The Summer holiday has flown by so quickly and we have enjoyed many a day in the fresh air, spending time in the campervan and exploring everything that the UK has to offer. I look back to my own childhood and remember our Summer holidays spent in Abersoch, North Wales, with day after day of walks, bike rides and beach days. I have always wanted this for my little ones, and often try to think of great and fun ideas to keep kids active and to enjoy the great outdoors.
When the people over at Skate Hut asked me for ideas to keep kids active this summer, it got me thinking. *NHS Guidance recommends that kids should be active for 60 minutes a day to maintain healthy hearts and bones. With televisions, computer games, tablet, phones and laptops increasingly available, it can be hard to pull kids away from the screens to enjoy some exercise and the fresh air. With the light nights and the summer evenings, it is great to get outside, enjoy quality family time and to force that digital detox.
Here are seven ideas to get kids off the sofa and to keep them active over the Summer.
Walking is a great activity that all the family can enjoy, and even better that it is totally free! There are so many wonderful walks to enjoy in the United Kingdom. An evening stroll or an hour walking the pooch, come rain or shine, gives opportunity for families to talk, relax, take in the scenery and enjoy the fresh air.
This is a great activity and one that most kids enjoy. We have just returned from a wonderful holiday visiting the Isles of Scilly, and we were able to hire bikes on the island of Tresco. It was lovely to see so many children cycling around. The roads were wonderful for cycle rides, flat (in parts) and smooth. It was also relatively cheap to hire out bikes, helmets and bikes seats/trailers for the day/week if required. For those who do not own a bike, there are options – look out for schemes and bike libraries, similar to one which has been set up in Yorkshire, ensuring everyone has access to a bike.
There is something about a skateboard or a scooter that kids absolutely love. Our girls are really loving their scooters at the moment and our three year old has finally mastered turning (which makes for a happier scooter ride). Our six year old would take hers everywhere if we would let her, and actually favours it to walking. She is getting a little bit big for her scooter now and we have been looking at these scooters from the Skate Hut for her birthday (ssssh….don’t tell her!!)
This activity can be done whatever the weather, and doesn’t cost the earth. We recently spent three days at the Andrewshayes Holiday Park in Devon and we experienced some torrential rain. It could have been really difficult as our campervan is tight for space, as you can imagine. Luckily there was a swimming pool on site with a retractable roof, and it proved a life saver. All of our little ones loved it, and we had a really lovely afternoon as a family. Swimming pools often have designated family sessions and it is an activity all of the family can enjoy whatever the age.
For those of you who are lucky enough to live by the sea or take a holiday by the Coast, surfing is a great activity to encourage children outdoors. We visited one of my special friends over the Summer who lives in a beautiful village in Cornwall. We chose a beach that had lifeguards on duty for safety. Our eldest tried it for the first time this Summer and we struggled to get her out of the sea. She borrowed a wetsuit to keep her protected and warm, and we didn’t see her for most of the afternoon.
Skip/ hoola hoop
Skipping is a wonderful activity to increase strength, coordination and agility. It can be done on your own, but can also encourage team work. Skipping ropes are easily transportable so can be taken on holiday, or just when you are going out for the day…but even better, children can practice their skills in the back garden. Hoola hoops are also great fun and great exercise (it may take some perseverance and determination to master those hoola skills!).
Go to the park
My three year old has a huge love for a park. Ask her to walk anywhere and we hear the constant moans of ‘my legs are just toooo tired mummy!!’ Take her to a park and those tired legs make a miraculous recovery! Heading to a park can incorporate all kinds of skills including problem solving, jumping, running, balancing and climbing, and even better – its free.
We haven’t had the best weather this Summer for enjoying the great outdoors – do you have any ideas to add to the list to encourage kids to keep active ?
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