It’s the lazy, hazy days of summer, and for a lot of kids this means catching up on television shows they missed during school, spending more time fighting aliens in video games, checking out what friends are doing on Facebook. The list of sedentary screen time activities goes on and on!
School may be out for the summer, but it does not have to mean that screen time should increase. According to the new Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines, in order to achieve health benefits, children and youth ages 5-17 should limit screen time to no more than 2 hours per day, and limit the amount of motorized transport, extended sitting and time spent indoors. Children and youth in Canada already spend more than 6 hours per day in front of screens and this time is likely to increase during the summer months.
However, this is actually the perfect time to get out and enjoy the outdoors doing activities that help to keep the body and mind healthy while trying to meet the new Canadian guidelines of 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous intensity physical activity most days of the week.
Here are some ideas to get your kids active every day! Remember to include activities to strengthen muscles and bones at least 3 days a week too.
- Grab your bikes and helmets and go for a ride along a trail or bike path
- Go to the park and play Frisbee or Ultimate Frisbee
- Go to the local ball diamond and start a game of baseball
- Play mini golf
- Play traditional tag games
- Go for a hike on a new trail
- Go Rollerblading—remember safety gear!
- Go bowling
- Go for a swim, to the splash pad, or simply run through the sprinkler
- Sign the kids up for active camps like sports camp, soccer camp, trampoline camp, or camps with an active time built into the day
There are many, many more activities that you and your kids can do. Check out ParticipACTION or the Public Health Agency of Canada for more tips to get active!
What do you do to keep your kids active through the summer months?
Share your experience:
For more tips and hints about keeping your child active during the summer, or to share your experience, there are many ways you can talk to one of us directly:
- Leave us a comment below – we’d love your feedback
- Talk to us on Twitter: @haltonparents
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dial 311 or 905-825-6000 for parenting information or to speak directly to a Public Health Nurse every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
About this guest blogger:
Yvonne Everard-Parr is a Health Promoter with an Honours Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Promotion, and over 20 years of experience developing programs to encourage people to live healthier lives. For the past 10 years she has worked extensively in the area of Physical Activity Promotion for the Chronic Disease Prevention Program of the Halton Region Health Department. Her most recent accomplishments include the planning and implementation of the Count Your Steps Library Pedometer Lending Program, and the revision of the Live Outside the Box Challenge.
Sprinklers! Water the lawn, give your kid a bath and some exercise and fun!
We have started using this as a help to limit the screen time.
It might be a good tool for some kids.
Thanks for letting us know! Looks like there really is an “app” for everything, isn’t there?
Andrea Scott, RN