The sun is out, fish are jumping and birds are singing. School’s out, so parents, it’s time to get the kids out.

It’s easy to stay cooped up all day with the television or video games, but there are several ways to beat the heat and get your child out the door and moving. You don’t have to plan a vacation to get them to enjoy fun in the sun. Sometimes the adventure can start in your own back yard.

Stay involved and come up with some fun activities the entire family can do together. Create a scavenger hunt or help your child keep a nature journal of all the wild things you find growing and living in your neighborhood. There’s even a countywide Historical Scavenger Hunt happening through June 30. Visit the Lawrence County Archives Facebook page for all the information. 

Pinterest also has some great ideas, including how to make homemade puffy sidewalk paint or how to use pool noodles in a do-it-yourself backyard relay. There are some great popsicle recipes online. Get your child up in the morning, have fun making plenty of frozen treats, pop them in the freezer, and then head outside. You can come back in throughout the day to grab your cool-down snack before taking off for more fun.

Of course, be mindful and cautious of ticks and snakes. Always make safety a priority, whether you’re at home or on the go. If you’re enjoying a day on the river or at the pool, practice safe swimming habits, and stay alert. Wear plenty of sunscreen and insect repellent, and always be mindful of your surroundings, including other people who are taking advantage of the warm weather as well.

With a few safety tips and a little planning, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy a carefree summer with your little one. You can turn your back yard into an exciting oasis for you and the kids, or you can explore the nature at a public park, on the lake or in the forest. Get moving and get ready to have the best summer yet.

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