June 21 is the summer solstice—the longest day of the year. This also makes June 21 the Longest Day of Play! Take advantage of the extra daylight and encourage kids in your community to take a longer walk, play another game of tag, or enjoy a few extra minutes shooting hoops.
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends that children and adolescents participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. The Longest Day of Play is the perfect opportunity to get that amount, and more.
Regular physical activity helps reduce feelings of depression and anxiety, and promotes psychological well-being. Parents and other adults in communities can play an important role in shaping the attitudes and behaviors of children toward physical activity.
On the Longest Day of Play, you can:
- Set a positive example and join in on the physical activity—make it a part of your family’s routine.
- Take kids to places where they can be active, such as public parks, sports fields, swimming pools, or community basketball courts.
- Make physical activity fun—be positive about participation and encourage kids to try new things.
- Be safe and provide appropriate protective equipment for all activities.
On this year’s Longest Day of Play, think back to the warm nights as a kid when you had to go inside because the sun went down too early and encourage your child to keep playing!
The benefits of physical activity include lowering your risk for cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. So, challenge yourself and your kids or teens to see how much physical activity you can get on the Longest Day of Play.