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!
I’ve been flying through life this week and don’t plan to land until May! I can honestly say that I forgot to spend 15 minutes outside a couple of times this week. Since I refuse to be a perfectionist with this, I will continue on.
This large flying disk I bought at Walgreens has been a hit with the kids. We tried to create a game with it that involved lots of players (you have to pick a spot and can only move one leg to try to catch it).
I used to be a jump rope fanatic as a kid. It’s still a great form of exercise, even if my mother’s bladder doesn’t think so. I bought myself a new jump rope at TJ Maxx and went at it with my daughter. She got a new jump rope for Easter, which is great because mine is too big for her.
We’ve been sticking around home a lot for our 15 minutes, so it was nice to travel this week. We enjoyed seeing cars practice at the Indy 500 track and the Creation Museum so much. I highly recommend it if you haven’t been!
Easter was a wonderful day to be outside.
I finally got to enjoy my favorite outdoor activity with the kids: hiking! My husband’s brother and sister-in-law invited us to hike and it was the perfect way to end a beautiful holiday. Hope you had a blessed Easter and got outside, too! You should be seeing the kids’ Easter goodies in use next week.
Have you been outside with the kids this week?
I'm starting to figure out that spending 15 minutes outside is easy. It's the "playing with the kids" part that can be a little challenging. I had no idea I looked that awful when I'm unhappy with them. As you can see, my little photographer's skills could use some work. We played with the sticky paddles I bought at Wal-Mart and it was pretty fun.
I played tag and basketball with the kids and I've discovered a workout that kicks Jillian Michaels's you-know. I was dying. I had no idea my kids were that fast.
I'm thrilled to report that my new weighted hula hoop arrived and I can now hula hoop! It's a good workout. Movement in this photo makes me look like I have braces. The kids enjoyed complaining about my new hoop being too big and heavy.
It was loads of fun playing catch with my daughter. Very few of my kids' activities were things I did as a kid, but softball is one thing we have in common. She's got a great arm! I need an adult mitt to keep up with her, though, so that's on the shopping list.
I'm sorry to report that I missed TWO WHOLE DAYS outside with the kids this week as I was away at a conference, getting ready for it, or too exhausted to consider playing. But I did spend at least half an hour most of the rest of the days outside. One of those days I was outside while the kids were, but as my older boys are quick to remind me–that doesn't count. What I have done is enjoy watching my baby ride his bike with no training wheels and the kids make enormous bubbles.
We ended the week playing dodgeball with the neighbor. This seemed like a good idea until three players were sidelined with injuries. It's been another summer-like week and we're fixin' to have another!
Do you ever play dodge ball with your kids?
It’s been an easy fun week this week as we’ve been experiencing summer in early spring. The kids introduced me to the hilarious games of Crocodile and Toilet Bowl on the trampoline. In Crocodile, you have to close your eyes and grap at people. If you grab someone and identify them, that person is it. I did very poorly at this game, but it did make me laugh. Toilet Bowl means avoiding being pulled into and touching the center markings of the trampoline.
Tuesday was very easy on me. I got to play tennis with the kids on the new courts, replaced after the tornado last year.
I went to the store this week and got the kids all kinds of fun, inexpensive gear to get them playing outside. I expected to get the kids going, but not the other homeschool moms at P.E.! We had a blast. I ordered a heavier hoop for myself because I was having a hard time with this one!
What a treat! We got to eat and do art outside with no bugs!
If anything can get my kids outside, it’s water balloons. What a blessing those automatic balloon tie-ers are!
What a blessing that we got to do co-op outside. With so many boys cooped up indoors, it’s real incentive for me get outdoors! We are studying Australia and had fun playing the game, Kai. It’s kind of like balloon toss where you keep it off the ground by attempting to hit it according to all the letters of the alphabet (no one twice in a row). We got to W! The kids have also been having fun playing with their boomerangs.
I’m sorry to say that we didn’t get out on Saturday. We were indoors for the church’s Easter egg hunt and then had thunderstorms. I could have gone under the drive-through, but sheesh. I’ll take a mulligan. Sunday was a wonderful day to relax in the hammock and let the kids show me what they could do with the trampoline, soccer ball, hula hoop, and boomerang.
It’s been a wonderful week outside!
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.
On Tuesday, we headed out with dad for a day at the Arch. It was warm, but extremely windy.
The day was cooler on Thursday, but reminded me of spring days in my childhood as we checked out the neighborhood daffodils in bloom.
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.
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.
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.
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!