Make This the Most Active Summer Vacation Ever
In the age of video games, social media and DVRs, it can be tough to keep kids active during the summer months. That’s because with the end of school often comes the end of schedules, organized sports and extracurricular activities. Luckily, Michigan is at its best in the summer, meaning it’s never been a better time for your kids to get outside and play. Here’s some inspiration to help get them going:
Take a family walk. This first idea is also the easiest—after dinner go for a stroll around the neighborhood with your children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day—and walking is a great way to get some in. It’s also interruption-free quality time where you can chat with your kids about things going on in their lives.
Visit a u-pick produce farm. There is nothing quite like visiting a pick-your-own produce farm on a warm summer morning to pick up fruits and vegetables for the week. Your kids will enjoy filling up a basket of produce and learning about the benefits of gardening. An added bonus? You will be supporting local farmers and the local economy.
Hit the trails. Lace up your shoelaces, strap on your helmet and grab your bikes. Michigan has more than 2,000 miles of trails that are perfect for enjoying a long bike ride together. You can also rollerblade, run or do a nature hunt along them. To help your outing last longer, pack a healthy picnic lunch for along the trail.
Register your kids at a summer camp. Whether your child is a sports enthusiast or relatively new to being active, there is a summer camp that caters to their interest. Many summer camps feature canoeing, hiking, adventure courses, horseback riding and organized sports. Summer camps can also help kids learn teamwork, build lifelong friendships and help make the transition back to school easier.
Sign up for swim classes at a local pool. Signing your kids up to learn how to swim is a good way for them to stay active while cooling off during hot summer days. Learning how to swim can also be a lifesaving skill and you might just find out your son or daughter is a natural in the water. Contact your local YMCA or community group for more information about swim lessons.
Organize a neighborhood baseball game. Invite everyone on your block to your backyard (if it’s big) or a local park to play a game or two. Afterwards, throw some fresh veggies on the grill for a barbecue or treat everyone to fresh watermelon wedges.
How will you explore the great outdoors and Michigan this summer? For more adventures, check out these other blogs:
- The Insider’s Guide to the Best Biking Near Traverse City
- Six Great Michigan Beaches to Take the Family to This Summer
- Of the 129 Lighthouses in Michigan, Which Will You Visit This Summer?
This blog post is part of #MIKidsCan, an initiative created by Blue Cross Blue Shield Michigan to promote positive change in the health and well-being of Michigan youth. To learn more about the campaign, visit http://www.ahealthiermichigan.org/mikidscan
Photo credit: Jereme Rauckman