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Home for the Summer: Ten Happy, Healthy Ideas for Kids


That last school bell has rung and the kids are back home, enjoying all the pleasures that summer vacation offers. But there's got to be more to life than sleeping until noon and sipping lemonade by the pool. Here are some more ideas to make sure your kids stay happy and healthy this summer.

1. Block the sun. Sunlight is great; but too much exposure can be dangerous. Cover the kids with generous amounts of waterproof sunscreen -- SPF of 30 or greater -- 30 minutes prior to any sun exposure. Be sure to reapply it every 30 minutes for maximum protection.

2. Take a hometown vacation. With gas prices soaring, summer vacations may need to be spent a little closer to home. Check out your hometown's restaurants, museums or parks together as a family and pretend you're tourists for a few days.

3. Keep active. Keep the kids up and moving with some fun games such as badminton, swimming or soccer. And, of course, never underestimate the power of a good old-fashioned game of hide and seek or catching fireflies at dusk.

4. Pick some produce. Fresh fruits and vegetables are aplenty during the summer months. Gather the kids to visit a local farm or check out the local farmers market. With so many delicious choices this summer, your kids may actually eat their vegetables!

5. Stay hydrated. Enjoying the summer heat can sometimes lead to dehydration. Be sure to keep plenty of filtered water on tap and instead of letting the kids grab for sodas, enjoy some healthier treats such as juice spritzers or frozen fruit juice popsicles.

6. Start a reading club. Don't let those brain cells get lazy during the summer. Reading is a great way to keep your kids' minds active. Gather some of your children's friends for meetings to discuss fun summer reads. If food is involved, turnout will be much higher -- guaranteed.

7. Record some memories. Make this a summer to remember. Arm the kids with a video camera to make family movies. Or, take still pictures and create an online scrapbook that you can share with friends and family.

8. Breathe easy. Hot, summer weather forces us to keep our doors and windows shut tight, trapping allergens and airborne molecules in our homes and in our lungs. Keep your home's indoor air healthy by installing a whole-home air filtration system, such as AccuClean from American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning.

9. Go around the world. Take a trip around the world without leaving your own home. Pick a different country or culture each week. Read books and create maps of the area. Wrap up your week of study by creating and enjoying a traditional meal from the region.

10. Have fun. Don't over schedule your summer. Instead, use summer vacation to lighten your family's load, kick back, and enjoy these long, golden days. Memories are created, not scheduled, so start creating some today.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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