During the long, warm summer months, keeping your children entertained can be hard work. It’s often challenging enough to keep them entertained for an evening, let alone keeping them physically active for weeks on end.
This is when kid’s clubs, craft activities, cooking, swimming, reading, singing, and more come into play.
Why is it important for kids to stay active?
Despite high temperatures, it’s important to stay active throughout the summer months if we wish to stay healthy. Experts recommend children get at least an hour of physical activity per day – this can be either structured or in the form of free play.
Preschool children require even more physical activity and ensuring they enjoy an active lifestyle boasts numerous health benefits, impacting upon them mentally, physically, and socially.
Regular exercise boosts many advantages for children, including:
• Increasing bone and muscle strength
• Heightening coordination
• Increasing flexibility and cardiovascular endurance
• Improving basic motor skills
• Lowering the risk of Type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease
• Heightening feelings of confidence and self-worth
• Better sleep quality
• Reducing depression and anxiety symptoms
• Enhancing concentration
• Boosting a child’s ability to focus – especially important for when they return to their studies after the summer
Fun-filled ways to stay active this summer
Activities at the beach or at your local swimming pool are recommended throughout the summer months. Why? Asides from using up some much-needed energy, they help our children to stay cool on warmer days.
You can even improvise and create your own mini beach or pool environment at home by investing in a small paddling pool, a lawn sprinkler, a slip, and slide, water hose, or water balloons.
10 top summer exercise tips for kids
It’s important to remember, that, unlike adults, the majority of children lack motivation when it comes to physical activity such as push-ups and crunches. This is why it’s important to keep it fun.
You can burn just as much energy running around the garden as you can in a gym. Fortunately, there are numerous fun-filled summer activities to choose from, some of which we’ve listed below…
Enjoy a family outing
From walking or jogging around the neighbourhood to hiking through the park or investing in a pair of rollerblades or bikes for all, there are plenty of ways to enjoy physical activity as an entire family.
Create an obstacle course
If you’re stuck at home, this doesn’t mean sitting on the sofa and watching TV all day. Instead, fashion your living room or garden (weather dependent) into an obstacle course using the likes of broomsticks, buckets, chairs, and balls. You can create several stations within the course and offer prizes to those who finish it first.
Encourage your kids to help with household tasks such as gardening and lawn work
Helping with mundane household chores can be made fun, and is a great way to teach your kids lifelong skills whilst helping them to stay active at the same time. From washing up to mowing the lawn, making the beds, or polishing cutlery, there are plenty of ways to make these everyday activities fun.
You can even incorporate music and dance into your cleaning routines. You may even wish to give small rewards to your children for completing tasks, as that way they might be encouraged to do them again in future.
Play traditional childhood games
From hide and seek to Simon Says, to eye spy, jump ropes and hula hoops, swapping games consoles and TVs for traditional childhood games is a great idea and one that allows your kids to rest their eyes and avoid staring at a screen all day.
Organize a dance party
Move furniture to clear the floor, blow up balloons and turn up the dance music. Encourage children to take turns stepping into the middle of the room and perform their favourite dance moves.
A tried and tested activity and one that can provide hours of fun! This is especially perfect for those who own sofas with removable cushions, as children can use these to build fort walls. Chairs, blankets, and sheets can also be used when it comes to creating barricades and tunnels.
Plan a scavenger hunt
Another option is to get your kids to take turns creating a scavenger hunt. A great activity if you wish to keep your child engaged and active for long periods of time. Plus, you make the clues as testing or as easy as you wish depending on how much time you want to make the scavenger hunt last.
Embrace “active” technology
Although technology isn’t advised at all times, incorporating it into certain activities can be a good thing. The likes of active video games that boast handheld devices complete with sensors that incorporate movement into games help to build physical reflexes. Interactive websites are another great source to turn to.
Sources: childrens.com, activekids.com
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