The end of the academic year can cause panic in parents. Whether you are working a full-time job or you are a stay-at-home mom or dad, the fear is the same: you don’t want your kids to spend the entire summer vacation in front of the TV or the computer.
Sedentary activities during the summertime can have multiple consequences on your kids’ health including increased risk of obesity, eyes’ problems, troubles sleeping, and even asociality. Plus, they surefire enhance the summer learning loss phenomenon because they don’t engage your child’s mind enough.
So, what can you do to keep your kids active and healthy during the summer months? Here are 5 ways that can help you get your kids moving and actually having fun this vacation:
1. Keep them unplugged from technology
Data shows that today, kids spend more than 7.5 hours using technology every day. And, like it or not, it is obvious that they find it more fun to play on their computer or devices instead of playing outdoors. And, trust us on this one, you are the only parent struggling with keeping your kid away from technology. Every modern parent deals with the same challenge today.
So, how do you convince your child to get outside and leave their devices inside? Well, first of all, you need to start by limiting the screen time of your kids. If, for example, your child spends five hours a day in front of the computer, limit that time to 2 or fewer hours of screen time per day. This way, your child will have to find other fun activities when they start to get bored and they can no longer play on their devices.
Next, if you are planning to teach your child to spend less screen time, you need to show them that playing outside is more exciting they were imagining. As long as you come up with fun outdoor activity ideas that will engage your kids, there’s no way they will ask you to go back inside to play on the computer.
Simply put, you need to show your kids that playing outside is fun as long as you engage in the games.
2. Plan playdays
During summer, chances are that the parents of your child’s friends are dealing with the same challenge as you are: how to keep their kids active during summer? So, why not team up and find a solution to help your kids have fun and stay active together?
Talk to your child’s friends’ parents and set up a plan for the entire summer vacation. For example, each of you can host a playday every week. This way you will make sure that your kid will stay active while playing with their friends and will also stay in touch with them during summer vacation.
Moreover, this will also help you bond with the other parents and create a support group in case any of you need some help with babysitting during the summer vacation.
3. Send them to a summer camp
Summer camps offer plenty of benefits to children. Apart from being extremely fun, they also help kids stay active during vacation time. Summer camps foster a multitude of activities and games that encourage kids to put their devices away and go outside to play.
Plus, they also foster the perfect environment for kids to keep on learning through new experiences and playtime. Not to mention the large number of benefits they bring to their personal development. During summer camps, kids learn resilience, independence, socialization, teamwork, and, most importantly, they learn how to have fun outside.
Moreover, summer camps can also boost self-confidence in kids as they promote independence and help kids gain new skills. So, if you were torn between sending or not sending your child to day or summer camps in Queens, now you know that the answer is “YES, you should”.
4. Sign them up to sports class
Encouraging your child to practice sports is the best you can do to keep them active and healthy. Children, in general, are attracted to sports because they think they are fun, they love the competition, and they give them the opportunity to meet new friends. So, chances are that your child is also interested in practicing a sport, they are just not confident enough to ask you to take them to sports class.
It’s no doubt that practicing sports in childhood has plenty of health benefits. But practicing sports also brings a number of benefits in terms of personal development. It can teach kids discipline, resilience, social skills, teamwork, and communication. Plus, it can also play a major role in boosting their self-esteem and self-confidence.
So, another great strategy for keeping your child healthy and active this summer vacation would be to encourage them to make a hobby out of practicing sports.
5. Make the most out of the weekend time
If you have a full-time job, chances are that you don’t have that much free time to keep your child entertained all day long. That’s why you need to make the most out of the weekend time in terms of spending and playing with your child. If, for example, your child doesn’t engage in many outdoor activities while you are at work during the weekdays, you can use the free weekend time to make sure they get out of the house and get moving.
From riding the bike to playing sports, taking walks in the park, or even going to the beach, there are plenty of family-friendly activities you can do over the weekend to get your child moving. If your child loves to discover new places, you can also organize day trips in your surroundings to encourage them to get outside of the house and to learn new things during your traveling adventures.
Summer vacation is the most stressful season to be a parent. You want to make sure that your kids stay active, healthy and continue to learn but you often lack the time to create a non-stop fun train for kids. So, the strategies above can be great ways to help your kids deal with boredom and stay more active during the summer vacation.