CHECK OUT THESE 5 ACTIVITIES THAT WILL KEEP CHILDREN ENGAGED IN MOVEMENT THIS SUMMER!
Summer is quickly approaching for children and parents. That means it’s time to find ways to keep kids both engaged and active during the summer. The importance of physical activity among young children cannot be stressed enough. Children who are active at least 60 minutes per day have lower rates of obesity, higher academic outcomes, and improved brain functioning. Plus, they begin developing healthy habits that can last a lifetime.
Walk and Seek
Walking can be fun and engaging for children if done in the right way. Children enjoy seeking and finding objects, colors, and so much more. Turn a basic walk into an activity that engages children in thinking while they are exercising. As you are walking, ask children to look for objects of different colors, shapes, or sizes, or objects that start with a certain letter of the alphabet. Then, allow children to ask you the same types of questions. This creates conversation, laughter, and exploration.
What Animal Am I?
This activity promotes both cognitive and gross motor movement skills. Ask children to think of an animal and move like the animal. Provide children with different categories of animals to choose from such as ocean animal, pet, or farm animal. For older children, use categories such as reptile, mammal, bird, and amphibian. Try out some of our animal suggestions below.
Get Active! Scavenger Hunt Race
This is a great opportunity for both teamwork and movement. Start by creating clues that will lead children through a series of brain and movement exercises. Here is an idea to write on paper to get started.
- Look for me far and wide. I have 4 legs, but I do not eat. Look for me. I am inside. Jump up and down 10 times to activate your mind. When you find me, bend down, and look up high. (This clue is intended to lead children to a kitchen table. They will look underneath the table to find the next clue.)
Next, place a series of clues around your space, making sure one clue leads to the next. Then, form at least two small teams of children. Teams should have at least two kids. Give children their first clue. Assist with reading and explanation if needed. Allow them to determine where the next clue might be, and provide hints if necessary. The winner is the team that solved the last clue first. After the race is over, encourage children to create their own scavenger hunt challenge that includes movement.
Add n’ Move
This activity combines movement and learning to create the ultimate experience for children’s minds and bodies. In this activity, children will work on mathematical skill development, an area which has seen slower growth for many students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Start by prompting children with a math problem, such as 5 + 5. Have children repeat the math problem out loud, and solve it using movement. For 5 + 5, kids should count aloud as they jump 10 times. To show their answers, children can also do jumping jacks, make arms circles, touch their toes, run back and forth from one point to another, etc.
Many children are also struggling to keep up with reading and writing milestones as a result of the pandemic. Practicing reading and writing skills over the summer will help prepare them for the school year ahead.
This activity works well with two or more children. Begin this activity by either assisting children in writing a sentence or allowing children to write the sentence themselves, depending on their academic level. Encourage kids to think of a sentence that includes an action such as running, skipping, bending, or twirling. After they have written their sentences, have one child read or say their sentence. Then, the other child should act it out. Encourage children to write multiple sentences and get creative with the action words they use to encourage different kinds of movement.
We hope these activities keep kids excited about moving and learning!
To discover more ways to keep kids active this summer, check out our 2021 Stay Active! Summer Challenge! starting in June for a chance to win a $250 back-to-school gift card!