Sometimes, getting kids to play outside is no easy feat, especially in the summer.
Because here in the DC Metro area, it’s hot.
It’s hot. Hot.
When the sun’s beating down, the heat’s suffocating, and the last thing my kids want to do is go and play outside.
But last week, two friends and I got our big kids and little kids outside, playing, and having fun. Old-school style.
Free-bird, playing outdoors in the summertime.
We had some serious playground fun thanks to our friends at Clif Kids, and you can too. Get your kids to play outside, enjoying some summertime playground fun with these four tips.
Here’s the skinny. . .
Get Kids to Play Outside–Summertime Playground Fun:
These days, it can be hard to get kids engaged in screen-free activities where their bodies are moving and where they’re using their imaginations and getting their creative ideas flowing.
However, it doesn’t take much to get kids to play outside. These four things may help:
Invite a few friends to join you! Send an email, a text, or make a quick call. If you have more than one child, reach out to 2-3 friends each.
Just a quickie invite will do:
Hey friend! Our family is planning on packing some drinks and snacks and will be heading to [insert park and location] on [date and time].
We’d love for you to join us for some old-fashioned outdoor fun! If your child needs a ride, I’m happy to pick her up!
Let me know if you think this will work. We’d love to see you!
Food always makes an event, right? At least in our family it does.
Park playdate snacks don’t have to be elaborate or fancy. Really.
This is all you need:
- a cooler with some ice and some small water bottles;
- fresh fruit (oranges cut in quarters or grapes are super easy!);
- snack bars like Clif Kid bars or Clif Kid Fruit bars or Clif Kid Fruit & Veggie bars;
- baby carrots and dip.
3. A Few Simple Toys
Kids don’t need much, but if you’re having a hard time getting them out the door to play, then maybe some toys will help to kick-start the fun.
Go to the dollar store. Go to the thrift shop. Visit yard sales.
Don’t spend a fortune.
But consider grabbing things like:
- bubbles (kids of all ages love bubbles!);
- sidewalk chalk;
- hula hoops;
- kickball or tiny bouncy balls;
- tennis balls;
- velcro paddle ball set.
Set the toys out and let the kids at ’em!
4. Fun, New Surroundings
You guys, there are so many parks, playgrounds and nature centers around that we don’t even know about. All it takes is a little bit of research, and I’m betting you’ll find a fun, new park to explore.
Send a note to a local moms club, a church, girl scouts or boy scouts, library, or preschool if you aren’t sure about it, and I’m betting they’ll have a list for you.
And if there’s nothing around, even a pal’s backyard can be a fun place to play and explore.
Really. Give it a go!
Check out some cool ideas for getting kids outdoors, thanks to our friends at CLIF Kid!
Many of us have heard of CLIF Bars, but did you know that CLIF makes a line of healthy snacks for kids? I didn’t, either.
But they do. CLIF Kid makes nutritious snacks for kids’ growing bodies with no high fructose corn syrup, synthetic preservatives or artificial flavors. The snacks are really, really good.
And CLIF is all about getting kids outside and playing–moving their bodies, having fun, and exploring.
And to do that, they’ve created some awesome resources for parents:
- CLIF Kid Play Hub: a site designed to inspire outdoor experiences that will encourage kids (and parents!) to get outside and be kids;
- It’s got a cool Nature Scavenger Hunt printable to download and use as inspiration;
- Research and articles about the importance of play;
- Recipe ideas and the best snacks to keep your kids energized and healthy.
Our Summertime Spraypark Playdate got us all outdoors and unplugged here in the DC Metro area.
Last week, my pals Jessica McFadden of A Parent in Silver Spring and A Parent in America, Stacey Ferguson of Life is the Party and the Blogalicious Conference, and I gathered a bunch of our friends together for some good, old-fashioned outdoor fun.
We simply sent out an evite to our neighborhood pals, pool pals, school pals, and work pals and invited everyone to join us for an afternoon at the Spraypark in Silver Spring. It was an absolute blast.
It was just a quick get-together where our kids were able to play freely, splash in the water, and enjoy some healthy snacks thanks to our friends at CLIF Kids.
Check out our photos:
Huge thanks to our friends at CLIF Kids for providing the snacks. Not a single thing was left–the kids and parents loved them, and for two straight hours, all our kids did was play.
It was awesome.
How will you get your kids outdoors, moving, and refueling in a healthy way this summer? I’d love to hear it!
Share your ideas below, or continue the conversation with others by following the hashtag: #outtoplay
fyi: This post was written as a partnership between CLIF Kid and One2One Network. As always, my opinions are all my own, influenced only by my experience as a parent and educator and by my three little splash park splashers.