Spring is a beautiful time of year and temperatures are much more enjoyable.

Spring is a beautiful time of year and temperatures are much more enjoyable. The days are longer, allowing us to get more done in a day. It’s a great time of year for a barbecue or picnic. It’s just a great time of year to add a little activity into your life. And with summer fast approaching, we need to make sure we keep that activity going especially with our children through those months as well.

There are several activities you can do with your children to encourage more physical activity in their lives. Some of those activities might include jumping rope, playing hopscotch or another fun game, let your children choose the game and maybe you’ll learn something new. Possibly play a fun game of basketball or have a hula-hoop or relay challenge. Go on a scavenger hunt, or a hike as a family. Whatever the activity, just make it fun. Laugh with your children, and don’t be afraid to act a little silly. Recommendations for physical activity for children according to the American College of Sports Medicine are at least 60 minutes most days of the week.

It’s also important to teach your children about making healthy choices when it comes to nutrition. Set the example for them. Get rid of the junk food in the house and replace it with fruits and vegetables. Throw out the soda and juices that are filled with sugar and encourage them to stay hydrated with water. These are just two suggestions, but as I said, we must set the example for them. We must teach our children the importance of eating healthy and to develop healthy habits early in life, which hopefully will allow them to continue those habits throughout life. We have to develop lifestyle changes in order to live healthy and maintain a healthy life.

As we look toward summer and our kids are getting out of school, encourage them to stay active during those summer months as well. Encourage them to spend less time playing video games or surfing the web and instead head outdoors and just be active. As I mentioned take advantage of any time you have to get active with them, make it a family affair and just have fun.

The Neosho Freeman Family YMCA will host its first-ever Family Fun Fest and annual Power Puff Women’s Only 5K at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 2, at the Neosho Freeman Family YMCA. Family Fun Fest is a free-community event to encourage active family time. The Power Puff race registration begins at 5 p.m. and the race begins at 6 p.m. Families can enjoy larger-than-life inflatable games such as limbo, bowling, jumbo tic-tac-toe, jumbo checkers, giant bubble blowing and much more. Come out get active and have some fun with your kiddos!

Sarah Sonis is program director for the Freeman Southwest Family YMCA.