Summer Fun Made Easy

June 1, 2022 Children

Longer, warmer days mean it’s time to get outside and play! Playing helps children burn off extra energy, grow confident in their bodies and stay healthy. It also helps children learn and sleep better — and it’s just plain fun!

Help your child by making time for play every day. Here are 10 tips to get things moving.

Be Prepared

Keep a few toys in the trunk of your car and head to the playground after day-care or errands. Or, keep a toy-bag near your front door so you can quickly grab gear.

Items to include:

  • Small ball or two
  • Frisbee
  • Sand shovel and bucket
  • Jump rope

Have fun at home

  • Put some music on and dance.
  • Use masking tape to make a racetrack on the floor for toy cars or to walk and hop on the line.
  • Try “bowling” with a tower of plastic cups and tennis ball.
  • Bat a balloon in the air.
    (Keep track of it so little ones can’t choke.)
  • Limit screen time to encourage them to find other things to do.

Keep your cool

  • On really hot days, head for air conditioning. Local rec centers often have open gym hours or classes.
  • Check out the play-space at the local mall.
  • Find a community pool where lifeguards can help keep your little one safe.
  • Make a trip to a splash pad at a park or zoo.

USE Imagination

  • Put cushions on the floor and pretend they are rocks over lava to jump over.
  • Play charades and ‘fly’ around the room like an airplane, or hop like a kangaroo.

Stay Hydrated

Offer water a few times an hour, more if it’s hot or if your child is playing hard. Young children don’t need energy or sports drinks.

Fuel the fun

Offer meals and snacks every 2-3 hours. An insulated cooler bag keeps food fresh. Pack snacks like cheese sticks, crackers, and raisins. A granola or breakfast bar can save the day if you don’t have time to pack a snack.

Play outside

  • Blow bubbles to chase.
  • Use sidewalk chalk for drawing or jumping games.
  • Go for a walk to discover bugs, rocks, or jump over sidewalk cracks.
  • A hose with a sprinkler can keep children busy for hours.

Build in Down Time

A cuddle with a book, drawing or a puzzle can offer time to recharge, especially if they’ve been playing all day.

Stay Safe

  • Remember sunscreen and consider staying indoors from 10 am to 2 pm to avoid peak sun.
  • A sun hat can protect
    your child’s skin and eyes (especially if they won’t
    wear sunglasses).
  • Pack hand wipes if they can’t wash before a snack.
  • Pack Band-Aids for scrapes.
  • Always supervise your child around water.
  • Remind your child to stay where they can see you.
  • Teach them your phone number and address.

Move Together

Get in the habit of being active as a family:

  • Kick a ball
  • Play together in a pool
  • Push them on a swing

Research in adults shows that 10 minutes of exercise three times a day improves fitness and health as much as 30 minutes at one time.

A little preparation can help your family enjoy the summer even more. Children who learn that exercise is fun are more likely to grow up feeling good about their bodies and stay active as they grow.

Side-Lying Hold

  1. For the right breast, lie on your right side with your baby facing you.
  2. Pull your baby close. Your baby’s mouth should be level with your nipple.
  3. In this position, you can cradle your baby’s back with your left arm and support yourself with your right arm and/or pillows.
  4. Keep loose clothing and bedding away from your baby.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Cross-Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, use your left arm to hold your baby’s head at your right breast and baby’s body toward your left side. A pillow across your lap can help support your left arm.
  2. Gently place your left hand behind your baby’s ears and neck, with your thumb and index finger behind each ear and your palm between baby’s shoulder blades. Turn your baby’s body toward yours so your tummies are touching.
  3. Hold your breast as if you are squeezing a sandwich. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  4. As your baby’s mouth opens, push gently with your left palm on baby’s head to help them latch on. Make sure you keep your fingers out of the way.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Clutch or “Football” Hold

  1. For the right breast, hold your baby level, facing up, at your right side.
  2. Put your baby’s head near your right nipple and support their back and legs under your right arm.
  3. Hold the base of your baby’s head with your right palm. A pillow underneath your right arm can help support your baby’s weight.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Bring baby to you instead.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, cradle your baby with your right arm. Your baby will be on their left side across your lap, facing you at nipple level.
  2. Your baby’s head will rest on your right forearm with your baby’s back along your inner arm and palm.
  3. Turn your baby’s tummy toward your tummy. Your left hand is free to support your breast, if needed. Pillows can help support your arm and elbow.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Laid-Back Hold

  1. Lean back on a pillow with your baby’s tummy touching yours and their head at breast level. Some moms find that sitting up nearly straight works well. Others prefer to lean back and lie almost flat.
  2. You can place your baby’s cheek near your breast, or you may want to use one hand to hold your breast near your baby. It’s up to you and what you think feels best.
  3. Your baby will naturally find your nipple, latch, and begin to suckle.

This hold is useful when: