Staying busy in the summer can come with different challenges, with your child not having the predictable routine of school and scheduled activities to keep him or her moving.
How do you keep your child moving and active when he or she has more free time than in the past nine months? Take advantage of the great outdoors.
Staying physically active over the summer months is important for your child’s overall growth and development. Regular physical activity allows your child the opportunity to use movement to reduce the amount of time spent with a screen. It also builds socialization and self-esteem skills through collaborative play with others, and it can have a positive impact on your child’s mood.
These are all great benefits, but how do we achieve them? See below for a list of ideas to keep your child busy and moving this summer.
- Neighborhood scavenger hunt: Try this with the whole family split up into teams with the same list of items to find in a specific area. A scavenger hunt can even be done indoors if it is raining. Write up clues and hide them around your home. Kids race to find each clue, leading them to a small prize at the end.
- Hide-n-seek: This classic game will keep the whole family moving. Keep even the little ones involved by pairing up younger children with older children or adults to help teach them to rules of the game.
- Gardening: Stay busy all summer by planting a garden. Get started by picking out seeds or starter plants. Help them keep the area free of weeds, regularly water the plants, and enjoy the produce the plants will produce. This combines movement with science for even more brain development benefits.
Stay cool while enjoying the outdoors
As you find yourself outside more, it is important to stay safe. When playing outdoors in the summer months, be sure to pay attention to the temperature.
- Stay in shaded areas during peak sunlight hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Use sunscreen and sun-protective clothing. Use both as directed.
- Drink water frequently to stay well hydrated.
- Find fun ways to play in the water: Set up the sprinkler in the backyard, or fill a water table.
Summer is a fun-filled time with many activities that come around once per year. Get outside and enjoy all your favorite activities while staying safe.