When we think of summer we often think of kids riding their bikes, swimming, and playing outdoors. The reality these days is that kids are inside for much of the day instead. Keeping kids active during the summer isn’t hard, but it does take some dedication. It can be easy to let them sleep in after late night video game marathons or snuggle on the couch watching television. I’m sharing ten tips for keeping kids off the couch and active indoors and out.
Start a Routine
Don’t worry, your family’s summer routine doesn’t have to be the same as the school year routine. Early mornings aren’t necessary and obviously, homework hour can be ditched for the summer. A routine keeps kids bodies and minds on track for bedtime, wake up, and gives them energy throughout the day.
Eat a Healthy Breakfast
Waking up and diving into a sugary bowl of cereal is likely to lead to a crash in energy soon after. Make a healthy breakfast each morning or have nutritious foods available like fruit or oatmeal for kids to prepare breakfast themselves.
Schedule Screen Time
Instead of letting kids watch cartoons until late morning, schedule screen time for later in the day. If kids complain about missing their favorite morning cartoons, let them know you can dvr them for later. It’s likely that kids will opt to use their screen time to watch something else so that excuse won’t work for long!
Ditch Screen Time
It may seem impossible for your family to ditch daytime screen time altogether but taking it slow can make it easier for your kids and you! Instead of watching television, schedule an after dinner walk as a family. You’ll have time to talk without the distraction of electronic gadgets.
Send Kids Outdoors
Sometimes kids won’t head outside if they’re not told to go out and play. If you leave it up to them they’ll extend their lazy morning into a lazy afternoon. Tell them to go outside and build a fort, ride a bike, play hopscotch, basketball, or any other physical activity.
Sign Up for Camp
If your budget permits, summer camp can be a good way to get kids active and outdoors. Summer camps focus on a variety of activities so there’s sure to be a camp your child can enjoy. They’ll also enjoy meeting new friends and learning new skills.
Get Into Nature
Make a pledge to spend a specific time in nature each week. Plan family hikes, trips to the beach, bike rides, or just a day at the park. You’ll have fun memories to look back on as a family and get some exercise in the process.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Nothing sucks the energy out of a person like dehydration. Keep refillable water bottles for each member of the family in the refrigerator for a cool drink after outdoor play.
Use Apps to Get Active
Learn yoga, run a virtual marathon, and everything in between through apps on a smartphone or tablet. Whether you’re interested in family fitness, DIY, or survival skills, you’ll find plenty to keep kids active and engaged.
Get Enough Sleep
It can be easy to let kids stay up later during the summer months but that leaves them tired in the morning. Just like adults, kids who feel sluggish and drowsy aren’t likely to participate in an high energy activity. Make a point to get kids the recommended amount of hours of sleep per night so they have energy in the morning.
Getting kids active during the summer is easy if you make it fun! Adding family time to a balanced routine leaves kids with enough energy to stay active throughout the day.