We hope everyone had a very happy and safe thanksgiving, with lots of yummy food! One thing Thanksgiving always gets us thinking about is the holiday season and shopping for the best gifts that the kiddos in our lives will smile when opening!

Now, there are many kids these days who love screen time, video games, and everything electronic. Sometimes we hear parents saying “He loves the iPad” which is often followed with a statement about how worried they are that their child’s screen time is causing them to be less physically active and less interested in activities involving movement. First thing is first, if you’re reading this and nodding along, don’t worry, you are not alone! We are now in the technological age, and it is next to impossible to avoid screens. While it is important to limit screen time for a child who wants to use them 24/7, we can also use screens for movement!

Games involving screens are often very engaging, they involve a story line or a progression, many involve reaching goals and checkpoints, and usually very colorful. Studies show that when a child is engaged in an activity, their whole brain lights up, meaning their whole brain is being used and worked to complete a task and not just a small part of the brain. This means they are getting more out of the activity they are doing and making many connections in the brain! 

So, if you want to engage your video game lover in an activity that will keep their attention but also will make them move, try a game that combines movement with a screen. Don’t get us wrong, screens ALL the time is not what we are advocating for here, but using something your child loves to make movement seem more valuable to them might save you a few headaches here and there.

Here is a list of games that your little gamer is sure to love:

  1. Ring Fit Adventure on the Nintendo Switch: If you have a Switch, Ring Fit is an amazing game that makes the player use a pilates ring to strengthen their arms and legs while also squatting, running in place, and performing other great strengthening movements. It also does all of this while either taking the player through a virtual adventure or letting them play many mini games that rank score and performance! 

Find out more here: https://ringfitadventure.nintendo.com/

  1. BoBo balance disk on the Ipad: The Bobo uses a wobbly balance disk and pairs with the ipad to show the player what their feet are doing in a variety of fun games that challenge balance on two feet or one foot! Use the discount Bobo30 at checkout for 30% off!

Find out more here: https://bobo-balance.com/

  1. Just Dance: This is a great game that has been around for a while and is so lively and fun. Multiple players can dance at a time, and it uses current pop music to get every member of the family moving and grooving! It is compatible with many different types of game systems, including the Switch, Wii, Xbox360, Xbox One, and newer versions of playstation.

Find out more here: https://www.ubisoft.com/en-us/game/just-dance/2021

  1. Arms: Arms is a futuristic boxing game made for Nintendo Switch that has players boxing with very colorful and creative characters, and though it was not originally designed as a fitness game, it will make each player work! Tip for this one, kids who know how to switch the controls to let them play without physically boxing might do so, so watch out for this and encourage them to play standing to get them working.

Find out more here: https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/arms-switch/

  1. Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved: This is a game that would be perfect for any music or disney lover who is a little bit on the older end. The player controls or conducts music with their hand motions, and this music includes pop and classical symphonies. This game is great for coordination of hand and arm movement and is compatible with Xbox360 or XboxOne

Find out more here: https://www.amazon.com/Disney-Fantasia-Music-Evolved-Xbox-One/dp/B00KVLPNL4

  1. Beat Sabre: If your child is SUPER techy and you are planning on buying something like a virtual reality system as a holiday gift, then this game is a perfect addition that will keep your child moving while they figure out all of that new tech! This game has the player slicing through different shapes to a particular beat, with many directional changes and varied difficulties. The combination of music, movement, and changes in direction are great for working on coordination of the whole body while having a blast!

Find out more here: https://beatsaber.com/

  1. Pokemon GO: Pokemon GO is a free app your child can download onto apple devices that requires them to walk around and explore the great outdoors to find Pokemon, grow and hatch eggs, and battle with other players. Time outdoors has been shown to improve attention and decrease stress level. It is definitely smart to supervise younger children while they are out and about playing this one, because you never know where a pokemon is going to turn up, and you want to make sure they’re being safe at all times!

Find out more here: https://www.pokemongo.com/en-us/

  1. Just Dance Now: This app pairs a phone with an internet connected device, like a computer, and uses the phone as a handheld controller to sense the players’ dance moves. This game, like other Just Dance platforms, is dancing fun for the whole family, and you can use devices you already own to play it!

Find out more here: https://justdancenow.com/

  1. Zombies, Run! This game inspires players to KEEP RUNNING as they are the lead in a zombie narrative, and are trying to stay alive! This game is great for any child who loves adventure and is most appropriate for children who are 12 years old and older due to content and activity level.

Find out more here: https://zombiesrungame.com/

  1. GoNoodle: Go noodle is a database of movement videos and activities that are designed for fun movement that works the brain AND the body and are used within many Kindergarten to 5th grade classroom environments as brain breaks. Parents can create an account that has a “Champ”, an avatar that grows as children earn points through completing activities, which helps with long term engagement too! 

Find out more here: https://www.gonoodle.com/

Have fun moving together and if you find more movement games please share them with the Kid PT community!

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *