Do you find yourself needing a spreadsheet just to keep track of your kids’ activities? Summer can be crazy—with one child keen on an intensive sports workshop, the other set on a sleepover camp. And then there’s the quiet one, who wants to stay home and read . . . .
No matter what your kids choose to do over the summer, you want them to relax and have fun. Summer is also a great time for your kids to build new wellness habits, like taking time out from screens and being active every day.
What wellness habits could your child start today? Here are a few tips to get going.
- Time for fruits and vegetables. Engaging kids in gardening is a great way to entice them to sample new veggies from all colours of the rainbow. Cutting back on sugar? Organize a U-pick outing to sample luscious berries, cherries and peaches.
- More time in nature, less time on screens. Plan a family vacation that includes a variety of outdoor activities—from hiking to swimming to beach volleyball. Kids playing outdoors will naturally spend less time on screens, and that means less stress, reduced ADHD and less body fat.
- Downtime. Remember those crazy, lazy days of summer with oodles of time to read, play, roam and explore? According to psychologist Bill Stixrud, Ph.D., author of The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives, being over-scheduled is bad for a child’s brain, leading to stress, anxiety and depression. Summer is the perfect season for kids to enjoy healthy, unstructured play.
Dr. Stixrud suggests another kind of stress-busting downtime—practising Transcendental Meditation to create energy, happiness and overall health. It’s so simple and natural that once instructed, kids not only enjoy it, but can do it as easily as adults.