The release of school for the year is upon that and with that, undoubtedly, comes the rush to fill summer with fun activities for the kids – and us, too. Days spent at the movies or in front of the TV can be all too tempting – but remember that keeping active is important for growing minds and bodies. Here are six ways to keep your kids active over the break.

#1 – Bike rides
What kid doesn’t like exploring? If your kids are old enough and there is a safe bike path nearby, consider allowing them to hit the dirt on their own with a friend. For all ages, get out there with them and make it a family event. Pack a picnic or stop for froyo on the way home – it’s a great way to get some activity together and get some one-on-one discussion time with them.

#2 – Youth leagues and programs
Many programs do shut down for summer, but there are plenty that keep going all year round. Martial arts tend to have year-round programs and there are plenty of summer sports leagues, such as softball, t-ball, volleyball, and baseball, to choose from.

#3 – Parks
Take advantage of the free parks in your area. Even if the older ones have outgrown some of the equipment, they can likely find something to do to stay busy. Races, walks on paved pathways, rollerblading, skateboarding… you get the idea.

#4 – Yard games
Look no further than your own back yard for an afternoon of entertainment. If you don’t have access to a personal or community pool, consider that you never really get too old (or big) for a kiddie pool. Croquet, bocce ball, a makeshift putting range, or even at-home volleyball can provide great entertainment – and a way to let your kids have their friends over (and outside the house).

#5 – Scavenger hunts
Keep bodies and minds active with a scavenger hunt. If you have multiple children, consider putting them on teams with some of the neighbors. Make a list of things that they’ll find within a reasonable radius and, for an added challenge, give clues rather that a straightforward list. This does require some prep work on your end, but it’s minimal compared to the actual collecting end of things.

#6 – Obstacle courses and forts
The items lying around your house provide an endless supply of obstacle and fort construction components just waiting to be put to work. Help your kids to build a safe – but challenging course, then take turns being the time keeper.

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