Fun Ways to Keep Physically Active During Vacation

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By Tracey Matthews Wynter, Supervisor of the Knox County Schools Family and Community Engagement Department Contributing Researcher: Valencia Guein

With summer vacation just around the corner for many students and families, let’s figure out some “fun” ways to “Get Active” during vacation. There can be healthy benefits of vacationing, so let’s call them “exercations”!

Water Parks

Many kids love getting wet, swimming, and chasing (in the water only—safety first)!  While swimming is an excellent form of exercise, young people also do some very active play at water parks.  Splashing takes energy; trying to catch a friend or sibling against resisting water takes some exertion as well.  Running through spraying water exercises both the legs and the heart, and many water parks include stairs children have to climb in order to slide down into the water. To learn how to play Sea Monster, Throw, Dive, Retrieve and other fun games, visit

Walking Tours

Walking tours introduce you to new people, places, and traditions. There are usually a number of walking tours in just about any city you visit.  Many walking tours are guided to provide information, so it’s a great opportunity to learn and exercise.  Walking for fitness is a good way to get your muscles moving and exercising your heart. Walking tours provide a very low impact way of exercising your heart, not to mention the benefits of breathing in fresh air and getting a dose of Vitamin D from the sun!  Or simply walk instead of catching local transportation.  If you want to save a few pennies and “exercation” locally, visit for the many opportunities available right here in Knoxville.


Fun and active games on the beach include volleyball, sandcastle building, surfing, Marco Polo, shell hunting, sand soccer, and sand art/drawing. Here are a few more active games that may be new to you and your family:

Water Relay

Two opposing players sit on the beach next to each other.

Each player holds a large cup on their heads.

Each player’s partner runs to the ocean, fills a small cup with water, and runs back to dump it into the larger cup their partner is holding.

The first team to fill the large cup wins!


Hot Beach Ball

This game is fun for kids, adults and large groups.  It is played like the classic hot potato.

Have family members stand in a circle.

Give one person an inflated beach ball and begin playing some fun “beachy” music.

As the music plays, each person tosses the ball to the person next to him/her.

The person holding the ball when the music stops is “out.”

Keep playing until only one person is left in what remains of the circle. Resource:

Other “exercation” ideas include these:

Visit the Zoos:  You have to walk to the animals!

Hiking: Try to hike a trail that includes a little uphill terrain.

Aquariums and Museums: Both include walking and learning at the same time.

Amusement Parks: Lots of walking is required to make sure you enjoy all of the rides and attractions.

Dude ranches, rafting, ropes courses, ziplining, cycling, geocaching, and visiting state and national parks are but a few more of the many fun places and activities that mix physical activity with fun.

On behalf of the Knox County Schools Family and Community Engagement Department, thank you for continuing to read our monthly articles this year.

For more information on the resources available to Knox County Schools’ students and families, visit us online at or contact Mrs. Tracey Matthews Wynter, Knox County Schools Family and Community Engagement Supervisor 



The Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee (CAC) Summer Food Service Program

This program provides meals (breakfast, lunch, and snacks) to children at a variety of sites within Knox County to include recreation programs, summer schools, Boys and Girls Clubs, and other community youth groups. For locations and more information, call 865-546-3500,

or contact Mrs. Tamekia Jackson, KCS Family Resource Center Director 865-594-1192

Tracey Matthews currently serves as Knox County Schools’ District-wide Family and Community Engagement Supervisor. In this position, Tracey has been entrusted with the responsibility to facilitate the district’s course toward building stronger and lasting partnerships between families, schools, and the community. For more information, please visit the Family and Community Engagement at

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