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Let’s Take it Outside

Why playing outside is not only fun for kids - it's great for the whole family. Here's how to make the great outdoors into your very own playground. 

By
Cherylyn Feierabend,
Episode #091

The autumn months are terrific for playing outside; at least where we live they are. Different climates offer different seasons and while it’s fairly common to find most people swimming during the summer and playing in the snow during the winter, those in-between months offer plenty of outdoor fun opportunities when the weather is just right. Outside play has so many wonderful benefits that I feel it’s important to encourage my kids to play outside every possible day.

Outdoor play lets children learn about nature. It’s great to see my kids examining rocks, leaves, and trees. We have fruit trees in our backyard and the kids are learning how the trees make the fruit each season and how we need to respect the trees and treat them well in order for them to bloom again next year. Children will often take an interest in helping maintain the yard as well. If my kids see Daddy pulling weeds, they offer to help … sometimes. Letting them participate as much as they can will help them learn how to be responsible and appreciate the nature around them.

There are many other reasons to take kids outside, including exercise, sunshine, fresh air, and overall health benefits. My kids and I love playing in the backyard. We are lucky that we have a large grassy yard with a swing set, plenty of sidewalks for chalk drawings, and a lot of outdoor-friendly toys. Even if you don’t have a yard like ours, there are plenty of other outdoor activities you can do with your kids. I asked some parents and listeners to share their ideas for outdoor fun ideas and received some terrific suggestions:

  • Mrs. Xinu says her favorite outdoor activities include laying a blanket outside and reading some books on it, taking a sack lunch and going on a nature walk, collecting nature’s treasures along the way and making a collage out of them.

  • Luzbonita shares a favorite activity of mine: outdoor chalk drawings. Chalk is very inexpensive and is available in many colors. Taking the kids outside to create some beautiful artwork is always fun!

  • Matt likes to take pictures of his kids outside doing funny poses or playing games.

  • Andy and his son enjoy raking all of the leaves into large piles and then rolling around in them.

  • Steve says that you can never ride a bike too much with your kids.

So, as you can see there are plenty of fun things to do outside with your kids. Be creative and get them outdoors and moving. One of the things I love most about taking the kids outside, especially in the morning, is that it wears them out! Worn-out kids are much easier to put down for naps. If you get out there and play with them, you’ll be worn-out too. Exercise is great for everyone!

If you’d like to request a topic for the Mighty Mommy you can e-mail me directly at mommy@quickanddirtytips.com

Playing in Leaves image courtesy of Shutterstock

 
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