Give Your Child Fun and Safe Indoor and Outdoor Activities

Get Outside and Exercise!

Did you know? Kids and teens should get 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily? Toddlers and preschool children should play actively several times a day. If it’s not dangerously hot, try to get outside a few times a day to burn off energy. These suggestions can be done inside on those hotter days too!

  • Build an Obstacle Course: This can be done in your yard or a nearby park! Use hula hoops, jump ropes, sticks, stones and other materials from around your home. Your kids can take turns running through or if they’re up for some competition, set a timer and make it a game.

  • Scavenger Hunt: Most kids love searching for hidden treasures! Choose some exciting items to hide (ex. fruit, stickers, crayons, IOU for a hug or something special), leave clues and watch your child run around searching and exploring. This is an effective way to work both their mind and body! (Another option for scavenger hunts is items you can find in nature (multi-colored leaf, stick the size of your arm, interesting looking rock, a feather). Make a list and send your children on the hunt!)

  • Simon Says: This classic and much-loved game is an easy way to incorporate some fitness in disguise. Use Simon commands like: Shake your whole body, jump up and down, spin around in circles, do a somersault, walk like a crab, hop like a frog, balance on your left foot for 10 seconds, etc.

  • Dance or Sing: Have each child make up a new dance routine and teach the rest of the family. Or perform a favorite song or write new words to music. Foster creativity in every member of the family including Mom, Dad, Auntie or Grandpa!

  • Yoga: Try a guided yoga practice with your children. Yoga helps to increase coordination, strength, flexibility and can be a fun way to exercise! Practicing yoga can help your children learn healthy lifestyle habits and set the foundation for a fit future. If you want to follow along with an instructor, you can find many guided yoga videos for children on YouTube. Remember, you don’t need yoga mats or lots of space to do yoga, clear a section in a bedroom or living room and get started!

DIY Projects!

Did you know, creative experiences can help children express and cope with their feelings? With all that is going on in the world, now is the perfect time to get creative to see if this could be a beneficial outlet for your child.
  • Make a Bird Feeder: Birds are beautiful, and you can enjoy watching them by creating a bird feeder! Find a large stick, coat it with some peanut butter, roll it in some birdseed or Popped popcorn, no salt or butter) and hang it from a tree branch with some string. This is a simple way to have your child connect with nature and animals.

  • Cook: Plan a meal that your child could help prepare and cook. Cooking skills are great to teach to young ones. Choose their favorite food and watch your child beam over the final product! Take a picture to commemorate and honor their accomplishments!

  • Decorate Rocks: Go for a walk and collect some cool rocks. At home, have your child decorate them with paint, markers, glitter and other art supplies. The rocks will make a beautiful addition to your garden or outdoor space, and your child will feel super proud contributing to it!

  • Make a Memory Book: Have each child make a book with paper and string, decorate the outside, and have them color, draw and use photos to highlight their summer and life. Celebrate fun activities, new things they have learned, and focus on acknowledging the hard work they have put into this album.

Go on Adventures!

Normally our kids’ lives are overscheduled, filled with pressure, and can be pretty intense. One thing we have learned this year is how to slow down and think outside of the box in order to stay busy. The best way to do this: ADVENTURES! Our younger kids and teenagers need wilderness and adventure in their lives and who better to model it to them than us, their parents.
  • Camp in the Yard: If there’s no campground available, camp in the yard! This is a great way to bond with your child in a fun, adventurous way. Pitch a tent, look at the stars and embrace the summer night together.

  • Picnic: You can host a special lunch without even leaving your property. Pack up a lunch and a blanket and venture to your yard, local park (or living room if it’s too hot) for a memorable and fun meal.

  • Start a Garden: You don’t need a big yard to accomplish this. A sunny location, a few pots, some dirt and seeds will do the trick. Assign your child the task of weeding and watering daily. Gardening is an ongoing adventure, but the real reward is eating the crops!

Stay Cool!

Make sure your children get plenty of liquids especially water to stay healthy and active this summer and help them develop good hydration habits for a lifetime. In addition, water activities are always a plus. Use sunblock and find shade when you can!
  • Wash Your Car: If you have access to a safe driveway, have your child help wash your car. It will keep them busy, cool and will save you money! Let them fill up a big bucket of water mixed with some soap, give them a sponge and let them scrub and rinse.

  • Dance in the Rain: There’s nothing better than a gentle summer rainstorm. As long as there is no thunder or lightening, allow your child to cool off while dancing in the rain. Some parents may hate the idea of a messy, wet child frolicking in the rain; but they will definitely appreciate the surprise of allowing them to do so. Dance around in swimsuits, catch raindrops in your mouth and jump in the puddles. Dance those rainy summer blues away!

If you or your child are struggling this summer, take advantage of our California Parent & Youth Helpline. Please reach out to confidentially talk, text or live chat with a Trained and Compassionate Helpline Counselor to receive evidence-based emotional support and resource referral. The California Parent & Youth Helpline operates 7 days a week from 8:00AM-8:00PM PST. Also, you can join a Free, Online Support Group. Parents Anonymous® also offers a National Helpline: 855-427-2736 Mon – Fri 10AM – 7PM PST at https://parentsanonymous.org.

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