Don’t let the looming summer scare the fun out of having a family adventure! Keeping your family active is about adding a little creativity and our guide will help.
The last day of school is filled with a lot of mixed emotions. The kids are excited about no more classes. Yet parents are sent into a panicked frenzy trying to plan activities to keep their children busy. Summer is exciting, but it can be particularly difficult for single parents and parents who are struggling to make co-parenting work. Children spend time with their fathers more than one time a week in 22% of co-parenting cases. The time spent with children can be extended by including the other parent in family activities more often. That’s why we offer a guide to keeping your family active this summer!
Make a Plan with Other Family Members
Co-parenting can be difficult during the summer months. If modifications to your schedule are needed this summer, then talk to your co-parent about doing so. Keep them involved, because in order to keep your kids healthy and active during summer break, everyone needs to be included.
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This means involving the other parent, if you are in a co-parenting relationship. Its more than just taking the kids to an amusement park on the weekend. Both parents need to be active participants in their children’s education, even during summer break.
Ask Teachers or Counselors About Mind Stimulating Summer Activities
Kids are not going to be the biggest fans of this one, but they will thank you in the end. Inquire with teachers the last week of school about extra practice packets children can do to keep their minds stimulated. Summer break is a long time and a little work goes far. A lot of the new ideas learned before the break could dissipate, if not reinforced. Because the majority of divorces award custody to the mother, 75% to be exact, try to plan activities that involve dad. Some of the things you can do include:
- Take a trip to the local library, get each kid their own library card. Make reading fun! Kids like competing, especially with siblings. Make it a challenge who can read the most books (or magazines) during summer break. The reward can be monetary or dinner at a favorite restaurant.
- Do your kids like watching T.V.? Why not make that fun and educational at the same time? Purchase some streaming channels such as Animal Planet, the Discovery or National Geographic Channel. All of these channels have programs designed to make learning fun for children (of all ages).
- Check the local newspaper for summer activities. Your community park usually has something going on, summer programs or activities to stimulate children’s growing minds.
Try to Keep it Physical
Keep in mind that growing children need at least one hour of physical activity a day. These should be activities that are muscle strengthening and aerobic. Suggest to your co-parenting partner that they coach a youth sport such as soccer, baseball, or flag football. The youth athletic divisions of many parks and recreation departments are always short-handed for coaches. Plus, as an added bonus, coaching is an excellent bonding method.
Be Mindful of Others Should They Get Sick
I know, it’s summertime! Yet there are more than 200 various viruses that can create cold and flu symptoms during summer. These symptoms can be anything from a runny nose to a scratchy throat and sneezing. The majority of viruses are rampant during winter, but many attack during summertime as well.
Keep in mind that a fever can be temperatures ranging between 100.4 to 104.0 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t risk it. Postpone an event until the sick person is better. It is bad enough to be sick, but knowing you are also being left out of the fun is even worse.
Best of All, Have Fun!
The most important thing about summer break and being a family is having fun. Vacations are for building memories to last a lifetime and keeping your family active is something to look forward to. Therefore, having fun together should be a number one priority! Happy Summer vacation!
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