Summer vacation for children means being more carefree. Days are often less structured, and they enjoy having a break from the daily grind of school and homework. At the same time, families are still busy and there are schedules to keep.
Time children spend outdoors enjoying the warm weather and physical activity may not be something that fits easily into those schedules, but according to the American Heart Association (AHA), it should.
The AHA suggests that children between the ages of 6-17 years old should get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily. The AHA recommends that children 3-5 years old be physically active throughout the day but does not suggest a specific number of exercise minutes.
Here are some easy ways to help add physical activity to your family’s daily routine.
- Empower children to create exercises. Ask your school-age kids to teach you the games they play in gym class. If your kids are not in school yet, encourage creativity and let them make up the day’s activities.
- Play your favorite games. Your kids may enjoy playing the games you loved as a child. Old-school favorites such as tag, hopscotch, musical chairs or hot potato can get the heart rate and giggles going.
- Explore new parks. Venture out of your usual surroundings and make a family goal to try new parks each month. Each recreation area may have different equipment, trails and play spaces.
- Look for local splash pads. These are free areas that can offer even the smallest member of your crew a fun and safe water day.
- Act it out. Read a story aloud while you march in place. Have everyone else move and act out the story as you read it. Silly Sally and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt are great books to get children moving.
- Chore fun. Put on some fun dance tunes and get everyone moving as children help with the dusting and sweeping.
- Include furry friends. Dogs can be great motivators to keep the family moving. Take the dog on a walk, visit a dog park or play together in the backyard
Family support plays a key role in children’s ability to achieve the recommended levels of physical activity. There is no better teacher than you. Show your children that physical activity is also good for adults, too. These activities can jumpstart your children’s lifelong habit of living a healthy lifestyle.
- Six Ways to Get Your Family Moving
- How to Get Your Family Active
- HealthWorks! Healthy Living Series: Family Activities | Cincinnati Children’s
Here are some fun activities for you and you child or the entire family to enjoy during the month of July.
- Recess in the Stadium: July 15 from 9:30-11:30 a.m.
- Splash Pads in Cincinnati
- Splash Pads in Dayton
- Family Fun Nights: Fairfield
- Walk With a Doc
Learn Through Play Daily Activities: July
Help children learn through play by using one of the following age-specific monthly calendars that feature daily activities.