Having young children has taught me the importance of some basics—sleep, nutrition and activity. I need exercise as much as my kids and they need to play. They sleep better, eat better and are so much happier when they get a lot of time to be physically active and simply play.
CLIF Kid is with me. They agree that it’s vitally important to get kids to ‘Come out to play!’ It’s great for us all to get outdoors with our kids and teach them healthy habits. I think it’s pretty great for us too.
Luckily, my kids are little and really love being outside. We are working hard to make it our norm to be outside every day after school and almost all weekend long when it’s not winter here in Minnesota.
I’m a runner and active yogi. I bring my 5-year old on runs with me all the time. He started hardly being able to run a quarter of a mile and can now run 1.5 miles with me. We love staying physically active together.
- Family exercise. Family walks, bike rides and jogs are all great options. My 5-year-old loves to run, so we take the jogging stroller with us. He runs 1/4 mile, sits about another 1/4 mile and then runs again. It’s fun and great exercise. He’s gained confidence as he’s gained distance too!
- Run the fields! We love to go to our baseball and soccer fields just a half a block away. We run the bases or race the bases. We run the length of the field and then run back while kicking a soccer ball. We do it until all of us are tired or we’re just done. It’s super fun and both boys LOVE it!
- Play fetch! When I hosted a puppy party this summer for Ezra, I came up with a fun game of fetch. I put all of our balls in a bin. I had the kids all line up next to me. I threw each ball shouting which “puppy” was to go get the ball. I’d shout “Go fetch EZRA!” and Ezra would run for his ball. All of the kids would chase their ball and bring it back. We’d pretend to give them a treat and pet their heads and tell them they are “good puppies.” Oddly, kids from Ezra’s age (age 2) all the way up to our neighbor boy at age 12, enjoyed this game. We played it for nearly a half hour and they all ran a ton!
- Obstacle courses. There is nothing new about obstacle courses, but we love them! It can be as simple as running a certain path or as complicated as setting up a bunch of stations. We use our kid picnic benches, our playset, balls, scooters and more for our courses. All of the neighbor kids love doing these and I love putting them together. ;)
- Playground adventures. We love touring all kinds of parks, playgrounds and places of play in our own city and other cities. It’s incredibly fun and a great way to spend a Saturday morning. If you have older kids, have them meet a friend at a park. This is always a great way to get them active.
- Rock climbing. Did you know that rock climbing can be fun for the whole family? I took Bodhi rock climbing last month and we had such a great time!
- Old fashioned fun! What about just letting the kids play? This summer we spent many evenings sitting on our new patio while the boys played with each other and with neighbor kids right in our backyard. They made up games, rode bikes and scooters, played on the playset and more. They just enjoyed a good summer night!
- Races. We race to the end of the block. We race from wall to wall in our basement and we race simply running in the backyard. Kids love a good race! So do I. ;)
- Play sports together. Play soccer or tennis. Have a football match. How about a basketball game? T-ball anyone? My kids love playing any sport we’ll do with them. We’ve found that our neighbor kids do too! They range in age from 2 to 12, so I can pretty much guarantee that your kid will play if you play too! Sports can be such a fun family activity.
- Dance party! We’ve done dance parties forever! I think the first time we did it was when Bodhi was a baby. He’s now five and a half. Dance parties are an awesome way to let loose and you might be surprised that you get a little out of breath. Blast some kid music or your favorite song and the kids will likely participate.
Check out the CLIF Kid video to be inspired to come out to play!
CLIF Kid is dedicated to reclaiming play and I’m partnering with them in my neighborhood.
Balanced and active play lays the foundation for a skilled, healthy, resilient and successful society. Play is disappearing at home, in school and in communities. 70% of moms played outside when they were kids, 31% of their kids play outside today.
There are so many fun ways to stay active? What’s your favorite way to come out to play with kids?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.