With balloons in hands. African american kid have fun in the field at summer daytime
With balloons in hands. African american kid have fun in the field at summer daytime Credit: standrets via 123RF

Let’s face it — television and video games are entertaining. While some screen time can be a good part of your family’s routine, it’s important to balance that with plenty of active, outdoor play.

Sports Equipment

Having the right equipment can make it easy for kids to turn off the screens and head out the door. Choose to invest in a few key pieces so your kids have options when they need to burn off that extra energy.


Getting out on a bicycle is one of the best forms of activity for the whole family. Kids can practice in the driveway or backyard until they’re ready to circle the neighborhood with an adult. Don’t overlook a bike’s versatility, either. Most children’s models can handle a bit of sand or grass, so try an outing to the local park or nature center for an extended adventure.


Scooters are ubiquitous right now. There are three-wheeled versions for the youngest kids, scooters with seats for siblings to share, and models with flashy additions like LED lights. A scooter is easier to store than a bicycle, so opt for this equipment if you’re in a small space.

Roller Skates

This popular pastime from decades gone by is making the rounds again. You can find adjustable roller skates to fit any shoe size; even the youngest kids can wear skates over their regular shoes. Skating takes some practice, so your kids will be encouraged to get active daily if they want to improve. Make sure to invest in elbow and knee pads if you’re worried about scrapes.

Adventure Gear

Sometimes it’s easier to get away from the screens and head outside if there’s an adventure on the horizon. Grab a few supplies and let your kids take the lead.


It may not seem obvious, but a pair of binoculars can encourage your kids to get outside and be active. Exploring the backyard can feel novel when you have a different point of view. Beyond your own property, binoculars will encourage the kids to run in every direction in search of a new bird, bug, or bloom.

Rain Boots and Umbrella

Get the kids a fun pair of rain boots and a colorful umbrella. These items may not seem like much, but your kids will bolt for the door when that storm hits. If the weather isn’t wet enough in your area, let them splash in the kiddie pool or a bucket out back!

Bug Catcher

Give the kids an outdoor goal! Inexpensive bug boxes make it easy for kids to catch, observe, and release the critters in your area. Tracking an insect and planning a humane capture takes lots of skill. Your kids will use gross and fine motor skills alongside stealth maneuvers to grab the best bugs in the yard.


A good pair of walkie-talkies can inspire so much outdoor play. Practice with the equipment inside the house first so you trust your kids to communicate effectively out in the field. They’ll want to go on adventures to test the signal strength! Walkie-talkies are a good tool for allowing a bit more independence, too. You can let the kids run ahead at the park, knowing they can easily check in with you.

Cute afro girl smiling broadly outdoors.
Cute afro girl smiling broadly outdoors, having picnic with parents and enjoying summer day in park. Credit: milkos via 123RF

Fun and Games

Getting active shouldn’t feel like work. Invest in a few new activities to encourage your kids to choose an energetic game rather than the TV.

Dance Mat

Inspired by real-life dance challenges, these dance mats are a fun way for creative kids to get active. You can find versions that offer a variety of songs, skill levels, and designs to match your family’s needs best. Most mats are easy to move around, so let the kids take their dancing fun out to the patio or even to the park.

Activity Tracker Watch

Kids love nothing more than feeling grown up. With their own activity trackers, they’ll be excited to meet the movement goals you set every day. Some watches come with additional features, like reminders to drink water, that can help your kids develop lifelong healthy habits.

Ninja Course Supplies

If you have the space outside, investing in a ninja course for your kids will pay off immensely. These sets come with various items to help make a customizable obstacle course. With everything from zip lines to tree ladders, a ninja set can provide hours of entertainment for the whole family. The best sets will adjust with your kids for many years as they grow, so the investment is worth it.

Even just a few of these supplies will make it easier for your kids to choose an hour of active play rather than another episode.