Summer is a time when school-age kids rejoice; it’s a break from classes, homework, and schedules. Free time equals lazy time, right? Well, maybe in the minds of the kids. However, allowing them to make every day of summer a lazy day can turn into a wasted summer with some unhealthy consequences. Wondering how you can have active kids this summer? We just so happen to have a few tips here to help you get your kids off of the sofa, away from their screens, and moving!
1 – Set the example.
Children who see their parents being active are more likely to be active themselves, so lace up those running shoes, pull out the yoga mat, or hop on your bicycle and get moving!
2 – Make exercise a family affair.
If everyone is exercising together, it will feel less like a chore and more like family fun. Gather everyone after dinner for an hour and go on a walk, ride bikes, take a trip to the park, shoot hoops in the driveway, or play tag in the backyard.
3 – Enroll your kids in a summer sports program.
A great way to have active kids in summer is to enroll them in summer sports programs. Sports programs will keep your kids on the move, and they also teach team-building, self-awareness, and relationship skills.
4 – Sign the kids up for a class…or two.
Not every kid fits on a sports team, but that doesn’t mean they can’t keep active. Martial arts, dance classes, or yoga classes are great ways to get your littles moving. As a bonus, they’ll also be learning about balance, stretching, and self-discipline. Swimming classes are a great option, too. Not only will they be great exercise, they’ll also help your kids keep cool in the summer heat and teach them some terrific safety tips.
5 – Go hiking as a family.
With the abundance of trails in our area, hiking is great way to have active kids over summer. Some trails have tougher terrain than others, so you’ll be able to adjust your routes and time out accordingly to cater to your family’s abilities. Hiking also offers a great opportunity to connect with nature, study nature first hand, and to simply enjoy the amazing nature we are surrounded with.
6 – Encourage your kids to participate in a charity 5k kids event.
Participating in summer charity runs is a great way to encourage active kids over summer. Many of them are walk or run events, so kids of any fitness level can participate. Having them actively participate in choosing the charity they’d like to support and asking others to support the cause for the effort encourages the spirit of giving and helping others. Top that off with the free swag that usually accompanies charity events, and the after parties full of fun kid activities, your child will be keeping busy, helping others, and having a blast all in one.
7 – Sign the kids up for day camps.
Lots of community organizations – including Elite Sports Clubs – offer day camps during the summer that encourage active kids to be just that; active.
8 – Keep outdoor toys on hand.
Keep a stash of balls, racquets, jump ropes, hula hoops, skateboards, Frisbees and such in your garage to guarantee your kids will always find something to do. Even something as simple as sidewalk chalk can encourage activity with fun games.
9 – Ditch the gadgets.
Set a maximum amount of time the kids can be on their gadgets/looking at screens each day. This will encourage them to be more creative with their time, and will likely send them outdoors to looking for active play.
10 – Invite their friends over.
Playing alone or with your little sister isn’t always ideal. Let them invite some neighborhood buddies and activity is bound to happen…especially if your garage is stocked full of fun outdoor toys!
11 – Make your own games.
Creativity coupled with fun outdoor activities will have your kids asking for more all summer long.
- Create a game using the hose: have your kids jump over the water or go under the stream for limbo to keep them cool in the summer heat, yet still, be moving.
- Organize relay races with your family and friends. Relays can include running, jumping, hopping, skipping, bear and crab crawls and more. Encourage your kids to choose the activity to keep them involved.
- Ask your kids to find ordinary objects around the house that they could turn into a fitness activity: a broom for jumping games or limbo, practicing bridges off the sofa, etc. Let them be creative!
- Make a fitness circuit outside using sidewalk chalk, jump ropes, and any other toys you might have on hand. Chalk stations in the driveway for activities like hopscotch, jump rope, jumping jacks, burpees, or whatever your physical activities your family can think up!
12 – Make it a challenge.
A little family competition never hurt! In fact, it just might encourage your kids – and you – to make keeping active a regular routine. Create a chart with a list of every family member and checkboxes for every day of the month. Have each family member check off the daily box when they’ve reached a minimum amount of activity each day (your family can determine a realistic daily goal for everyone). At the end of the week tally things up and see who was the most active. Reward the winner with something fun like a friends sleepover night, an extra trip to the beach, or a parents’ day off from chores.
This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.