Keep kids busy this (hot) summer with cool activities

There’s no doubt summer is here – not only are temperatures approaching record levels, but there’s little sign of any children outside in neighborhood parks.
With the mercury rising and school out for a few more weeks, children may be spending more time indoors in the Valley. But there are options to keep them exercising and moving, and the benefit may be more than not hearing, “I’m bored.”
Several online “kids activity pyramids” show how the least amount of time should be spent in front of a “screen,” be it a television, computer or video game. Most pyramids recommend children spend no more than 30 minutes at a time sitting still doing those activates.
The next level of the pyramids often shows “flexibility” and “strength” activities, at least two to three times a week. During the Valley’s hot summers, this could be filled by a trip to a rock wall or participating in an indoor yoga class.
Continuing to move down the pyramid, “recreation” and “aerobic” activities are next, with a recommended amount of three to five times a day. When it’s hot outdoors, this could be accomplished through summer swim teams, gymnastics classes, karate, indoor volleyball, indoor racquetball courts and more. These are identified by most as “structured” activities.
The bottom of the pyramid – the largest piece and the base for children’s activities – is “unstructured” daily play time. What does this look like in summer? It could be time in the backyard pool (with LOTS of sunscreen and hydration). Parents could check out some of the local, indoor bounce houses or trampoline centers. There’s bowling, rock walls (yes, we love ‘em), doing chores around the house (get them moving!) and sibling play (we KNOW that can get active).
For more information, use your favorite web search and look up “kids activity pyramid” or check out the American Association of Pediatrics’ website. There, you’ll find fitness and nutrition information for children, including an article on how to talk to you kids about fitness.
What are your favorite indoor activities for kids?

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