Don’t you love the first week of summer vacation? The end-of-the-school-year craziness comes to a halt, the schedule eases, dinners creep a little bit later each night — and usually end in a walk around the neighborhood or chasing fireflies in the backyard. You’re not worried about checking off all the boxes (or maybe there are just less boxes to check?).

While taking a moment to really breath is exactly what we all need this time of year, you don’t want to let your kids brains slide into autopilot (or worse, fall victim to the summer slump). We’re not a worksheet ‘kill and drill house,’ either.  Which is why I love enrichment activities that keep that creatively engage kids — without them even know they’re learning.

The start of summer is a great way to kick off a summer fitness plan with your kids. Not a stringent “you will do 10 burpees” kind of plan (unless that is your family’s thing); more of a ‘how can you get up and move every day?’ kind of plan. Then use that physical fitness plan to reinforce science and math concepts they learned over the school year.

I know what you’re thinking: didn’t you just say less boxes to check off and now you’re giving us boxes? This is a different kind of plan — created in partnership with the experts at Open Door Care which is celebrating 15 years of using the Camelot Learning language arts and math activities program, the only one of its kind offered in the region.STEM @ HOME: Fun Fitness Plan for Kids! - (cool) progeny

stem @ home: fun fitness plan for kids!

Discuss

Ask your kids what they can do to get moving (and not ‘lay still like veggies’ in front of a screen this summer). The Bug came up with 9 ideas: go swimming, ride a bike or scooter, go for a walk or a hike, jump rope, have a dance party, kick a soccer ball around, play a sidewalk game, do yoga, or play at the playground.

Set Goals

The Bug and I talked about the idea of setting goals and how often kids need to move and groove in order to stay healthy (pediatricians recommend at least an hour of physical activity each day). We looked at a clock and broke it into 20 minute segments (because, “you know you have to do something for at least 20 minutes for it to be fun!”). The Bug’s goal? Three twenty-minute activities every day or 21 chunks of activity each week.STEM @ HOME: Fun Fitness Plan for Kids! - (cool) progeny

Create a FUN Data Collection Method

Ok, this sounds boring. But here’s where a little creativity can really shine. Instead of making a chart, I found photos of the Bug doing each of these activities and created cards. Every time she does an activity for 20 minutes, she puts a sticker on the card. Put all of the cards on a ring and they are easily portable! {Of course, a chart works, too. Kids will love decorating it!}

STEM @ HOME: Fun Fitness Plan for Kids! - (cool) progeny STEM @ HOME: Fun Fitness Plan for Kids! - (cool) progeny

Make a Graph + Analyze

We not-so-slyly broke data collection and charting into two different activities. After a week of data collection, I asked the Bug:how did you exercise this week? Using her photo cards, she plotted out on a bar graph the number of times she did each activity. Of course, she came to a natural five-year-old conclusion after seeing the empty boxes next to swimming: “Mom, we NEED to go to the pool next week.” 

Can you imagine what our graphs will look like at the end of the summer? Learning, check. Fun, check. Fitness, check.

Ok, so maybe summer check boxes are just more fun.
STEM @ HOME: Fun Fitness Plan for Kids! - (cool) progeny 

about our sponsor

CAMELOT LEARNING AT OPEN DOOR CARE

Kids learn through experience and choice at Open Door Care, with Camelot Learning activities appealing to different learning styles, social, kinesthetic, spatial, and rhythmic.  In June, one of Open Door Care’s weekly Camelot Learning themes is Exercise.  During this theme, children focus on the importance of being physically fit while learning about and engaging in exercises involving strength, flexibility, and endurance.   Children have opportunities to record resting heart rate and heart rates during various intervals of activity.  Camelot Learning language arts and math activities program makes learning fun.  It is filled with activities focused on STEM.  Open Door Care offers Camelot learning to every child every day!

Open Door Care was founded 30 years ago to support today’s family by offering safe, nurturing, and quality before and after school childcare that is an extension of home and school.