The end of the school year can cause excitement for kids, and panic for parents. As a parent, the last thing you want your child doing all summer is sitting around watching TV. But, planning fun activities can sometimes be a challenge. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, kids need at least an hour of physical activity a day, so why not get creative and make it a family affair? Here, we give you ten ideas to get up and get moving with your kids this summer!
1. Make it a reward. It’s no secret that kids love being rewarded for everything. Why not use a fun activity, like a trip to the pool, as a treat for helping around the house? When framed as something positive, rather than an obligation, physical activity becomes something they look forward to (hint: this works for you too, parents!).
2. Run a 5K. Check your local paper for upcoming races or find a cause that’s close to your heart and run in support of it. Train as a family in the weeks before and see who can improve their time the most.
3. Workout at home. It’s raining outside, the baby’s asleep, or you just don’t feel like getting dressed (we won’t tell anyone!). Whatever the reason, sometimes your family is stuck indoors and you’re all going a bit stir-crazy. Try a live streaming at-home fitness class like “Power Yoga” or “Mommy and Me in the Kitchen” and put all that balled-up energy to good use!
4. Find a new bike path. Looking for a new surrounding for your family activities? TrailLink.com shows you walking and biking paths in your area, along with maps and GPS for each trail. This is a great way to mix up your family’s monotonous daily routine. Look up the trails in your area and take a nature walk with your kids. Make it educational by collecting interesting leaves and rocks along the way and researching and identifying them once you get home.
5. Pack a healthy picnic. Studies show that families with balanced eating habits are more likely to live a healthier lifestyle in general. Teach your kids good habits when they’re young by showing them what a proper diet consists of. Make it fun by throwing it all in a picnic basket and spending the day at the park.
6. Get the dog in on the fun. Rather than gathering around the TV after dinner, munching on snacks and watching TV, grab Spot and make a new tradition to go for a family walk around the neighborhood. This is great bonding time, and an excellent way to boost your metabolism after dinner.
7. Check out the neighborhood pool. Need an activity for a hot summer day that doesn’t include sitting around in the A/C? Why not take a walk or bike ride over to the pool? Splashing around is a great way to keep cool, while also getting some physical activity.
8. Set TV limits. While it may not be possible to drag your kid away from the TV all summer long, setting time limits ensures that they are getting in at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily. By having fun activities planned ahead of time, they may decide themselves that sitting in front of the tube isn’t the most fun way to spend their vacation.
9. Monkey around. Take a day to be silly with your kids! The playground is the perfect place to have fun and get in some physical activity. Swing on the monkey bars, climb towers, go on a scavenger hunt! Your children will have so much fun – they won’t even realize they’re getting a work out!
10. Get competitive. Have a family that competes for everything? Utilize their competitive nature and make a game of it! Grab a ball and head to the park for a family game of soccer, or break out the sidewalk chalk and hold an extreme hopscotch tournament. Winner gets to choose what’s for dinner!
Whatever activities you choose, remember to get out and be active this summer with your kids! Not only is it good for your health and theirs, but it can also be a fun time to bond with your family and create lasting memories. Now, that makes for a healthy heart!