It makes me sad when I drive down the street on a nice day and I don't see kids outside on their front lawn. Nobody is playing a game of hoops on the driveway, collecting rocks and sticks to make a outdoor dollhouse, or even riding bikes up and down the street.
I miss those sights, so common to my own childhood. Even thou my son is small, we make a big effort to take him outside to play, and let me say that effort is well worth it!
He's learning about gardening as he helps me pick beans and raspberries. In fact, every time we get home from somewhere, he dashes around the house to see if any more raspberries are ripe!
Sometimes we just sit on the front steps and watch the garbage truck dump all the cans on garbage day, or school buses rumble up and down the roads during the school year.
We don't do a lot of toys, because we like to encourage creative play, but he does have a plastic slide that he uses as a fort as well, and a big dump truck he can collect items in. Also, he likes to mow the lawn with his bubble mower. So he is learning so much just by playing outdoors.
Besides those toys we just let him play with whatever we are doing. We turn the garden hose on low and let him splash the plants. We give him our garden buckets and let him pick things or fill them up with leaves, tomatoes, etc.
We even take him out in the rain to splash in puddles or roll his cars through the rivulets of water rolling down the driveway.
I think playing outdoors is so healthy for kids: they get fresh air, they explore, learn new vocabulary (he can name most kinds of cars, and most of the vegetables we grow on sight!), and have less restrictions on little bodies that want to jump, run, roll, tumble, shout, and dance!
Plus, it gets us as parents out of the house too, and I find I can give my child more undivided attention than when I am inside, distracted by the phone, texts, emails, laundry, etc. I think adults AND children need to get off the couch, unplug from the electronic devices and just breath in a bit of the great outdoors!
Here’s to seeing children riding bikes like horses, imagining pirates hanging from trees, and organizing impromptu football teams in driveways! Join me on September 24th for the Clorox2 Play 2Day Pledge, and get your family outside again!
I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Clorox2® blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.