While summer provides a great opportunity for family bonding and creating lasting memories, it can also be challenging to try to keep your kids entertained for such an extended period of time. Sure, you have video games and TV, but you know that’s not exactly healthy for them. So what can you do to keep your kids’ bodies active, while invigorating their brains and keeping your own sanity? Read on.
Here are 6 Fun Ways To Keep Kids Active All Summer Long
Enroll in The President’s Challenge
In order to motivate families across the country to get in shape, The President’s Challenge was created. Kids ages 6-17 pledge to engage in some type of physical activity for at least an hour per day, five days per week, for six out of the next eight weeks (for adults it’s only 30 minutes a day). They also must commit to making healthy food choices. You can all track your family’s progress online, and when completed, you can order reasonably priced awards (e.g. $3 medal, $9 t-shirt) for everyone.
Create a City Passport
Put together a makeshift passport for activities around your town, such as the children’s museum, zoo or community park. When you go to each location, have your kids collect a free souvenir they can tape or glue into their passport (pieces of brochures, maps or even a leaf). At the end of the summer they will have a unique way to remember how much fun they had.
Start a Rock Collection
Almost every kid loves collecting things. Children also need at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per day, according to LetsMove.gov, so why not combine the two? Take your children on a variety of hikes and nature walks around town, letting them choose one rock from each journey. Then create a special rock garden in your backyard for them to contribute to.
Make Shopping an Experience
Do you need to get some shopping done? This is a great opportunity to get your kids moving. Head to the local mall and turn it into a scavenger hunt. Create a quick checklist of items seen at almost every mall (shoe display, “50% off” sign, drinking fountain, etc.) and see which kid can find them all first. They will be having so much fun they won’t even realize they just walked the entire length of the mall.
Build Something Together
There’s no rule that says physical activity has to be in the form or walking or running. Doing a little home improvement project together is bound to burn plenty of calories, and it’s a great learning experience. Choose a project that will be relatively simple (select a free plan from a site like Woodworkers Workshop), like building a birdhouse or a toy chest together, and get to work. Have them help you measure, hammer in nails and complete any painting that needs to be done. Not only will it provide some excellent bonding time, your children will also end up with tangible proof of their hard work.
So many outdoor activities count as exercise. Bring a football or basketball along with you to the nearest park. Grab the swimsuits and head to the community pool. Pick up a kite and teach your kids how to fly it. Even just setting up the sprinkler in the front yard can provide hours of entertainment. Whatever you do, make sure you use ample sunscreen and bring along plenty of water so everyone stays hydrated.
Keeping your family active during the summer doesn’t have to seem like a chore. If you go about it like this, your kids will be begging to get off the couch and explore the world around them. By switching up the activities and encouraging creative thinking, you can all have a summer you won’t soon forget.
fun ways to keep kids active all summer
About the author:
David Reeves is the Marketing Director of Superior Recreational Products (SRP) in Carrollton, GA. For more than 30 years, Grounds For Play (http://www.groundsforplay.com/), a division of SRP, has had a focus on designing play environments that provide challenging mental and physical exercises specific to particular age groups. GFP play environments have become a standard for schools, apartment complexes, U.S. military installations and more.