Summer vacation is underway in North America and parents across the land are enrolling their children in camps, day cares and many other activities. Summer vacation can provide an excellent opportunity for parents to spend more time with their children, but it can also cause a lot of stress when children sit at home “bored.” It’s hard to believe that children can be bored in the digital age that we live it, but it does happen. Furthermore, many parents despise children sitting around all day playing video games or on the internet. Time is much better spent outdoors playing with friends and of course getting a little exercise worked into their busy summer vacations. Below are just few options to entertain children on summer vacation and hopefully provide the benefit of physical activity

Join the neighborhood/community pool

Most neighborhoods (at least where we grew up on the east coast) have swimming pools. There is usually a fee to pay and join, but this provides a great summer sanctuary for vacationing teenagers. More importantly, most of these community pools have swim teams that compete with other neighborhood. Swim team practice is often early in the morning forcing those that are on the swim team to wake up and get the day started with some exercise rather than lounging around until the afternoon hours. Swim team will provide discipline and of course a sense of comradery with their teammates. Even if children do not join the swim team, the swimming pool seems to act like a magnet for all ages alike during the summer time. Because most swimming pools have life guards and some sort of management, it helps to lessen the likelihood of children misbehaving. It also goes without saying that if the children are at the swimming pool and swimming, they are likely to be getting excellent exercise without even knowing it.

Invest in a trampoline

The house in any neighborhood that has a trampoline is likely to be the house where children gather. If you’re looking for that one item that will draw the neighborhood children to your house it would be a trampoline. Trampolines can be an excellent source of exercise for children as well. However, trampolines do not come without safety concerns. There are many shapes, sizes, bounciness, and safety features. Before buying a trampoline it’s best to read through as many trampoline reviews as possible to pick the best trampoline that meets your requirements. It will also be a good idea to implement rules such as one jumper at a time to help reduce the chances of injuries.

Enroll the children in a summer reading program

Children are not likely to sit down and read during the summer on their own prerogative. Let’s face it, children have just finished school and it is likely that the last thing they want to focus on is reading. However, by enrolling them in a reading program where there is an incentive or competition or anything to get them reading will help to keep them sharp during the summer vacation months. This will also provide a few hours of down time per week for those children that are on the opposite end of the spectrum, those that are on the go nonstop.

Summer camps

There are countless different types of summer camps now available to children. These camps range from overnight camps to sporting camps to religious summer camp. There is a high likelihood that a summer camp exists for whatever your children’s interest may be. Summer camp is an excellent place for children to meet other children their age that may go to different schools or be for other areas of the town or even country. Summer camps are also an excellent alternative if parents just do not have time to watch after their children during the summer time. Overnight camps that last a few weeks at a time or even the duration of summer vacation offer an excellent solution for parents that are working or may be out of town. Even if children are dreading leaving for summer camp, they will likely return happy that they went and met great people.

Summer sports leagues

Summer leagues, as they have come to be known, are an excellent solution for children during their summer vacation. Sports in middle and high school have become incredibly competitive in the last 20 years, and are only becoming even more competitive. There are only so many spots available on a college line up or even in the professional leagues. The best way to increase ones chances of competing at the next level is to practice, practice, and practice some more. Through enrolling in summer leagues, children are able to compete with others whom are interested in furthering their ability in whichever sport they’ve chosen. Another way to look at this is those children that do want to compete at the best of their ability are joining these summer leagues and travel teams which your child may not, thus putting them at a disadvantage for the upcoming season. Lastly, this is an excellent way for children to improve their team building skills and working together with others their age.

These are just a few ideas to occupy children’s time during the summer vacation. Keeping children active and providing them with something to do will decrease their likelihood of having nothing better to do that get into trouble. Children will also want to be active during summer vacation because their friends are doing so; encouraging them to get outside and be active will hopefully be a natural process. By enrolling all children in a summer reading program will help to keep their mind fresh during the few months of their summer vacation. Hopefully all children can experience a healthy summer vacation by getting the needed exercise and of course staying out of trouble.