Posted July 9, 2008 – Keeping kids physically active through the summer takes more than a pair of Nikes and a Wii. It’s going to take the creative minds of their parents.
Getting a child out to exercise is no easy feat. But here's the trick: don't preach about how he needs to get some fitness to stay healthy or warn him about how he’ll have health problems down the road. Instead say let’s go have some fun!
:: AD ::
Bring some healthy snacks and get out and enjoy the summer sun. Here are some suggestions from the Vancouver Sun and other sources. Remember, though, start with baby steps and if that works try something more daring.
- Go on a treasure hunt. Set out to find the best outdoor water parks, playgrounds or climbable trees. It could take you all summer. If you're really enthusiastic, you could end up with an illustrated journal, a photo diary, or notated list that could be used later for a school project.
- Try a new sport such as rock climbing, Tae Kwon Do, putt-putt golf, paddle boating or skateboarding. Your children can make fun of you, and they’ll get a kick out of it, too.
- Camp, kick and splash. Go camping. Sooner or later, the kids will splash in a stream, check out a sand dune, or kick a pebble.
- Go with girl power. Teen and tween girls are often more comfortable trying new activities when boys aren't around. Your local YWCA has summer activities specifically for girls.
- Go for a midnight walk. Kids love adventure. And walking in the dark is one that lends itself to old stories, new ones and those your children can easily make up. Pack up the kids and the bug spray, and put on a comfortable pair of shoes. You’re in for the thrill of your life.
- Weather Games. Take full advantage of the weather with water games. Get out the ballons or water gun and have a compeitition. Or, on those really hot day try a trip to the pool hall.
- Log on. Have your children log onto Kidnetic.com, where there are ideas and activity challenges for pre-teens who are just starting to make the transition from screen time to more physical activity. The site is backed by the American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Sports Medicine, American Dietetic Association, International Food Information Council, International Life Sciences Institute Center for Health Promotion, and the U.S. National Recreation and Park Association.
Alternatively, rent a canoe, rent a bike, take a hike get, some boogie boards and go to the beach. The trick to getting your kids active is to be active yourself. And the trick to being active yourself is to find something that's truly fun. Pack a ball, a bucket and a bike into the trunk and hit the road.