As a parent, you may look forward to having that extended time with your children in the summer. However, there are times when you need to carry out your everyday tasks and can find the younger members of the household under your feet.
Then there are times when the kids are simply bored and want something else to do besides video games. While the internet plays a huge part in many children’s lives these days, there is a lot to be gained from heading outdoors in the summer.
Exercise, social activities, and not to mention some extra vitamin D, can all be gained from meeting up with other parents and families outdoors. Some activities are more suited to groups, and others can be enjoyed as a family.
If you are stuck for ideas for this summer, then here are a few outdoor activities, with one curveball thrown in for good measure.
Why should you encourage your children to head outdoors and play sports?
Since the end of 2019, millions of children have had their education, and their social lives disrupted. Outdoor activities were restricted, as was travel, at certain points.
Fortunately, for most people in the world, lockdowns have ended, and movement is once again freely available. However, even before Covid, it seems that children weren’t getting enough exercise.
The World Economic Forum reports that around 76% of American children are failing to get enough exercise, and in Europe the situation is similar. Over in the European Union, it is said that 1/4 of eleven-year-olds were getting the recommended one hour of exercise each day.
Many children will use their summer holidays to catch up with online gaming and spend copious hours indoors. With some encouragement, they could discover new sports and activities that improve their health and their social skills.
Here are eight activities to engage your child in sports and develop other skills
Below you will find eight different activities that your children could enjoy this summer. Some are suited to older children, and others depend on geography to a degree. However, there should be at least one or two that any child can enjoy, along with their parents.
Kayaking and boating
There was a huge rise in the popularity of kayaking in 2020. According to Statista, the number of people actively enjoying kayaking in 2019 was 16.62 million in the US. The following year though, that number rose to 18.12 million participants.
This may have been due to lockdowns, and many people wishing to get outside, or it might be that kayaking is becoming more accessible. Anyone wishing to take part in kayaking can join a club easily, or they could purchase their own.
There are many cheap kayaks in this guide, and if a child discovers a passion for this activity, it can be worth investing in their own vessel.
Not all parents are keen on their children owning skateboards. However, there are some advantages to getting into this sport. For one, skateboarding is linked to a lot of creative activities such as art and music. Secondly, skateboarding is a very social activity.
With many towns and cities designating proper skate parks, skateboarding no longer has to be on dangerous streets or in public areas.
While soccer may not have caught on in the US as much as in the rest of the world, it is a great outdoor summer sports for kids. It is inexpensive as little equipment is needed, and it can be played casually between friends, or competitively.
Indeed, all children need is a few friends and a ball for a kickabout in the local park. Perhaps then it is no wonder that soccer is the biggest and most popular sport in the world according to Statistics and Data.
If you are looking for something that you and your children can do together, then hiking is a great activity.
The joy of hiking is that you can go anywhere. Regardless of where you live in the states, there will be somewhere within reach that you can go and hike in. National parks abound, and there are trails to suit the youngest of beginners as well as seasoned adults.
Hiking isn’t just a great way to increase fitness, it can be educational too. Learning about different fauna and wildlife can be interesting and useful to youngsters, and a hiking trip can also be turned into a camp over.
Although this is a sport in certain situations, cycling is an excellent way to encourage your child to exercise without them even realizing it. In the same way that hiking gets your children outdoors, cycling can also encourage them to explore different trails.
Road safety is an important issue with cycling though, and you should also make sure younger children are with an adult or in a safe environment.
For a different type of activity, consider pickleball. If your kid isn’t keen on the regular sports such as baseball and basketball, then see if you can interest them in something different.
Pickleball was invented in Washington in 1965 as a game to be played by a local family. However, it is now a popular sport with many clubs across the country. There is little expense involved, and anyone can play pickleball.
Whether your child can go surfing may depend on their age and your location. However, it is a great summer sports for kids or summertime activity for those that are suitable.
Surfing teaches balance, increases confidence, and can be surprisingly social while seeming as if it is a solo activity.
This is definitely not an outdoor activity, nor is it a sport. You may wonder what are escape rooms and are they suitable for kids? Well, if your child really enjoys video games or puzzles, and just doesn’t seem to want to be involved in sports too much then an escape room may be a compromise.
Escape rooms involve a group trying to solve puzzles to find their way out of a locked room. They are organized and safe environments, and they help with development too. Children can use their brains, learn to communicate, learn teamwork, and also grow in confidence. It isn’t a sport but at least it is engaging.
Staying safe in the summer while outside
Whatever activity your child gets involved in, it is important they remain safe. For instance, kayaking can be done through organized groups with instructors trained in safety.
Hiking should be done with an adult, and adequate water and food taken along. Being aware of the sun is also critical, and you should read the essential information on summer skin care.
The summer is a glorious time of the year, and sitting indoors playing Fortnite for the entire length of the holidays would be a shame. Children don’t get enough exercise, and there are plenty of options for even the least sporting of children.
Even an evening cycle with your young ones would be beneficial, but you might find that getting them involved in other activities leads to a long-term hobby. Once your child gets into a kayak or scores their first goal on a soccer pitch, there may be no looking back.