7 Tips for Getting Your Kids Outside and Keeping Them Active This Summer
When it comes to summer and kids, too much relaxation and downtime can be a bad thing. While kids do need to relax after a busy school year, it’s important to maintain a balance and keep them active. In today’s screen-oriented culture, time spent outdoors is more infrequent than ever, and so activities in outdoor venues during the summer become especially important. Here are 7 great ideas for getting your kids out there and active all summer long.
- Start a family garden. Planting a garden and tending to it together as a family is a great project that will ensure plenty of time outside. Garden work is all about nurturing life and learning about the subtle relationships between plants, water, soil, and sunlight, and therefore, it can be educational on multiple levels. It will also teach your kids valuable lessons like where food comes from and how to cultivate it.
- Go hiking. Planning a weekly hike or a trip to a national or state park is a great way to get your kids outside and keep them active. Indeed, there are parks in every state, and many mountains and hills and valleys exist for you to explore. You can make the day trip even more interesting by planning fun stops along the way, stopping off at a scenic point or finding a place to have a picnic.
- Get everyone involved in the yard work. Ah . . . the dreaded yard work. But working in the yard needn’t be a chore at all, especially if the whole family participates! Try to make a game of it, seeing who can fill up the most leaf bags, running in the sprinklers, or taking breaks for a little game of catch. If your kids are older, consider paying them for their time. The exercise and fresh air they get will be well worth the investment.
- Break out the bikes. Summer is here and few things spell summer like going for a bike ride. This is especially true if you have bored kids at home who absolutely must get out of the house. The best way to ensure that bikes play a major role in summer fun is to start the summer out by having everyone’s bike tuned up and investing in some helmets so they are ready to roll. Make a point of riding around the neighborhood with them or at the local park the first couple of times, and then sit back and watch them head out on their bikes all summer long.
- Encourage entrepreneurship. Helping your kid to make a lemonade stand or Kool-Aid stand is a great outdoor summer activity that will simultaneously teach your kids about money and the value of hard work. You can throw in some arts and crafts in by making signs advertising their business and hanging them up all over the neighborhood.
- Join a team. Summer sports are the best, and summer is a great time to sign your kids up for a baseball, softball, or soccer team. Getting your kids outside and keeping them active is an easy task when they have weekly practices and games to attend. This is certainly a schedule that will keep them busy and away from the computer screen.
- Find a summer program. Summer is a great time to explore interests and grow hobbies, so finding a summer program for your kids that fosters these things is a great option. Look for programs that combine activities like art or music, with outdoor activities like sports, swimming, and hiking.
When planned right, summer can be a fun and exciting time for kids and parents alike. With a little forethought, you can make sure your kids get plenty of outdoor time and go back to school healthy and ready to learn