When it comes to having fun this summer, don’t let your kids settle for the computer screen. A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that each year children are growing more sedentary. Ninety percent of 9-year-olds log a few hours of exercise most days, but less than 3 percent of 15-year-olds move farther than the short path from the couch to the fridge. But there are plenty of things to do that will keep them active and entertained — and we’re not just talking about a game of backyard bocce.
Here is your family’s new summer to-do list. (Ahem, and feel free to join in — especially if that desk chair is seeing more of you than the gym!)
Kick their summer into high gear with Kixx Kamps 2008. They love watching the Kixx at the Spectrum, so why not put your kids one-on-one with the players and staff? Youth ages 4 through 14 can build on their knowledge of the game, strengthen their kicks, train their eyes and be out of your hair all at the same time. Once players are teamed by skill and age, they’ll go through daily warm-ups, fitness techniques, technical training, conditioning and teamwork exercises. And their hard work will pay off: They’ll play alongside Kixx players and staff in full-field games, and top players will be introduced on the field of the 2008-2009 Home Opener.
Various locations. Five-day camps starting July 21-Aug. 25. Day camp 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.; evening camp 5 p.m.-8 p.m. $120-$150, ages 6-14; $115, ages 4-5 (Tot Program). 888-888-5499, kixxinteractive.com/camps.
Let them row, row, row your boat at Hidden River Outfitters Kayak Tours. The folks at Hidden River Outfitters figured out how to make your kids’ arms strong. Guided kayak tours up the Schuylkill River between Walnut Street Dock and Fairmount Water Works will show you and your kids (ages 8 and up) a side of Philly you’ve never seen. Pass under bridges, peek up at the skyline and view a little city history along the way. And there’s nothing wrong with letting your kids do the paddling if it means they’re getting a workout.
Walnut Street Dock. Sansom Street & South 24th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103. Saturdays and Sundays, July 19-October 19. 9:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m., 7:30 p.m. (moonlight tour, $50) depending on day. $40, ages 8 and over. 215-222-6030 x100, hiddenriveroutfitters.com.
Give them an outdoor workout that’s fun — and free — with the Feel Great Fitness Series. What better way to spend the day than on the waterfront with your family at this beginner workout? Sundays at the Walnut Plaza at Penn’s Landing, the health gurus at Independence Blue Cross show your kids how to get their blood pumpin’ while soaking in some rays. Classes include an intro to fitness, the benefits of rock climbing, intro to karate, dancing for health, bike riding and more.
Walnut Plaza. Columbus Boulevard at Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106. July 20-Aug. 31. 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Free, all ages. 215-629-3200, pennslandingcorp.com.
Score them a week that’s nothing but net with the Fran Dunphy Basketball Camp. If your kids think they have skills, wait until they see the drills the Temple men’s basketball head coach dishes out. Boys and girls ages 7 through 16 are teamed up with players of similar ages and abilities at this weeklong basketball camp on Temple University’s main campus. After Temple coaches and players drop a whole lot of know-how on campers in one-on-one instruction and group settings, they’ll be playing a little 5-on-5 like they’re already in the Big 5.
Temple University. 1801 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122. Aug. 4-8. 9:00 a.m. $225, ages 7-16. 215-204-3148, temple.edu.