Keeping Your Kids Active During Your Summer Staycation

Summer vacation looks a little different this year. Now that students have been learning at home for over three months, parents are wondering what activities their kids should be doing. Not only are the options limited due to social distancing, but kids are also already tired of staying at home.

Before parents everywhere start to panic, there are many ways for you to keep your kids active and entertained this summer - without sending them to a summer camp or class!

Why is it important to keep my kids active this summer?

One of the best ways to combat the rise of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure is to ensure that your kids are getting enough physical activity. 

The Department of Health and Human Services has developed guidelines recommending that youth ages 6-17 participate in 60 minutes or more of physical activity 7 days a week. That doesn't mean kids have to do the full hour at once, it can be broken into two 30 minute sessions, or four 15 minute sessions each in a day. However, most if not all of this activity should be at either moderate or vigorous intensity. Moderate intensity allows you to talk-but not sing-during or right after the activity, whereas vigorous-intensity allows you to say only a few words at a time.

As part of the daily 60 minutes, it is recommended that children participate in muscle-strengthening activities 3 days per week and bone-strengthening activities 3 days per week. Try any of these fun activities:

Muscle Strengthening Activities

  • Games like tug of war

  • Push-ups, pull-ups, or sit-ups

  • Activities like crab walking, bear walking, or wheelbarrow with a partner

Bone Strengthening Activities

  • Hopscotch

  • Jumping rope

  • Skipping

  • DIY Relay Race

Social Distance Family Activities

  • Visit a local beach

  • Take a hike at a state park

  • Go for a bike ride

  • Play badminton

  • Play in the sprinkler

With playgrounds being closed and restrictions placed on beaches and public places, it's all the more important to get creative. If you have a backyard, try finding outdoor games to play. All that matters is that you're keeping your kids safe, entertained, and active!

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