Planning an Active Summer Without Overdoing it
● By Digital Media Director
By: Dr. Amy Marschall, Sioux Falls Psychological Services
Summer is just around the corner, and with warm weather, long days and school ending, the kids are excited! They’re ready for a break from the classroom, but parents want to make sure kids don’t spend the whole vacation on the couch or in front of screens. How can parents plan a summer that’s restful, fun and healthy?
First, decide what your priorities are for your child’s summer vacation. Do they need more physical activity? Some additional academic support so that they hit the ground running in the fall? Do you want to spend the summer doing things as a family? When you know what you want your summer to look like, choosing how to fill the time is much easier.
Next, talk to your child and get an idea of their interests. Is there a sport they want to participate in? A camp they want to attend? If your child gives input into their summer activities, they’ll be more invested because it was their decision to participate. They’ll also enjoy participating in activities that meet their current interests.
Third, determine your family’s budget for summer activities. Some sports, summer camps and other activities have scholarship options for low-income families.
Finally, remember balance. While it may be tempting to let go of structure for a while, kids need boundaries. At the same time, planning every waking moment with activities can be overwhelming – both for you and for your child. Choose a few activities to stimulate your child and help them continue to grow as a person, but remember to also rest. Depending on the time commitment required, two to three ongoing activities can fill your child’s days, offer structure and stimulate them while leaving time for playdates and relaxation.