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10 Fun and Easy Summertime PE Activities

According to THE GOAL OF PHYSICAL EDUCATION is to develop healthy, responsible students who have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to work together in groups, think critically, and participate in a variety of activities that lead to a lifelong healthy lifestyle.

That is a long list of great things children are able to learn through Physical Education. So with those goals in mind I created a varied list of 10 summertime activities anyone can do. Whatever activities fit your family, I hope that this helps you find new ways to get out, be active, build character and bond as a family.

Races - If you’re a running family or your kids want to give running a try, there are plenty of Kid Runs around the state. Running in the USA has an updating list of runs around the nation. You can filter your search to find one near you. If you check your city’s celebration or festival days, they probably have something your kids can run too. My son has run the Steel Days Kids Run in American Fork for three years. It’s a 1/2 mile run that takes him about 4 minutes to complete. Last year his sister decided to join him. She had a blast!

Sports - My family became a baseball family last year with all three kids on a baseball team. I even got to coach our youngest’s T-ball team. I now know what herding cats is like. Really, it was a great time though. Whatever sport your family veers toward, it makes for a fun and active summer. While it takes a few years for teamwork to fully develop, sports is a great way to start learning how to work as a group towards a common goal.

City Festivals - I believe that most cities have a celebration or festival of some kind. Utah Adventure Family has been kind enough to make a big list for us. It is at these festivals that my kids have had the most fun all summer. From races, as mentioned in number 2, to Splash Zones, Carnivals, Rodeos and more there is something to get your kids heart pumping and those muscles working. They also bring in a bit of social studies, "How do these city festivals help us unite with those around us?" Or you can start a discussion about financial literacy, "You have $10 what are you going to buy and what will you have to pass on?"

Swimming/Splash Pads - Nothing says summer like playing in the water. Thankfully, Coupons 4 Utah has put together a list of 80 Splash Pads in Utah. Pick your park and go get wet.

Playing at Parks - this is a given. Find a park early in the morning or late in the evening when it is cool enough to play and let them go. If you are willing to brave the heat of the day, bring water and maybe an Otter Pop if you can keep it cold. Besides the physical benefits, this is a fabulous opportunity to teach your children about citizenship by taking turns and cleaning up after themselves, if you've brought a snack.

Riding Bikes/Scooters/Skates/Skateboards Really anything with wheels makes for a great forever summertime activity, since it is an activity they can take with them into adulthood. It is also a great way for them to discover that they can do hard things as they face fears to race faster, jump bigger, and do things they've never done before.

Hiking - I love hiking. My kids enjoy it, mostly…especially when it is coupled with camping, but day hikes are good too. We always find so many different plants and animals. We’ve seen moose, woodpeckers, butterflies, snakes and more. Thankfully, we have so many mountains to explore you can always go somewhere new. If you need help knowing where to try next, Bring The Kids, has some great tips and hiking suggestions. Their tips include “How to Get Kids to Hike Farther” and “Getting Kids to Hike Without Whining”. They’ve also provided a list of 23 hikes for kids in Utah - map included.

Children Discovery Places - There are so many places that have active learning for kids. There are both outside and inside venues around the state. So if it’s just too hot, take your kids indoors. Here’s just a few: Thanksgiving Point, Natural History Museum, Discovery Gateway, Loveland Planet Aquarium, Hogle Zoo, This is the Place, etc. Pick a place and spend a day discovering even more about our world.

Kids Theater - Looking at this you may be thinking, “That’s more art/drama or even language arts than PE.” That’s what makes theater so amazing. It covers so many subjects. My kids participated in Shrek with a neighborhood theater group Backyard Children’s Theater. It was so fun, they developed group work skills as they learned about getting on and off stage, being in position, and dancing to the music. If there is an option for a small or even a bigger production in your area I’d give it a chance.

Water Activities - Whether on a big lake or reservoir like Lake Powell, Deer Creek or Jordanelle, or on a small lake in a neighborhood, being on the open water is a great way to increase your knowledge about water safety. As well as work your core.

Playing Outside - This is a bonus since it is rather obvious and perhaps the most important. Just let the kids play outside doing whatever kids do. Let their imaginations fly along with their problem solving skills.

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