One of the most common complaints I hear about kids these days is that they don’t get enough outdoor activity, preferring instead indoor entertainment like playing video games or watching TV. In fact, there have been some startling statistics in the news recently about the health of today’s kids, with nearly 1/4 of them not getting enough daily activity. That number gets even worse as they approach their late teens.

But there is something to be done about it—let’s start having more fun outside! If you would like to encourage a child that you know to go outside and play more frequently, today’s article is all about giving kids gifts that will help them to do just that. Below are a number of great Toys and gifts that are sure to get Canadian kids off the couch and out into the fresh air. Read on for the full scoop.


Power Wheels

Although we’re currently enjoying (or not) another cold Canadian Winter, Spring and Summer will come back around again, and for many, those are the true outdoor seasons. For the smaller kids on your Christmas shopping list this year, the perfect outdoor item might just come from the Power Wheels & Powered Ride On Toys category. These powered ride-ons aren’t necessary related to exercise, but they are most definitely outdoor toys that will have your kids excited to go outside. In fact, the entire family might end up outside along with them—to supervise. These kinds of vehicles are sturdy enough for even the roughest of kids, can drive on multiple different surfaces, and frequently come with a variety of different features. Some even include a hand held remote control for parents to override their child’s driving if need be. Talk about some serous outdoor fun!



Skateboards have definitely received a tech makeover in the last few years with the introduction of electronic skateboards and hoverboards. However, if your goal is not only to get your child out into the fresh air, but also to get them a little bit of exercise while they’re there, why not try a more traditional skateboard?

Enter the Kobe 27″ Nickle Style Skateboard (In Purple with Pink Wheels). This funky skateboard is all about having fun. Made from high-quality materials and built to last, this board is 27 inches long and 6.2 inches wide with Abec 7 bearings and 60 mm wheels.

Let your child feel the wind in their hair and the sun on their face as this fun skateboard sneaks a bit of quality exercise into their unsuspecting lives. Also, don’t forget the safety equipment for this one—things like helmets and shin pads are an absolute must for all riders no matter their age or skill level. Beyond that, it’s all pure fun!


Jump Ropes

How about a skipping rope? Take a look at the Smart Rope LED-Enabled Jump Rope (X-Large – In Chrome) and see what you think of it. This inexpensive and fun piece of cardio vascular equipment can burn off the calories of a candy bar in just 15-20 minutes.

Everything old is new again with this tech inspired jump rope, and it might be just the thing to get the kids away from their video games and out into the sunshine. This techie jump rope works with a smart phone and syncs with the Smart Gym mobile platform to track your fitness data and goals.

One cool feature—for kids and adults alike, is that it displays your fitness data in mid-air as you exercise! How crazy is that?? What a great feature to keep the motivation up and the legs continually jumping.

This rope even records useful stats as you go along, such as your jump count and total calories burned. And it recharges via a micro USB port, so no batteries are necessary to acquire an impressive 36 hours of jumping time per charge. Of course, if this is all too techie for you, there are other, more traditional, jump ropes to choose from as well.


RC Vehicles

If the child you’re shopping for this year is mostly into tech toys, one surefire way to get them out the door is by getting them a radio controlled (RC) vehicle. While many tech toys are of the indoor variety, some, like RC Vehicles, demand to be taken outside because of their considerable speed and power.

Take, for example, the LaTrax Desert Prerunner 4WD 1/18 Scale RC Truck, which I couldn’t find a top speed reference for, but, from my own experience with similarly sized (and type) vehicles, I’m guessing is somewhere in the 32 Km/h (or 20mph) range.

This truck also comes complete with all-weather electronics (including a waterproof servo and weather-sealed receiver box), a 2.4GHz radio control system, a 370 brushed motor, electronic speed control (ESC), bellcrank steering, a fully independent front suspension, and oil-filled shocks for off road and rocky terrain—just to name a few of its top features.

This RC truck also has a rechargeable battery with a 15 minute running time (it might be worth picking up a spare battery or two if you want to keep them outside even longer) and is ready to run straight out of the box. It’s perfect for kids that love motor vehicles, monster trucks, auto racing, and the like, only this truck will give them the real experience. No helmet required!


Hockey Net

Were you the kid who played hockey in the back lane, shouting “Car!” when you needed to move the net to allow your neighbour’s car to squeak by? I know I was!

If you’d like your child to have that same, truly Canadian, experience, then look no further than to the Monster EZGoal Hockey Trainer Plus and give the gift of fitness and friendship this year with this awesome hockey net.

This versatile trainer features a backstop rebounder, net targets, and even a shooter tutor to help hone your child’s skills, making it the perfect backyard/driveway companion whether for simple puck shooting or playing a fun game of pick up hockey with friends.

The backstop rebounder helps prevent pesky pucks from causing unwanted mayhem by rebounding them back in towards the game action, and the entire system easily folds up for storage after play. In fact, it’s both easily storable, and highly portable, just in case you want to take it to the local playground to take advantage of a larger playing area.

Perfect for spending the day with friends or passing an afternoon alone, this is exactly the sort of thing I used to do myself when I was growing up. I spent literally thousands of hours shooting on nets (mostly that we built ourselves with 2x4s and fishing net) and playing 3 on 3 games of ball hockey with friends, so I can easily and highly recommend this one. Game on!



Finally, the last category I’d like to mention is that of Bicycles, which is definitely one that will get them outdoors and being active. The model I’m showing here is the Titan Docksider 45.7 cm Cruiser Bike, which is certainly a beautiful choice for the nearly grown up child.

Of course, choosing a bicycle is a very personal thing, so I just wanted to mention this category generally. If you’re thinking of getting someone a bicycle for Christmas, it might be a good idea to ask them about what kind of bike they like. After all, there are so many different types to choose from (cruisers, mountain bikes, minibikes, fat bikes, electric bikes, etc.).

If you make a wise choice, you’re virtually guaranteeing its continual use, so good luck in finding just the right model, and good luck in encouraging your kids to get outside and play more often, both now and in the coming new year. Happy Holidays!


Leonard Bond
Leo enjoys writing about everything from secret agents to tech toys and gadgets to professional hockey. Find his reviews and other product related commentary right here on the Best Buy Blog and his latest hockey rants at