According to the CDD (Centers for Disease Control) childhood obesity rates among children ages 6 to 19 has tripled over the last three decades. Among 2 to 5 year olds, the rate of obesity has doubled in the same period of time. The CDC sites poor nutrition and lack of activity as the primary cause of this alarming trend.
So many of today's toys are designed to keep children sitting stationary. Just a few decades ago, it was common for kids to play outside with neighborhood friends from morning till night. But many parents today are hesitant to allow their kids out of the safety of the yard or house due to changing social norms. With so many chips stacked against them, how are kids supposed to fend off obesity? The toy choices we make as parents can have a dramatic impact on how active our kids are today and how active they remain in the future. Toys that inspire active play are a gift of health as well as fun.
Bounce & Jump Houses
If there is something kids love, it is getting some serious air. Bounce & jump houses won't only be a big hit at the birthday party itself, but long after the guests leave. Jump & bounce houses come in many different shapes, sizes, and styles that allow you to pick the safest and most fun enclosure for the size and shape of your backyard.
From inflatable water slides to enclosed trampolines, from bouncy ball pits to the safety of an octagonal trampoline, there are plenty of great choices that will surely delight your children and their friends not only all day, but also all summer and beyond.
Watch kids at school when the recess bell rings and you'll see them making a beeline for the swing sets. Kids get to play with swing sets for a limited amount of time while they are at school or when they are at the park. And even when at school or at the park, there are often more kids that want to play on the swing sets than there are swings. Bringing a swing set into the backyard provides hours of healthy, imaginative entertainment.
Swing sets allow children to build their social skills with others as they glide through the air, while getting important exercise and burning off some of that seemingly boundless energy. A swing set is a family friendly toy -- parents and kids can spend quality time swinging away the evening.
Dramatic Play Toys
Not every family has room in their yard for swing sets or bounce & jump houses -- but that doesn't mean that kids can't get plenty of healthy activity indoors. Unlike a video game where kids sit sedentary and live the action on the screen, dramatic play toys allow them to act out the action in real life. Dramatic play toys such as play kitchens, puppet theaters, and tee-pees and tents allow children to exercise their minds and their bodies.
As caretakers of today's youth, we have one more thing to worry about than parents of the past -- ensuring that our children get enough activity. Making smart choices when buying toys can make an incredible difference in the health of our children today and in the future.
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