Play Ideas

30+ General Gift Ideas to Promote Active Play

Baby, Toddler, Child, Preteen


Group Size: 
One Child, Two Children, Small Group

The holiday season is about many things to families. One of those things being the act of giving. Giving your time to help others, donating items to local food/toy drives, and giving gifts to loved ones.

Many kids are making endless wish lists. They are trying to figure out the perfect things to add, being sure not to leave out their favorites.

When I am picking gifts for my children and other kids in our family, I like to keep my focus on gifts that promote active play. Play brings families together, keeps kids moving and their imaginations growing. When my kids are making their lists, I always suggest various items to remind them it's not just about the hottest toys of the season.  It's also about things that require physical activity and imagination upon use. Extra bonus points for items and activities that the whole family can use together.

Here are over thirty general gift ideas that promote active play for kids:

  • Building blocks and stacking sets
  • Scooters
  • Bicycles
  • Bicycle accessories (bell, basket, lights)
  • Small trampoline
  • Dance or musical mat
  • Tumbling mat
  • Construction fort kits
  • Play tunnels

now sew hackey sack beanbags with smiley faces on them

  • Bean bags (you can even make your own bean bags)
  • Toss games (bean bag toss, ring toss, etc.)
  • Badminton set
  • Flying discs
  • Jump rope
  • Hula-hoop
  • Snow sled
  • Pogo stick
  • Hop ball

young boy playing in a wooden sandbox with colorful plastic shovels and buckets

  • Sand toys
  • Art supplies (markers, scissors, paint, pipe cleaners, wooden sticks, glue, smocks)
  • Molding clay or sand
  • Sidewalk Chalk
  • Toy bowling set
  • Skates
  • Science experiment kits

close up on a child's feet in soccer cleats with a soccer ball in front of a goal

  • Athletic shoes
  • Water bottle
  • Indoor golf or game sets
  • Fitness games
  • Sports balls or equipment (basketball, soccer ball, baseball bat or tee, tennis racquet, etc.)
  • Sports or dance lessons (gifted with corresponding equipment)
  • Memberships to local activity centers (paired with a corresponding gift such as shoes or games, depending what the center is)

Any gift that promotes active play, especially ones that aren't electronic, are always at the top of my giving lists each year. I encourage you to give the gift of play and inspire kids to stay active and fuel their imaginations.

Samantha King is a Play Ambassador for Let’s Play


Pledge to Play

Join the growing number of families who are getting out and getting active every week.


Pledges Made

Take the Pledge

Search form