It’s summertime, and if your kids are anything like mine, they get along best when they are physically active during the day (more movement = less bickering)! We also have more peaceful evenings when they have been moving for a good portion of the day (a.k.a. they are worn out).
Here are 10 fun physical activities for kids in the summer! Have you tried all of these?
Find a park nearby that has a creek. If the creek is shallow, wear boots and wade right in! Look for fish, crawdads, frogs, and other critters. Turn over rocks and look on the creek bed for fossils, and bring a plastic bag to collect some! If you live near the ocean, take your kids to the beach and collect shells. It’s good to let kids get a little wet and dirty as they explore.
2. Neighborhood Kickball
Locate a playground-type ball and something to mark the bases (squares of cardboard work well). Use your backyard or a common green space. Then, knock on some doors! Since almost any age can play kickball, this is a great game to bring kids together.
3. Bike Trail
Most cities have some kind of bike trail. If not, find a park with a long bike-friendly path. Load up everyone’s vehicle of choice: bike, scooter, skateboard, etc.! Don’t forget the water bottles and helmets. Set a goal; i.e., we want to ride at least five miles today.
4. Scavenger Hunt Hike
A hike can happen anywhere you can walk and explore — a park, forest, trail, neighborhood, or even in the city. Create a list of things to look for (and perhaps collect or take pictures of) during the hike to keep kids interested. Make the list based on where you are hiking; i.e., if it’s on a park trail, look for things like a pinecone, a green insect, a leaf larger than your hand, etc.
5. Frisbee Golf
Everyone loves to throw a frisbee! Google “parks with frisbee golf near me” and it’s likely you’ll find one near your home. Or you can just go to a park and make up the course. Take a frisbee for each person, and that’s all you need! Just like regular golf, see how many attempts it takes to make it to each basket.
6. Car and Dog Washing
Most kids love to wash cars on a sunny day, probably because it’s mostly about water fights and soap suds! Regardless, it keeps them busy outside and gets their energy out — plus, you have a clean car in the end. If the cars don’t need it, wash the dog instead! Knock on neighbors’ doors and see who has a car or dog that needs washing! Chances are, your neighbors will gladly pay your kids to get these jobs done for them.
7. Roller Skating
There’s always good old roller skating! Visit a roller skating rink for a nice break from the sun. Rinks will let you rent skates, and if you have little ones, they have “skate trainers.”
8. Dog Park
Dog parks are becoming more popular, and you can usually find one in every city. Take your dog (or a neighbor’s dog), a water bottle and water bowl, doggy bags, and a towel, and get ready for a lot of fun! Let the dogs and the kids RUN free in the wide, open space. Visit with other dogs, climb obstacles, have races, and everyone will be out of breath in no time.
9. Cul-de-sac Soccer
Like kickball, soccer is a sport that almost any age can handle. Get a group of neighbors together and bring a soccer ball or kickball. Use cones for the goals, or simply draw lines with chalk. The circular cul-de-sac is your field! Have an adult stand where the street extends to keep the ball from escaping and provide supervision.
10. Downtown Walking
Make the most of your city’s downtown, however large or small. Make an adventure out of exploring part of the city you’ve never been to! Look for interesting landmarks, shops, buildings, and restaurants. Find a farmer’s market, festival, museum, or park within the city.
Can’t talk your kids into doing some of these things? Invite another family to join you! When friends are involved, everything is more fun! Are you working this summer? Instead, plan one physical activity every Sunday with your kids. No matter how you do it, you’ll be making memories and giving your kids the exercise they need.
Tell us! What are your favorite physical activities for kids in the summer?