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Summertime is just around the corner which means we will be living for the outdoors. Since here in Michigan we only get about three months of warm weather, we try to make the most of all the outdoor play we can (including water play of course). You know how I love fitness and staying active with my kids, however I never will say “let’s get some exercise” because to kids, playing is being active which is exactly what they need on a daily basis. Plain old physical activity.
Since we don’t always have 90 degree days in Michigan there are plenty of days where we enjoy other activities on land to keep the kids busy and wear them out! Here are some ideas for both land and water play.
Physical Activity Ideas for Summer Time
- Visit a local park and go for a hike with you family. Make it fun by creating a game of how many birds you can see or how many different trees you can discover.
- Bring out the bikes, scooters and tricycles for a ride around the block.
- Encourage your children to play classic games like hopscotch, tug of war and tag.
- Have play dates and give kids the freedom to have free play outside where they are bound to be active on their own.
- Visit your local school’s playground for an hour of free fun play.
- And set limits on electronics. Nothing halts being active like a television being on or access to a tablet or smartphone.
- And of course we can’t forget about the most refreshing and fun (in my opinion) way to stay active in the summer….swimming!
Whether it’s swimming in our new lake, canoeing or kayaking, playing in our friends’ pools or on my parents power boat or dinghy, we will be around water or in water pretty much all summer.
Personally, I have been around water my entire life. Since I was a young child, I have been power boating, taking years of swim lessons, followed by years on my city’s swim team. This also lead to a job as a lifeguard. And unbeknownst to me at the time, all my swimming paid off tremendously when I took up the sport of triathlon.
So obviously we are around water a ton and of course with swimming comes the necessity for water safety. Since my kids are still young and in the process of learning how to swim, I have used these Stearns® Puddle Jumper® Bahamas 3D Life Jackets ever since I discovered them through friends a few years ago. And since I had three kids in a little over three years, our Puddle Jumper® Life Jackets are definitely getting a ton of use! The wide range of weight capacity (30-50 pounds) is great because kids can wear them for quite awhile before outgrowing them.
They are much more comfortable than the traditional life jacket and they allow children to easily practice swimming while wearing them. And since they are brightly colored with children’s favorite 3D characters kids love to wear them. They are also made with a woven polyester, a softer fabric for less chafing and have adjustable buckle snaps in the back to easily fit your child.
And since they are US Coast Guard-approved life jackets we also use them on boats as well.
Staying Safe Near Water
Besides wearing proper fitting life jackets it’s also important to follow a few simple rules when around any type of water (NOT an all inclusive list).
- Always make sure there is one designated adult watching children at all times.
- Although life jackets are an aspect of important water safety and should be worn, they are never to be used as a substitute for adult supervision.
- When children get a little older and are confident swimmers, make sure they use the buddy system when swimming.
- Know the signs of drowning: people who are drowning will NOT make much noise, yell, or kick; it’s much more silent than you may think.
What’s your favorite way to stay active in the summer?
This Staying Active in the Summer While Playing it Safe post first appeared on Chocolate Slopes.