Summer usually means time spent at the pool, summer camp or gym, and making memories with friends and family. However, many of these activities may be limited or even fully cancelled this summer. With this change of plans, families are at home and may struggle to stay active and entertained. So, it’s up to parents to keep their kids active, entertained, healthy, fed and more, all while juggling jobs and household responsibilities.
How to keep you and your kids active this summer
1. Limit Screen Time
As we all know, it’s easy to get sucked into a Netflix show or social media. And for busy parents, it’s easy to hand your kid your phone or sit them in front of the TV. To keep you and your kids active and outside, limit daily screen time. According to the Mayo Clinic, younger kids should have a maximum of one hour of screen time each day, and parents should set reasonable limits for older kids. Consider establishing tech-free times in your home too, like turning off the TV during meals and avoiding having your TV on as background noise. By limiting screen time, both you and your kids will experience better mental health, and will get used to spending more time outside and less time on the couch.
2. Stick to a Routine
To stay productive in quarantine and keep your kids active in the summer, make a routine and stick to it. This can include habits like waking up at the same time each day, having a healthy breakfast, going on a daily walk or bike ride, mandatory quiet time or set time outdoors without technology. Getting in a routine will help both you and your kids stay healthy and active throughout the summer, despite social distancing guidelines or lack of summer camp or pool time.
3. Have Your Own Summer Camp
Building off of a routine, you can have your own summer camp for your kids! For easy crafts, check out Michael’s Boredom Busters, Pinterest, and other craft sites. If you have a pool, invest in fun floats or pool games! If you don’t have a pool, consider getting a fun blow-up pool, slip and slide or sprinkler. For educational activities, check out some fun at-home science experiments for kids by visiting sites like Mommy Poppins, Good Housekeeping, and We Are Teachers. By making a fun at-home summer camp, you and your kids can get active and creative!
4. Plan a Staycation
With travel and social distancing restrictions, vacation plans are falling through the cracks. To break up the monotony, consider planning a fun staycation or camping trip (socially distanced of course)! Here are some activity ideas for your staycation: fun car rides with music, learning how to make homemade pizza or pasta, and having scavenger hunts. If you want to spend a few days outside of your house, pitch a tent in your backyard or drive to a local campsite to have a fun camping experience! Either way, trying something new is a great way to make fun memories in this unusual summer.
5. Start a New Hobby
With so much time on our hands, try starting a hobby or learning how to play an instrument with your kids. As we all likely know, there seem to be video tutorials for everything, so take this time to finally learn how to paint, play the guitar, or whatever you want. Even better, learn with your kids and stick to a schedule of watching tutorials with them.
Keep your kids active, healthy, and safe this summer. And as always, NorthCrest Pediatrics is here for you and your kids. Schedule a virtual visit today!