10 Ways to Keep your kids in motion all summer long!

It’s hard to believe that for many Canadian kids, summer is the most inactive season of all. Without structured programs, school physical education classes, and the active fun kids enjoy with their friends at recess and lunch, it’s no wonder so many kids are sedentary much of the summer. Visit Active Healthy Kids Canada to learn more about the need to help our kids move more.
The good news is that with a little planning and some impromptu spirit of adventure, an active summer is within reach of every family and child. With only a few weeks left in the school year, now is the time, if you haven’t already, to start planning for summer.

Here are 10 suggestions to help keep the kids in motion all summer long:
1) Swimming lessons. They’re available at no or low cost at community recreation centres throughout Canada. Swimming is a life skill that no child should be without and knowing how can give them the skills they need to enjoy so many waterbased activities.
2) Camps. Register your kids for summer camps that engage campers in plenty of active play every day. All camps should offer a physical activity and active play component.

3) Get the bikes out! Make cycling your mode of transportation for the summer. Ride to visit friends as well as to swimming lessons, the local tennis courts, day camp, grandma’s house, to run errands, and more.
4) Parks and playgrounds. Spend evenings with your kids at local parks and playgrounds. Try riding to a different park every evening.
5) Hire a teen to care for and enjoy active time with your kids an hour or two each day. They can take your kids on bike rides, play soccer with them at a local park, teach them tennis on the public courts, take them to the playground, organize races, teach them how to play ball hockey, plan some nature hikes, and more. This is often a terrific solution for parents with older children who have little ones with differing needs, or for work-from-home parents attempting to juggle work and kids throughout the summer.
6) Check out the YMCA for camps for children of all ages as well as programs for teens. The YMCA offers financial assistance to those in need.
7) Introduce your kids to some new activities. Canoeing, kayaking, climbing, geocaching, orienteering, mountain biking, windsurfing. Check out overnight and day camp options, as well as lessons in your community. Many people are surprised at just what’s on offer close to home.
8) Encourage older children/teens to work towards their lifeguard qualifications and to accrue the volunteer hours most require for high school graduation, within an active environment.

9) Summer leagues. Check out baseball and soccer leagues in your community. They can help provide your children with the physical activity they need for health benefits, some super fun, and a whole team of friends with whom they can enjoy play dates while school’s out for the summer. I often walk or run the track that surrounds my daughter’s soccer turf — I can workout while I watch the game and cheer on her team!

10) Plan ahead. Organize play dates, day trips and weekend hikes and longer bike rides ahead of time. Sure, there’s something wonderful about impromptu summer fun, but with most family’s whirlwind schedules, a little advance planning usually pays off.
Here’s to a summer of active fun for all!

Source: Article written by Catherine Cameron

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