(HIB) – As the days get longer and warmer, families can look forward to more outdoor playtime, as well as the promise of road trips and vacations. While the warmer months are a time children look forward to all year, they can also mean interrupted schedules and decreased attention to studying. However, there are plenty of opportunities to keep kids’ minds engaged, even when they want to play the days away.
For parents, there are some special concerns when it comes to how their children spend time during the warmer months. Schedules and routines are often changed, which can make it difficult to keep activities and meal times on track. It’s especially important to ensure that everyone has access to fresh, high-quality foods made with real ingredients, which provide energy throughout the day. A few initiatives to keep everyone satisfied and ready for fun will ensure that your family makes the most of the warmer months.
Keep these ideas in mind and make them a part of your family’s schedule to keep kids physically and mentally active.
* See the great outdoors on a weekend camping trip or a day-long hiking excursion. Both setting up camp and hiking in the wilderness combine active fun and learning. Bring nature guides that give you detailed information about the trees, plants, animals and insects that live in the area and try to identify the things you see. If you’re out on a day hike, be sure to include wholesome snacks with protein, which will serve as a healthy source of energy for an active outing. Lance Sandwich Crackers‘ emphasis on using quality ingredients, such as real peanut butter and real cheese, as well as fresh-baked crackers, makes them a great option. Plus they’re easy to pack and available in more than two dozen varieties.
* Make grocery shopping more fun with a trip to the farmer’s market. Visiting a local market, where farmers from the area have fresh produce for sale is a great way to teach kids about the importance of using quality ingredients to prepare meals. It’s also an opportunity for them to learn about all of the work that goes into producing the foods they eat, directly from the farmer. Add an extra element of learning by using the USDA food guidelines or a healthy recipe as the basis for an ingredient scavenger hunt.
* On a rainy day, take an outing to the movies. Instead of sitting in front of the big screen and letting the mind go blank, pick something that everyone in the family will enjoy and start a discussion afterward. Or, try connecting your trip to the movies with a visit to a related event or place. For instance, if you go to see DreamWorks Animation’s “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,” follow it up with a trip to the zoo to find and learn more about the animals depicted in the movie.
* Enjoy an interactive learning experience with a trip to the museum. Children’s museums are a great choice, but it’s also a good idea to check in with art, science and other museums to see if they have special family-oriented programs or exhibits, as many often do. Some museums even waive entry fees during summer or provide discounted rates.
Whether you’re out enjoying the sunshine and natural beauty of the season or inside on one of those occasional rainy days, fun and learning can go hand-in-hand from spring into summer. For more great outdoor activity inspiration and ideas for fresh-baked, wholesome snacks, visit the Lance Pinterest page.