfect way to help youngsters understand the basics of coding. Plus, they’ll build their gross motor skills along the way.
My kiddos are always wanting me to “time them” as they run around the house. It is such a good tactic, that I even use it to get them to clean up or take baths “as fast as they can!” With this game they can set out the targets to design their own race course! Choose from 3 game modes: beat the clock, target tally and relay race!
Perfect for older kids- with this version they can challenge friends or siblings to see who can launch their rocket the highest. Perfect for burning off extra energy.
A wonderful giant top for hours of fun. Use it to rock from side to side, spin it, build a den, etc. Small children can even use it as a boat in the pool (only under adult supervision). Develops children’s physical coordination while they play. Made of strong plastic for both indoor and outdoor play. Very suitable for basic physical coordination training with disabled children. Raised edges prevent fingers from getting caught.
The Best Gifts for Active Kids (Ages 8-12 years)
Older kids will love playing Twister Moves Hip Hop Spots. Each time a light flashes, a player hops on that spot. To get the best score, they have to make sure they hit the spot in time to the beat! Twister Hip Hop Spots has 3 levels – Beginner, Advanced, and Pro. Once players have mastered the moves to 3 songs in 1 level, they’ll unlock the next one. After the final level, players will unlock Freestyle mode. No rules now — they can just have fun dancing! Kids can play solo or challenge a friend with this game.
The ultimate in Stomp Rocket performance! Kids 9 and older can launch these rockets up to 400 feet in the air — that’s longer than a football field, including the end zones! Stomp Rocket Super High Performance is strong and durable, and great for active, outdoor play. Stomp Rockets have won lots of awards from industry experts, including iParenting Media, Dr. Toy and Creative Child Magazine.
Zipfy is a uniquely designed rugged plastic snow sled with a distinctive lever used for stability and turning. With a low center of gravity and the rail design on the underbelly of the sled, riders can carve down the slopes simply by leaning into the turn while holding the center handle. Zipfy is compact, very light and easy to carry back up the hill.
Best Selling Sled on Amazon 2007, 2008, 2009 Top Toy of the Year Award 2009, 2010
Super versatile scooter that can be ridden on flat, smooth surfaces such snow, sand, grass (even carpet ), using one foot to push off the ground. Perfect for all season fun!
Any fan of Crossfit can fill you in on WOD, which stands for workout of the day. The WODDice® KIDS set is just the thing to get kids moving! These giant, brightly colored dice will attract kids of all ages who won’t be able to wait to pick them up and roll them. You can use a PVC pipe or wooden dowel for those too young for added weight, and then a barbell/kettlebell/dumbbell for those kids that are ready to kick things up a notch. All exercises have a demonstration video. The perfect gift for you little gym rat in training 😉
The perfect slackline kit for beginners. It can be set up in the back yard, park, campsite…basically anywhere you can find two suitable trees or anchor points!
- Improve leg strength, abdominal muscles, and core fitness.
- Increase balance skills and develop acrobatic abilities.
- Great meditative practice which can help with depression and anxiety among many other things.
Your Gift Guide for Active Kids
We still try to bundle up and get our wiggles out by going for a walk or stomping in puddles, but there are days it doesn’t work out. It’s also getting dark earlier, so by the time I get home it’s too late to play outside but still three more hours until bedtime. Whether you have little ones at home or you just need to keep them busy after school or on the weekends this gift guide for active kids is full of interactive and engaging toys.
Looking for some more gift ideas? There are more lists below!
Check out this great list of Perfect Gifts for Crafty Kids from Allie @ Vigoritout.com
Nicole @ CoffeeandCarpool has 21 Awesome Gift Ideas to Teach Kids The Alphabet
How about this Gift Guide for Couples from WaysoftheWeavers.com
Check out these quick and easy stocking stuffer ideas from Ashley @ Tiny Bird’s Nest
We would love to hear from you! What is your favorite way to keep your active kiddos busy? Please comment below!