Staying Active this Summer

kids-playing-outside

It’s hard to believe that for many Canadian kids, summer is the most inactive season of all. Without structured programs, school physical education classes, and the active fun kids enjoy with their friends at recess and lunch, it’s no wonder so many kids are sedentary much of the summer.

It’s May – which means there are only a few weeks left until the school bells rings and springs them loose for the summer. Now is the time to start planning!

Check out the City of Richmond’s Spring 2013 Low Cost, No Cost Guide for affordable recreation in English, and in Chinese

There are often subsidies from the cities or charities that provide funding for sports program.  You can find some of these under Application Forms.

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The rest of these suggestions are posted by Catherine Cameron, Ambassador, Active Living on ParticipACTION Blog 

1) Swimming lessons. They’re available at no or low cost at community recreation centres. Swimming is a life skill that no child should be without and can lessons can help prepare them for a lifetime of water-based

2) Camps. Register your kids for summer camps that engage campers in plenty of active play every day.

3) Get the bikes out! Make bike riding your mode of transportation for the summer. Cycle to friend’s homes, swimming lessons, day camp if possible, grandma’s house, the corner store…

4) Parks and playgrounds. Spend evenings with your kids at local parks and playgrounds.

5) Hire a teen to care for and enjoy active time with your kids an hour or two each day. They can take your kids on bike rides, play soccer with them at a local park, teach them tennis on the public courts, take them to the playground, organize races, teach them how to play ball hockey, plan some nature hikes, and more. This is often a terrific solution for parents with older children who have little ones with differing needs, or for work-from-home parents attempting to juggle work and kids at home.

6) Check out the YMCA for camps for children of all ages as well as programs for teens. The YMCA offers financial assistance to those in need.

7) Introduce your kids to some new activities. Canoeing, kayaking, climbing, geocaching, orienteering, mountain biking, windsurfing. Check out overnight and day camp options, as well as lessons in your community. Many people are surprised at just what’s on offer in their own communities.

8) Encourage older children/teens to work towards their lifeguarding qualifications and to accrue the volunteer hours most require for high school graduation, within an active environment.

9) Summer leagues.  Leagues can help provide your children with the physical activity they need for health benefits, some super fun, and a whole team of friends with whom they can enjoy play dates while school’s out for the summer.

10) Plan ahead. Organize play dates, day trips and weekend hikes and longer bike rides ahead of time. Sure, there’s something wonderful about impromptu summer fun, but with most family’s whirlwind schedules, a little advance planning usually pays off.

Here’s to a summer of active fun for all!



Categories: Ask A Pediatrician, Parenting, Physical Activity

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