The days are gone when the only thing gamers exercised was their thumbs. A new generation of active games has quickly become one of the hottest things kids do – alone and with friends and family. From dancing games like Dance Dance Revolution, to the Wii Sports and Wii Fit games, kids now can burn calories and get fit while they’re having fun.

Active Gaming from Common Sense Media on Vimeo.

As kids get older, many get less physically active. Those who aren’t on sports teams only have school P.E. to keep them fit – and that’s simply not enough. Sadly, our kids are part of the heaviest generation in history. And it’s hard to tell your kids they are overweight. Getting them involved in a game that gets them moving might be a better way to tackle a thorny problem that no parent and child enjoy discussing. It can achieve what you desire for your kids without making them mad at you for criticizing how they look. And for kids who aren’t overweight – these games are so much fun and are so social that they are great alternatives to the more vegetative activities like watching movies or YouTube videos.

Pick videos that get your sofa slouches moving.

Kids will play what you buy for them.

Get games that they can play alone – or with friends or family.

You never know what mood they’ll be in.

Make sure the games are age-appropriate.

You don’t want to frustrate younger players who aren’t coordinated enough or have them singing lyrics that are best sung by adults.

Don’t let game life trump real life.

Kids still need to play exercise, whether it’s in a gym, on a field, or at a playground.

Play with your kids.

Even if you think they don’t want to see their mothers or fathers rocking out… once they are over the shock of seeing your moves, they will love spending the time together.

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Updated: April 2, 2015