Understand that I am happily in the “throw the kids outside periodically and let them figure it out” camp of kids and exercise; I think that for many kids, that’s all it takes to make sure they’re moving around enough. But for some kids, you have to get a little more creative. And if you have a kid who’d rather be on the computer, then GeoPalz is for you.
GeoPalz sells cool character pedometers and then gives kids an online world where logging their steps helps them travel further, win “awards” (printables) and even win real prizes–most of which are “stay active” items like jump ropes and sport balls, though they’ve recently added store gift cards as an option as well.
I like the appeal of a pedometer a kid might find cool, and I love that the website is fun for kids without providing so much “stuff” that they’ll then want to spend hours on it. (*coughcoughWebkinzcough*) They can log in and report their steps every day, or have the option to have their tally divided over the days since their last login, and the more they walk, the more they can earn.
Be aware that parents have to pay shipping and handling on the real prizes, so my guess is that GeoPalz will work best with kids little enough to be happy with a certificate or slightly older kids who may be willing to pony up their own allowance for shipping, but I still think this one may get lots of otherwise couch-potato-y kids out in the sunshine. -Mir