5 Ways to Keep Kids Moving this Summer

May 16th, 2016 by Live Well Omaha Kids

School’s almost out for summer! Summertime often brings more free time for kids. In this week’s blog post, Teresa Lovings from the YMCA of Greater Omaha talks with Live Well Omaha Kids about keeping kids active when school is out of session.

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7.15-7As the end of the school year approaches, I start to dream about warm summer days. Pool time with my kids, long vacations, and a slower pace. This time of year also starts the panic in planning what to do with my kids since they won’t have school to keep them occupied.  As a working mother of three, I know I can’t always be present and give them things to do, but I can help set them up to be responsible, healthy adults.

  1. Encourage backyard play. Sandboxes, swing sets, and trampolines are all great tools to allow your children to develop active imaginations and stay energized. We regularly have a sandbox full of little boys who love to build, destroy, and rebuild amazing cities and forts out of sand. The scooping and stacking help them build fine motor skills while the jumping and running will continue to improve their gross motor development.
  2. Create a to-do list for older kids that must be completed before any electronics can be used. Last summer my kids had to do a household chore such as vacuuming or dusting, read and play outside for 30 minutes, and complete a creative activity (Lego build, action figure play, or arts and crafts) before they were allowed to turn on their iPods, play a video game, or watch TV. There were a lot of days where they didn’t even get to a screen because they became involved with other activities.
  3. If your schedule and finances allow enroll them in one of the many activities that are happening around your parks or at your local YMCA. All of our YMCAs offer Summer Day Camp for youth ages 5-12 (some branches take children as young as 4). Our Summer Day Camp program was awarded the Children’s Hospital and Medical Center’s Fighting Childhood Obesity grant for the second year in a row. This grant will ensure we have the tools to provide your campers with fun active games and sound nutrition education, including a weekly dietitian presentation and daily healthy snack. And don’t forget, the YMCA offers financial assistance to those who qualify. YMCA of Greater Omaha Summer Day Camp
  4. Exercise- wheelbarrow raceBring your kids to one of your local YMCAs for our fun family fitness activities.
    • The Southwest and Downtown YMCAs offer Family Friendly fitness classes on a regular basis for youth who are 10 and older, have completed our Youth Fitness Training class, and are accompanied by an adult. These classes range from yoga to dance fitness and can provide both parent and child with a great workout.
    • Many of our locations offer classes that are designed specifically for youth ages 8-12. These classes use games and sports to engage your kids in physical activity that will keep them entertained whiledeveloping a love for an active lifestyle. Youth can take part in these classes for FREE if they are members.
    • We also have offerings for your young athletes ages 10-14 to work with our certified personal trainers to help develop their skills in the off season. Check with your local Y for times and rates.
  5. Register for a local 5K or other event with your whole family. There are many fun races in the local area that will allow you to encourage your children to be active and help you achieve your fitness goals as well. The Color Run 5K is July 16 or your children can specifically compete in the Second Annual Kids Triathlon on August 6 hosted by the Papio Tri Group.

The summer is a great time to try a new activity as a family, whether it be fishing, swimming, camping, or going on an adventure take this time to enjoy all the outdoors has to offer. As you continue to explore options for your children, know that we at the YMCA are proud of our 150 years of serving the community and look forward to helping you maintain your active lifestyle and develop your children into healthy active adults.

Theresa Lovings, Health & Wellness Director, YMCA of Greater Omaha

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