School's out and Summer fun begins, right? Well yes, the fun begins, but what do you do when the kids are already bored and you’re thinking, “I’ve still got another 3 months of this ahead of me?”
Kids are fantastic and wonderful to spend time with, but we all know that kids have a lot of energy. The best things for parents AND kids is to find positive constructive ways to expend that energy. Summertime affords us the luxury of getting outdoors and getting our kids physically active. As a kids fitness coach, I know how much parents love when their kids get some good physical activity in – because it means they fall asleep right after dinner time!
The other thing we know about our kids, though, is that they are pretty clever and get bored easily. The best way to keep the body and mind of our children occupied in the sunny summer weather is to send them outside with some new games to play.
Farmers & Lumberjacks
Supplies needed for this game: 20-30 orange cones
Divide up into 2 teams. Arrange the cones out in an open room or field. Half the cones should be on their sides. Half are standing upright. The “Farmers” have the job of standing all the cones up. The “Lumberjacks” have the job of knocking all the cones down. Cones can only be touched with your hands. A winner is declared when all cones are either up or down. If a game lasts three minutes, time is called and the team with the majority of cones wins.
Fill It Up
Supplies needed for this game: 4 plastic buckets, 2 small plastic cups, 1 measuring cup
Divide the kids up into two teams. Teams line up single file next to a bucket of water. One at a time they fill their plastic cup with water and walk it to a second bucket approximately 30 meters away. The game is done when all water is transferred from the original bucket to the second bucket. The judge then measures the water in the two buckets. The bucket with the most water, i.e. the least spilled by participants, wins the game.
Clean the Yard
Supplies needed for this game: An assortment of balls – kickballs, soccerballs, nerf balls, medicine balls
Divide the children into two teams. Divide the room or field into two sides. Line up all the balls on the center line. Each side claims a half of the field/room. Their half is their “yard.” Their “neighbors” on the other side have been bothering them, putting their “garbage” (the assorted balls) on their side. The neighbors are sick of cleaning up for each other! The game begins with each team 10 feet back from the center line. It ends when one side has successfully cleared their side of all the balls and has put all their “garbage” in their neighbor’s yard!
“Egg” Relay Races
Supplies needed for this game: plastic spoons, ping-pong balls
Divide the kids up into teams or 2 or 3 each. Line them up on one side of the room or field. Have a turnaround point marked about 30 feet out. Each child will be given a spoon and a ping pong. The ping pong is their “egg” – they must carry the egg on their spoon. They can only old the spoon between their thumb and forefinger, at the very end of the spoon. No other body parts can touch the spoon. They will relay race down to the turnaround point and back. Get creative! They can do walking lunges, duck walks, silly walks, and all sorts of other balance challenging movements to get to the turnaround and back. The first team who has every member complete every type of walk wins!
These are four simple ways to get your kids outside and moving around. They challenge balance, coordination, teamwork, communication, strength and conditioning. They also require very little setup, few rules, and minimal equipment. All in all it’s a win-win situation for tired parents and bored kids!
And here are a few other things to keep in mind while spending time outdoors with your children:
· Loose clothing
· Cap or sunglasses