Family fun – 5 ways to have fun with your kids this summer

Kids … they just want to have fun.

And that’s what summer’s all about. It’s time to push aside school books and homework assignments. It’s time to forget the rigorous schedules and nonstop activities. It’s time to play.

But that doesn’t mean the learning has to stop when the last school bell rings. There are many ways to keep learning all summer long. Why not discover the learning opportunities at family fun places right here in your own backyard?

Look beyond what you see with the naked eye. Sure, kids love to play video games. But how can that help them throughout life? They love to chase and play games. But can that make them a better student next year in the classroom?

It turns out there might be some science to playing and learning at the same time. And family fun centers are just the place to make it all happen.

Rock Wall

Did you know climbing will be included in the 2020 Olympics? That has spurred climbing gyms growth all across the U.S. It may look like a lot of fun (and it is), but there’s a lot of benefits in taking up the sport too.

Rock wall climbing requires a lot of upper body strength; those muscles work hard to pull yourself to the top. There’s also a lot of intricate footwork and lower body strength as you navigate different routes. Climbing a wall is similar to climbing stairs. A one-hour session can easily have you burning 700 calories or more. Plus every time you advance your levels and find ways to maneuver yourself to the top, you’ll develop flexibility and a mindshift that wasn’t there before. Think of it as yoga … on a wall.

Yep, climbing will boost your brain function. You’ll be problem-solving every single step of the way. Every route you take, every climb you forge will put demands on both body awareness and your problem-solving skills. Tell me that won’t make your child better in school?

Batting Cages

Maybe climbing a wall isn’t your thing. Maybe you prefer a good old-fashioned game of baseball. Why not hit the batting cages for a little fun? Turns out there’s a lot to learn there too.

Practice is key to development. Practice gives a child the skills they need to build a successful life. And a batting cage can give them all that and more.

A game of baseball is always fun on a lazy afternoon. But there’s nothing fun about trying to become a better hitter and chasing the ball all over the field. Batting cages give you intense practice without the work. You can “work” on the mechanics of hitting and the mindset it takes to connect better with the ball, without having to work up a sweat running around and collecting the next round of balls.

Think of it as target practice. Think of it as a way to sharpen the mind and focus in on a goal. It works.

Sky Trail

Ever navigate a ropes course 20 feet off the ground? You learn a lot about yourself high up in the air.

Agility is your body’s ability to be quick and nimble. It’s how effective and efficient your body can move and change direction while maintaining control. It’s something we master in normal circumstances—walking and chasing and running. But try that when your feet only have a small rope underneath. It gives your mind a new puzzle to solve.

As you would expect, this activity will help improve your balance and increase coordination. Navigating one of our ropes courses helps increase agility, encouraging dynamic movement and increasing your fluidity. It helps you keep your body in sync while emphasizing smooth, coordinated transitions.

It’s all about the mind-body connection. A ropes course helps build those pathways in the brain that improve response. At first, you may feel clumsy, with forced movements to keep your balance high in the sky. But with a little practice, it can seem like you’re walking on air.

Miniature Golf

What benefits can a game of miniature golf give your kids? It turns out a lot.

Let’s start with the cardiovascular benefits. One round of mini golf can burn as much as 300 calories. Plus walking helps improve your posture after lying in front of a television or sitting behind a desk all day.

Miniature golf also encourages your math skills. It might seem simple, but adding up your scores keeps that part of your brain active. And for younger kids, it can help increase proficiency. There’s also a lot of strategizing. What can you do to increase your chances of winning? Make it a game…how can you become a better player at every hole.

Of course, miniature golf also increases your communication and teamwork skills. Sure, you might be playing as an individual set to win. But change it up and create teams, the red against the blue. It encourages kids to reach deep in and develop patience and cooperation skills to ensure everyone has a good time. It’s a basic way of teaching good sportsmanship and that everyone has a chance to accomplish something during the game.


And don’t give up on the classic arcade games kids of all ages enjoy. There is mounting evidence that states the benefits of these challenging and ambitious games can go a long way.

While you might not want your kids playing video games as if they were full-time jobs, they can give your child a push into a great career. Evidence shows that playing action video games can enhance visuospatial attention and spatial resolution. That means better hand-eye coordination that can be a big benefit in a career like that of a surgeon.

And when they’re in an arcade, it’s not all about sitting and vegging in front of the television. Arcade games get kids up and keep them active. A lot of arcade games promote a whole-body level of interaction. Dance to the music. Skip to the beat. Lean into the curves. Or shoot some hoops. All of these skills are things your kids can bring out into the real world.

So what are you doing this summer?