Active Toys for School-Age Kids

Encourage kids to be active by providing school-age appropriate toys, games, and sports equipment that motivate movement.

As you shop for kids' birthday or holiday gifts, make physical activity a priority.

Keep school-agers equipped with the latest gear for their favorite sports, stock their bookshelves with athletes' biographies and how-tos, and consider these cool games and toys too. Some are brand-new, and others are older but may be new to your household. Have fun!


Chrono Bomb

School-age toy: Chrono Bomb spy action game
Courtesy of Amazon

Your mission: Navigate a "laser" obstacle course to defuse a (make-believe) bomb! The lasers are really colored string, but touching them has consequences for players. The game comes with the clamps and string you'll need to create the course, plus a timer and the gear cards players collect along the way. Kids can play solo or with friends. Recommended for age 7 and up.


ShotTracker for Basketball

ShotTracker for basketball
Courtesy of Amazon

While not inexpensive, this cool wearable ShotTracker could encourage your athlete to put in a lot more training time. Using sensors on the net and on the player's wrist, the system automatically tracks shot attempts, baskets made, and misses. Use the free ShotTracker app to see your stats and share them with others. The app also includes suggested training drills.


Haba Dancing Eggs

Haba Dancing Eggs game
Haba USA

This game will crack you up! First catch the bouncing, dancing eggs, then hang on to them (with elbows, knees, or armpits) as you circle the table or complete another physical challenge. Don't drop your eggs--or let them get grabbed by an egg thief!


Hearthsong Light-Up Air Soccer

Light-up Air Soccer
Courtesy of Amazon

This soccer ball does more than bounce. It hovers, ricochets off walls and furniture, and even lights up! It works indoors or out, on any smooth surface, so kids can practice soccer skills all year round. Recommended for ages 5 and up.


Weplay Maze Balance Board

WePlay maze balance board
Courtesy of Amazon

Adapted from equipment used by physical therapists, maze balance boards are deceptively challenging. Kids must use their legs and feet to maneuver balls through a maze as they balance upright. Sturdy enough for adults to use too!


SKLZ Pro Mini Hoop Basketball Hoop System

SKLZ Mini Pro Basketball Hoop
Courtesy of Amazon

If you have a kid who can't get enough hoops, consider replacing your flimsy indoor basketball hoop with this more durable over-the-door version. It looks just like the real deal and its spring-action "break-away" steel rim can even handle dunks. Comes with a mini basketball (5" diameter).


Boochie by Gamewright

Boochie game by Gamewright

Bravo! This souped-up, spruced-up twist on the Italian classic game of bocce is fun for the whole famiglia. Toss out the 12-sided foam target and then try to land your ball and hoop as close to it as possible. A scorekeeper worn on your wrist gives you a different throwing challenge every round.


Racers Ready

Racers Ready card game from FamilyTimeFun

Ready, set, challenge! This set of 52 active family challenges comes packed inside a big red whistle and makes a great, inexpensive gift. Challenges are creative and unexpected, get everyone moving, and use only simple household items. This game is also available in a deluxe version with more challenges and an electronic timer.


Monkey Business Sports Bungee Jumper

Monkey Business Bungee Jumper
Courtesy of Amazon

This soft foam pogo-style bouncer can support up to 250 pounds and is recommended for kids 5 and up. Just step on, grab the tethered handle, and start jumping! Use the Bungee Jumper indoors or out, and even to practice skateboarding tricks. The rebound foam is durable and slip-resistant, and won't mark up your floors.


Diggin Active Dodge Tag

Diggin Active Dodge Tag
Courtesy of Amazon

Remember playing dodgeball in the school gym? Ouch! Here's a better idea: Dodge Tag. Two players don adjustable mesh vests, then give chase, lobbing soft, safe balls. Stick one to your opponent's vest to score a hit.


Go! Go! Sports Girls

Go Go Sports Girl Suzi Swimmer
Courtesy of Amazon

These adorable, soft dolls are perfect for young, aspiring athletes. Choose from dolls representing basketball, soccer, cheerleading, tennis, dancing, gymnastics, and swimming (pictured). Each doll comes with a storybook. A portion of the profits from sales of these dolls goes to organizations that encourage girls to participate in physical activity and develop a healthy lifestyle.


Mattel Saucer Scramble

Mattel Saucer Scramble
Courtesy of Amazon

Watch out: You're under attack from flying saucers! Shoot them out of the spaceship base, then try to catch them in midair with the scoop. Play alone or with up to four competitors.

By Catherine Holecko
Catherine Holecko is an experienced freelance writer and editor who specializes in pregnancy, parenting, health and fitness.