15 Minutes Outside: Weeks 11-12

15 Minutes Outside: Weeks 11-12


I realize this isn’t a picture of my kids, but this Eastern Garter Snake definitely interested my children. Fortunately, this guy who we found in our pool when we got it open isn’t venomous like the Copperhead that bit our son, Sam. Opening the pool to discover new creatures is always a favorite outdoor activity.

Playing softball with Elaina has been a lot more fun than I thought it would be. This week I told her to put her full weight into her swing and she nearly took me out and with a tennis ball no less! She caught a pop fly during a game and was beaming. The whole family has really enjoyed playing ball together the last couple of weeks.

I’ve made a delightful discovery the past couple of weeks. The kids are thrilled if I am outside just WATCHING them play. That doesn’t mean I can come outside with a book or do anything but ooh and aah over their abilities, but it is nice that not all my time outside has to be actively playing.

I’ve enjoyed taking very quick dips into the pool (the water has been quite chilly!) while the kids play what amounts to King of the Mountain with the float.

Fortunately, we had a not-so-hot day when we could enjoy lunch outside. And yes, that counts!

I really enjoy playing with the Ogodisk with the kids. It’s a much easier to catch (and safer) frisbee and you can also use two of them with the included squishy ball.

I honestly have put in hours of time with the kids outside in the past two weeks. We had two field days! One of those field days I spent talking with friends, but the all-day one had me actively participating with a group of kids. I got so many great ideas for fun things to do outside. One of the most clever was four-way tug-of-war. Using a large rope that’s tied in a loop, four teams line up on one side of the rope that has been shaped into a square. Behind each team is a pin (we used a bowling pin). The first team to pull the rope toward their pin so someone can pick it up wins. The rope is then reshaped into a triangle for three remaining teams and then into a thin oval shape for two teams. Very fun!

A second clever (but very messy) activity was musical buckets. This is just like musical chairs only using 5-gallon buckets filled with water. Some kids enjoyed getting stuck. Other typical, but fun activities included relays, obstacle course races, and capture the flag.

We finished out the two weeks with a family bike ride. It was really hot, so we didn’t last long, but we had a great time seeing turtles and deer as we rode. I asked my husband to teach me how to load the bikes onto the carrier. For all of us to ride, we have to take two vehicles. But it’s worth the effort!

Hope I’ve Given You Some New Ideas for Getting Outside with the Kids!

 

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15 Minutes Outside: Week 1

15 Minutes Outside: Week 1

Baseball
This week I’ve learned how much I will suffer for the sake of this challenge–and enjoy, too. I tried to get away with hanging outside at the kids’ PE class and gabbing with girlfriends while the kids played. The photo below was going to be my 15 Minutes shot. My 12yo would have none of it and insisted I play baseball with them and a friend. Even though I was running around in boots, I honestly had a blast.

PEup

On Tuesday, we headed out with dad for a day at the Arch. It was warm, but extremely windy.

Arch

The day was cooler on Thursday, but reminded me of spring days in my childhood as we checked out the neighborhood daffodils in bloom.

Neighborhood walk crop

Friday the kids played tag for co-op. I didn’t play, but comforted kids complaining that the rules were unfair. We played “stoop tag.” You can duck down and not be tagged 3 times. The problem was the taggers would swarm the stooper like a brood of vultures waiting for them to stand up.  For some reason, I have horrible facial expressions when taking pictures of myself. Sorry you don’t see any kids running around either, but believe me, they’re there.

Tagup

On Saturday, we played kick ball. I experienced the joys of little ones crying because they kept getting out and the frustration of the big ones dominating even ME.

Kickballup

On Sunday, it was cold and rainy, so I decided to have the kids blow bubbles with me in our covered drive-through. We had to use a timer for this one! The kids complained quite a bit, but you know what? It was frivolous and refreshing. I tried to create a game where the first one to pop 20 bubbles won and it became tackle bubble. Not good.

Bubblesup

What I Learned This Week

  • Being outside is really refreshing!
  • Being outside brings back really wonderful childhood memories
  • My kids love the time I spend outside with them
  • I need more rain gear and outdoor sports equipment and toys
  • I’d love to have some fellow outside moms to spur me on and give me ideas!

 

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Snow Dare

Snow Dare

IMG_4164
We had a snow day today and ended the fun by heading out to the hot tub. I was the last one in and my husband and kids were making fun of me for being a snow baby. Northern native or no, I hate being cold.

I knew my kids loved doing crazy things like jumping out of the hot tub and lying in the snow, but I didn’t realize that these things were called snow dares. The kids proceeded to tell me that they would have a lot more respect for me if I took a snow dare challenge. Then the hubby held out a nice warm carrot: he’d take me to a movie if I did it. What was the dare? Get out of tub, run to another part of the snowy yard and make a snow angel by flapping my “wings” three times before climbing back into the tub.

I was sure he was bluffing. I whined, “You’ll take me to a movie even if I don’t do it, right?” “Nope,” he said. “I don’t want to go to a movie.” Ugh. So in the spirit of confronting my fears in my forties, I did the unthinkable. Sorry, no photo available. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I feared. And my dare was easy compared to my husband’s. He had to lie down face first in the snow for 20 seconds. We really are crazy people. At least I’m crazy about them.

Post script is that we saw the King’s Speech. Excellent! Loved it! The R rating is only for the f-bomb. Seriously.

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