Christmas List for Active Families and the Health Enthused

We are getting close to Christmas..... like, reallllll close. It can be hard to know what to get for the active family, or the family that is trying to bump down the grasps of technology and do more outside. This is a short list of the Game Changers in our family, including for my nephews who are older than my kids. I'll keep adding as I think of stuff that has made a difference. So keep checking back! **Disclaimer: Yes, there are many affiliate links here. The price doesn't change, but a small percentage gets kicked back to me to allow me to continue spending time writing in my blog. It's like purchasing from a small business, with the convenience of the internet and PRIME shipping ;-) **


Christmas Gifts for Active Kids

Zycom Scooter: This scooter is a game changer. It is inexpensive, sturdy, and uses a very cool balance/suspension system. Your child will learn to shift their weight to guide direction rather than to just turn the handles. Colt got this last Christmas righ before he turned 2 and was zooming down driveways within two months!

Huggle Pod: The Huggle Pod is great to encourage an outdoor snuggle space to curl up with a book or play pretend and it doubles as a safe swing. A big hit at our house!

Gonge River Stones: These don't look like much but we have had a blast seeing if we can jump (one footed or two footed) or "cross a river full of sharks" (hey, shit happens... sharks in rivers is truly terrifying!).

SmartTrike: This thing is awesome to grow with kids. It starts as something you push and the pedals and steering are locked off. Eventually you can click on pedals and steering but still have a handle for when they get tired. Then you remove all that and you have an independent tricycle. Bam!

ENKEEO Beginner Skateboard: The ENKEEO Skateboard is a super fave in our house. The wheels don’t just spin out when the board kicks out from underneath. The wheels move a bit slower, too. Basically, it’s just a bit more slow motion version to give kids a chance to learn how the whole skateboard thing works. My 21 month old rides it on his belly. The 4 yr old (almost) stands on it and pushes himself from one object to another. My nephews- 6, 7, and 11 yrs- are all learning to ride on this one too.

Tumbling/Wrestling Mat: This folds out quickly and easily for indoor fun like tumbling and wrestling.

Kid's Workout Set: I. LOVE. THIS..... 'nuf said!

Vtech Kid's Digital Camera: This is what I got my nephews last year. They have shown a lot of interest in taking pictures and it’s a great way to get out hiking more!

Think Fun Move and Groove Dance Game: OMG!! So much fun for toddlers and a great way to be active together and get some laughs as a family on the level of the littlest member… maybe a hilarioud drinking game too? Hahahaha!!

Seek A Boo: We take this one on every vacation. Set the pieces far away and make it where participants have to sprint out to look for a match... Face up matching for Little People, Face Down for Memory work for older kids and adults.

Alphabet Bean Bags: We use these for different tossing and running games. You can spread them in the yard and call out a letter for your child to run and grab and bring back. We also use them to toss onto matching letters written in chalk. Of course you have to do Jumping Jacks if you miss ;-) Finally, and most popularly, we toss them at these blow up Penguins which are also a favorite yard toy!

Trail-A-Bike: We got this for Christmas in 2017 and our oldest wasn’t quite tall enough yet. He could balance on the seat but it just didn’t feel safe enough to leave the neighborhood. At almost 4 yrs old, he can finally reach and the whole world has opened up for us! For the family bike ride, this is fantastic! We go after dinner many nights of the week. Colt is attached to Super Mark and I have the baby on me with THIS BABY SEAT. <—- I personally love this baby seat but I caution that my son started riding a big kid swing at 18 months and I feel very sure of his ability to sit in this seat without slipping out.

Strider Bike: We have one of these for both of the boys. They both started working on them around 18 months old. My oldest was cruising on a pedal bike at 3 without training wheels thanks to this balance bike! He still loves the Strider bike for doing tricks and it’s the one we take when we go on vacation because it is small and can ride on most surfaces.

Kid's Stocking Stuffers

Thinking Putty: My son plays with this in the car and stroller. It is special just for those places and he loves it!

Yum Lollipops: It's still candy. But when you CAN do better, you should.

Tree Hugger Gum: This is the gum he chews. It's still a treat but he loves to pick out his color/flavor.

Mash ems: I have no idea why these are the best thing on Earth. But Colt says they are....

Christmas Gifts for an Active Family

For the WHOLE FAMILY these FIT Kicks are great! We use them for hiking, the skate park, romping at the park and playing in the gym. They allow natural foot movement and strength with a protective, gripping sole. I am also obsessed with Xero Shoes. These shoes allow for natural foot movement and are so comfy. I love the Lena for a casual tennis shoe that looks really cute! HINT: Get the Stone or Mocha color!

Merrell Vapor Glove- I have turned so many people onto this shoe! It has tons of space in the forefoot, a comfy ride, and they really last. Do NOT use these as pavement running shoes!!

The Ninja Line has been a great way for all of us to have fun in the yard and get movement in together. We paired ours with a Slack line.

For a mom with a toddler or young child and a baby, there is no thing more amazing than the Ergo Baby. This has been the ONLY way I have survived. Yes, it is expensive... and worth EVERY SINGLE PENNY. Research shows that wearing the baby in a forward position is really stressful on the developing hips of the baby. Wearing the baby facing in helps with the correct positioning and development.... plus, you can absolutely nurse the baby IN the Ergo Baby while doing stuff or just to relieve the "nursing neck." This is a life saver. I can't say it enough.

Merrell Vapor Glove: I have turned so many people onto this shoe. It’s great for trail running and hiking. But it’s also a perfect minimal shoe for the gym! The wide forefoot allows the toes to breathe and move. The best shoe ever!!


We have been enjoying spending more time in nature, which means camping. This Camp Grill is GREAT and these Lucy Lights are fantastic, too! If you are shopping for a family that loves camping or sitting around the fire, it could be fun to do a basket with some Marshmallow skewers, these Dandies Marshmallows (free of HFCS, dyes, and stuff like that), and some camp coffee mugs.

For families that enjoy being in the woods together this interactive book, On The Nature Trail: What Will You Find? is a wonderful little book with fun activities. It comes with a little magnifying glass and you earn “badges” with each thing you complete. After a great hike, we love to come home and check out interesting finds in our Explanatorium. The pictures in this thick reference (which you can usually get for under $30) are unbelievable and the information is in easy to digest chunks.

Eric Carl recently came out with a lesser known book that is a favorite in our house. Little Cloud is a sweet and quick read and a great intro for looking at the clouds and finding imaginary pictures!

In November, our Nature School hosted a Nature Exploration Book Club. We featured this beautiful book- A Walk Through the Woods-. What a beautiful book! Your kids will love exploring the pictures, practicing Fox Feet and Deer Ears, and whispering with the trees. We paired it with some Jumbo Magnifying Glasses and Bug Catchers. It was a BIG HIT!

For the Healthy Cook

Doghouse Forge: This is an extravagant gift. Every piece is completely handmade and absolutely beautiful. I have one knife.... and it's the only knife I use. This is not an affiliate link of any kind. It is just that their stuff is absolutely the most beautiful gift ever for someone who loves to cook.

Bamboo Lettuce Knife: This thing is cool and functional.

Fermenting Lids for Mason Jars and The Vinegar Revival make a beautiful and thoughtful combo!

For the Kombucha lover... a Kit to make it at home!

I use my Mortal and Pestle constantly for fresh spices and pastes. THIS ONE can be personalized, too. You might pair it with some interesting spices like coriander, allspice, cumin seeds, and more.

Another extravagant one, but this Brod and Taylor knife sharpener (seen in pic above) looks cool while also being the actual best one you can get!

My kids love a good “ice cream party” and I like to be a cool mom. Who doesn’t? The Yonana is likely a past fad and a forgotten stroke of genius. You should have one. We have “ice cream” ALL the time combining bananas with any other fruit to create a delicious and satisfying treat.

Books I LOVE lately: (For the relaxed part of your healthy lifestyle…)

The Lost City of the Monkey God- A five-hundred-year-old legend. An ancient curse. A stunning medical mystery. And a pioneering journey into the unknown heart of the world's densest jungle. Three quarters of a century later, bestselling author Doug Preston joined a team of scientists on a groundbreaking new quest. In 2012 he climbed aboard a rickety, single-engine plane carrying the machine that would change everything: lidar, a highly advanced, classified technology that could map the terrain under the densest rainforest canopy. In an unexplored valley ringed by steep mountains, that flight revealed the unmistakable image of a sprawling metropolis, tantalizing evidence of not just an undiscovered city but an enigmatic, lost civilization.

The Last Kingdom Series- i read this entire series without stopping… like never even set it down while cooking or brushing my teeth. I then gave it to my Dad and Brother who both did the same. It is AWESOME!

Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging- Combining history, psychology, and anthropology, TRIBE explores what we can learn from tribal societies about loyalty, belonging, and the eternal human quest for meaning. It explains the irony that-for many veterans as well as civilians-war feels better than peace, adversity can turn out to be a blessing, and disasters are sometimes remembered more fondly than weddings or tropical vacations. TRIBE explains why we are stronger when we come together, and how that can be achieved even in today's divided world.

The Mindful Carnivore: A Vegetarian’s Search for Sustenance- Through his personal quest, Tovar Cerulli bridges disparate worldviews and questions moral certainties, challenging both the behavior of many hunters and the illusion of blamelessness maintained by many vegetarians. In this time of intensifying concern over ecological degradation, how do we make peace with the fact that, even in growing organic vegetables, life is sustained by death? Drawing on personal anecdotes, philosophy, history and religion, Cerulli shows how America’s overly sanitized habits of consumption and disconnection with our food have resulted in so many of the health and environmental crises we now face.

For Nerds:

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind- From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.” One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us?

The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health and Disease- Daniel E. Lieberman gives us a lucid and engaging account of how the human body evolved over millions of years. He illuminates the major transformations that contributed to key adaptations to the body: the rise of bipedalism; the shift to a non-fruit-based diet; the advent of hunting and gathering; and how cultural changes like the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions have impacted us physically. He shows how the increasing disparity between the jumble of adaptations in our Stone Age bodies and advancements in the modern world is occasioning a paradox: greater longevity but increased chronic disease.