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Mendo Lake Family Life

Keep Your Kids Active All Summer Long

Jul 18, 2019 03:15PM

It’s officially summer, and the kids are out of school. And while they love the time off, they need your help structuring their day.

One of the most important things to focus on during summer break is keeping your kiddos active. If you’re a parent who finds that encouraging physical activity is an uphill battle, you’re not alone.

In a national survey, only 47 percent of parents said their kids engaged in 60 minutes or more of daily exercise, sports or physical activity. And only 1 in 3 children are physically active every day. Those are troubling stats given that lack of physical activity is a contributing factor to childhood obesity.

To help you get your kiddos moving, we’ve put together these tips to encourage your little ones to be more active this summer.

10 tips to get your kids moving this summer

  • Limit screen time. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids spend no more than 1 to 2 hours on screens a day. Set firm limits on the amount of time a child can spend on the computer or their smartphone, and sitting watching TV or playing video games. Don’t allow children to have TVs or video games in their bedroom.

  • Choose activities that are developmentally appropriate. An 8-year-old may not be ready for a 2-mile run, but soccer, bike riding and swimming are all good activities at that age.
  • Turn the backyard into a play zone. Go ahead and litter your yard with active toys like Frisbees, a football, volleyball, jump ropes, a big rubber ball and sidewalk chalk.
  • Sign them up for summer camps. Whether the camp is in your area or farther from home, your children will have fun and probably get more than the recommended 60 minutes of activity a day.
  • Enroll them in day activities. Sign your kids up for classes in martial arts, tennis, golf, swimming or dance. They might learn some new hobbies they’ll want to continue with all year.
  • Plan TV watching in advance. Pick the shows your kids want to watch. Turn the TV on for only those shows and turn it off when the show is done. No screen surfing!
  • Keep music playing in your home and in your car. Music encourages movement, which can turn into playtime.
  • Be a good role model. If your kids see you being active, they’re more likely to want to do it themselves. Take the whole family out for a bike ride on the weekends and walk the dog together in the evenings after dinner.

Screen time for little ones

Screen time recommendations change as children age. Learn the restrictions you should set for your little ones.

Courtesy of Adventist Health, Ukiah.