Today, May 21st marks the first day of one of my favorite season – summer! By now many kids have been out of school for a few days and others are getting ready for the holiday to begin. Just as adults need to keep moving, making sure that are kids are getting loads of physical activity during the summer is just as important. While lying around watching TV, playing video games or sitting at the computer may sound like fun for many kids, parents or caregivers need to make sure kids are not using summer as an excuse to get lazy. Make sure our kids stay happy, healthy and fit with one or all of these summer fun activities:
- Buy active toys– forgo the video games for toys that will engage the kids in activities. A basketball and hoop, volleyball net, hoola hoop or pogo sticks are great toys that will keep kids moving.
- Invest in a trampoline– I call this the gift that keeps on giving! Kids can spend hours on a trampoline jumping, flipping, running and creating games with their friends. And they’re not just for kids. Parents can and should get on there too.
- Coordinate a neighborhood game– get together with the neighbors and organize weekly games for the kids. Then, alternate games for each day of the week. For example: Monday is hide-n-seek, Tuesday is a hop-scotch, Wednesday is co-ed dodge ball, Thursday is a side-walk chalk drawling competition, etc
- Invest in a Local Pool Pass or YMCA– Swimming is a great form of exercise and most kids really enjoy it. If not swimming in the pool, playing and just running around in the water is great physical activity.
- Bike, skate, blade or ride– Get the bikes out as a family and hit the trail. If bicycling is not an option, find a motor toy that your child loves. A scooter, skateboard, roller blades or roller skates are just a few options. But make sure they do not stay parked in the garage.
Whatever you choose to do for your physical activity this summer, make sure it is fun and make sure it is a family affair. When we teach our kids to enjoy games, human engagement and physical activity, we set them up for a future of health and happiness.