May 01, 2014 1:00 AM

Author: Office of Public Affairs


Spring is upon us and summer is not far behind. Now is the perfect time to get your kids out and active, especially since a new report from the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance shows that just one out of every four kids is getting enough exercise. Kids between the ages of 6 and 15 should be getting at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise five days a week.

So, how can you get your kids the exercise they need without feeling like a drill sergeant, or dealing with endless complaints? It’s all about the activity. Here are a couple of ideas:

Take a Hike

Hit a nearby trail and check out the surroundings. Throwing on a backpack and pulling out a compass turns what could be perceived into a fun adventure. Pass the time with games like “20 questions” and “I Spy.” Or, if your kid is interested in animals take them on a “snipe hunt” and get them using their imagination to invent the spectacular animal they are seeking.

Roll Down a Hill

What goes up must come down. While kids will have a great time rolling down the hill at your local park, they will be getting great exercise walking back up to the top. Just watch out for sprinkler heads!

Get Wet

Water fight! Pull out the super soakers and buckets and draw the battle lines in your backyard. Get kids running and cool them off at the same time. Or, pull out the hoses and wash the car. Your kids could earn points for doing chores, and get exercise at the same time. A good car wash done by hand takes just about an hour to complete.

Have a Bike Rodeo

Make it a social event. Invite all the kids in the neighborhood to bring their bikes and scooters and test their skills on wheels. Find a big parking lot and set up cones for an obstacle course, or have short races. Just make sure you make sure everyone is wearing the proper safety gear.

Just Dance

Summer is a great time for free concerts. Bring your kids along and dance to the beat. Or hold an impromptu dance party in your yard or on your porch. Let your kids pick their favorites tunes to encourage them to get, and keep, their toes tapping.

It’s easy to get your kids moving in the summer time. So much room to run and play, all you need to do is give them a reason to get up, and get healthy. For more information on kids' health, visit one of our Univeristy of Utah Health Community Clinics

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