I grew up outside- probably one of the last ‘generations’ to do so. Most of my childhood memories are with neighborhood kids, climbing trees (I always went higher when I got scared and couldn’t get down), playing in the old coal bin, and making forts in the forsythia shrubs that seemed to be in mass quantity around our yard. We wore Underoos outside to catch fireflies after dinner- all of us, running around in our superhero polyester sets. It wasn’t formal and it was probably usually messy but it was what we knew and honestly, what we loved.
Kids today aren’t always so eager to go outside (Looking back… I realize we had no choice… our parents told us to come back for lunch and that was it, we’d find our ways back just in time to wash up for a quick lunch and back we went). Or maybe they are but they don’t have a lot of time to go outside and just be kids. There are so many *things* in their lives. So many activities and programs and playdates….and so little unscheduled time. We had a crazy schedule last fall. I promised the kids we’d never do it again. One of the kids cried one day and when asked, told me they just wanted to be home to play in our yard with our toys. It broke my heart. Here I was letting them do a few activities and I did more harm than good. Well meaning intentions…
Encouraging kids to get out to play can really be as simple as walking outside. Some kids need some guidance, some need encouragement- and some days, even I have had to say to my children “You are going to play outside for an hour. Period!” because they need that nudge. The more time they have to be outside playing, the better they’ll get at it. My kids have made up a game called BBG- beach ball game. 2 of them swing on the swings and the third “pitches” a beach ball to them… whoever kicks it, well, they kick it. I don’t think there’s scoring or points or a point to the game at all but they all 3 love it and play together.
This isn’t to say mine adore being outside all day, or that they don’t fight me. But I feel really strongly that outside time is almost critical for EVERYONE every single day, so barring frigid temperatures or hurricane like winds, we’re out there daily, rain or shine. You have to find what your kids will like and go from there. Do a scavenger hunt. Take a hike. Challenge them to see if they can jump over 10 rocks and hula hoop 3 times before their sibling can. Build fairy houses. Go toad hunting. Take a walk. Play catch. Blow bubbles. Ride bikes. The sky is the unplugged limit when it comes to being outside and we need to get ourselves and our kids OUT TO PLAY!
Our friends CLIF Kid are wanting kids to “Come Out to Play” this summer…and this fall. They have many snacks that they’ve made just FOR kids:
CLIF Kid Zbar is an organic baked whole grain snack made with a nutritious blend of complex carbohydrates, three grams of fiber, and three grams of protein to maintain kids’ energy.
CLIF Kid Zbar Protein is a nutritious and delicious snack made with organic whole grains and 5 grams of protein for kids’ growing bodies.
CLIF Kid Zfruit is a tangy twisted fruit rope that is an excellent source of vitamin C and doesn’t need to be washed, cored, seeded, cut or refrigerated before eating – making it easy for kids to eat organic fruit snacks anytime, anywhere.
CLIF Kid Zfruit + Veggie is a tangy, chewy organic fruit and veggie snack that is an excellent source of vitamin C, a good source of fiber and makes snack time fun with its peelable twisted ropes.
CLIF Kid invited myself and my friend Julie from Happy Strong Home to have a playdate together and get our kids- and our friends’ kids- to come out to play. Last week, we had a last hurrah of summer bash at my house, and it was a blast. Lots of good food (LOTS of yummy CLIF Kid snacks in many forms), lots of good friends, and TONS of fun.
CLIF Kid wants kids to be kids, and encourages families to feed their adventure and discover new frontiers in the great outdoors—parks, backyards and city sidewalks. We may not have city sidewalks in my town (or actually, any sidewalks…), but we have parks, we have backyards, and we have kids… and CLIF Kid knows just how to keep our busy kids’ bodies fueled while playing.
CLIF Kid makes nutritious snacks for kids’ growing bodies with no high fructose corn syrup, synthetic preservatives or artificial flavors. Nothing we parents don’t want in the kids’ snacks, but including all of the flavors kids ask for so often.
How do you get YOUR kids to Come Out to Play?
This post was sponsored on behalf of CLIF Kid via One2One Network. All opinions stated are my own.