Summer vacations are the perfect time for you and your kids to try fun activities under the warmth of the sun. But while the hot weather can feel refreshing after months of jackets and sweaters, too much of it can be dangerous, especially for children.
Children's bodies are more sensitive than adults. Their skin can easily be damaged by ultraviolet (UV) rays, even on cloudy or gloomy days, leading to sunburn, skin cancer, and heat stroke. Excess sweating can lead to dehydration, and the importance of kids staying hydrated cannot be stressed enough.
Here are some tips to help you keep them cool, healthy, and safe during their summer activities.
1. Serve Water-Rich Snacks and Tasty Drinks
You must keep kids hydrated wherever they go during the summer.
If drinking water is boring for your kids, the next best drink for kids to stay hydrated is made from 100% natural fruit juices, such as a smoothie. If your kids don’t like fruit, sugar-free sports drinks are electrolyte-rich drinks that will work, too.
Some of the best healthy summer snacks for kids are water-rich foods that contain natural fruit juices. Fruits, in general, are healthy foods for kids in summer, especially watermelon, grapes, and oranges that provide extra hydration for kids. They are high in water content and fiber and low in calories.
Here are a few healthy kid friendly summer recipes to make snacking more fun:
Make a cool and refreshing popsicle by squeezing fresh fruit juice into silicone molds and freezing them.
Cut melons and apples into bite-sized chunks, grapes into halves or quarters, oranges into slices, then place them on a skewer for a fun fruity treat.
Ants on a Log
Ants on a log is a fun way to get kids to eat fruits and veggies. The classic recipe calls for celery, peanut butter, and raisins, but you can substitute yogurt and blueberries or make your own combinations.
2. Slather on the Sunscreen
While kids should always be encouraged to go outside and play, the sun's harmful rays can pose a risk to their delicate skin. Sunburn during childhood has been linked to a higher risk of developing skin cancer, so sunscreen is essential.
There are a lot of sunscreens for kids out there, so you'll want to read the ingredients on the label to ensure it's safe for your kiddo's skin. Start a new routine each morning where you and your child apply sunscreen before going outside.
3. Keep Them Active
Organize kids summer activities to get them up and moving. Even a simple walk around the neighborhood or a game of tag in your backyard can liven up their day and keep them from being glued to their electronics.
Encourage them to try a new sport this summer to stay fit while having fun with friends. Going out to play ball or hide-and-seek are other great summer outdoor activities for kids, and will improve their socialization skills, too!
4. Invest in Fun Water Bottles
One benefit of hydration in kids is that they can enjoy more activities without becoming tired or overheated.
The best way to get your child excited about drinking more water is by making it a fun part of their daily routine. Colorful, silly straws or cute water bottles can help make hydration a fun habit.
You can gamify drinking water and make it a fun competition, too. For example, whoever finishes the bottle faster will get to pick out a special snack or the next activity.
5. Make Summer a Fun Family Affair
The heat can be taxing on children and make them not want to exercise or move at all. But as parents, it’s important to encourage exercise and help them avoid a sedentary lifestyle during their vacation.
Organize summer water activities for kids to cool down as you spend time with family. Nothing beats splashing around in a pool, swimming at the beach, or playing with sprinklers during sweltering days.
If you don’t have a pool, or you can’t travel, you can still make summer fun with and for your children. Here are some summer activities for kids at home:
- Have a water balloon or water gun fight in your yard
- Set up a backyard obstacle course and compete with each other
- Prepare a treasure hunt and hide clues all around the house
- Try a new summer recipe and make it together
6. Regulate Your Kid’s Playtime
Summer is the perfect time to let your children enjoy all the fun and freedom of spending time outdoors. Plenty of benefits can be gained from spending as much time as possible in the sunshine.
It’s an opportunity for kids to learn about their environment, develop relationships with their peers, practice coordination and motor skills, and become a bit more independent outside the strict timeline of school. If they are spending time outside, slather your child with sunscreen and let them play in shaded areas with easy access to water.
However, while outdoor summer activities for kids have many advantages, boundaries must still be set. The heat is harshest between 2 and 4 in the afternoon, and it is best for everyone to stay indoors. Set out games or puzzles, watch movies, or set up a craft station to make the day fun for your kids. These are great indoor summer activities for kids they will enjoy!
The warm season is a wonderful time to spend with your kids outdoors. With these simple tips you are sure to keep your kids hydrated and healthy no matter what they do this summer.