What can my children do outdoors this summer?
by Misty Pardini
Healthy Start Home Visitor
Jefferson County Health Department
Summer is finally on the way, and it’s no doubt that children are getting excited already about all the extra time they will have and not have to worry about school. One of the last things that you want to happen is for your children to be hiding in the house, missing out on the crucial fresh air and sunshine. You want to come up with some great way to keep your child out of the house and getting some exercise. Here are some great activities to keep your child moving around until school starts again.
Go Swimming. One of the first things that kids think about it getting out of the heat and into some nice cool water, and swimming is great exercise for growing children. If your schedule is not as free as the children’s make sure that you take them to a local pool where a lifeguard is on duty.
- Have a picnic. What better way to enjoy the outdoors than doing a picnic. Let children get involved with helping pick out snacks, or making sandwiches and you will be on your way.
- Get creative on the sidewalk. What better way to get children involved than getting some sidewalk chalk and a sidewalk. This will inspire the artistic side of the child to become creative.
- Visit a farm, ranch or zoo. Animals bring out a smile in anyone, no matter how old they are. Local farms or ranches can show your child how animals and humans work together. These activities will help children to love, care and understand animals.
- Play Hot Potato – Here is another fun activity that is guaranteed to have lots of laughter. You can get all children to either stand or sit in a circle and you can use any object as the potato. Make sure that you have some type of radio for this game. Turn the music on and hand a potato to one of the children. He or she will pass it to their right or left. They will continue to pass it until the radio is turned off. When the music stops the person holding the potato must leave the circle. The children will shriek with laughter and fear when the music stops.
- Go for a walk. While on a walk do a scavenger hunt. Give the children a list of things to look for while on a walk around the block.
- Go to the park. The park is a great place for kids to get some exercise and other children for them to play with.
There are plenty of different ways to get your kids enthusiastic about outdoor play – it is really nothing more than taking the time to figure out what kids like and then committing to it as a part of your schedule. As long as the activities you plan are exciting enough, their own adrenaline will take over from there.
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