Summer activities for kids: How to cut down on screen time
As summer drags on and the days get hotter, you may be tempted to let the kids spend hours in front of the TV or get lost in their tablets. Instead, opt for summer activities for kids that get them outdoors, keep them moving and help them learn new things.
To start, check your local library or recreation center for schedules of local events and festivals. Local Facebook groups are also a good place to find free or inexpensive events nearby. With location services turned on, visit the Events section to see what’s happening near you. For non-structured events, here are some ideas to help you get started.
If the weather’s not too hot, get outside and enjoy some nearby attractions. These could include:
- Mini golf: Whether it’s traditional putt-putt or a larger, themed mini golf course, step outside and hit a few balls. Kids of all ages can get in on the fun, and the really little ones can often play for free. Aim for morning or evening to beat the heat.
- Gardens: Visit a botanical garden or a children’s garden. Many have interactive areas where the kids can play, and fountains or spray parks are often part of the attraction. Take a picnic, and enjoy the views.
- Nature centers: To combine indoor and outdoor activity, visit a nature center with a museum and nature trails. Tour the exhibits, then head outside for a little hiking.
- Fun parks: Take the kids to an entertainment center with a mix of go-karts, bumper boats and arcade games.
- Spray parks: With different kinds of spray fountains, slides and kiddie pools, these can keep kids busy for hours. These parks usually lack shade, though, so be sure to bring sufficient sun protection.
- Farms: Look for local farms that have tours and play areas. Some have wagon rides, petting zoos, playgrounds and shops to pick up local produce and goodies.
Sometimes, it’s just too hot to spend a lot of time outside. On the hottest days, try some of these indoor activities:
- Trampoline park: With different sizes of trampolines, these parks can give kids hours of active fun.
- Indoor playground: These centers have bounce houses, obstacle courses and slides and provide a great alternative to the scorching heat when outdoor playgrounds are too hot to touch.
- Laser tag or airsoft: Best for older kids, laser tag and airsoft provide a fun, active morning or afternoon. Get suited up and ready to battle.
- Roller skating: Dust off your old skates, and hit the local skating rink. Take few laps around, play games, and grab a slice of pizza. Relive your childhood days as your kids get exercise, or learn a new skill if you haven’t skated before.
As you start looking around, you’ll find even more ideas of what’s happening near you. Maybe your family will come up with more summer activities for kids on their own. Getting out of the house and keeping everyone moving helps the kids stay healthy and enjoy the summer.
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