[3 MIN READ]
As a parent, do you ever feel like you have a love/hate relationship with summer? On the one hand, it means looser schedules, more family time and a chance for kids to enjoy a couple of months off from the daily rigors of school. On the other hand, there’s the question of just what to do with the kids to keep them engaged, active and away from too many unhealthy snacks.
Luckily, there are lots of ways to keep your kids active and enjoying healthy snacks. (Bonus: This list will help keep you armed with ideas when you hear, “I’m bored” or “I’m hungry” for the millionth time!)
Try these tips:
Fun summer activities for kids
Keeping kids active during the summer doesn’t always need to revolve around camps or vacations. There are lots of safe, no-cost or low-cost activities to entertain the kiddos while keeping them moving and even learning along the way.
- Batter up (with balloons). Play ball! But this time, combine two fun summer games into one. Fill up some small balloons with water and give kids a swing with a whiffle bat. Then get ready for lots of water and lots of laughs.
- Make a splash! A local splash park can be a fun, active outing — and a great way to beat the heat. Keep in mind that some are free and some aren’t. And be sure to use sunscreen and re-apply it often.
- Look to your library. There are more than just kids’ books at the local library. They often have loads of summer activities and events for different ages. You could also introduce children to audiobooks and educational computer games. Libraries were also made for rainy or too-hot summer days.
- Go for a night walk. An evening stroll may offer cooler temperatures and a chance to pause for some stargazing. It’s even more fun when you make it a “pajama walk.” Put on PJs and footwear suitable for walking outdoors — the kids will love feeling like they’re doing something out of the ordinary even when they’re on a relaxing stroll.
- Bring on the butterflies. Help kids learn how to care for their very own plants during the summer. Why not do it with a butterfly garden? There are hundreds of butterfly species, so chances are you’ll attract a variety to your garden with the right kind of flowers. It’s a great way to teach kids to research the types of flowers that butterflies seek.
- Go fly a kite. Get a colorful kite and find a large, clear area to get it flying high. Kite-flying can teach your kids to be patient and boost their coordination.
Easy and healthy summer snacks for kids
All those healthy, fun activities can make a kid hungry. Plan to give them healthy snacks that will help keep them satisfied between meals, and on the right track when it comes to the best snack choices.
- Hit the trail…mix. Here’s a simple recipe for trail mix: Mix unsalted nuts with dried fruit, sunflower seeds, popcorn, or mini chocolate chips.
- Be ready to grab-and-go. Plan ahead by portioning snack foods in small plastic bags or reusable containers. A banana, grapes, or baby carrots are nicely portable and good-to-go when you need them.
- Create a combo. Bring together tasty combinations of food groups that are filling and satisfying between meals. For instance, bring together apples and peanut butter, yogurt and blueberries, or avocado wrapped in turkey.
- Dive into dip. There are a lot of tasty, nutritious dips that can make veggies like peppers or cucumbers a welcome choice. Try hummus, guacamole, or baba ghanoush (an eggplant dip).
Looking for more advice on healthy summer snacks and activities for your kids? Talk with your doctor about ways to help your children enjoy their summer. You can find a Providence doctor using our provider directory. Or, you can search for a primary care doctor in your area.
About the AuthorMore Content by Providence Children's Health Team