Summer vacation is both a blessing and a curse. Although we cherish every extra moment we get to spend with our children, at the same time, we’re tasked with coming up with new and creative ways to keep them entertained. Nobody wants to be the parent whose kids are stuck inside all summer, staring at a screen. If you need some inspiration for how to encourage a healthy, happy lifestyle, here are 6 different ways the whole family can stay active and entertained.

  1. Hit the Beach

Nothing goes better together than summer and the beach! If you’re lucky enough to live near a body of water, be sure to take advantage of it. The weather is warm, the water feels amazing, and soaking up some Vitamin D is good for our state of mind—just don’t forget the sunscreen!

There are so many activities you could do at the beach to keep the kids up and moving. Some classic examples include throwing a Frisbee, building a sand castle, digging a hole, making a mermaid, searching for seashells… the list goes on and on.

Pro Tip: Enroll your child in swimming lessons in the spring so you can feel more confident in his or her safety when they’re splishin’ and splashin’ in the waves. (Of course, lakes and pools are great too!)

  1. Go for a Hike

Hikes are a great way for both parents and their little ones to get some exercise in. As an added bonus, nature walks give you the opportunity to teach your kids some science! If they feel “bored” or complain about “just walking around”, help encourage their connection to the natural world with your own discovery log book. You can turn every hike into a mini-expedition, searching for certain flowers, animal sights, or bird calls. Hunt for pretty stones or go on a geocache treasure hunt—you guys will feel like Indiana Jones!

  1. Pitch a Tent

We love to go camping for family vacations. Not only does it keep the kids active and engaged, but it’s a fun way to spend time together, make new memories, and follow old traditions. When our family camps at Pine Haven Camping Resort, we have access to all sorts of recreational activities including basketball, volleyball, mini-golf, two pools, two lakes, a playground, and an arcade. The kids never have a dull moment, but the grownups get plenty of time to relax and unwind. It’s a win-win for everyone


  1. Throw a Water Balloon Fight

Surprise your kids with a spontaneous water balloon fight to shake off those stagnant summer days. They’ll be tickled with delight by your sneaky attack—just be sure to wait until they’re outside if you don’t want Mom to be mad! Have a bucket of balloons filled with water and ready to launch, head to your separate battle stations, and let the fight begin. With self-sealing water balloons, you can make over 100 in less than 60 seconds! You’ll feel like a kid all over again as you duck and dodge running around the backyard.

  1. Slip ‘N’ Slide

Call the parents around your block and set up a playdate at the neighborhood park. It’s super easy to set up a slip ‘n’ slide and the kids will have an absolute blast! You can even make it an event complete with BBQ food, fun games, and of course those water balloons. Sport a pair of cool swim trunks and get in on the fun—you’ll be the coolest parent on the block.

  1. Teach a Sport

When your kid heads back to school in the fall, they’ll need to start thinking about what sport they want to play. Help them make the A-Squad by working with them over summer on the sport they seem interested in. You can take your little slugger to the batting cages to work on hand/eye coordination or run footwork drills at the park to turn your daughter into the next Mia Hamm. Your heart will swell with pride as you watch them progress, and when they come home beaming after tryouts, you’ll feel great knowing you had a hand in their success.

Kids shouldn’t just sit around all summer, and you don’t need to send them off to camp to keep them busy. Any one of these six activities will be fun and healthy for both you and them—so what are you waiting for? Get up and moving!