8 ways to keep kids moving during a Georgia summer

APR 11, 2017
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This year, the Georgia school year ends in May. So it’s a great time to think about how you’ll help the kids in your life stay active this summer.

 

When Georgia heat hits full force, habits like sleeping late, unhealthy snacks, and staying on the couch can seem tempting to anyone. But with a little planning, you can help kids use the summertime to boost their health. These 8 activity ideas can help you get started:

 

1. Take them for a walk

 

Start by mapping out safe neighborhood routes according to your children’s ages and capabilities. Then make sure they’ll have a trusted friend along in case you can’t join them. From there, you can encourage them to run light errands to nearby locations, take the dog out for a walk, or simply walk for mindful movement.

 

2. Teach them how to jump rope

 

This is more than a great cardio workout. Jumping rope can also help children develop rhythm and dexterity, whether they practice solo or with friends. You can even pick up a jump rope at the dollar store, making it an affordable way for most anyone to play.

 

3. Encourage them to learn skillful moves

 

Are your children interested in martial arts, yoga, or dance? Encourage them to learn, however your budget allows (YouTube and yoga apps can be budget-friendly resources). Then let your kids teach you a few moves for a 15-minute “quick start” to the day.

 

4. Give charades a wild twist

 

Write the names of different animals on slips of paper. Next, take turns drawing the slips from a hat and acting out the animals you get. Don’t make a sound — this is all about communicating with movement.

 

5. Send them on a scavenger hunt

 

Think of objects and locations in your neighborhood that might interest your kids, then come up with clues to guide them to each spot. Once your list is ready, send your kids out with their friends to solve the clues together. As always, make sure you set clear boundaries regarding where they can and can’t go.

 

6. Cool things off with a sprinkler

 

There’s no cure for a hot day like playing in a sprinkler. Just set up the sprinkler in your yard and let them loose! If your children need encouragement, play some upbeat music and offer extra toys, like a beach ball or a Frisbee.

 

7. Let them explore different sports

 

Whether in your yard or at the neighborhood park, sports offer great options for kids looking to play outdoors.

 

Set up a net to teach them badminton or volleyball. If they’re interested in baseball, try a game of catch or sign them up for little league. If your children enjoy the water, check your neighborhood pool (or YMCA) for water classes or a swim team they could join.

 

8. Redefine active listening at story time

 

When you read to your children, have them pick a frequently repeated word and give them an action to go with it. They can jump up and down, kick their legs, do a silly dance, or anything else they can imagine. If your kids are ready for more advanced play, encourage them to act out the story as they follow along.

 

A small suggestion goes a long way

 

With these specific ideas at your fingertips, you’ll be able to offer the kids in your life appealing alternatives to staying in on the couch. While they’re out, try brainstorming other activities you think they might enjoy.

 

You can even show them your list and ask them to pick their favorite. By keeping them engaged and giving them choices, you’ll help them build healthy habits to carry into adulthood.

 

For more tips on promoting your child’s fitness, visit kp.org.

 

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