Foster Parent

Get your kids outside…

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What to do to get your kid outside!

The experts…you know those people that make you feel bad about your parenting style…say children need an hour of green space each day. Green space? Ok. Can I just paint a room green and toss said children in? Course not. Green space refers to outdoor time. Time spent in nature. My child is just shy of 7. We live in a nice area however, I am not just going to let my kid outside without supervision. My backyard is a state hiking trail which is great. However, there is only so many hikes I can go on before dinner needs to be cooked or dishes done. Most of her free play is in our front yard with the neighbors. Most days they play nice together but there are other days where it is not going to happen and Mommy becomes the director of the play and needs to hang close by. As I ponder the “advice” of THEY I began to think…does my kid get an hour? How do you get an hour in after school when trying to get dinner on the table? I began to get creative as I can not always loom nearby and I do want her to have time outside in a safe manner.

 

PictureFirst up is the coffee can. Or old food container….or any type of bucket or pail. I used to spend hours as a kid digging in our yard and scavenging for all sorts of treasures. The above picture contains a worm. This was going to become her new pet. She and her friends found some worms and then proceeded to name them and provide for them. They needed a bucket…good old coffee can work. The worm needed dirt. Leaves. Rocks. All found in our front yard without digging or causing mass destruction to the landscape. Warning….your child will get dirty. I believe my little one was out in her white leggings. My idea of clothing is they are meant to be worn. I don’t get hung up on my kid staying clean. Go. Get dirty. Explore. Create. So my dirty little worm hunter spent 2 hours handling her find. Getting just the right amount of dirt. Finding worms for her friends. When it came time to come in I told her the worm needs to stay outside. This was a bit of a struggle but I won in the end. Wash child. Fun was had by all!
~On a side note before you send Peta to picket my house I did go out after dark and find that darn worm and let it loose. I know it is just a worm but I am a softie at heart! You may do whatever you wish with the worms your child finds.

Chalk. Who does not like chalk? I always have chalk on standby. Even in the winter! You will notice in this picture not so much as drawing with chalk but making a fine powdePicturer. There are other times when our front yard looks like a a crayola factory opened up nearby! Nothing a good rain storm won’t wash away. Chalk is great for not only drawing but also for making 4 square and hopscotch. It makes me sad that children do not know how to play hopscotch. If you don’t know what hopscotch you will be happy to know it is not a game that incites children to alcoholism nor a game that mocks those with Scottish heritage. It is a game where you draw squares in sequence and toss a rock as you move around the squares. This game is great because it can be played by one or many. If you are unsure of this game you can find more information and rules on how to play here http://www.parents.com/fun/activities/hopscotch/

Climb a tree! Yes…a tree! This is our favorite tree to climb and hang out on. By hang I mean really hang. We are lucky to have this in our front yard. This tree has seen a lot of action! I have been letting my little one climb this tree since she first came to live with us at 4. There are times when I have had to lift her down. There are times when she ripped a shirt or two. With that said I have seen her grow in her balance, strength and ability. She jumps from the tree to the ground. She hangs upside down. Like I said this tree has seen some action! TherePictureare kids older then her who do not know how to climb. I strongly believe that kids who work their gross motor muscles will have better success as working their fine motor muscle. I can hear what you are thinking. What if they fall? What if they break an arm. Well….a child can break their arm falling off a bike. A child can bump their head on the coffee table and need stitches. (By the way both were my brother!). I am not saying have them climb the highest tree hanging over a pit if vipers surrounded by alligators! Find a small tree or even start with a shrub if you need to! Part of childhood is climbing trees.
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Ride a bike or scooter. These are a favorite pastime of ours. Most of the scooter riding is on our front path and sidewalk. The bike we sometimes ride to grandma’s who lives less than 1/2 mile down the road. Please teach your child young to always wear proper gear for whatever wheeled device they are using. Remember…they will follow your example! So wear yours as well!

 

 

The family pet! We love to take our little pup for a walk! We don’t always get very far. Sometimes it is just having the pup on the lease out front! Throwing a ball for the pup. Throwing a stick. Or just plain old sitting with her watching the clouds roll by. All good. Playing outside does not always mean movement. It can be sitting and pondering. It can be laying on the grass and being quiet in nature!

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Lastly is hiking! This is one of the trails behind my house my kiddo and I like to explore. It follows a river and all 4 seasons it is beautiful! This is as peaceful as it gets! We can often be found here. We don’t just walk we explore. We will pick up sticks and bang them on trees. We will stop and smell flowers. We will throw rocks into the river. Hiking is not always about getting through the trail.

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So the next time your kid says they are bored hand them a coffee can and scoot them outside! I tell mine to go play with the 3-dimensional people! We have been gifted this great earthy. Go. Be. Explore! HAVE FUN!

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15 Comments

  1. I LOVE this! We have a lot in common when it comes to letting kids play outside – we even have a large sycamore tree right in front of our house that my 4 kids scale on a regular basis, getting better as time passes. Wish we had a hiking trail, rather than a busy road, at the end of our back garden, but nature is not far off where we live.
    #Adventurecalling

  2. Great post. I completely agree: there is only so much time in the day so sometimes full scale adventures are simply impossible. Like you suggest, activities like tree climbing are awesome for little explorers and can be accessed virtually anywhere. Thanks for joining us on #adventurecalling . I hope you can tomorrow when it opens again.

  3. Great ideas, it’s not always easy to fit in outdoor time but these ideas are perfect. You’re lucky to have such amazing trails nearby. We live in the town centre and most of our outdoor time is spent in the local park, it would be good to be able to head out on some local hikes. Thanks for sharing with us #AdventureCalling

    1. beachchairtracy

      We are home today due to a snowstorm. In a bit, we are going to get on our snow gear and simply romp around in the snow. It will be chilly but we can be out for a bit. Dress warm and move and you will keep warm. Fresh white snow is too much of an invitation to stay inside! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I love all of these ideas. I used to spend hours on my garden as a kid making potions with mud and petals and climbing trees. What childhood should be. Sarah #ExplorerKids

  5. I love this! and I’m exactly the same with my little boy wind rain or shine he’s out the door playing in the garden i know sometimes we think there’s so much other things to be doing, but what more important then spending quality time outdoors having loads of fun with your kids it’s always the simple things that bring the most fun isn’t it 🙂 Thanks for sharing this fab post. Mandy xxx #explorerkids

  6. Popping back from #ExplorerKids and tweeting it again 🙂

  7. Great post! It makes me chuckle
    when I think about the freedom and dangers my brother and I experienced as kids which now seems “wrong” to us nowadays. We all need to loosen the reins a bit! #explorerkids

  8. Mother of 3

    I often kick my kids outside to play and enjoy some fresh air. I shoot for at least 15-20 minutes of outside time each day and hope for more.

    1. Mother of 3

      Stopping back by from #explorerkids. We had a few inches of snow today so getting them outside was a piece of cake!

  9. What a beautiful backyard! Used to live next to a National Forest as a teen and I’m pretty sure I didn’t get an hour a day outside most days (so I understand how even with a yard like that it can be hard).

  10. Very creative! I love everything here, but we don’t have a pet dog. 🙁 Oh how I wish we can afford one. I really like the worm can idea. That will get them busy for hours on ends!

    Thank you very much for linking up with us on #ExplorerKids x

  11. When my kids were younger we tried having an outdoor kitchen area. I got old tin pans and pots at garage sales and they played with rocks and mud like they were cooking! #ExplorerKids

    1. beachchairtracy

      That is a great idea!

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