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Gifts for the Youngest Runners on your List

Finding holiday gifts this year might be a little tricky — especially if you’re trying to avoid crowds, staying away from entertainment centers, or hoping to shop online. And shopping for kids? Always a challenge. So here are a few items I can recommend based on things we’ve tried with my kiddos during the pandemic.

Fitness equipment for kids: Order them their very own yoga mat, 1-lb weights, and light medicine ball and invite them to join in when you’re stretching or doing bodyweight exercises at home. Having size-appropriate equipment will make it more fun and safe, and they’ll learn how to stretch and strengthen their bodies on their own.

Books: I love gifting books because it will either become an oft-read treasure, something to learn from, or a community gift that can be shared with friends. Here are three suggestions:

  • Fauja Singh Keeps Going by Simran Jeet Singh – We reviewed this book here on Run Oregon and then got a copy to read over and over again. Read our review here.
  • The Colton’s Pocket Dragon Series by Rebecca Massey is a fun take on American History, but with a dragon and a time machine, so it will inspire your kids to make up their own adventures. They’re good to read aloud to the little ones or for ages 8-12 to read on their own, with short paragraphs and straightforward text that keeps the action moving.
  • Shane Burcaw’s book, Not So Different: What You Really Want to Ask About Having a Disability is a great book for kids to “meet” someone with different abilities. It’s also an introduction to his nonprofit, Laughing at My Nightmare, which helps teach kindness and respect to kids while providing needed equipment to people with Muscular Dystrophy.

Creation Kits: There are many of these types of kits that you can order online (we get Kiwi Crate for our kindergartner) or make on your own if you want to create a fun gift. Think of something that interests you, search online for a few DIY activities, and then gather the supplies, write instructions, and wrap it up for a fun learning experience you can share.

Community Race Course: This is a running blog, of course, so we couldn’t leave this out. All you’ll need is some sidewalk chalk, or work with your neighbors if you want to create some “permanent signage.” Simply map out a safe route for your kiddos to run, based on their age and what will keep it fun, and work with your kids to create a start and finish line, course arrows, and of course, motivational signs. You could add “meter markers” or mark off tenths of miles. Doing it together will be fun and give them ownership in the entire thing. Once it’s done, invite their classmates and neighbors to run it on their own time. You can even use the course yourself to do intervals or speedwork!

About Kelly Barten (1149 Articles)
I started the Run Oregon blog in February 2007, because I felt like running in Oregon and SW Washington deserved more positive coverage. I also wanted to level the playing field so that small, non-profit races could compete with big events; and to support LOCAL race organizers. I'm a Creighton Bluejay (undergrad) and an Oregon Duck (Sports Marketing MBA), and I live in Tigard with my husband and two kids. My "real job" is working for an incredibly awesome math textbook company doing marketing and production.

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