Get Off the Couch!

Are we breeding couch potatoes? Are our kids being babysat by TV, computer and video games? Well, many of us would arguably agree. Studies show that the average child spends up to a third of their day watching the tube. A third! (I, too, admit to allowing the TV to “watch” my oldest child here and there.)

Inactivity in children can contribute to childhood obesity, lead to a multitude of chronic illnesses, and poor performance and low participation in school. What can we as parents do? How do we get our kids off the couch (or computer desk) and doing something active? It’s almost summer, the sun is shining and the birds are chirping, so here’s a thought – go outside and play with them. It’s really is cost efficient and improves everyone’s mood. Plus, physical exercise helps tire them out more so they (you) sleep more soundly.

I know that some of our busy and hectic schedules don’t allow us much time (or even daylight hours for that matter) for us to go out with our kids, but maybe you could invest in a toy that promotes activity, like a trampoline, a bike, or something a little cheaper and less dangerous:

From International Playthings’ proprietary iPlay line, the Soccer Trainer encourages the active play that children need.
When I received the iPlay Soccer Trainer in the mail, it got me thinking that my son needed more active play and not just outdoor time (although that is a better alternative to watching TV).  Though it’s probably not something I would personally go out and purchase for him, I do like it now that I have it.
My son turns three next month, so he’s no professional soccer player, but he does enjoy it over just about every other sport.  This toy gets him active and helps him to develop the necessary skills without me having to play fletch with the ball 101 times.  That means no more balls going into the street or getting stuck in the neighbor’s bushes!  Mommy likes that!
I would imagine that the slightly older child can use it as a tool to fine tune skills as well, but I’d personally prefer it for the beginner or younger child.  I guess an older child could use it indoors when the weather is bad and still wants to kick around a ball without breaking everything in the house.
  • The Soccer Trainer has a weight base that you can fill with sand or water.  Though I initially thought it was small, it does it job quite well.  It also has a handle on base, so it’s easy to carry even when it’s filled up.
  • There’s an easy to inflate 8-inch soccer ball (pump included).  The total set up took me less than 5 minutes from start to finish (that includes opening the package).
  • A 62-inch bungee cord keeps the ball from running away.  The child can practice alone or two people can kick back to each other.  The ball rebounds back, making goal practice easy.  You can save and shoot continuously on the goal.
Recommended Age: 3+ years

Retail Price: $19.99
Where to Buy One: You can look at the International Playthings website for a listing of retailers, but I also know that Amazon sells one.

Whatever you do, get your child out there and moving today!

Disclaimer: The sample product(s) reviewed was provided free of charge. I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose, nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product. The views and opinions expressed in this post are solely that of VoM, and are completely honest and without influence. I have reviewed this product because I like it and think it would benefit my readers. To view our full policy, click here.

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