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?
Our trampoline has a net, but we got it (as a gift) that way. It works great as a cage for toddlers. :) The kids LOVE putting the sprinkler underneath, but they don't know the dish soap trick yet. A friend of mine had a PERFECT dish soap trampoline - it was rubbery and we FLEW off that thing.
Our kids have more screen time than they should, as the babies need to nap and we live in a very small house and our neighborhood isn't the best, so I like to be able to keep an eye on the kids when they're outside. That being said, in the summer we spend a lot of time out there and at the splash park down the street. And at the lake. Winter lasts 8 months of the year, we need to enjoy the small bit of outside-time we get!!
When I was a kid, I spent ALL my time outside. We built tree forts, played kick the can, played street hockey, rode our bikes, ate snacks out of the garden. We were never bored. :)
My kids love being outside. They love to play baseball and jump on the trampoline.
My kids are outside most of the time. They are very active and running constantly, so it's better for me and them if they are outside. They love to learn and the come up with all kinds of things to do: they will plant something, find bugs, scavenger hunts, ect. They often come up with better things than I could. We live in Texas though, so during the summer I have to monitor the temperature and I only let them go out in mornings or evenings.
I am not going to lie....our backyard is BORING! We have a swingset and teeter totter, but the kids don't like to play with just each other and we don't have any other kids in our neighborhood their age to play with. We do have a swimming pool though, so they spend their outdoor time swimming and since we live in FL they can swim April through October and sometimes longer. About the same time the pool gets too cold is about the time the weather cools off enough to do other stuff outside. Because it is SO hot here most of the year, they spend more time inside than outside it seems, so we have computer usage rules. They can't use the computer on school nights at all (they aren't old enough to need research for homework yet).
We have tons of outside toys but it rains a lot here.
we spent most our outside time at parks or on the beach...we share a yard with our neighbor and well its just better that we venture out...