The cold weather is almost gone and we’re starting to get more frequent gifts of sunshine. The winter here can feel so long and when March hits, the end of winter brings a whole new energy level to the community.
It’s not unusual for Pacific Northwest residents to feel “trapped indoors” because of the cold, rainy winter weather. Activity slows down and that important Vitamin D from the sun feels almost nonexistent. When springtime hits, most of us like to spend as much time outdoors to make up for the lost time in the winter.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends kids engage in at least an hour of physical activity each day. The CDC recommends adults engage in at least five hours of exercise each week.
Yet, longer workdays and daily commutes, plus a trend toward more sedentary lifestyles means less adults are meeting those daily recommendations. It’s equally hard for kids as more schools cut physical education programs and daily recess.
Stuck on how to get your kids to go outside and get some play-time in this summer? Try these helpful tips:
Don’t Negotiate. Be firm in making exercise an important part of this spring activities. Don’t let your child or yourself make excuses to get out of physical activity.
Spend More Time Outside. The nice weather will only be around for a few months. Take advantage of that and do as much as you can outdoors. It will naturally lead to an increase in exercise.
Try a New Sport. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. If your child is not into team sports like baseball or soccer, try out dance, karate or swimming. They are great sources for exercise too.
Go For an Evening Walk. An evening walk or play time just after dinner is a great way to burn off the dinner energy. Most everyone will be home from school/work and it’s a great time to chat and catch up.
Bring a Friend Along. Most of the time, kids want to hang out with their friends. Make it a fun-affair for everyone and bring one of their friends out for the fun. They’ll spend more time chasing each other and playing, and they won’t be anxious to go home.
Don’t Force it. Take care not to treat exercise like a chore for your kids, or you could be met with a lot of resistance. Make it fun and frame it as such — it will go a long way.
Establish a Routine. Build exercise into your everyday routine. It gets a lot easier when the weather is more tolerable and can last all through summer and the fall.
Exercise Together. Kids do what kids see and when you’re out with them — moving and exercising, they’re more likely to follow along. It’s a great excuse for the whole family to be together too.
Limit Screen Time. Cut down TV time to minimal levels during spring and summer months. On a rainy day though, break out the exercise-type video games and play as a family.
Let Them Choose. Let your child choose what activity and exercise they want to do. Giving children a choice will help them feel part of the process and not just having to go along.
Keeping your kids entertained during spring and summer can be a challenge for any parent. Did you know that the Puyallup Parks & Recreation Department offers a wide selection of free or low-cost activities for all ages? We’ve picked out a few of these activities to share with you.
Parks Appreciation Day, Sat Apr 20, 9am-noon, Free
Pitch Hit and Run, Sat May 4, noon, Free
Families in Motion on the Riverwalk Trail, Sat Apr 27
Camps for Kids
Ages 1 ½ – 3 (Parent Participation Required)
Ages 5-11 (K-6th grade)
Ages 12-14 (7th – 9th grade)
Youth and Teen Programs
Indoor Mini Park
Teen Trips and Tours (Ages 13-18)
Paintball Excursion, Sat May 18, 9am – 3pm, $74 ($60 for residents)
Westport Surfing, Sat May 25, 7am – 6:30pm, $84 ($70 for residents)
Health & Fitness
Tae-Kwon Do for Families
Circuit Training Class
Walk to a Healthy Lifestyle
Open Play Wallyball
Wenatchee Whitewater Rafting, Sat May 18, 1 – 5:30pm, Sun May 19, 11am – 3:30pm, $75
Tennis for All Ages – April, May and June sessions
Youth Soccer – April thru June session
Youth Basketball – session begins in June
Adult Softball – April thru June session, July thru August session
To see the entire spring schedule of events/activities, and to find out how to register, please click here.