With the arrival of spring and summer just around the corner, kids are looking forward to summer vacation. With all the extra free time, it is important to encourage your children to stay active and not let the summer go to waste by sitting in front of the TV, computer or other devices.
Summer is a great time to go outside and be active. So lather on some sunscreen and head outside! Children six years and under are encouraged to enjoy daily physical activity such as running, jumping, skipping, and other more natural forms of exercise. Children ages six to seventeen are able to exercise at a higher intensity for up to sixty minutes per day, five days per week.
Here is a list of fun and family orientated activities for you to try this summer.
- Wash the family car or organize a car wash. This is a great way to have fun, get outside, and use your major muscle groups. Not to mention, the kids could earn some money for themselves or for a favorite charity.
- Plant a garden. Kids will love helping with the planting, weeding, watering, and harvesting. They will be able to enjoy the outdoors and get exercise without even realizing it. This is a great opportunity to educate your children on the different types of fruits and vegetables and how important they are for a nutritious diet. Children that actively participate in the garden and making meals are more likely to taste and enjoy eating fruits and veggies.
- Go swimming. Whether it is at the pool or the lake, swimming is a great form of exercise. Make sure to follow the necessary safety guidelines such as: never leaving your children unattended, no diving in shallow water, and wearing sunscreen.
- Plan active family vacations. Go camping, even if it is in your own backyard. Encourage your children to explore the outdoors by walking, biking, and hiking. This will allow your children to use their imagination while engaging in physical activity.
- Have a Ball! Participating in different sporting events is a great way to be active, get the entire family involved, and have fun. There are several different forms of activities such as softball, volleyball, football, Frisbee, and soccer. Make sure to take advantage of the great summer programs available, such as T-Ball and baseball. These programs help provide children with a healthy and active summer experience. They are also a wonderful way for kids to socialize with others.
These are just a few ideas of the different fun, family-orientated summer activities you can participate in with your children. By incorporating physical activity into your family routine, your children may learn some valuable lifelong positive health habits.
The MCC Health Office