Who knows what happened to winter this year?
I am convinced that we had absolutely no snow this year because this was the first time I ever–ever!–bought snow boots for Maddy and Owen (because lucky Cora has Maddy’s hand-me-downs) before the season started instead of scrambling like a maniac at first word of a snowstorm. I saw those boots, in the sizes I needed, calling to me back in October.
I thought I outsmarted the universe by buying them, and instead the universe outsmarted me.
Anyway. It’ll drop buckets of snow next year, and my poor kids will suffer in tight boots. I’m only kidding. (Not really.)
However, snow or no snow, I said before that my kiddos really need free time for free play. But now I’m mentioning that they really need time outdoors. Out back. Over at the park. Outside–anywhere–so they can feel the sun and the wind or the rain and the breeze.
Or the snow. (Whatever.)
I can’t say it enough, especially because it seems that every time I turn a corner lately there’s another article stressing the importance of free time, creative play, with an outdoor focus.
And I get that. Boy, do I get that.
So this little Quick Trick is quick and simple, and it has a little added bonus: a giveaway!–all in the name of outdoor play for kiddos.
Kiddos need time to be outdoors. . .
climbing trees or just hanging out.
I’m grateful to have connected with a totally new-for-me company who just so happens to make incredible clothes for children, especially outerwear. We’ve had a chance to try out a few products from Polarn O. Pyret for the last few months, and my kids love them. And my kids haven’t really ever loooooved their coats. Until now.
And one lucky teach mama reader will have a chance to win $50 towards some new gear for his or her little ones. Yay!
Here’s the skinny. . .
- Play. Outdoors. (No Matter the Weather!): We know that though this week may be the exception, that there are rarely ‘perfect’ spring days. Spring here in the eastern part of the US really does come in like a lion, with the wind, the chill, storms, and extremes, and it goes out like a lamb. Finally, by May, the temperature’s a bit more consistent, the sun is (usually) shining, and everything seems a bit more. . . peaceful.
And though it’s not always easy to schlep little ones outdoors when the weather’s a little ‘less than perfect’, we really need to try to get them outside.
It doesn’t have to be something big. . .
. . . it can be a walk through the neighborhood or . . .
. . . a walk in the woods.
Despite the weather, kids need to get out. And it’s our job to take them there.
According to a September 2009 column (Recess–It’s Indespensable!) in the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s Play, Policy, and Practice Interest Forum, there are some pretty important reasons for giving our kiddos free time outdoors each and every day.
In fact, the article focused on the importance of recess–a time the authors describe as ‘It was a time to be outdoors; to organize our own games; to play on the swings, slides, and other playground equipment; or just to hang out with friends’ because, according to research, a staggering number of children don’t have time allotted to play each day (gasp), and some kids who do have ‘recess’ each day have it for only 1-15 minutes (huge gasp!).
Being outdoors has positive cognitive, socio-emotional, and physical benefits for children.
There are some real reasons that kids need time to play outdoors each day, cognitive, socio-emotional, and physical reasons:
- Children are less fidgety and more on-task when they have recess, and children with ADHD (attention deficit/ hyperactivity syndrome) are among those who benefit most.
- Brain research shows a relationship between physical activity and the development of brain connections.
- On the playground, children exercise leadership, teach games to one another, take turns, and learn to resolve conflicts.
- In a free choice situation, children learn negotiation skills in order to keep the play going.
- On supervised playgrounds, particularly where children are taught games and conflict resolution skills, there is little fighting.
- Children who are active during the day are more active after school, whereas children who are sedentary during the day tend to remain sedentary after school (couch potato syndrome).
- Children’s activity levels are generally higher during recess than during physical education (PE). Recess and PE serve different purposes.
Information from NAEYC Play, Policy, and Practice Forum.
So let’s do it, right? Let’s get our kiddos outside. No matter the weather.
We know that some days, it doesn’t even matter what the weather is like–kids just need to be outside.
But for so many, the crazy spring weather is a deterrent, though it doesn’t have to be because some days, all you need is decent gear to keep your little ones comfortable outdoors.
Polarn O. Pyret wants to encourage families to make every day a play day this spring (I like that!), and the week of March 12-16 (that’s this week!) they want parents to pledge to get their kiddos outside, no matter the weather. So hit those playgrounds, walk to school, so some outside chores, or just enjoy a hike. Share your photos or play ideas on their Facebook page!
And to celebrate, Polarn O. Pyret will be coordinating a spring outerwear promo (20% off) from March 1-March 18, and hopefully parents can find some great gear for their little ones. Half the battle is just finding the right clothing to keep kids comfortable outdoors, and these are products that do it. Hands down.
GIVEAWAY: A $50 gift card to Polarn O. Pyret!
Do you want to win a $50 gift card to Polarn O. Pyret?!
- All you have to do is leave a comment here sharing what YOU look for in children’s outerwear!
For extra entries:
- Tweet this: Play outdoors! And win $50 for @polarnopyretusa on @teachmama — http://wp.me/p1NAxy-1F8 #play #weteach #ece #giveaway
- Share this post on your Facebook page–very easy!
- Share this post with a friend (just tell me who you shared it with!)
- Pin this post on Pinterest! (Use ‘pin it!’ button below post!)
By entering this giveaway, you are demonstrating your understanding of and compliance with the Official Sweepstakes Rules.
This is a quick giveaway for a Quick Trick, and it ends Saturday, March 17, 2012 at midnight ET. Winner will be chosen by ‘And the Winner is. . .’ and will be notified on or around 3/17/12. Winner must respond within three (3) days of notification or forfeit the prize, in which case an alternate winner will be selected. All Official Sweepstakes Rules apply.
fyi: I am a PO.P Brand Ambassador, and I received products for review (including the snazzy fleeces in the photos), but my opinions–as always–are my own, influenced only by my three littles who have been the ones using the PO.P products. This is an unsponsored post, and PO.P is providing the $50 gift card to one teachmama reader for the giveaway.