Now that summer is finally getting underway in our area, it is a great time of year to get outdoors with the family and have some fun. Summer is filled with a multitude of opportunities to sneak in some exercise while having fun with the family outdoors. It is the perfect time of year to spend some great quality time with your kids when their schedules are less hectic without as much homework and other activities. By planning some outdoor activities, the whole family will benefit by becoming healthier, getting more fresh air, and making lasting memories of summer vacations. Here are some ideas of some great recreational activities you can enjoy with your family this summer.
- Gardening/yard work: Kids of all ages will enjoy being involved with the garden. Younger kids will love to be involved by helping plant seeds and water. Older kids can help with digging and lifting bags of soil or mulch. By planting some vegetables or herbs, kids will learn more about growing their own food and may actually enjoy eating their vegetables more if they grew them.
- Take a trip to the playground: Not only is the playground enjoyable for kids of all ages, adults can find many opportunities to make the playground their personal gym. Do step ups and step downs on the stairs, use the monkey bars for pull ups, do pushups against a wall, or perform heel raises while pushing your kid in the swing.
- Take a family bike ride: Seek out a safe trail or bike path and always make sure to set a good example and wear a helmet.
- Visit a nature preserve, forest preserve, or state park: Many areas have parks with endless walking paths and beautiful scenery.
- Take a trip to the beach: Although it is nice to lounge in the sand with a good book, make the trip to the beach more active. Take a long walk in the sand or build a sand castle together.
- Organize family Olympics day: There is nothing wrong with some friendly competition among family members or neighbors. Break up into two teams and come up with different competitions such as: wheelbarrow race, 3 legged race, basketball shootout, Frisbee throw, ring or bean bag toss, jump rope, or hula-hoop. Keep score and the winning team can choose where to get ice cream after the events!
Always keep safety in mind with any of these activities. To reduce risk of injury, you can do some gentle stretches before and after any activity and make sure to always drink plenty of water. Even if it is a cooler day, you need to make sure to stay hydrated when being more active. The goal of all these activities is to get outdoors, exercise, and have fun family bonding time while doing so. You will make many lasting memories of summer vacation for your kids to look back on.