What’s something that reminds you of summer? Is it the sun, not having school, getting more time with friends, the beach or maybe grabbing your favorite treat from your local ice cream shop? There are endless reasons people love summer, and for many, it’s the best time to get out and play! But have you ever heard of “summer funk”? Summer funk starts right around the middle of the summer when you’re running out of things to do. Kids may claim boredom, say there’s “nothing to do” and turn to screens to occupy themselves. Enter the outdoors and endless possibilities! Let’s talk play and ideas from us at BCI Burke on outdoor activities that can help kids get outside for play, community and learning! If it’s too hot where you live to spend the day outside, try going out early in the morning or later in the day – even 20 minutes outdoors can positively impact physical and mental health!
Nature walks are a great way to get the whole family out of the house! You can find a trail or hit the sidewalk for some fresh air and movement. For the littles, finding and naming colors will surely get them excited and older kids can create a ‘bingo nature’ sheet or draw pictures of what they saw on your walk. Whether you’re looking for a specific leaf, bird, plant, or just looking for something fun and easy like a bee, this will keep kids of all ages engaged and motivated to go outside!
Homemade slip and slides are cost effective and so much fun! Take any size, shape, or color tarp, lay it on the ground, get your hose out and you’re ready to slide for hours! You can even use any kind of soap, mix it in and make it a bubble party!
Find a new favorite park! Pick a park you haven’t visited and check it out! Kids will love the adventure of playing on the playground equipment and caregivers can join in or relax with a book. There are so many options for play, development and socialization at parks, playgrounds and recreation areas that this will be something you can do all summer (and year) long!
Take a bike ride that gets your heart racing! Kids are fast, really fast, and this is a great way to get some energy out and a workout for everyone! Whether you’re just learning how to petal or you can ride without hands, biking is the perfect activity for anyone in the summer. Don’t forget to wear your helmet!
Help clean up your neighborhood by picking up trash! This is an excellent way to get kids outside, learn about the environment and help keep your community clean! Grab a trash bag, some gloves, and get to work! Your community will thank you and might even join in to make this a regular practice.
Learn a new trick! Nothing is more impressive to whip out on the school playground than a new trick you learned over the summer! Whether it’s a cartwheel, monkey bar trick, free throw, or whatever, new tricks boost kids’ confidence while also teaching patience and perseverance!
Make an obstacle course or find one in your community! From cones to rocks, sweatshirts to jump ropes, anything can be used as an obstacle, be creative! Making an obstacle course can be so much fun and different every time! You can also look for one of our ELEVATE® Fitness Courses in your community! There are workout options for different fitness levels so everyone can exercise in the same space! Whether you make your own or find a course, get outside and get your sweat on!
There’s no question that being outside and keeping active is good for kids. However, it’s not just good for kids - it’s great for them and for everyone! Why great? Because movement doesn’t just move their bodies but works their minds too and improves everything from cooperation to creativity. Watch your community of kids learn new skills, overcome challenges, and even gain more confidence by enjoying play outside this summer.