Friday, July 01, 2011

Keeping kids active during the summer

This summer one of my goals for my kids, as well as myself, is to stay active. There are many different ways to stay active during the summer. My plan is to keep my kids both physically and mentally active.  This post is about how I'm keeping them physically active.

We started walking our local "rail trail" almost every morning. It's a 3 mile walk one way, 6 miles round trip. I call up a friend or two with kids and we do it together. It helps to have company and I find my kids are distracted by the other kid(s) and I get a mentally relaxing walk with my friend(s).  It's a win/win.

Goalieboy showing the wide open space around us.

Little Bee...always striking a pose.

I also like going with friends because realistically it's safer than a lone woman with two children.  I took them last Friday afternoon after their last day of school.  The weather was a bit overcast and in my mind I though it would be perfect to go when there wasn't too many people out too.  Big mistake going alone.  The first half of the trail is covered with a canopy of trees on either side.  One side is fenced and the other has a wooded incline.  It was really dark.  I started to feel creeped out.  We made it to the quarter mile marker and then I just had to turn around.  I just didn't feel safe.  I think I would've felt better if the sun had been shining and the trail bustling.  Go figure, my logic was half ass backwards.  I learned a lesson from that.

Right now we walk to the mile marker before turning around and heading back.  I think 2 miles at 10 a.m. is perfect.  I don't want the kids to be too tired before the days even half over. Plus, they're scootering while we walk.  Gets out a lot of their morning energy without making them exhausted. We're going to slowly work our way up and hopefully get to the two mile mark in the next week or two.

I love the way these trees shade the first half of the trail.  It keeps the sun off and it's nice and cool.

I've learned a few other surprising lessons.  Unfortunately, they're not good ones.  First, my daughter will scoot her way across the street without an adult if she is racing her brother.  You should have seen the utter shock on my face as I saw her do this.  My son wasn't even actually racing her which almost makes it worse.  We have had many talks about stopping at roads, looking both ways and waiting for mommy/daddy to say it's ok to cross.  I was stunned and upset.  We hollered for her to stop.  When we caught up she didn't even know why I was upset with her.  My heart was in my throat.  She claims she stopped and looked both ways before going.  Honestly, I can't even recall.  We had a long chat right there.  I also told her she was lucky were weren't near the car or I would've blistered her butt for not following rules and scarring me to death.  I would never lay a hand on her like that but I think it got my point across.  The other lesson I learned is we have to establish the boundaries of how far they can scooter ahead before turning around to check on us.  I thought we were clear the first time but I guess we were too abstract.  Now they know and they always turn around to check and then they can continue on if we're close, wait there or turn around and head back towards us.  I think we're now solid on the rules of the trail though I now revisit them every single morning before we start out.

The river running on one side of the trail...down a steep incline.

Besides walking/scooting we have been to friend's houses to run around and play.  They've gotten some swimming in too.  Next week Little Bee starts gymnastics.  We signed Goalieboy up for a two day goalie clinic at a new rink (an hour away, ugh!).  We also plan to have him participate on a weekly 3 on 3 clinic at the same rink.  We're waiting for more information on it. 

Keeping them active and fit is so important.  Goalieboy is my carb kid and though he's by no means fat, he is solid.  Since his last game at the beginning of June, I've noticed a slow down in his energy.  He was tired after his first walk and complaining.  Now, he's getting up to speed.  As his parent, it is my job to help keep him healthy.  So far, so good.


vanita said...

this all seems awesome and that trail does look wicked lonely, glad you're heading out with friends! you won't find pretty trails around here but i take my boy out for at least 1 hour walks every day and jungle gym time at the playground. now that the teens are home, i'm thinking we'll be taking longer walks. we'll also head out to the park as much as possible (20 minutes away by bus!) and i'm trying to make wednesdays day trip days, to the zoo, the museum, etc.

Samantha said...

That looks like a great place to walk. We end up sticking to the streets around here because of a rabid animal issue in the park closest to us. (PS. Happy birthday!)

Cookie's Mom said...

Good for you for getting your kids (and yourself!) out there! :) Love the photos - especially the one with the path and the trees (I have a thing for wooded paths that seem as if they can lead anywhere!)