Have a Healthy Summer - Action for Healthy Kids
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Have a Healthy Summer

kids playing in yard

Whether the new glisten of early summer is wearing off or your kids are still in summer blissville, you may be pressed to come up with activities to keep them busy and active through Labor Day. Try these ideas to help keep the kids active, entertained, and off the couch.

FYI: Kids are more likely to gain excess weight during the summer months than during the school year. Their minds are not the only things needing exercise during summer vacation. Summer is made for fun and relaxing, but help your kids maintain healthy routines around diet, fitness, sleep and screen time as best as you can.

Y.I.M.B.Y. (Yes, in my back yard)

Did your kid just say they’re bored? Get them outside and experiencing your backyard in a new way with a backyard fitness course—or, put on your swim suits! Stay cool while upping your cool parent status with easy-to-do water games.

You can also get old school and take a trip down memory lane with these good ol’ favorites from your childhood:

  • Watermelon Seed Shooting Contest: Ditch the seedless watermelon and go full-seed. See who in your family has the most impressive shooting skills.
  • Be Your Own Lightning Bugs: Start up a game of flashlight tag after dark and channel your light saber skills.
  • Bust out the Sidewalk Chalk: Draw out hopscotch, grab your rock and see if you’ve still got it. Or invent new games to draw and play.
  • Classic Game Time: Split your family into teams and play Kick the Can, Capture the Flag, Tag or Hide and Seek.

And use this handy summer bucket list for even more outdoor fun.

Screening Screen Time

How much time does your kid spend glued to his screen like a bug sucked into a light on a hot summer night? Mix it up this summer and ditch the screens for a while. Challenge your family to skip the screen for a full week or try screen-free weekends, screen-free Saturdays or even a regular screen-free night instead. Put down the electronics and use those minutes and hours to hang out, get moving and re-charge together!

  • Try a new hobby or skill
  • Go bowling, mini golfing, or to the batting cages
  • Play basketball or H.O.R.S.E
  • Explore a park or nature preserve
  • Take a family bike ride

Holiday Road

Are you getting in one last family road trip for summer? Mix up old school favorites—like the license plate game, iSpy, 20 questions, and the alphabet game—with some of these active pit stops.

  • Use what’s around you (sticks, benches, signs, etc.) to create an interactive obstacle course.
  • Perform short bursts of cardiovascular exercises such as jumping jacks, high knees, stationary lunges, push-ups and squats.
  • Play a full-body version of Rock Paper Scissors. For a rock, bend down, hug your knees and curl into a ball. For a scissor, stand with legs wider than shoulder-width apart and both arms up with your hands in a Y formation. For paper, stand tall with your feet together and arms to your sides. Best of three wins!
  • Dance party: Get out your phone or blast the radio and get movin’.

On your next road trip, skip the gas station food and roll out a cooler of healthy snacks:

  • Sliced apples with cinnamon
  • Squeezable fruit pouches
  • Carrots and peanut (or other nut or seed) butter
  • Low-fat cheese and whole grain crackers
  • Popcorn
  • Edamame (for the foodie child)