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A Long Summer of Play Lies Ahead

June 26, 2013 by HealthyFamilies BC

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As kids, we didn’t generally know about the summer solstice; we just knew we could play outside longer as it was lighter later! Now we get excited in early June, anticipating the weeks with more “playlight”.

We recently celebrated that longest day of the year on June 21. HealthyFamilies BC and our friends at ParticipACTION encouraged everyone to take advantage of the seemingly endless hours of daylight on the “Longest Day of Play”. And play we did! We were biking in Creston, horseback riding and hiking in Surrey, climbing trees in West Vancouver, running trails in Victoria and generally getting active in nature’s playground.

For many, it kicked off a summer full of neighbourhood outdoor adventures, family trips to lakes and beaches and exploring bike routes that wind us through parks, forests and trails that remind us that we live in the most beautiful province.

As school lets out, kids want to get outdoors and take advantage of warmer weather and burn off the steam from another year in the classroom. This can also be a time that kids are allotted a bit more freedom and time to participate in some unstructured play. Recent stats from Active Healthy Kids Canada tell us that only 5% of kids from 5-17 years of age nationwide achieve the recommended minimum 60 minutes per day of moderate-to-vigorous intensity of physical activity (brisk walking, cycling, swimming, active games).

So here are a few tips to share with your kids in order to help keep them active this summer:

  • Water play in the back yard
  • Walk or cycle to the local pool for free swims
  • Take the dog to the local dog park for a game of catch
  • Bring back play and share fun games that used to be part of every childhood with the Bring Back Play mobile app

Encourage your kids to walk or ride their bikes to their destinations that are within a kilometer. By doing so they will, on average, meet 1/3 of their daily physical activity requirements.

Easy! Thanks to the 2013 Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card we know it’s important to get kids out of the car; using ‘active transportation’ gets them moving in a healthier direction.

References and Resources:
HealthyFamilies BC: Bring Back Play
The Physical Activity Line
Active Healthy Kids Canada

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