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Therapeutic Summertime Activities for Kids

Some parents find that summer is the best time for their children to develop new skills and meet friends. For children with mental health needs, finding the right location with properly trained staff can feel challenging. Check out this list of summer activities geared towards helping your child enhance their skills and gain confidence while enjoying the best that summer has to offer.

Library reading programs

Local libraries love creating readers. That’s why so many have instituted summer reading programs filled with incentives to get kids turning pages and escape into great stories. It’s also a way for children to feel a sense of accomplishment in a non-threatening environment. Setting personal objectives—like finishing five books by August—is a healthy means of striving to reach a goal rather than competing with others. Diving into a novel, magazine, or graphic novel builds self-esteem, literacy skills and builds imagination.

Structured activities

From theatre camp to horseback riding, many organizations create arms of summer learning specifically for youth with mental health needs. A quick online search of your city or state can provide tailored programs and staff members trained to work with kids needing support. Interacting with peers and other adults can improve mental resilience, build relationships, and enhance emotional growth. 

Get outside

Summer is the perfect time to venture into the great outdoors. Walking, biking and other outdoor activities help build body confidence, improve gross motor skills, and boost the production of Vitamin D. Movement also releases endorphins: the feel-good, mood-improving hormone. It’s the perfect time for kids to try skateboarding, venture on a nature hike, or see what organizations like Girls on the Run are all about. 


Sometimes finding a sense of purpose and belonging are more extensive than what a week of camp can provide. That’s why Valley Oaks Health is here to help create a sense of community with your child year-round. We’re ready to take the next steps towards wellness with you.

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