Summer is a great time to explore new adventures and spend time with your family. Whether it’s a bike ride in the park or a picnic in the backyard, take the time to participate in and enjoy the warm and sunny weather while you can. Go at your own pace and have fun! Below are a few examples of summer activities to with the kids around the house:
Find Neighborhood Fun
Neighborhood activities are a great way to get active with your kids as well as meet other families in your area with similar interests. Find games that can involve everyone of all age ranges and skill levels, like soccer, whiffle ball, T-ball or kickball. Are the kids not into sports? Setup a friendly game of hide –and–seek at the local playground or arrange a friendly game of flashlight tag in your own backyard.
Summer camp is an activity that can engage children throughout the day, leaving parents with free time to run errands or work. Whether it is a week-long camp, day camp, local camp or one that must be travelled to – they are a great way to get kids involved! Unsure where to begin? Local YMCA facilities are a good place to start. Also check with college gymnasiums, church and youth groups, as well as your local community centers for more information on availability.
Backyard Obstacle Course
Celebrate the upcoming games by gathering the neighborhood kids and creating your own backyard obstacle course challenge. Use items from around the house or visit a dollar store for inexpensive finds. Jump ropes and hula hoops can all help create a fun course your kids will love. Place pool noodles between chairs for mini-hurdles and end the course with a refreshing dive into a slip ‘n slide!
Active Vacation Spots
Consider destinations that offer a variety of outdoor physical activities, such as water skiing, swimming or hiking. Some spots have volleyball and tennis courts that provide a fun way for family members to exercise together. Visiting local zoos, nature exhibits and museums or exploring nearby cities and landmarks are great ways for the family to stay active and educated during the summer months.
Most importantly, HAVE FUN with whatever activities you choose! It makes physical activity not seem like exercise and will make it more likely that you will engage in the activity on a regular basis.
What summer fun activity does your family most enjoy?
This article was written by Ellen Sviland, MS, RD, CNSD, LD, a pediatric dietitian from Washington, DC. She balances her daily hospital work life with cooking (her favorite is baking desserts) and with a part-time job counseling patients.