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Five Tips to Keep Your Kids Active this Summer

It's hard to believe that summertime is in full swing. With the kids at home while taking a break from their studies, it can be hard to find ways to keep them entertained, as well as active. One of the worst things a child or teen can do during their break, is to lounge in front of the television set for hours on end.

Here are some great tips and ideas for keeping your kids active this summer...

#1 Day Camps

There are lots of wonderful day camp programs offered locally and nationally for children of all ages during the summer months (some may even be free!). Check out your local programming, and let your children be involved in selecting the camp or the program. Day camps range in themes from sports to science and fine arts. Many children often learn new skill sets, and find themselves exploring other interests that lead to new hobbies and loves! Children can pick up new languages and skills quite easily, so be ready to be okay with them wanting to try something totally new.

#2 Keep Sporting Equipment on Hand

If your children will be spending the majority of their summer break at home, be sure to keep a variety of sporting equipment in the garage or shed, or even a storage bin in the backyard. For toddlers, simple balls and bean bags can provide hours of entertainment. For older children and teens, items like hula hoops, jump ropes, and even yard games like badminton or croquet can be entertaining. Croquet is definitely one of our family's favorite outdoor activies, and we love playing bocci ball at the beach!

#3 Stay Active as a Family

My husband often complains about not wanting to be outside after he gets home from work in the evenings (he works outside a lot of the time). Making sure he has the right gear for being active with me and our son really helps him get back outdoors in the evening hours. We found some really comfortable active gear like shoes and even biking gear at Skate Hut, and it's made him feel more and more like getting out and playing together as a family, even after he's worked a long, hard day. Whether we go out to ride bikes, visit a local park for a little hike, or just take a stroll around the neighborhood, we know our time is better spent getting a little exercise together, rather than plopping down in front of the television set!

#4 Have the Kids Do Chores

When we were growing up, my sister and I were expected to help out around the house- inside and out. My son is only two and a half, but even at this young age, I let him help me with simple tasks outside. Asking the kids to help plant flowers, pick home grown veggies and fruits, etc, can really be helpful to parents, and fun for the kids. For children who are older, it doesn't hurt to let them help pull weeds or cut the grass (if they're supervised). This can even be a great way for them to earn a little spending money for the summertime!

#5 (For the Teens) Summer Job

When I was old enough to babysit, that's how I spent my summer months. I got plenty of exercise caring for and chasing after other people's kiddos during the day. Encouraging older teens and kids home on break from college to have a summer job will not only keep them active, it's helps them get a glimpse into the life of an adult and prepare them for what it's like to get up and go to work every day. A summer job is a great way for teens to save for trips, college tuition, a new car, or to put into a savings account for the future.

How do you keep your children entertained during the summer months?

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