We all know that temps are on the rise and some of you may be hitting that mid summer slump. It can be hard to keep your kids active and the stillness and calm from screen time is tempting (very tempting!). We have to remember that our kids are not in organized sports and have lost PE/Recess time. We need to step in and ensure they are getting movement that is critical for long-term healthy habits. Here are some of our favorite ideas to help keep your family healthy, active, and pain free this summer!
1. Make Outdoor Sensory Bins to Play In: Pinterest is full of great ideas. Our favorite is cooking tapioca pearls with food dye and putting them in a shallow bin or baby pool full of water (outside) to play in!
2. Find a Local Splash Pad: Another fun (and easy on the wallet) activity where kids can get their energy out and stay cool at the same time! Don’t sit on the sidelines, they will have cherished memories if you jump in to join the fun.
3. Activity Jar: Keep a mason jar full of popsicle sticks, each with an activity written on it the stick. It can be as simple as animal walks and wheelbarrow races to a few with special treats like a water park outing. Let your kids make a game of drawing a popsicle stick to choose that day’s activity time. Requiring activity time before afternoon screen time is a must!
4. Explore New Hobbies: Ask your kids what they are interested in! You might be surprised with their answer. Summer is a great time to let them explore new hobbies such as acting or art. Check out your local camps, they run all summer long! Let your child be a part of the process and they will enjoy it more. Nothing is worse than having every week scheduled for you without getting to give input.
5. Homemade Popsicles and Slushies: Buy some of your favorite fruit and teach your kids how to make popsicles, smoothies, or slushies. This serves dual purpose of encouraging healthy habits and a fun family activity in the kitchen!
Remember, if possible, to encourage your outdoor activity time early morning or late afternoon. 3 PM is the hottest part of the day and the sun is strongest early afternoon. That is the best time for naptime and indoor activities. Remember that sunscreen!
About the author: Kelsey Baas, PT, DPT is a physical therapist and the owner of Compleo where she promotes happy, healthy, and pain free living for families and people of all abilities. She specializes in developmental pediatrics, scoliosis, and pediatric chronic pain. In her free time she loves exploring her new Wacotown life with her husband and dog, Collins.