Getting kids excited about exercise can be tough, especially when many would rather tap and swipe than run and jump. Which is why Jakks Pacific’s new Little Mighty Runner Gym is so clever. A Nintendo Wii-esque interactive video game system that looks like a miniature treadmill, it allows kids to play on-screen games that require running and jumping, essentially tricking them into exercising.
The Little Mighty Runner Gym is pretty straightforward to use: Simply download the app on a smartphone or tablet (ioS, Android, or Kindle Fire), pair it with the Runner via Bluetooth, and lock the device into the adjustable holder. Once the app’s fired up, kids customize their avatars (clothes, hair, accessories, etc.) before choosing one of three games to play. It includes Track and Field (hurdles, long jump, 100-yard dash), Zombie Escape, and Amazon Adventure, the latter of which is a game where kids collect gold coins while dodging obstacles in a jungle and thankfully not a giant fulfillment center. The more coins one collects, the more new worlds are opened.
The Little Mighty Runner Gym is designed for kids ages 5 to 10 and holds up to 105 pounds. Although, again, it’s more a game/dance mat than an actual treadmill belt. (If you want to invest in a real kids treadmill, check out this one from Fun & Fitness.) The handrails can be raised four inches as Junior grows, and the whole thing disassembles for easy storage.