Getting Outside & Having Fun!

Meredith on July 22, 2014

Summer has arrived in BC and many families around the province are enjoying the beautiful, sunny weather. Along with the many benefits of summer (longer days, the availability of fresh fruit & vegetables, etc.) comes the opportunity to try new physical activity ideas with your family. 

Physical activity is a really important part of healthy living, and can increase energy, improve sleep and can have physical, social, emotional and mental health benefits. In the winter it can be especially difficult to motivate kids to want to get outside for physical activity when it is dark, cold and rainy. But with long summer days, there are many opportunities for kids to get outside to relax, play, and try out new fun activities.

Looking to find some new outdoor activities for your child that are low-barrier and low cost? It can be helpful to start by asking your child to list their favourite activities and anything new that they would like to try. Building on your child’s interests and strengths by finding an activity that fits with their personality and interests can help motivate kids to get active. Remember that many activities don’t have to cost anything at all and don’t have to be traditional exercise or sports.

Here are some fun ideas to try:

  • Build an outdoor obstacle course (or indoors if the weather is too hot outside!)
  • Go on a ‘bug hunt’
  • Go park or playground hunting (make it a goal to check out a new park every week. Try and find a free water playground if the weather is hot!)
  • Go on a photo scavenger hunt
  • If you live near the water, explore rocks, shells, crabs and other fun creatures
  • And my personal favourite: run through a sprinkler!

Have fun, be creative, and get involved when you can by modeling the healthy living behaviours you want to see!

Many other tips and ideas can be found in the Physical Activity Module of the Healthy Living Toolkit. What are your family’s favourite summertime activities? Feel free to share your fun summer activity ideas - we’d love to hear them!

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BC Children's Hospital

This is an agency of Provincial Health Services Authority, providing provincial tertiary mental health services to the citizens of British Columbia. Programs include: Adult Tertiary Psychiatry, Geriatric Psychiatry, Forensic Psychiatric Services, Child & Adolescent Mental Health, Women’s Reproductive Mental Health, as well as the Provincial Specialized Eating Disorders Program for children and youth located at the BC Children’s Hospital.

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