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Tips to Promote Physical Activity in Children this Summer
After a long winter of being indoors, it’s amazing to be able to take the kids outside and let off some steam! Here are 11 tips to increase your child’s physical activity level in the summer time:
- Go to a NEW park. Often children get accustomed to their local park and their muscles become used to the equipment. Mix it up and try other parks to facilitate climbing, running and jumping on different playground apparatuses.
- Take a family trip to a farm, zoo or amusement park. There are many farms, amusement parks and zoos in the GTA region. It’s a great way to get outside with your kids. You’d be surprised how much walking and running you can do in one day!
- Go to the beach. Walking on the sand is an excellent way to strengthen legs and feet. Supervised swimming is also a great family activity. Squatting down to make sandcastles is also a fun way to practice both fine and gross motor skills. Pack a lunch and make a day of it!
- Find a splash pad. Check your city’s recreation website for the closest splash pad on those hot muggy days. Kids love running around in the sprays, and it’s a great way to keep cool.
- Take a puddle walk on rainy days! Dress your child appropriately, and have fun! Find as many puddles as you can and see who can make the bigger splash. Practice jumping over and in puddles. Sing in the rain!
- Check your local listings for fairs, festivals, and special community days. Summer festivals are a great way to get outside and get moving. Many fairs have bouncy castles or rock climbing walls or activities. Walking is a bonus too!
- Sign your children up for different outdoor sports. Soccer, baseball, lacrosse and t-ball are just a few. This is an excellent way to practice not only physical skills such as coordination and cardiovascular endurance, but social skills as well.
- Make play dates with age matched peers! Playing together with children of the same age is a great way to be active. Chasing, running, hide and seek and other games are all excellent sources of physical activity.
- Check your local listings for outdoor pools. Another great way to be fit with your family and have fun! Remember to supervise your children closely in the water.
- Ride your bike (or trike!) outside. Riding your bike with your kids is a great family activity. Find local trails or park to practice road safety, and model good behavior wearing your helmets at all times.
- Go for family walks. Talk about what animals, bugs or wildlife you see. Jump over the cracks in the sidewalks or practice walking on the cracks of the sidewalk for a great balance activity. Walk as a means of transportation and leave the car at home if you can!
Most of all, carve out special family time to do what you enjoy doing! If you enjoy doing it, your family will enjoy it too. Have fun!