It’s that time again, when the schools are shut, and everyone is up for an adventure and some well earnt rest. The parents and the grandparents now need to come up with (what seems like) an endless supply of entertainment and summer fun to keep the family engaged. So why not get the grandkids or your own children involved with your walking. Share your passion with the family.
I will admit, attending a session is sometimes the escape we need from a rowdy lot, but there is nothing better than sharing your likes and introducing physical activity to children from an early age. Make it seem the norm.
There is a lot of research currently being explored about children’s obesity levels, relationships with weight and self-esteem. Some of the results are not fabulous.
You all do so well attending your regular sessions, with health at the forefront of this, so let’s encourage it with all generations.
They don’t need to come along to our sessions, keep that time as yours, but you can easily introduce some movement to their everyday activities.
From the ages of 5 to 18, every individual should be achieving the following:
- At least 60 minutes of physical activity at a moderate to vigorous intensity everyday day, 7 days per week.
- Explore different types of intensities and types of activities to improve their muscular strength, bone development, movement patterns and coordination skills.
- Spread out movement and physical activity throughout the day to avoid sitting or lying down for long periods of time.
Are your family meeting these guidelines?
So here are ten ideas of how to get the family involved in physical activity over the summer months. There are some ideas for younger children through to older (young adults). Why not try one out this week.
- When out on a walk with younger children, tell a story or set a theme as you walk. This will play around with different intensities and encourage creativity. For example;
- let’s walk backwards to the next lamppost
- If we see a bird, let’s pretend we are flying too
- Let’s race to the tree
- Can you tip toe and be as quiet as a mouse to the red car
- Let’s hop like a bunny for 10 jumps
- Let’s run up each hill but walk slowly on the way down
- Let’s count how many cats we can see today, to encourage them out of the house
- Every time you leave the house take a ball with you. Put it in the kid’s rucksack. Even if it is just a tennis ball. Just 10 minutes of fun, chasing the ball, playing piggy in the middle, kicking the ball around or throwing it against a (suitable) wall counts as activity.
- Attend family yoga together. We have a fun session which happens every weekend outdoors on the farm by ours. Do you have any family exercise sessions available in your area? It could be swimming or going to your local basketball court. Our leisure centre run ‘activity’ mornings which include trampolines and bouncy castles. One week they will let me join in (lol!)
- Encourage cycling, using a scooter or walking to somewhere rather than jumping in the car. Get some fresh air together. Plan in the additional time needed to get there and back but notice the change in mood.
- Explore new walks and areas of beauty and set them a little task. Taking a crayon and paper to get the tree trunk print or of a leaf. Make daisy chains. Moving around and squatting to find them will keep them moving. If they do lay down for some rest, get them thinking about the breeze on their skin or smelling the fresh air for some mindfulness.
- Read a book together but everytime a word is repeated they have to do a funny action or jump up and down. Obviously not at bedtime!
- August is fabulous time for foraging for berries. With permission, go out with the older children and explore your surroundings.
- PYO, why not! I used to love doing this with my grandparents and eating it all before they noticed… shhh, don’t tell.
- Every Tuesday morning, we have dance time. We put on the radio and dance in the kitchen together. Everyone in the house has to get involved. Put the music on loud and enjoy the giggles.
- If you have a bat and ball, or even a racket. Get everyone out of the house on an early evening, just before the sun is setting, and make up your own rules of cricket, rounders, or baseball. Make up a game! The older the children, the more complex the rules can get.
As always, remember (for everyone), sun cream, water, and a sun hat. Get the sunglasses out and dress appropriately.
Enjoy the great outdoors together. They will remember this fun summer for a long time. Find your inner child too. Go back to basics.
We always ask you to share your good ideas. Let’s share how you keep the children active over the summer. We would love to hear them all.