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5 Affordable Ways to Keep Kids Active During Summer

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

If you are like many parents, summer time can be stressful when it comes to keeping kids busy. Plus, it can get tough to do our own self care of daily exercise and proper nutrition.

But with a little planning, summer can be an amazing opportunity to spend quality time as a family and include everyone in a healthy lifestyle.

As parents ourselves, we understand the struggle. Especially when you add a busy career or multiple aged kids with different interests.

Rather than veering from organized life while kids are home, we've put together a few ideas of constructive activities everyone can enjoy.

Here we share five ways everyone can stay active, including parents - and without stressing the budget.

1) Do a Daily Physical Challenge

Of course we advocate the importance of daily and intentional movement. Just because the kids are home, doesn't mean you go without exercise.

And let's not forget they need to be exercising as well.

In fact, this is the perfect opportunity to instill the importance of exercise through your example.

Here we made a free 30 day calendar for kids filled with daily exercise / movement challenges that everyone can do. Feel free to add weights, reps, length to personalize needs.

Print this off and hang it on the fridge. Make this a morning priority along with breakfast. You will feel accomplished first thing and set the tone in your home for the day.

2) Sign Up for Service

Summertime is awesome for BBQ's and pool time, but you can also make memories as a family by helping others.

If your schedule is a bit more flexible now that your not contending with school hours, reach out to a local charity. If possible, let your kids pick a project that interests them.

Together, you can make a positive impact within your community. A bonus would be to find services that are active like gardening, loading and moving boxes etc.

Here area few resources to help you get started.

3) Try a New Indoor Activity Center

One way to beat the heat and stay active is to find indoor activity centers that have something for everyone.

Most cities and towns have recreation centers that offer a variety of activities. These are usually inexpensive or even free. A quick search on the internet will help you find the one closest to you.

You can also consider finding inside activities more specific to your families interests. One that we recommend is a new rock climbing gym in Gilbert, AZ. Alta Climbing has two locations in the east valley and accommodates both youth and adults.

4) Let the Littles Choose

Make a list of things your kids want to do. After all, most of us have kids with endless energy. Let them lead the way and you may be surprised how many zone minutes you acquire.

After they help make an activity list, choose one thing off the list everyday to do together.

Not everything will be "active", and that's ok. Our list has things like read a book, color together, snuggle, try a new recipe, play-doh wars, board games, bike rides, try a new water park and go for a walk.

Summertime is ideal to let kids lead the pace and activities. After all, this time is meant to be a break for them and have some free time. You may be surprised how little time it takes, but how happy it makes them to have your attention on things they want to do.

Having your older kids do these activities with the younger kids is also a great way to bond and make memories together.

5) Tackle Some Home Projects

As parents, one of our jobs is to teach work ethic and responsibility. Kids thrive on accomplishing tasks. And as a bonus, this can be a source of solid movement for you!

As an experiment, I turned my calorie tracker on when doing household chores. In 90 minutes, I burned 1100 calories. There's your fitness incentive to tackle some of those projects with your kids - or just get busy picking things ups.

This can be anything from sweeping off the porch, to mowing the lawn. As they successfully complete their lists, their confidence increases.

An added benefit, once they become proficient at these tasks, your load becomes lighter year round.

Of course, age appropriate assignments should be given. Also consider if it's something you need to supervise or teach.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Learn how to do laundry (older kids)

  • Learn how to fold laundry

  • Take turns washing dishes

  • Start a summer garden and tend it daily / weekly

  • Clean out the car

  • Feed / bath animals

  • Clean windows

  • How to properly disinfect a bathroom (older kids)

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