Did you know that kids spend an average of 55 hours a week inside playing video games, watching television and other indoor activities? When you throw school and sleep into the mix, you end up with an average number of 2.12 hours spent playing outside. I think we need to switch those numbers around so the kids are outside more than they are inside. With childhood obesity climbing higher every day, we cannot afford the risk of our kids becoming a statistic. I am already seeing that happen in my own house with my teenage daughter. Caitlin wants to spend more and more time in her room, as typical teens will do, and less time outside playing with her brother. We have seen her gain a few pounds from her lack of activity and now is the time to make changes,while it is early. Here are some simple and easy tips for getting kids outdoors to play:
- Camping: Who said you needed to travel to a campground to camp out? Why not set up the tent in the backyard, get the fire pit going and tell some ghost stories!
- Walking: Get the whole family to take a walk after dinner. It is great exercise and gives you a change to hang out together where there are no distractions. Families do not always take the time to talk to one another and this is a perfect chance to do that.
- Climb A Tree: If you have some good trees made for climbing make like a monkey and go! We need to get the kids back to basics and enjoy the things in nature. Who needs to spend the money to go to a climbing center while you have places to climb in your own back yard.
- Jump:There are so many things that you can do that require jumping. Jump rope, jump on a trampoline, jump on a balance ball, jump on a pogo stick. Just get out there and start acting like the bunny rabbits do and jump.
- Balls:Every kid should have a few balls in the play equipment. We have a baseball, tennis balls, soccer ball, football and a playground ball. There are so many games you can play with a ball that the possibilities are endless. If you are looking for some games you can play outside as well as inside, Begin Again Toys is a great place to look. These toys are based on a unique concept in which well balanced play is observed.
Getting Kids To Play Outdoors
I was really interested in learning more about the philosophy behind the Begin Again Toys company. They used the acronym of “A WISH” which stands for 5 distinct areas of play that was developed by Benjamin Barlowe. The letters stand for: Artist, Writer, Inventor, Sportster and Hero. Barlowe’s theory is that kids will bounce from one of these areas of play to another. If you look at the day of a kid, it is true that they can go from coloring a picture, to kicking a soccer ball to pretending to be Dash from the Incredible’s to bath time to bed. I knew that the products from Begin Again Toys would be a way for getting kids to play outdoors.
We chose an item from the kid’s most favorite categories: Artist for Caitlin and Sportster for Henry. For Caitlin, we were sent the Artist On The Go Set that includes a sturdy canvas carrying case that has a crayon and pencil holders, a 6″x9″ recycled paper notepad, 10 soy crayons, 5 drawing stencils, a 6″ ruler (metric and inches), 2 wood pencils and a pencil sharpener. Caitlin just loves this and I love it because it is so easy to grab and take in the car when we are running errands. For Henry, we got the Kickin’ Putt which the kids had a blast with. The kids put the scoring disc on the grass and then took turns kicking the ball towards the disc. The first one to get the ball on the disc is the winner, which on the first round, was Caitlin. We are totally happy with our toys from Begin Again Toys and they are getting outside more often to play with them.
One USA reader will win one Kicki’n Putt ($30.00) and one Artist On The Go ($25.00)