As we prepare to “Spring Forward” this weekend I wanted to take a moment and remind everyone to get outside and enjoy some fresh air with your family. Take a walk, ride a bike, play ball or just a game of tag in the backyard. The National Wildlife Federation (www.nwf.org) is encouraging children to get outside with their “Get Wild, Child” campaign during March 15-21, 2010. Please check out their website for some great ideas and printouts of things to do with your family. Leave a comment and let us know what you are planning to do with your kids to Get Wild.
Children no longer have the freedom to run through the neighborhood until their parent’s call them home for dinner like we had as children. This is reflected in the childhood obesity level increasing to frightening levels. All persons, regardless of age should strive to get a minimum of one hour of physical activity per day. Children need unstructured physical activity and the chance to “just be kids”. Dance, sports, the academic team and all of the other extracurricular activities are important but we also need to let them just be kids.
There is no expensive equipment that is required. Just open the door and have fun with your kids. These are the days they will remember forever. If dinner is a little late, it will be okay. Get busy making memories with your kids. You do not need an expensive swing set, the latest bike or a nice leather baseball mitt. You just need to take the time to enjoy some fresh air. A great game that can be played with multiple ages is a scavenger hunt. For the younger non-reading kids, you can draw or cut out pictures from magazines of items you would see outside and give the list to the kids to look for the items. If they are older, you can just give them a written list of items to look for. Once everyone has found their items, you can then discuss the items with the kids. You get a combination of physical activity along with practice reading and maybe a little biology thrown in with the discussion.
Enjoy your week-end and be sure and get outside with the kids!