Keeping my kids active on a daily basis isn’t always easy. The days are filled with school, homework, household obligations, sports practices, etc. Not to mention all the electronics they want to play daily. No matter how busy we get as a family, it’s extremely important to make outdoor play an everyday activity.
The other day after school the kids finished their homework, cleaned up around the house and immediately started asking to play video games. Am I the only one that gets frustrated always getting asked that? I needed to get dinner on the stove and almost caved in, letting them play until dinner time.
That was until I realized they hadn’t played outside that much that day. I countered their question with, ‘Why don’t you play outside until dinner is ready?‘. It was that simple and out they went.
I take great responsibility for making sure the boys get time outside each day. Sure they get time at school, but that’s just under 30 minutes total, split into two recesses. For a kindergartner and second grader, I don’t feel that is nearly enough.
There are many ways to squeeze some outdoor play into every day. Some times it even helps to write it on your schedule. I know it seems like it could be a little too much, but with a hundred things going on and our minds racing all day long, it truly helps.
Sometimes I like to make an outdoor schedule for the week. This simply gives ideas for the kids to do outside after school or after lunch on the weekends. It is not only a reminder, but you do the planning ahead of time.
Some of our favorite activities right now are:
- Sidewalk Chalk – The kids have a large canvas to draw on to great creative and actively use their imagination. It doesn’t just have to be drawing a picture. Sometimes we will draw large mazes or different color lines to follow through the driveway and sidewalks.
- Ball Games – Kickball, soccer, or anything with a ball will keep the kids active for awhile and builds teamwork.
- Pretend Play – Playing superheros, construction workers, adventurers or anything using their imaginations creates endless fun. Using their imaginations freely in the open gets them moving while getting fresh air.
- Nature Collections – Especially during the season changes, the kids love collecting nature items. They find items in the yard, when we go on walks, or visiting different places of play and keep them in a jar. It is something that can be added to weekly.
No matter how much they are asking to stay in and play video games, once they get outside, they quickly forget.
Even getting out to play for just 15-30 minutes every evening after school makes a difference. They burn energy, get exercise and it gets their imaginations going.
When they are out playing in the afternoon or late mornings, they often come running in for a snack. I will often take them out CLIF Kid Zbar®. CLIF Kid® makes nutritious snacks from organic ingredients that are specially-crafted for kids’ developing taste buds and active lives.
The kids love the taste of them and I can really get behind a brand that is dedicated to reclaiming play like CLIF Kid is. Balanced and active play lays the foundation for a skilled, healthy, resilient and successful society. Did you know that play is basically disappearing in our communities? 70% of moms played outside when they were kids and only 31% of their kids play outside today. That’s not a lot. Get outside and play!
Check out the CLIF Kid video here.
How do you fit outdoor play into your daily schedule?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.