The great outdoors.
The sunshine. The grass, the trees, the parks…the opportunities for PLAY. In our home, Summertime means heading outside to enjoy all things imagination and kid-based fun….not sitting inside watching tv, playing video games or carrying one device or another around. I simply don’t allow it….I just know that the play is too good for their growing souls.
So, when the crew at Clif Kid reached out to ask if I wanted to host the very best kind of kid playdate with my friend Cheryl from That’s What Che Said, I loved everything about the idea. The truth is, kids (and parents) LOVE playtime…especially when it is simple and happens with friends.
Here are a few tips for feeding your kids’ adventurous side and getting them outside for a perfect day of play:
Explore different locations – Sure, it is great fun (and easy!) to just send the kids in to the backyard to play, but a change of scenery is always an imagination-sparker. Heading to a tree-covered local park…one that is new to many people…is a great way to encourage kids to explore, run off their excess energy, roam wide open spaces, and even climb a few trees.
Invite Friends – your good old-fashioned playdate doesn’t have to be formal. You can gather friends with a text, an email or even a message on Facebook… the more kids involved, the more fun it will be to watch the older kids encouraging the younger ones, teaching them new games and making sure the littlest ones stay safe.
Don’t forget the Food – Clif Kid recommends that our small people refuel every three hours so they have the energy to keep running, jumping, hula-hooping and just all-around-playing. For our outdoor fun, we had some of the most fabulous Clif Kid snacks, plenty of fresh fruit – a definite Summertime staple – and cold water to keep everyone hydrated in between moments of fun.
Get Outside with your kids– don’t let the sight of all the little ones stop you from joining in. My small girl knows she can beat me in a race, but I can still out hula-hoop her. (It is the small victories that keep me feeling young at heart!)
Bring a few favorite toys – Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting you pack up your garage and move it to your local park, but it is a breeze to bring your favorite frisbees, balls, bean bag toss and bubbles for the little ones along for the ride.
What is the best part of outdoor play like this? I’d love to tell you that it is that I saw no devices, that the morning was a perfect blend of beautiful and breezy in the shade of the trees, that kids were being healthy while having fun or that they were making new friends, but for me, the true success was written all over their faces….it was in the smiles and the laughter.
Kids can’t fake having fun….and that is what true outdoor play gives them… pure, healthy, imagination-based fun.
What do you love most about outdoor play?