As a parent, I always make sure to plan fun and engaging activities for my kids during their summer vacation. Since they were little, I have made a point of finding a diverse range of activities that include both fun adventures and educational experiences. I know that my kids will have a lot of free time on their hands during the summer, so I try to find a mix of activities that will keep them active and engaged. Some of my favorite summer pastimes for active kids include outdoor water activities, outdoor sports and games, hiking and nature exploration, arts and crafts, and educational activities. Whether we are splashing in the sprinkler or taking a hike through a local park, I always try to make sure that my kids are having fun and staying active during the summer months.
Here’s 5 Summer Pastimes for Active Kids
When the last school bell rings, are you ready to keep your kids entertained? Summer break is meant to be relaxing, but for parents planning their children’s schedule, it can be anything but! Don’t worry if your child doesn’t have enough organized activities. Did you know that a child’s brain will operate better if they are given daily opportunities for safe, adult-supervised free play? That is because less structured activities can foster their creativity and support their emotional development. You and your child can have a stress-free, wonderful summer with a little preparation and imagination. Add these suggestions to your summer to-do list.
There’s nothing better than digging in the dirt and getting a feel for the garden. Children who actively participate in gardening learn important lessons. They will learn patience as they wait for their seeds to germinate. They will also learn responsibility by caring for the plants, including regular watering and pulling weeds. Gardening also naturally introduces practical concepts like pesticides and organic gardening, recycling, pollution, and pest control. Children of all ages—toddlers, preschoolers, primary schools, and older kids—will need various levels of support to meaningfully participate in gardening. However, there is something for everyone to do! Younger kids can plant seeds, gather vegetables, and water plants under close adult supervision. Older children have the physical strength to handle a wider range of tasks, including digging, transporting, planting, mulching, and pruning. When their flowers or fruit are in full bloom, your children can look at their garden with pride!
Summer is the perfect time for introducing your child to team sports. It is also beneficial for experienced student athletes, who can lose some of their physical fitness over the long break. The advantages of playing sports with kids go well beyond simply keeping them active. Kids that do sports have stronger muscles and bones. Additionally, youth sports help kids maintain a healthy weight, which is crucial given the growing issue of childhood obesity. Kids who attend summer sports programs stay active, brush up on their abilities, and pick up new ones. With the knowledge they gained at sports summer camps or soccer training centers, students will enter the school year prepared to compete in a new sports season. Team sports also help children improve their social skills, collaboration, and leadership abilities. They learn that compromise and cooperation are necessary for teamwork. Youth sports also teach the art of how to be a good sport when the game doesn’t pan out their way. When children are part of a team, their self-confidence and self-esteem grows.
With all the distracting devices, kids rarely have to leave their comfort zone. Children are spending more time than ever in controlled and monitored environments. While a little predictability is healthy, children who spend most of the days indoors do not build resilience. Going camping is a wonderful experience that can also help children learn valuable life lessons. For example, camping teaches concepts such as including appreciation of beauty, respect, earth-friendly practices, and all the ways people are connected to the environment. Spending time in the great outdoors is the ideal way to introduce a little bit of challenge into a child’s experience. The adventure of choosing a camping site, pitching a tent, and sleeping under the stars are all excellent methods to develop resilience. Resilient children learn how to take difficulty in stride. This trait serves them well as they navigate other challenges in life. Plus, camping is a fantastic way to bond and create lasting memories.
Children of all ages can benefit from giving back and helping others. Volunteering can boost their wellbeing and encourage them to practice empathy and compassion. Volunteering can also introduce children to causes and professions that may inspire them for the rest of their lives. When choosing a volunteering activity, ask your children who or what they would like to help the most. Most likely, you will find a suitable opportunity in your location. A nature loving child may wish to help clean up the local beach. If you kids are fond of animals, helping out at the local animal shelter would be a rewarding experience. Working with a cause that is meaningful to them will encourage your kids to give back.
Taking kids sailing can be a wonderful experience. Children can learn a lot about other cultures, the natural world, and other countries on a sailing excursion. If you or a family member own a boat, get child-sized safety gear, and hit the open sea. If you don’t have access to a boat, or your child has never sailed before, consider placing them in a sailing class. Sailing clubs across the country offer children’s lessons. You don’t need to live near a large body of water to find a program. Most sailing clubs only need access to a pond or a lake.
Many programs offer beginner courses that can train your child within a week. After they earn their sailing certificate, they can take supervised trips out on the water whenever they want.