Hello! My name is Angella and I'm looking forward to the next eight weeks with you guys. When I was asked if I'd be interested in writing about 'Outdoor Family Fun', I replied with a resounding YES. My husband and I live on an acreage with our children, and love the outdoors. Our property backs onto a government forest, so the bulk of our existence in the spring/summer/fall months, is being outside. We even took up skiing this past winter, so we spend a lot of time outside, all year 'round.
While we do a lot of activities (stories to follow), we also just go outside. In the yard. And play. It seems like a no brainer, but apparently it's not so easy for some kids. I was talking to a girlfriend on the weekend who babysits a few kids at her home and she's at a loss with two of the kids in her care. The weather has been amazing (sunny, warm, and not too hot), and so she's been taking her kids and the kids she babysits outside, and the two siblings under her charge will tell her that they don't know what to do. She has all sorts of yard toys and activities, but they'd rather be inside, playing video games, just like their Dad.
My husband is not a gamer (YAY!), and before we had kids he said that we'd never buy any video games. He caved, of course. We have a Wii and the kids have DSi's but we also have rules. They get a half an hour after school to watch TV/play games/decompress. Then, all electronics are off and they are sent outside. They can stay inside if they want to (I'm not my Mom), but no electronics are allowed. They all love to be outside like their Dad and I, and they will play in the sand box, or swing on the swings, or play road hockey, or ride bikes, or toss baseballs, or jump on the trampoline. They'll also put new twists on old activities. A few weeks ago they put a sled on the swing and were pushing each other. Last week, they decided to combine their love of jump rope with their love of the trampoline.
(No, we do not have a trampoline with a net. Our kids are nine, seven, and five, soon to be ten, eight, and six. My husband and I both grew up without netting and survived, despite doing things like adding a sprinkler and dish soap to the fun.)
How does it work in your house? Do you/your kids spend time just playing in the yard?