While summer holidays offer the chance to sign kids up for various programs, family counsellor and psychologist Luciene Poole said it’s important to let kids figure out how to manage their free time.

“Kids need to have some of that boredom, they need to be able to find some creativity for themselves, some imagination.”

Parents can encourage children to figure out their own boredom while not scheduling every minute of free time in the their summer, Poole said.

“Parents go and say ‘do this, do this, do this’ without saying ‘What can you do at this time.’”

Summer camps and programs help make some kids healthier and more active, as well as provide a peer group no longer available since school let out, Poole said.

However, one of the most important things for a child is for parents to be present and active in their lives while they are in their crucial developmental years, Poole said.

YMCA child and youth director Jamie McCuloch said screens have their place in modern times but they can often be overused, and that staying active is a key to staying healthy.

“Kids who are active, are more engaged. They are a little bit happier, and they’re a little bit more confident. So really it’s an important part of camps, or at home to be active and healthy and just have that aspect throughout the summer.”

Goodlife Fitness gym manager Steven Simon also wants to get kids off the couch and moving around. Goodlife has a program trying to change child obesity rates in Canada.

“We offer this program so that we can help make an impact on that number, and getting them out of their technology and actually into the club.”