To help kids get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day, the american council on exercise suggests these 10 fun summer activities.
1. Soccer: This highly active game involving both agility and teamwork continues to grow in popularity in the U.S. To keep kids injury free, be sure they wear shin guards and shoes with cleats or ribbed soles to prevent slipping.
2. Martial arts: With a variety of forms to choose from, martial arts incorporate strength, coordination and mental discipline. Proper training and equipment to prevent injury are a must.
3. Bike riding: Bicycle riding is fun for the whole family. Children should ride on sidewalks and paths until they are at least 10 years old and able to follow the rules of the road. Helmets, of course, are a necessity for children and adults.
4. Swimming: Swimming offers the benefits of a full-body workout for all ages. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends swimming lessons for children ages four and up, although classes are available for babies and toddlers as well.
5. Basketball: Basketball is ideal for developing hand-eye coordination and teamwork. Encourage children under the age of seven to use a smaller foam or rubber ball, and lower the height of the basket, if possible.
6. Obstacle courses: Challenge kids to use a variety of different skills by setting up an obstacle course at the park using playground equipment or other items, such as jump ropes, balls and cones.
7. Dancing: Dancing encourages kids to be creative and move their bodies freely. For video gamers, innovative games can challenge opponents to follow a dance routine on the screen. Kids can spend time learning new moves while also getting a great workout.
8. Board sports: Whether winter snowboarding, summer surfing or skateboarding year-round, kids love to be on the board. Snowboarders and skateboarders should wear helmets to prevent head injuries, and surfers or boogie-boarders should always be accompanied by an adult.
9. Jumping rope: Jumping rope is still a favorite on most playgrounds. Whether alone or in a group, jumping rope challenges both coordination and stamina.
10. Ice skating/inline skating/hockey: Skating can be both fun and safe, as long as appropriate protective gear such as a helmet, wrist guards and knee pads are worn. Hockey players should wear a helmet with foam lining and a full facemask; a mouth guard; gloves; and pads for shoulders, knees, elbows and shins.