Children's Health Featured Parenting

Keep kids’ minds and bodies active this summer

It’s summer! This is the perfect season for fun and relaxation; however, it’s important to keep your kid’s minds and bodies active. It is critical to maintain children’s learning retention and to keep their minds engaged during the summer. Along with mental activity, physical activity is also vital for a healthy lifestyle. Here are some ideas for the mind and body to keep kids active and occupied this summer:

Mind:
Reading –
Dedicating at least 20 minutes a day to reading encourages critical thinking and limits screen time. Technological distractions and entertainment are at the forefront of today’s society, and reading provides a great, intellectual alternative. Go to your local library to let your child explore a wide variety of genres to suit their interests. Read the same book as your child, either together or separately. This will enable you to discuss what you have read, and more importantly, spend time together!

Music –
Learn to play a musical instrument. This can be both challenging and exciting for kids. Start by taking your child to a music store and see which instrument they gravitate towards. Help them decide on the instrument, and get them excited about starting this new hobby! Music lessons keep kids accountable and help them in creating and achieving new goals. The benefits of learning to read music and play an instrument can include increasing memory skills, listening skills, and coordination. It can also provide unique exposure to culture and history and teaches kids to be well rounded from an early age. If you have the time, consider taking the lessons with your child. You can practice together and support each other throughout the process.

Body:
Active Hobby/Sport –
Whether it’s swimming, karate, or baseball, having a scheduled physical activity for the summer helps promote exercise and time with peers/friends/teammates. Having organized practices in your summer schedule provides a good balance between vacation and structure for both parent and child. Swimming lessons and a CPR course are fun and valuable, and summer is the perfect time to learn these skills!

Outdoor Toys –
Having a supply of outdoor toys is an extremely simple, effective way to encourage kids to get outside and off the phone, tablet, computer, TV, etc. The classic outdoor toys do the trick—no bells and whistles necessary. Keep it simple! Balls and jump ropes are entertaining for kids and provide physical activity. Help your kids make water balloons or a lemonade stand for a play date. Lastly, don’t forget the old standby, just turn on the sprinkler for an afternoon of fun!

Exercise Together –
Explore your hometown! Go for a family walk, run with the dog, bike ride, or swim. In today’s world, it can seem harder than ever to designate time for everyone to exercise and spend time together. So, tackle both at once, and get outside and get active together!

The Children’s Hospital of Georgia has the largest team of general pediatricians, adolescent medicine physicians and pediatric specialists in the Augusta area. For more information about CHOG, please visit our website at augustahealth.org/chog or call 706-721-KIDS (5437).

About the author

Children's Hospital of Georgia

Children's Hospital of Georgia

Children’s Hospital of Georgia is the only facility in the area dedicated exclusively to children. It staffs the largest team of pediatric specialists in the region who deliver out- and in- patient care for everything from common childhood illnesses to life-threatening conditions like heart disorders, cancer and neurological diseases.

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