At our house, our kids embrace the unstructured time of summer. I admit, I like it when things are more laid back and not on a busy schedule. But if I don’t have something for them to do, they default to two things: Staring at the pantry to find a snack OR playing a game on their device. After a week of that, they get in the habit of being lazy and even finding the trash can or the dishwasher becomes a chore.

You might have the same thing going on at your house.

So, from one parent to another, here are 5 simple ways to get your kids off the couch and engaging in something active:

1) Just add water. Inviting your kids to go outside and play doesn’t have to be a chore when you involve water. It can be as simple as:

  • A sprinkler
  • Water Balloons
  • Inexpensive Water Guns
  • A local public/private pool (Jervey Gantt, YMCA, friend or community pool)
  • A nearby lake or river (Carney Island, Silver River, Rainbow River)

2) Go Geocaching. Did you know there is a FREE map of hidden objects all over the world? And one might be less than a mile from your home. Geocaching is a treasure hunt just sitting there waiting for you to discover with your kids. We have had a BLAST searching for these while on vacation or expanding our searches to local state parks.

3) Minute to Win It. Pick a move such as: push ups, plank hold, squats and have your kids gather round. Turn the timer on let them do as many as they can. Then reward the winner with a small prize. If you’re super savvy, you can have them tally up their wins and give an overall prize (that way you’ll encourage them to do more than just one minute.) Here is a list of 8 different exercises:

4) Hoola Hoop or Jump Rope Challenge. Both of these items are inexpensive to purchase and you can use them all summer. Give them a weekly challenge with either of these. It can be a time (i.e. 10 min) or a quantity (like 500 skips). Use the front of your fridge to create a scoreboard and give a bonus if they do some everyday of the week to encourage consistency. Reward them with a treat like a movie out or a healthy lunch.

5) Register them for an activity camp like our Pipeline Summer Fit Camp. We train them Monday- Friday 8 am-12 pm, teaching them fundamental exercises using CrossFit principles in addition to nutrition games that teach about healthy eating habits and choosing nutritious foods.

As a mom of four and a gym owner, one of the greatest benefits for our family is that our kids have grown up in the gym. They are comfortable in it and have trained since the gym’s inception. (Our 2 year old even tried deadlifting because she saw everyone else doing it!)

As a result, they will continue to make health, exercise and eating well a priority. I cannot say how happy I am that they have had this experience. I’d love for EVERY KID to have it. It helps them SO MUCH when they get older.

They have more confidence. They are willing to try new things more easily. They form relationships with others who make a healthy lifestyle a priority. They bond with a coach that invests in their character and development. It’s an awesome thing. And more than I could do on my own as their parent.

So, if you have a kid that’s shy, uncoordinated, afraid of groups, afraid of new situations, has low confidence, awkward, or had a negative experience in P.E. class or other athletic debacle, we are the perfect place to send them. We have small group training in a welcoming environment and work at their level so they can have success with exercise.

We designed the Pipeline Summer Camp and Student Pipeline Program to help other families with raising healthy kids and becoming healthy adults. Partner with us this summer. And if nothing else, they won’t be standing in front of the pantry or laying around all morning long.

Keep moving!

Priscilla Jones