Now that summer is here, you’ll need to think of activities to keep the kids busy. They’ll probably want to go outside and enjoy the weather—and they should! After all, it’s important for kids to stay active and to get their fair share of vitamin D from the sun.
But, like most people, you’re not looking forward to spending a ton of money on activities and excursions this summer. We completely understand. That’s why we’ve come up with a list of healthy, fun and cheap activities that you and your kids will enjoy this summer.
Go berry picking
‘Tis the season—berry season, that is! In the summer, there are plenty of opportunities to go berry picking with your kids. You can usually find a local farm that will allow you to pick strawberries and raspberries for a few dollars. Kids will love picking berries because it makes them feel like they are helping out with something important. You can also use the outing as an opportunity to educate your kids about how certain foods get from the farm to the kitchen table. And when you get home, you can ask them to join you in making a pie, smoothies or fruit salad with the berries!
Berries are delicious and have so many health benefits, so going berry picking is a great choice. They are packed with vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants (which help to fight off disease-causing free radicals). They may also help to lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease.
This summer, why not take your kids to the beach or the pool at a community center? It doesn’t cost much and your kids won’t turn it down! Not only will you and your kids be able to cool off and have fun, but you’ll also reap the health benefits of swimming.
What exactly are the health benefits? Well, swimming keeps your heart rate up and it also tones your muscles (since nearly all your muscles are used while swimming). Further, it helps to build endurance and maintain healthy lungs.
Plant a garden
Again, kids love to feel as though they are helping out with something important. So allowing them to plant a garden with you will definitely give them joy. When your kids grow their own beans, carrots and other veggies, they’ll be more compelled to eat them. This makes gardening a great activity for picky eaters, especially. But, the benefits of gardening don’t stop there. Gardening also teaches your children responsibility and patience, in addition to letting them refine their fine motor skills.
Do a penny hike
Walking is such a simple, yet very effective outdoor activity. The benefits of walking include: promoting healthy development of bones and muscles, improving balance and maintaining a healthy weight.
To make a normal walk more fun, turn it into a penny hike. A penny hike involves flipping a coin to determine which direction you will go next. Kids will enjoy flipping the coin and discovering new places.
Have a picnic
Eating at the same table every single day can get boring after a while. Sometimes, kids just need a change. Ever notice how your kids will eat every grain of food at a restaurant or at their friend’s house? A change of environment can encourage them to eat healthier because it makes things special for them.
So, to make your next meal a fun and special one, plan a picnic at the park (or even in your own backyard) with your kids. They can join you in preparing healthy sandwiches (complete with lettuce, cheese, and lean meats), fruit salads (or kebabs) and homemade fruit juice. After the picnic, you can all stay outside, play a game and enjoy the fresh air.
Plan a scavenger hunt
If you have more than one child, a scavenger hunt is a fun activity to try. It involves creating a list of objects for your children to find, providing clues and awarding a prize to the one who finds them all first (or who finds the most after a certain amount of time). You can even turn it into a team activity by eliminating the competition component. Scavenger hunts promote walking, running, teamwork, problem-solving skills and more.