Thursday, September 22, 2011

Summer's Over, But Outside Fun Isn't!

This summer, I made a concerted effort to get my kids to play outside more. I thought it would be more of a challenge, but now they don't even need me to nag them to get outside. We bought a small swing set on clearance, which helped, and a small pool from Craig's List, which also helped. We started giving Bethany and Connor a little freedom to go for walks around the block, which seems to  make them feel very grown up and makes them want to take lots of walks around the block. Summer is now officially over (boo hoo!), but that doesn't have to mean the end of playing outside. The weather is cooling off a little bit, but it's still been quite nice outside most days. As it starts to get colder, getting the kids outside might be more difficult, but I'm going to continue to encourage them. 

We're lucky because we live on a cul de sac with very little traffic, so we feel comfortable letting the kids play outside even if we're not outside with them constantly. We also have a decent sized backyard, and we provide them with stuff to do outside. Our garage is full of bikes, scooters, and a big red wagon. There's two basketball hoops on our driveway - one pint sized for the little ones, and a big one for the older kids and grown ups. Most days there's a big tub of sidewalk chalk on the porch, and there's always several bottles of bubbles around and a couple of jump ropes. They like all this stuff, but they also like just running around, looking for bugs under rocks and practicing cartwheels on the grass. Another thing they really enjoy is taking our dog for walks. 

This year, as the temperature drops, I'm going to have them get bundled up and get out there and play with all their stuff for as long as they can. This is going to be a challenge for me because I hate being outside in the cold. Like really HATE it. But I have to learn to deal with it so I can set a better example for my munchkins! When the leaves fall, we'll have them help with the raking (which will of course lead to jumping in piles of leaves!). When the snow falls, it might kill me but I'm going to get them outside to play in that snow. There are snow men, snow forts, and snow angels to be made! And they're not too young to start doing some shoveling either! Maybe enjoying the snow will help me not be so depressed during the long, dark and dismal months of Michigan winter.

I want my kids to be active now so that it will be easier for them to stay active as they get older. I want them to be fit and healthy. I want them to love the outdoors and appreciate nature. September 24, 2011 is Nickelodean's 8th Annual Worldwide Day of Play, and Clorox2 is a sponsor. Do yourself and your kids a favor, and take the Clorox2 Play 2Day pledge to play outside! Visit the website at today and take the pledge!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Clorox2® blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here

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