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Summer's best kid-friendly fitness gadgets

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

Kid-friendly fitness gadgets

School's out for summer, and for many children it means lazing on the couch in front of the computer or TV for three months. Before being sedentary becomes the norm, get your kids excited to exercise with these fun kid-friendly fitness gadgets that get them outside to have fun in the sun. Who doesn't want that?

Ringstix

Ringstix

(ringstix.com, $20)

Your entire neighborhood will flock to play this exciting, active game. RingStix is essentially an amped-up game of ring toss with the swashbuckling of a sword fight! Each player holds two slightly curved 25-inch sticks and passes a ring to another player in a sequence of moves. Your kids ages 10 and up can play RingStix on land and in the water, and will get a great cardiovascular workout while improving their hand-eye coordination, balance and flexibility.

GeoPalz Activity Tracker

GeoPalz Activity Tracker

(geopalz.com, $25)

Having trouble getting your kids to turn from gaming and work their muscles instead of just their minds? The GeoPalz activity tracker turns being physically active into a game and even comes with prizes. A decorative tri-axis accelerometer, the GeoPalz tracker, which comes in nearly two dozen designs, clips to your child's shoe or hip and monitors activity throughout the day for up to 21 days. Those steps are converted into points, and prizes are available to kids based on points received. To track the whole family, GeoPalz.com features a Family Area. The kids use the GeoPalz, but moms, dads and older kids can also get into the fun by importing data from devices like the FitBit or Nike Plus.

Zing Air Storm Z-X Cross Bow

Zing Air Storm ZX Cross Bow

(target.com, $20)

For boys and girls who enjoy archery practice, the ZX Cross Bow not only gets them outdoors to fine-tune their skills, it also requires that they shoot and retrieve their ammo. Using Power Swing technology, the bow arms on the ZX open for action and send suction-cupped arrows, called Zartz, over 45 feet away. This cross bow also comes with built-in arrow clips to keep Zartz at the ready.

Coursing Around

Coursing Around

(coursingaround.com, $15)

The fun fitness-boosting book for children, Coursing Around isn't just a read-only book on how to exercise, it actually gets kids on their feet to chalk-draw more than a dozen courses on the sidewalk so they can run, hop, step, stretch and more. Coursing Around, an iParenting Media Award winner, is a sidewalk-chalk drawing activity book (that comes with two pieces of chalk), designed to incorporate physical, mental, creative and social skills. This invaluable book even has an exercise key, with 22 kid-friendly exercise moves to work your kids' whole body. Kids learn about fitness, shapes, following directions, sharing and teamwork. You'll find yourself wanting to join in on the hop, skip and jump fun.

SWIMP3.2G

SWIMP3.2G

(finisinc.com, $160)

Definitely for the older kids in your family, this waterproof MP3 player ups the incentive to jump in the pool and swim. This fancy fitness gadget delivers the highest-quality underwater sound, no earbuds required, with its bone-conduction transmission. It has 2GB storage capability and attaches easily to goggle straps, so it doesn't cramp your swimmer's style.

Bushnell 10x50 PermaFocus Free Wide Angle Binoculars

Bushnell 10x50 PermaFocus Free Wide-Angle Binoculars

(hayneedle.com, $60)

Instead of just telling your kids to go outside and play, turn their outdoor time into an adventure. Hand them a set of binoculars and a list of things to find in your yard, the park, the beach or a local trail. This particular model of Bushnell binoculars features focus-free operation, making it ideal for kids. They just aim and the binoculars focus for them. Ergonomic rubber armoring provides durability and a slip-resistant grip. Partner the binoculars with a journal and encourage your adventurous child to write down observations or imaginative stories related to the things they find with their binocs.

Children’s SPIbelt

Children’s SPIbelt

(store.spibelt.com, starts at $17)

When your kiddo is on the move, the last thing she wants to do is lug around a backpack or bag. The Children's SPIbelt helps kids hold their ID, iPods, a few dollars, medical supplies such as inhalers or EpiPens, phones and keys. With important items stowed securely around your child’s waist, she can enjoy her outdoor time. SPIbelt won't ride or shift while your child is participating in vigorous activities. The Children's SPIbelt fits waist size 14 to 23 inches. Some models also feature a pass-through hole for use with a diabetic pump.

CamelBak eddy Kids Reusable Water Bottle

CamelBak eddy Kids' Reusable Water Bottle

(camelbak.com, $13)

Keep your kiddos safely hydrated with CamelBak's BPA-free, stain-resistant and taste-free eddy reusable bottle. Kid-sized, fun and easy to clean, this kid-friendly water tote comes in six eye-catching colors and is ready for any adventure.

Kiwi Crate

Kiwi Crate

(kiwicrate.com, $20)

Physical fitness isn't the only component of your children's health during the summer. Since school isn't in session, give your kiddos a Kiwi Crate of brain-training fun. Trust us, your kids will go beyond sitting at the table to do their Kiwi Crate projects, which range from Fun with Dinosaurs and Colors to Pirate Adventures and Under the Sea. Each crate gives your child everything he needs to complete a variety of creative crafts related to the theme. Join Kiwi Crate and get a new kit every month to engage your child's brain all summer and beyond.

Sharkies Organic Fruit Chews

Sharkies Organic Fruit Chews

(amazon.com, $7)

Though these chews aren't a fitness gadget, we can't help but include them as the healthy alternative to sugar-only gummy candies. These tasty kid-friendly fruit chews are USDA-certified organic, are packed with 100 percent daily value of vitamin C and contain no high-fructose corn syrup, artificial dyes or flavors. Available in Berry Bites and Fruit Splash flavors, you can feel good about giving your kids a fat-, wheat-, gluten-, and nut-free snack while they are having fun in the sun.

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