The summer holidays: who doesn’t have a fantastic memory of being on their summer holidays? Ice cream vans, playing out past dark, barbecues. Going away somewhere exciting and exotic...Majorca. Or staying in a caravan at Grannies Heilan Hame. Going to Lossie East Beach and being fooled into thinking the North Sea would be like a bath!
There are some villages in Moray where kids play outside but with safety being a major concern in the bigger towns it can be tricky and expensive to help shape those fantastic memories like you have. Or is it? Despite Xboxs and Internets being popular, children still have the same fundamental needs that you had. We underestimate the power of the simple things. Here are some:
Go to the park - play on the swings and slides, play hide and seek, take a ball or frizbee with you and be sure to take part yourself, kids feed off enthusiasm so if you have a grump on while telling them to be careful all the time, chances are they will inherit your grump. Take part, laugh and have fun.
Treasure hunt in the woods - kids love animals and nature, and there are loads of woods in Moray to go find stuff. Allocate points for seeing things and the winner gets to choose the next day’s activity, please don’t reward with food. 10 points for a butterfly, 20 points for a squirrel, 50 points for a deer etc.
Highland Games - ok this one can cost some money, but if you bring your own food and snacks then your bank balance doesn’t need to be hammered. There are almost always kids races and activities to take part in. You never know they might just be inspired to join an athletics club, dance group or pipe band after seeing all the exciting action.
Adults have a habit of coming back to my classes after any holiday saying “I’ve done nothing since the last time I was here 6 weeks ago". That tells me that exercise and activity is a chore. Something that is done as routinely as ironing. And when it doesn’t need done, it doesn’t get done. Well the summer holidays is a brilliant chance to come back to class fitter than ever. Yes, you have the kids activities above to have a go at but here are some other suggestions:
Walk the Moray Coast, do little bits at a time. Take the dog or a friend, there is always a nice place to stop for lunch at the other side. Findhorn to Burghead, Burghead to Hopeman, Hopeman to Lossie, Lossie to Garmouth etc.
Don’t use the car for 6 weeks - you spend all year taxiing kids places, and filling petrol company’s fat cat boss’ wallets, well let’s give the car a rest and walk or cycle instead. There is nowhere in your town or village in Moray that is too far to walk or cycle.
Trampoline - wait for the kids to go to bed and have a go on their trampoline. Take your partner or a similarly childish friend to have a bounce. It’s great fun!
Moray has more ways to keep you and your family fit and healthy than most places, and most of it is free. Its just up to you to put your creative hat on and go and do stuff. When it’s fun it won’t feel like exercise, you’ll be puffed out and sleeping like a hero and when you do go back to your fitness class you’ll be storming ahead. Now is the time when you can inspire your kids with activities and adventures without the dreaded Sunday night looming over everything with ‘you’ve got school in the morning’ to dampen things. Go on, it’s easy! Its fun! It’s summer!
By Scott Hamilton, Fitness Fun Moray