Think Beyond the Wish List and Get Moving

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Don’t just ask your kids what they want for Christmas this year. Consider what gifts would be most beneficial to them. At Families Managing Media, we want to encourage you to AIM higher when it comes to gift giving this year. In other words, shop for items that will encourage Attachment to family, promote Imagination and encourage Movement. This week, we’re discussing “movement.”

Children’s brains need movement to develop properly, but due to technology overuse, many children are not getting the daily physical play and movement they need. Your child was born to move! He was not born to win every game or even be good at sports, but he was born to move a lot. Kids’ brains need movement to develop properly. The scientific research is so clear that technology overuse does not help our kids move at all.

It is hard to play with screens and be outside and move a lot. Unplug your kids and get them something to spark a new outdoor interest this Christmas.

Here is a sampling of our favorite gifts that help with fitness and coordination, and will also provide movement and fun for hours on end!


We say that every child should get some sort of ball for Christmas every year. Depending on his or her interests, this could be:

  • Football (traditional, Nerf, or one specifically for use in water)
  • Bag of baseballs
  • Whiffle balls
  • Soccer ball
  • Basketball
  • Tennis balls
  • Playground / four square ball
  • Tetherball set
  • Box of ping pong balls and paddle
  • Box of handballs

Sporting equipment

Get creative with sports! There are so many opportunities for kids to move and be active. If your child already loves a particular sport, perhaps Christmas is the time to focus on that passion. Or, introduce your child to something new. Challenges help strengthen neural pathways and teach important life lessons. Consider: 

  • Tennis racquet and lessons
  • Golf clubs and lessons
  • Baseball bag with bat, glove, cap and batting cage tokens
  • Pitching machine
  • Basketball hoops for driveway and bedroom
  • Archery equipment
  • Dartboard
  • Bike
  • Pogo stick
  • Indo Board balance board
  • Scooter
  • RipStik
  • Disk golf case with disks
  • Hacky Sack
  • Frisbee
  • Jump rope
  • Hula hoop
  • Skates (inline or ice)
  • Street hockey nets and equipment
  • Dance attire and lessons
  • Pool/beach/water sport equipment
  • Ski equipment and clothing
  • Snow sled or saucer
  • Helmets and knee pads
  • Gym rings to install in a doorway or garage

Backyard games

The whole family can get involved with backyard games. And, playing games together as a family can lead to conversations you wouldn’t have had otherwise (even with your teen!). Try one of these ideas:

  • Bocce ball
  • Badminton
  • Volleyball
  • Croquet
  • Zip line
  • Slackline

Remember, childhood doesn’t last forever. It’s a time of rapid growth and brain development, and an opportunity to create lasting relationships and memories. So, give gifts that encourage and foster just that!

Need more gift ideas? Take a look at our Attachment and Imagination lists that we shared a few weeks ago.

If you need help reducing the screen conflicts in your home, please reach out to us we can help. We have tips and solutions for fixing screen problems and reclaiming childhood. Sign up for our next Screen Solutions Workshop, Jan. 25 at