One of the biggest challenges parents face is finding ways to get the kids to put down their tech and get moving (as you know, most pediatricians recommend that children get at least an hour of exercise every day). Here are a few great ways that are guaranteed to get the kids rockin’ and rollin’.
Space Scooter X580 (SpaceScooter)
Regular kick scooters are great fun, but it’s hard to make them go really, really fast. Plus, unless your kids are ambidextrous, they’re exercising only one leg—and wearing out their shoes unevenly. The Space Scooter, which you propel by rocking back and forth on the platform, teeter-totter style, assures an exhilaratingly fast ride and a more symmetrical workout. Just pump, and you’re flying (well, scooting). And with its 200-pound capacity, you can get in a workout of your own. Ages 8+. About $149 at Amazon and other retailers. https://spacescooter-usa.com
3-in-1 Trampoline (SmarTrike)
In recent years, more and more manufacturers are producing toys and games that “grow” and adapt as your child gets older. Aside from being convenient, that comes as a welcome relief to mom’s and dad’s wallet. SmarTrike’s 3-in-1 Trampoline is a perfect example. For the littlest kids, it starts off as a ball pit (a slew of colored balls are included). Then, when your little one is ready to bounce but still needs a bit of support, the pit converts to a training trampoline with a safety bar to hold. You can remove the bar whenever you feel your child is ready. This well-made activity center will provide years of fun for your growing child. Ages 10 months to 5 years. About $70 at Toys R Us or http://www.smartrike.com
Lollipop and Dazzle (SmarTrike)
Lollipop is actually three trikes in one. The first is more of a stroller, but it has foot rests and lets your toddler sit up in a padded seat. When the child hits about 24 months, the vehicle morphs into a training trike, which allows kids to pedal on their own but has a handle that gives the adult on the other end of it a way to steer. At stage three, remove the parent handle and your child is ready to ride without your interference (and yes, that’s the way kids see it). Dazzle is five trikes in one. The starting and end points are the same as Lollipop’s, but there are a few other subtle steps in between. Both are for ages 10 to 30 months. Lollipop is available exclusively at Walmart. Dazzle is available for under $130 at Amazon and other retailers or http://www.smartrike.com
If you ever had one of those tilting wooden labyrinths, you probably remember spending hours trying to navigate that metal ball from point A to point B without having it fall through one of those annoying holes. Maze operates on much the same principle, but there’s so much more to it. It all starts with you designing your own maze, using the reusable paper grids and wooden walls that you can put anywhere you want. Then the real fun begins. You can roll the ball through your maze or, better yet, use the Maze app to take a picture of it. Then you can customize the look, add obstacles, selfies, and a lot more. Then—if you have an iPhone or iPad—you can use the virtual reality viewer to take yourself inside the maze. While not quite as physical as the other products in this column, it still requires a lot of squirming and wiggling to maneuver through the maze. Under $60. https://www.seedling.com