Help Your Children Get the Most Out of Summer

Summer means longer days, no school, and warmer temperatures. Parents may be tempted to stay indoors and enjoy the air conditioning. Your kids, though, are probably full of energy and want to make the most of their summer vacation. There are a variety of activities to do inside, but staying active and soaking in the sunlight is beneficial for kids. Read on for some healthy, fun ways to keep your kids active this summer.

The Benefits of Keeping Kids Active in the Summer

Children need at least one hour of physical activity each day to stay healthy both physically and mentally, whether it’s a structured activity or free play. According to healthcare experts, preschool students generally need more activity than older children.

Children learn about the world and themselves through play. It builds their confidence, minimizes symptoms of anxiety and depression, improves sleep quality, and makes it easier for children to concentrate when tasks require it. Regular physical activity helps children develop basic motor skills and coordination. It also contributes to improved cardiovascular endurance, muscle and bone strength, and flexibility.

It’s worth mentioning that, although experts suggest an hour of exercise each day, children don’t need to be active for a full block of 60 minutes. You can break up the activities into 15 minutes here and 15 minutes there for the same results, which can really help if your child has trouble concentrating on longer tasks. The following are some fun ways to stay active during the summer.

1. Explore the Great Outdoors

Why not make the most of the beautiful New Jersey summer weather and take your family outside on a nature hike? Visiting new cities and places gives you the chance to have new experiences and make new memories, but even just a walk around your neighborhood can be turned into an exciting activity. Multiple websites have downloadable guides that can encourage your kids to pay closer attention to what is going on around them as they walk, for example.

Have your kids bring a pen, paper, and notebook with them so they can jot down things they see, like a particular type of leaf, insect, or animal. The more descriptive the information your children include, the better, as it stimulates their brains and gives them structure.

2. Encourage Indoor Fun

Outdoor fun in New Jersey is weather dependent. Unfortunately, the weather during the summer in New Jersey can be unreliable. For this reason, parents need to plan ways to keep their children physically and mentally active in the event of a summer storm in advance.

Hidden Objects is a great game that can be played with just one child or a group of children. Have your children find a book and then choose three or four objects related to the book. Organize the objects underneath a towel. Give each kid 30 seconds to memorize the objects. Ask all the kids to close their eyes and hide one object. Lift the towel. Ask the kids to identify which object is missing.

Another game that will keep kids active indoors is called Esquinas (“Corners” in Spanish). In this game, you number four corners in a room. Having your children start in the center of the room, close your eyes and give the children a few seconds to run into one of the corners. Afterward, call out the number of one of the corners. Any child that’s in the corresponding corner is out that round. You repeat this until all the kids are out. The last child standing will be the one who will call out the corner number the next round.

3. Take Advantage of Summer Camps

We would be remiss if we did not mention our very own Chartwell’s Happy Day Camp. We offer acres and acres of supervised fun for children between the ages of three and 15. Our camp has been specifically designed for parents who demand quality for their children and want the confidence that comes from knowing their children are attending a safe kids camp.

You may be wondering if our summer day camp is the right fit for your child and their personality. It could be that your child has not spent a lot of time away from you with the exception of going to school, or you may feel worried that they will feel like an outsider.

Although each child has their own personality, our safe kids camp has been designed to benefit all children, regardless of their interests. Best of all, our summer day camp in New Jersey helps children create positive memories that will last the rest of their lives.

Summer camp lets them develop lifelong skills as they participate in group activities. It promotes independence as children experience what it is like to have time away from a parent while still having the safety that comes from qualified adult supervision.

Children have a routine of schoolwork, homework, and sleep during the school year. Summer camp, on the other hand, lets them play within a structured environment. As a new experience, it can help teach kids resiliency, allowing them to push forward after a setback. The benefits of summer day camp are endless and last a lifetime. Your children can even make friends and create memories they will hold onto forever.

4. Get Your Kids Into Gardening

Gardening in the backyard is a great way to help kids burn energy during the summer. Kids often love planting seeds. Giving them a sunny spot where they can watch their seeds sprout is sure to keep them entertained. Digging in the dirt, pulling weeds, and watering a garden are great ways for them to burn energy.

You want to make things fun, so choose easy-to-grow plants, like beetroot, radishes, salad leaves, potatoes, or cucumbers. You can include herbs, flowers, and leaves as well.

Building a trellis fort in the shape of a tunnel from logs, branches, and twine is a good exercise, too. This project will show kids how to direct vines upwards, eventually creating an enclosed space perfect for shade and privacy and giving them experience with tools and small-scale DIY construction work.

Before the new school year starts, your children will likely be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Kids are more likely to eat vegetables if they play a role in growing them themselves.

5. Have Some Friendly Competition

Children can be competitive. Few rivalries are as great as those that exist between siblings. Encouraging competition is a great way to teach your kids new games, and it’s exciting. They can have a little exercise together.

If you are at a loss for ideas, why not try the game Volcanoes and Craters? A fast-paced game for two or more players, it’s both competitive and inclusive.

Get an even number of cones or plastic cups and divide your kids into two teams. They can even be two teams of one player on each team. Lay out the cups in between the groups and set a timer for 90 seconds. One team’s job is to turn all the cups face up to create “craters.” The other team’s job is to turn them face down, making “volcanoes.” When the timer goes off, the team with the most craters or volcanoes, respectively, is the winner.

Focus on Physical Activities

Some of the best memories children make are during the summer. Make sure that your child’s summer is full of enjoyable physical activities. These should be a mixture of muscle strengthening, aerobic, and cardiovascular activities.

At Chartwell’s Happy Day Camp in Marlton, NJ, our counselors are experienced and dedicated to ensuring your child has a safe and fun-filled time. Contact us today at (856) 983-8827 or, and let us help you schedule summer activities your children will enjoy and remember fondly for the rest of their life.