Active Ideas for Summertime Fun with the Fam!

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The Canadian 24-hour Movement Guidelines are evidence-based research that addresses the whole day, along with an emphasis on 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each and every day for children and youth. The International School-Related Sedentary Behaviour Recommendations for Children and Youth was recently released to help educators, school administrators, policy makers, parents/guardians, caregivers, physicians and healthcare providers improve the health and well-being for school-aged children and youth. So what, now what? Ophea would like to get students and their families to start thinking about what healthy, active living can look, sound, and feel like during the summer months! Ophea, in partnership with our friends at Ontario Active School Travel (OAST), a program of Green Communities Canada, is excited to share some active, quick, easy, and most importantly, fun activities that you can do with your family this summer!

Get to Know Your Neighbourhood

The summer season is a great time to head outside to explore the community you live in. Take the time to plan an active route – for example, consider biking, rollerblading, wheeling a wheelchair, running/jogging, skateboarding, or skipping to explore a location you’d like to visit in your neighborhood!

  • Playgrounds can be a great place for children to engage in free play. They are spaces where kids develop crucial physical, social, emotional, and imaginative skills necessary to gain self-confidence, improve coordination, and advance critical thinking capabilities. Playgrounds also provide a valuable opportunity to build self-awareness and independence. Check out Active for Life as they share some great tips on How to have a Summer Filled with Independent Play.
  • Route Planning helps plan child-friendly routes to get to new destinations. Take an active route to explore a new street as you may find a park, library or a community space.
  • Neighbourhood Hunt and Routes to School Mapping can help make walking and wheeling more fun, while helping families identify safe routes within their neighbourhood.

Walk, Wheel, and Roll

Whether you’re walking, wheeling on a bike, rolling on a skateboard, riding a scooter, or rollerblading this summer, it is important to make sure you are being safe while doing it! What are some safety measures you can take while being active this summer?

Connect with Nature

The outdoors provide a great opportunity to learn about nature, the environment, and the world outside. Activities such as gardening, learning about local wildlife, and identifying native plants, provides a variety of opportunities for teaching and learning while developing an appreciation and respect for the outdoors.

Moving is for EveryBODY

Quality physical activities will enable EVERYONE to play and discover the joy of movement. Many children and youth with disabilities experience barriers in their environment that prevent them from accessing equipment, programming, and activities within their own community. Check out these resources and supports that help address these challenges to ensure children of all abilities are engaged in their communities.

Building Relationships in your Community

Home, school, and community partnerships engage students, their families, and community groups to work together to support and promote opportunities for healthy, active living. Building relationships within your community can involve coordinating services, learning about resources that are available, and even getting to know the people who are your neighbours!

There are many benefits to getting active over the summer. Take a moment to think about how physical activity can be part of your students and their family’s lives by reviewing some of these questions from Ophea’s DPA Every Day resource together:

  • What does physical activity look like, sound like, and feel like for you?
  • How do you see physical activity reflected in everyday life?
  • Describe what types of physical activities you enjoy doing alone, with your family and with friends.
  • Describe how you feel before, during, and after physical activity.
  • How do you know when you need physical activity?
  • What impact does physical activity have on your ability to participate in school, and go about your day at home?
  • How can you support your child in making connections between what they learn about physical activity at school and in conversations and activities at home?

Thank you to our friends at Ontario Active School Travel for collaborating with Ophea for this blog. Let’s keep the conversation going! Share with us how you’re working with students, their families and the communities to promote healthy, active living! Don’t forget to @OpheaCanada on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. To stay up-to-date on Ophea professional learning offerings, resources, and supports sign up for Ophea’s e-newsletter eConnection.