For kids, the arrival of summer has always meant the beginning of several weeks of lounging on the couch, watching TV, going to the movies and eating junk food. While all that sounds like the perfect vacation to your kids, letting them idle about all summer will not only make it difficult for them to get back into their school routine, but it will also make them unhealthier. If you’re looking for ideas, here are some great ways to keep your kids active, fit and entertained during the summer.
Sign them up for a summer sport
If you’re worried that your kids won’t get enough exercise, a summer sports camp is the perfect way to get them on their feet. Sports like soccer and baseball often have summer camps where kids will make friends and stay active. A sports camp will improve a kid’s social skills and athletic ability. That’s a double plus!
Take them camping
Nothing is more refreshing and engaging than heading into the great outdoors. Regular camping trips will teach kids to be more independent and better attuned to the sights of nature. On camping trips, you can take your kids on a nature walk to identify birds, an intense hike to a natural landmark like a waterfall or a leisurely swim in the nearby lake. Any of these things will get your kids moving around and involved in educational fun.
While this one might seem less fun than the previous suggestions, getting children involved in household chores will teach them about responsibility while keeping them busy. Even though some parents prefer not to pay their kids for household chores, giving them an incentive to do the work will make things go smoothly. Depending on how old they are, the tougher tasks should have clear expectations and rewards.
Make a schedule of fun family activities
Sometimes keeping kids active is as simple as making a schedule for a “fun activity” each day. This could involve something like a bike ride, pickup basketball match, game of tag or walk around the block. Kids find it much more rewarding and much easier to engage in activities with their family instead of doing things alone. Family activities will also help keep your family bonding during a time when relatives might get on each others nerves.
Get them toys!
It might seem counter intuitive to buy your kids toys if you want them to stay sociable and active, but toys are great devices for getting kids exercising without even realizing. For example, toys like footballs, Frisbees, hula hoops, water slides and jump ropes encourage liveliness. Also, a video game like the Nintendo Wii functions by getting people to mimic sports movements and is particularly fun for kids of all ages. Giving them options other than watching television is the first step to making your kids healthier and more active.
Timothy Martinez Jr. is a freelance writer and contributes to a number of blogs, including the official blog of Camping Gear Outlet.