How to stay active with your kids for the rest of Summer
Without gym class and after school activities, it is always a challenge to help your children stay physically active during the summer months. And with the pandemic cancelling summer camps and sports teams, keeping kids moving is more difficult than ever this year.
Still, there are plenty of ways to keep your children active during the break – they simply require a little more ingenuity than usual on the part of parents and caregivers. Here are a few ideas to keep your kids (and you) moving for the last few weeks of Summer.
Arrange a neighborhood scavenger hunt
Make a list of common neighborhood landmarks and outdoor items, then send your children out to find them. Possible ideas could include a cute dog, a fire hydrant, a yard with a swing set, a red truck, etc. Be creative! You can even organize your kids and their friends into teams and encourage them to compete to see who can finish the list first. If your kids are older, send them with a smart phone so they can document their discoveries as they check them off on the list.
Plant a mini garden
We all know that kids love to dig around in the dirt, so why not embrace it? Set aside a small amount of space in your yard or in a planter for your children to sow their own tiny garden. Select a handful of flowers and vegetables are easy to grow and care for, then encourage your little ones to do the rest (with a little assistance, of course). Planting, watering, and harvesting will teach your children responsibility while also helping them to better understand where their food comes from.
Organize a picnic
A picnic is a great excuse to get outside and spend quality time with your family. All you need is a simple lunch to enjoy together and a blanket to sit on, of course. For post-lunch activities, a frisbee, soccer ball, bubbles, or a jump rope can be a fun way for the whole family to be active together. You can even invite another family or two for a socially distant visit!
Explore the natural world
Visit a nearby park or natural area and encourage your kids to search for different species of trees, plants, birds, and bugs. Not only does it get your children outside, but this activity is a great way to spark their natural curiosity, and it might even ignite a passion for nature. The best news? You don’t have to be a biologist to help them identify the species they see—these days, there are countless apps for that.
Create your own backyard Olympics
Even with the summer games postponed, you can still bring the Olympic spirit to your home with a fun back yard experience. Arrange a handful of simple athletic events around the yard, such as long jump, “discus” with a frisbee, or a 20m dash. And don’t feel constrained by traditional Olympic pastimes. Try sack races, jump rope competitions, tug-of-war, a hula-hoop competition, or a water balloon toss. Don’t forget to set up your makeshift podium to celebrate the champions!