With the fourth of July now behind us, the weather is getting warmer and the sun continues to shine. Raising young children can be exhausting. With so many daily responsibilities it can be easy to plop the kids in front of the TV while you take care of the dishes. Take a moment to think back on your own childhood summers. Is it the days you spent indoors that stand out? No! It’s all of the exciting times you had with your family. Here are 5 quick tips to help you take a break from the day to day monotony of life and get outside to play!
1. Be Nourished and Hydrated
We all know the importance of nutrition as an adult. For a baby, nutrition and health are even more critical. Before you adventure into the great outdoors, make sure your children are properly fed and hydrated to help their developing bodies deal with high temperatures and humidity. For children old enough to be on solid food, make sure you pack a snack which includes a “rainbow diet”. This means foods like Kale, Berries, Apples and other colorful vegetables that provide a complete source of nutrition.
2. Splash Around
Just because it’s hot out doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors! Whether you are living in an urban environment or out in the country, there is sure to be a pool, waterpark or lake around. Studies have shown that water play is actually instrumental in the development of children. Even if your children are too young to swim on their own, simply pouring water back and forth between two cups or splashing around in a wading pool can be enough. Water play helps children grasp concepts such as physics (motion, flow) and biology (plant life).
3. Go Camping
If you can manage a weekend off, camping with your children can be a fantastic bonding and developmental experience. Even if you have very young children, you do not have to give up your affection for the great outdoors. Babies as young as 1 month old can benefit from a weekend at a local campground. This experience can provide your children with a respect for nature, and help them gain knowledge of the relationship between humans and our environment by providing them with a new and exciting world to explore.
4. Take Their Friends to the Park
Not only will your fellow parents love you for giving them a break to catch up with their daily obligations, but socialization is an important developmental experience for children of all ages. The significance of doing this in an outdoor, active environment is that physical activity releases endorphins that improve children’s social skills. Activities such as playing on a playground or participating in make-believe games help fine-tune skills that will later be necessary for success in a team environment – something that is vital for success in educational and career pursuits.
5. Register for a Summer Camp
Need some alone time this summer? Whether you want to undertake that home renovation you’ve been putting off or simply take a personal vacation, summer camp is an important experience that all children should have the pleasure of taking part in. Summer camp helps children learn independence in an environment that is safe and accommodating. Additionally, most camps provide the opportunity for children to learn additional skills such as music, science or sporting activities.
With the kids out of school, summers can be a very busy time for families. Be sure to make the most of your time together by taking advantage of the many activities available to you. It’s easy to look back in September and wonder where the summer went, but the season is still young enough that you can still share experiences with your children that they will never forget.
Featured photo credit: Office of Public Affairs via flickr.com