Toy Variety Encourages Kids to Be Active: Study
June 6, 2011 | One of the perks of summer is that
kids across the country will take to their neighborhood streets, parks
and backyards to enjoy a season filled with physical, outdoor play. And
children who have more play options to choose from are bound to be the
most active and burn the most calories, according to a recent study
reported by HealthCanal.com.
Research led by a team at the University of Buffalo shows that kids
who have a greater variety of active toys to choose from play for a
longer period of time – and at a higher intensity – than
boys and girls who have fewer toys.
Researchers gave 36 children aged 8-12 three toy quantities (one toy,
three toys and five toys) to play with for 60 minutes and observed their
behaviors, heart rates and activity counts. Kids who had three or five
toys to choose from played 95 percent longer than those who simply had
one toy. Girls in particular engaged in more intensive active play than
boys who were given the same number of toys to play with.
“The results of this study are significant, considering the
epidemic of childhood obesity plaguing this country,” Denise Feda,
a postdoctoral associate at the University of Buffalo, told HealthCanal.com. “Adults looking for effective
ways to increase their child’s exercise time should take a look at
toy variety. Adding an active toy or two could help, especially for
girls. Girls can be motivated to engage in equal physical activity as
boys by simply providing them with a greater choice of active
The Toy Industry Association (TIA) has compiled a list of great active play toys to keep kids up and
moving during the summer months. For safe
summer play tips and more, visit ToyInfo.org.