The sun is shining, the weather is warming up, and the kids are officially out of school and ready to play. As fabulous as this sounds, research has shown that kids are actually healthier during the school year. In the summer months, their activity levels and learning curve may actually decrease.
Today, kids of all ages often use technology as their main tool to socialize and communicate. As a result, we don’t have as many opportunities to be active as we once did. Could this be to blame for these findings? It is crucial parents instill a love of activities filled with personal interaction, engaging in hands-on projects and exploring the great outdoors during the long summer months. Take your child’s summer break to the next level with these happy, healthy and active ideas!
Stick to a Healthy Diet:
This summer may be the perfect time to start a small garden with your child. Weeding, planting, picking and eating fruits and vegetables together are not only fun and delicious, but extremely educational too!
Involve your child with meal planning. The more involved they are with planning, prepping and cooking meals, the more likely they will be interested in what they are eating.
Have your little one pick recipes, decide on ingredients and help with grocery shopping.
Visit a farmer’s market. Farmer’s markets are so colorful and energetic. Plus, there are always new fruits and veggies to buy and try!
Explore the Great Outdoors:
Plan a trip with other families and visit a park that you have never been to. Pack a picnic, find a playground and make a day out of it.
Find a nearby lake that has paddleboat or kayak options.
Take a hike on a trail and see what type of animals and insects you can spot.
Research a nearby nature center; New Jersey Audubon’s Plainsboro Preserve is a local option that will be worth visiting this summer! Learn more at: http://www.njaudubon.org.
Find New Ways to Exercise:
Have a fitness scavenger hunt with neighborhood friends. Tape fitness activities to scavenger hunt items (Do five push ups then find the next clue.)
Go to the local high school track and run races.
List favorite fitness activities on index cards and put in a box. Each family member pulls one card out of the box after each night (i.e. play catch, go for a walk, etc.)
Sign up for a 5K race with a kids race partner.
Interact with Others:
Enroll your child in a fun new class. Swim, karate, yoga, gymnastics, etc. This will help them to stay busy while interacting with others with similar interests and hobbies.
Start a book club for kids. A book club will motivate them to read in order to get together with friends to discuss their likes and dislikes of the book.
Summer camp is always a great idea too. Similar to a school day (without too much book learning) camp will keep your child happy, active and socialized all summer long!
The Garden State Community Kitchen is a great option for children in Central New Jersey. Fun, educational and healthy, all rolled into one, this program goes above and beyond to teach children about healthy cooking, gardening, yoga, fitness, natural science, menu planning and more. Register today: https://www.prlog.org/12564844-the-garden-state-community-kitchen-gears-up-for-fun-educational-and-healthy-summer-program.html
There are so many unique and fun activities to try this summer with your children. Make it part of your daily summer routine to get outside, interact with others, stay healthy and fit, and continuously learn by engaging in hands-on projects. We promise, if you try some of these tips you and your child will have a beneficial and memorable summer!