I’ve joined forces with other mom bloggers to bring you the Summer Camp At Home series to inspire you on how to make an interesting, educational and (most importantly) FUN week by week “summer camp” while your children are home for the summer.
Here are the other subjects in our Summer Camp At Home series:
- Self Love
- Black History
- Water Fun
- Health & Fitness
- Around the World
Check them all out when you get a chance.
Today’s subject is Health & Fitness!
Health & Fitness is an important subject for kids of all ages. The resources below are how to get kids active and teach about the body/food, as it relates to health and fitness, in an age appropriate way for young children. I broke it down by the different “times” we have each day in our house:
Here are some books that can help teach health and fitness to kids:
- Good Enough to Eat
- Eating the Alphabet
- Nutrition Fun w/ Brocc & Roll
- Berenstain Bears Too Much Junk Food
- Garden to Table
- Why Should I Eat Well
- The Vegetables We Eat
- Eat Lots of Colors
- Nutrition Facts for Kids
Snack and meal times are great opportunities for teaching the principles of healthy eating, and how food impacts the body. For young kids you can tell them how what they’re eating helps them.
Being specific helps, instead of saying “eat your greens so you get big and strong” you can say “this milk has calcium which helps keeps your bones hard and strong!”
Here’s something you can use to help facilitate that, mom:
For days on the go, or when you want a quick healthy snack you can pick up treats from FreshKids (one of our fave brands for nonGMO snacks for the kiddies), or have fresh fruit and veggies readily available. We always have “grab and go” fruits available like berries, grapes and peeled sliced apples.
Making smoothies, fruit salads and bento boxes together is a fun way to make snack time an enjoyable learning opportunity.
Be sure to talk about each ingredient and the benefit it has on your body as your child adds it to the dish. Great crossover learning opportunity with colors, textures, measurement, weight, etc.
Time to hydrate!
Drinking water is crucial for kids and adults alike. I’m grateful that my kids will chug whatever I give them (for now at least) but if your little ones are not fans of water, have them make their own fruit infused water. Get them their own infusion bottle to make it more special.
(click images below for details on each bottle)
Making learning fun is key to having lessons absorbed and retained in little brains. Learning through play is everything at younger ages.
I used to be against TV and screen times but I have loosened up a lot. I’m glad we have screen time (in moderation) because Ro has learned so much from youtube. You can find fun active games and activities by a simple search. Also you can find learning songs about nutrition, the human body and any health subject you wish!
Shaun T’s Fit Kids Video – Perfect for rainy days or too hot for outside play days. Shaun T takes kids through fun “workouts” helping them stay active, learn to love exercise and enjoying every minute of it. He emphasizes the importance of staying fit and healthy and teaches as he goes.
Here are some fun playtime activities to help kids get active for increased health & fitness:
Things we do in our house:
Old School Games:
- Tag / Freeze Tag – indoors or outdoors
- Duck Duck Goose – indoors or outdoors
- Trampoline games
- Playground time
- Hopscotch – You can do this indoors using tape on the floor on really hot days
- Roller Skating / Bike Riding
- Neighborhood walks
My kids see me working out a lot so one of our favorite games is to let each child take turns being the “personal trainer” and leading the workout class. Whatever silly move your child makes up, you have to do it. Everyone gets more active and your kids get to be creative and feel empowered.
Toys that promote health and fitness:
Duck Walker – Agility Balance Board – This helps kids with agility, balance, and it’s just fun. You can set it up as part of an obstacle course, or just have it as an item available for indoor/outdoor play.
Gonge Riverstones – Great for balance and agility, coordination, and can be used as part of a game like tag or on its own.
Kidoozie Foam Pogo Jumper – It’s a pogo stick….’nuff said. Let your kids jump themselves silly!
Fun Activities to Get Active:
An alternative to making the paper dice above is to:
- write different moves on pieces of paper and place in a jar
- write different times on pieces of paper and place in another jar
- have each child pick one piece of paper from each jar and do the move for the amount of time indicated
Explain to kids why nap time is important and helps them stay healthy. Remind them that their bodies heal and grow while they’re asleep!
A couple books that can help with naptime are:
Doing a bit of yoga to wind down before nap is also a fun and healthy activity for summer and all year round. Choose 5 poses from the image below to get kids stretched out and relaxed before they head to dreamland:
As a quick before nap sequence I’d suggest: Standing fold – Standing bend – Cat – Cow – Seated Front Bend – Lie and Rest
If you have older children/teens you can expand the Health & Fitness “lessons” to include biology, anatomy and physiology while still being fun!
How do you get your kids active during the summer?