5 Summer DIY Projects to Encourage the Whole Family to be Healthy
If you’re sick of telling your kids to get up and move around, it’s time for some fun DIY projects. Not only will these encourage your young ones to eat better and move their bodies, but each idea provides motivation for you to stay active and healthy too.
Add these simple DIY projects to your weekend to-do list and start creating a healthier life for you and your family.
Build an “Obstacle Course”
This is a fun DIY project because you can be as creative as you want, while sticking with a budget. You can also make it easy for kids to use, but challenging for the adults, so it acts as both a playground and an outdoor gym. If you’re not up to the task of building a swing set, don’t worry. You can find easy-to-install items, both traditional and otherwise, if you get creative and have a little fun with it.
For example, use the old tires in your garage as one obstacle. Lay them flat, for bouncing on top of or in between, or bury one end in the ground, for crawling through and jumping over. You can also find scrap wood at your local hardware store that will be perfect for a DIY obstacle course. Think: tree stumps or planks to create balance beams and “box jumps.”
Other materials that may be useful:
- Netting, for army crawl
- Cones for agility drills
- Large rocks for climbing
Don’t forget to keep an outdoor bin nearby with other helpful equipment, like weights, jump rope, and more.
Start a Small Garden
Mid-summer isn’t a great time to dive into a full-season garden. Instead, use this time to give family gardening a test run and you’ll enjoy plenty of fall fruits, like squash, beets, broccoli, and cabbage. When building your garden, there are three main steps: creating the garden, choosing your seeds, and nurturing the plants.
To make building easiest, stick with a raised bed planter, which you can make yourself with this DIY tutorial video from HomeDepot. When the planter is ready, it’s time to choose the vegetables you want to grow. Browse these great lists to choose the healthy foods that will grow best in the late summer, early fall—and inspire healthy eating:
- 5 Everyday Foods to Help Kids Grow
- The Best Fruits and Vegetables to Grow in the Fall
- 5 Best Vegetables to Grow With Kids
Slowly but surely the seedlings will start poking through the dirt, giving your little ones a sense of pride — just what you need to get them to eat healthier.
Make a Family Menu
Cooking dinner, like maintaining a garden, gives kids a certain amount of pride when it’s time to eat healthy foods. You’re not just telling them to eat it, but they put their time and energy into making it with their own hands. That’s why a DIY family menu is a great project for summer.
The new family menu will give everyone (yourself included!) the motivation to make the most of the extra daylight and new schedule (no school!) by cooking dinner together. While there’s no one right and wrong way to make your menu, there are a few details that make it most functional:
- Set a schedule. For example, the kids cook on Tuesday and Thursday, including choosing the meal, prepping the food and helping cook and serve it.
- Make it easy to use again and again. A whiteboard may be best for this.
- Leave space for the dinner assignment each day so kids can always remember what their dinner day is.
Hang the finished menu board in the kitchen, holding everyone accountable for their meals.
Re-Organize the Garage for Healthy Activities
When summer comes around, most of your active outdoor items are tucked away, stuffed into boxes hidden on the backs of shelves. Make this organization DIY project a priority so no one has an excuse to sit inside this summer.
If you have a lot of hanging items, consider using a pegboard (it can be hung on the wall). Once hooks are added, you can hang anything, from helmets to jump ropes. To keep bats, balls and other sporting equipment front and center, clear out a “sports corner,” that’s easily accessible to everyone. Don’t forget to take down hanging bikes, rollerblades and any other large items that may be hard for the kids or you to access otherwise.
If you’re not sure where to start, get some inspiration by looking through these ideas from Big DIY.
“Build” Active Games
If the obstacle course isn’t right for your family, try another DIY project that will encourage everyone to stay active: “building” your own games. Rather than turning to the usual, whiffle ball or basketball, keep kids excited with these fun ideas:
- Indoor Skee Ball, with laundry baskets and a box
- Paper airplane target practice; you could do this with pit balls, like the idea above, as well.
- Water balloon batting practice
Kids will laugh their way through every game without even realizing how active they’ve been all day. Bonus: these games are easy to put create, so there’s minimal work for you.
Keep Your Family Healthy All Summer
Use these fun ideas to keep your kids moving from sunup to sundown. When you’re done, you’ll be motivated to eat healthy and be more active too, which is the perfect way to spend time as a family. Add these fun ideas to your “must-try” list today to start enjoying your healthier life tomorrow.