Keeping Active Kids this Summer

Summer is here and school will sneak up on all of us before we know it! Need some ideas to keep your child active and moving? We’ve got you covered!  We wanted to present our readers with some fun ideas to get you and your kids out moving as a family.  Whether inside or outside, in a park or at home, out on the beach or in the snow, there is always a fun way stay active and it does not have to cost you a thing.

A day at the park:

  1. Go on a nature walk or explore a new trail. If you’re up for it, race back to the car!
  2. If you are near a body of water, rent a kayak or canoe for the day.
  3. Play some active games like red light/green light, red rover, or ‘duck duck goose”. How about a Frisbee match?
  4. Utilize public recreational facilities- shoot some hoops, get some friends for a softball or soccer game, play a little tennis, or just use some field space for some touch football.
  5. Make your own sports competitions! See who can hula hoop the longest, jump rope the fastest, or be the last one standing for a game of tag.

In the backyard:

  1. Take a bike ride throughout the neighborhood.
  2. Get a family pet and run/play/fetch with the pet so you can all get some exercise!
  3. There are plenty of family games that require no special or expensive props- hide & go seek, tug of war, dodgeball, hopscotch, long jump contest, or flying a kite.
  4. Gather some neighbors and have a nerf gun war!
  5. Plant and maintain a family garden. This will also create and reinforce a foundation of healthy eating for your child- more tips on this in an August nutrition seminar for kid nutrition coming soon!

Find the water:

  1. Hit the local swimming pool- there are tons of games you can play in the water! All you really need is an inflatable ball and you can come up with your own different games for hours.
  2. Have a diving contest off the diving board and make it fun with the entire family rating the dives with score cards.
  3. Compete with one another to get that heart rate going- swim races across the pool, see who can tread water the longest, who can touch the bottom of the pool and come back up the fastest, etc.
  4. Marco! Polo!
  5. Water balloon fight!!! Or a squirt gun war- both are equally hilarious and dangerous.

Multi-tasking, put your kids to work:

  1. Rainey days or super hot weather doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. There are plenty of indoor activities as well and it’s easy to combine fun exercising with housework.  Have a freeze tag game while sweeping or musical chairs by the vacuum running instead of music.
  2. Race to see who can dust the furniture in their bedrooms and/or pick up their rooms first and offer the winner a prize.
  3. Everything is more fun with music! Dance while doing chores or have a family dance off.
  4. Do a workout DVD together or play an active video game.
  5. Create a scavenger hunt in doors.

With such a long list of fun family physical activities, there’s something for everyone regardless of financial limitations, fitness level or skill set, or available free time.  The health of you and your child should be a priority.  Take advantage of this time off from school and set some goals for your family’s health journey right now!

Jessica Lindsey, RD/Katie Newton, MS, RDN

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