As the weather gets warmer and the school year ends, many families are thinking about scheduling summer activities. For kids of all ages, this might include summer camps, family travel, learning a new hobby or playing a sport. While summer activities can be a great way for children to stay physically active, summer fitness doesn’t have to be scheduled.
There are plenty of activities that families and children of all ages can do around the house or the neighborhood to stay physically active during the summer. Simple things like just going to the park together are a great way to keep kids active, especially if you can walk or ride a bike to the park.
Here are a few summer fitness ideas for families:
Go for a Walk – Walking around the neighborhood is a great way to exercise as a family, and making the walk engaging can be fun for everyone. Turn your neighborhood stroll into an adventure walk by adding a scavenger hunt component. Have kids look for a certain number or type of objects or point out things in the neighborhood that start with each letter of the alphabet. You can also work together as a family to learn more about the world around you by identifying plants and animals.
Build a Home Obstacle Course – Home obstacles courses are a mix of fitness and family fun. Using objects from around the house, work together to design an obstacle course in the yard, and then take turns attempting to complete the course. Try out different combinations, difficulty levels, or instructions.
Rainy Day Fitness – For those days when the sun isn’t shining, there are plenty of things children and families can do to stay active indoors. A home obstacle course is still possible with some adaptations. Yoga is also an option for indoor exercise. Yoga is such a great activity for kids. It promotes a lot of connection to your body, it provides a lot of calm, a lot of stretching and strengthening, so it’s a great all-around activity. And parents can do it, too.
Safety is always an important consideration when doing physical activity, and there are certain things to keep in mind when exercising with children.
Choose age-appropriate activities and items. A home obstacle course for a two-year-old is going to look different from a home obstacle course for a 10-year-old. Don’t put kids in a position to do things outside of their physical skill levels.
Pay attention to children’s safety, and understand kids are attuned to their own body’s limits. Take breaks from strenuous activities like swimming or jumping on a trampoline, and listen if your child says they’re ready to stop exercising.
Stay alert. If you’re walking in the neighborhood, have smaller children hold your hand so they can’t wander into the street. During any sort of water activity, don’t ever put children into a situation where they could be over their heads.
Additional water safety tips include walking instead of running on pool decks and ensuring that backyard pools have fences or other safety guards around them.
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