Spring Activities to Boost Your Child’s Health
Longer daylight hours and an abundance of sunshine are just around the corner. The kids will soon be spending more time at home and champing at the bit to go outside. In celebration of this change in season, we’ve put together 10 activities you can do as a family to help boost your child’s overall health as you enjoy this fine weather in the great outdoors.
1. Play in the sprinkler.
Here’s something really simple you can do to improve your child’s health this spring: make sure your family gets even bigger doses of sunshine. Sure, exposure to the sun—especially sunburns—can cause skin cancer, but our bodies still need the sun. We make the most Vitamin D—the “sunshine vitamin”—when we allow large portions of our skin to catch some rays. So this spring, let the kids take off their tops and play in the sprinkler. It’s scientifically proven to improve your child’s chance of continuing good health.
2. Try a hike.
For most of the year, getting into nature has been left on the back burner in favor of the warm indoors and the allure of online entertainment. Spring is the perfect time to turn things around. Adventure awaits in the incredible network of trails outside of Boise, Idaho. Plan a family hike on the half-mile lollipop loop of the Elephant Rock Trail at the Military Reserve. It will give you a chance to get fresh air, exercise, explore, and make memories.
3. Explore your backyard.
In the spirit of getting more doses of sunshine and spending time in nature, consider turning your backyard into a place that facilitates outdoor play and activity. This can be as simple as putting up an old hanging tent, or go the extra mile and build an actual treehouse. Whatever you decide to make, the time you spend outdoors will do wonders for everyone’s overall health.
4. Get your green thumb on.
Getting some dirt under the little one’s nails in the great outdoors—far from being a bad thing—improves your child’s chance of future health and happiness. Let your kids play in the dirt and explore the wonders of nature. You’ll expose them to healthy bacteria and parasites that will inevitably result in a stronger immune system. If you’d like to make this a family activity, take up gardening. Assign different tasks to the kids according to their ages. The younger children can scatter seeds and water plants while the older ones help with weeding and pruning.
5. Grow your own food.
While we’re on the topic of getting your green thumb on, have you always dreamed of growing your own food? It’s a great way to encourage children to eat vegetables and add variety to their diet. You’ll also help decrease the cost of your weekly grocery budget as you’ll take most of what’s in season straight from your own garden. And if you still need another reason to start—studies show that teaching children to grow their own food offers therapeutic relief, helping kids release feelings of anger, anxiety, and stress.
6. Start birding.
Even if you don’t know much about the birds in Boise, Idaho, you can still start birding with your children and make it a learning opportunity for both of you. Roll a pinecone with peanut butter and bird seed and hang it up in the backyard away from large windows. It won’t be long before you see a diverse array of birds flock to the buffet. But if you’d like to start with the basics—eagles, hawks, and whatnot—take a guided tour at the World Center for Birds of Prey. The interactive displays and live demonstrations will kindle your child’s natural curiosity and within no time they’ll be dragging you along to look at birds’ nests in the neighborhood.
7. Spring into oral health.
Although a good dental hygiene routine—regular brushing and flossing—can go a long way in preserving oral health, even the most dedicated of brushes can still struggle to clean all your teeth surfaces. That’s where Dr. Staley, a dentist in Boise, Idaho, comes in. A dental hygienist can clean all that leftover toffee and taffy from your child’s teeth. And with dental sealants, a thin coating applied to the tops of the chewing surfaces, we can help protect your child’s molars from developing cavities, allowing your children to spring into oral health this, ahem, spring.
8. Flourish at the state park.
Between school, after-school activities, and organized sports events, your kids have had little time for unstructured play. Enter: state parks—a place where kids can enjoy themselves as they interact with the environment and engage with each other. As your children try to figure out how to make it to the end of the monkey bars, they develop problem-solving skills. They learn how to collaborate and work as a team as they negotiate the rules of a game with other children in the park. The best part about state parks? You won’t have to venture far. Heck, they might even be one across the street from your house.
9. Get creative.
Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” Yes, some people are born with certain traits that make developing specific skills easier, but that shouldn’t deter you from encouraging creative pursuits. Your child may continue drawing the small and big circles in teddy bears well into adulthood. However, fueling their imagination and creativity through other activities, like building a fort or inventing a superhero, can build up your kid’s overall health and help them learn to cope with difficult feelings and relationships.
10. Make kites (and fly them).
Making and flying kites isn’t just another enjoyable classic activity, it also boosts overall health. To make the kite rise, your child has to run so it can get picked up by the wind. They’ll also spend lots of time walking back and forth “piloting” the kite. Since this activity also forces you to look up, you’ll stretch your neck muscles and simultaneously promote joint flexibility. Kite-flying offers a great way for the family to exercise, while conveniently skipping over the hustle of planning an actual workout routine.
Staley Dental cares about your child’s health.
At Staley Dental in Boise, Idaho, we are passionate about helping the whole family maintain good oral health so they can enjoy their time together with a bright healthy smile. Schedule an appointment with us and Dr. Staley will do his best to help your kids stay cavity-free.