Keep your kids’ minds and bodies active all summer long
During the summer break, kids are likely to want to spend time on their tablets and smartphones, playing video games and watching TV. However, if you want your kids to stay healthy and develop good habits, it is important to take advantage of the long school holidays and find outdoor activities and events that will interest them.
You may have a week or two where you will be going on a family holiday with built in kids entertainment and kids’ clubs, but for the remaining weeks you need to set up a routine for your children that encourages physical and mental activity. This will keep them busy and their minds sharp throughout the whole summer, and they are less likely to want to stay inside.
Make the most of the space you have
Venture out into your own back garden or yard because there is so much you can plan to do. Kids will love it if you build an obstacle course and record their completion times and let them work out who did best to keep their maths brains thinking. This could include our Step-a-Trail or Step-a-Stumps, throw and count Bean Bags into a bucket or hoop, and finishing with a lap of your space with one of our Go Wheelies or a turn on a Whizzy Dizzy. The possibilities are endless!
Create a treasure hunt; decide where you are going to hide the treasure, and then design your clues leading away from that place – it’s easier to plan hunts backwards. If you have a group of children, encourage them to work together to promote both social and emotional learning. Remember, every child wants to be a winner, so make sure you have a selection of smaller prizes on hand for runners up or offer one big prize that can be shared.
Getting them involved in gardening will offer many fun and interesting opportunities to teaches them invaluable lessons. They can learn about the different species of plants and what those plants need to help them grow. As it tends to be a dry time of year, you can even just plant a few pots and ask them to water each day and tell you how they are doing.
Chalk out hopscotch, or use our Number Pads, all have a go at skipping, Sly Fox is always fun for everyone, or for a more relaxing time all try some outdoor Yoga. Yoga can take place inside too, as can building a den. Who doesn’t love a den? Even better, invite the teddies in and have a teddy bears picnic together once everyone is inside!
Children’s play centres offer a wide range of family activities and will have soft play indoors for rainy days which are great for cognitive skills, as well as outdoor play spaces.
The summer is the best time to go swimming in either an outdoor or indoor pool. Even though you can do this all year round, it is more fun when the weather is warm and sunny. Swimming is an excellent activity for your kids. It helps them to develop their strength, coordination, and balance. It also helps to improve their core strength.
If you live close to the beach or a lake, you can take your kids there for a free swim.
You can also go to a public swimming pool, or just set up an inflatable and fill it with water. We have a wide range of sand and water tables in many different sizes; our Fun2 Play Activity Tray is ideal if space is limited, or you could opt for our Fun2 Messy Trays which are 4 trays in 4 colours that can be used individually or they fit perfectly together.
See our blog on Sand and Water Play for more summer fun ideas.
Exploring nature is another excellent activity for kids during the summer that will bring hours of fun. This is one of the best ways to keep them active and burn off some extra energy. Exploring nature also allows your kids to learn about the world around them, which can be a great source of knowledge and inspiration.
A great way to explore nature with your kids is by going on a hiking trip. You can take a hike along a trail or go off-trail on your own. Or head down to your local park; many have not only play areas but spray parks, and wooded areas where kids can spend the day exploring and getting their energy out.
Read our blog on the Benefits of Being with Nature for more inspiration.
Budget Days Out
Other children’s holiday entertainment ideas include finding somewhere locally where you can hide and seek painted rocks. If you search on Facebook for your area name and ‘rocks’ you will find a local Facebook page. When you find them take photos and post them to the relevant group then re-hide them. This day out includes arts and craft elements because you can paint your own rocks to hide and take them with you for someone else to find.
Go Geocaching will make a normal walk much more exciting! Just download the app beforehand, find the area you want to hunt your geocache and go on a fun adventure hunting the treasure that someone else has hidden! Make sure you take something with you to put in the geocache when you find it for the next family to find.
Find out more information about Geo caching here…
Out and about in your neighbourhood
A great way to get outside and get some exercise is to take walks around your local area. To make it fun – turn it into a game. Try the alphabet game, where you call out a letter and the first person to name something they can see that starts with that letter wins a point. Or the animal game where the first person to say an animal that begins with a certain letter wins a point.
A great way to keep kids active is by encouraging them to ride their bikes. Riding a bike is a great way for kids to burn calories and get the blood pumping. There are many other activities that can help children burn calories and get their blood pumping, such as skateboarding, rock climbing and so on. And don’t forget that the best way to encourage them is for you to join in too!
For home learning toys for different age groups, abilities and developmental stages, view our full range here:
Edx Education – Heather Welch
To find your local Edx Education retailer head over to Where to buy – Edx Education.