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 7

15 Minutes Outside: Week 7

Flowers
Don’t let this photo fool you. It’s from Week 8. Week 7? Officially a bust. I was so busy being INSIDE that I was too tired to go OUTSIDE. Remember that the challenge isn’t just to spend 15 minutes outside, but to spend 15 minutes outside playing with the kids. That’s the problem.

I feel sufficiently guilty, but I’m still tired enough from overdoing it for a month that I’ve been spotty this week, too. I wonder if I’m suffering from that obligation based procrastination I wrote about? I was at the park playing tennis with a friend yesterday. The kids were with me, but I wasn’t playing with them. I spent tons of time discussing how hot, exhausted, and bored they were though. Does that count? We’ve had mid-summer temps here lately.

Anyway, there are still several days left of week 8, right? 🙂

Is anyone else out outsiding me?

P.S. Aren’t those flowers gorgeous? My husband is trying to take credit for them, but I give all the glory to God.

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15 Minutes Outside: Week 6

15 Minutes Outside: Week 6

Elaina baby
This week is evidence that the whole 21-days-to-make-a-habit thing is bunk. On Monday, I played tennis outside with Caleb, but forgot to take a picture. I went for a walk with my daughter using her new doll stroller (and for some reason got a blurry picture) on Tuesday. That was it!

I was indoors all day Wednesday through Saturday helping with a speech tournament and spent Sunday indoors recovering. I am glad for blogging my challenge, though, as it is reminding me that it’s important. Next week isn’t going to be much better though. Lots of all-day, indoor obligations! I’ll make up for it when we go on our family beach vacation.

Did anyone else get outside with their kids this week?

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15 Minutes Outside: Week 5

15 Minutes Outside: Week 5

Disk

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).

Jump ropeup

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.

Indy 500

Creation

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-001

Easter was a wonderful day to be outside.

Hikeup

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?

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15 Minutes Outside: Week 4

15 Minutes Outside: Week 4

Tennis

Psychologists say that it takes 21 days to establish a habit. I’m a psychologist and I say that’s bunk. If I hadn’t committed to this publicly, hadn’t had such fabulous weather, and hadn’t been enjoying myself, I would quit right now. But it’s been a great week. We’ve moved our tennis lesson outside each week which makes one day a no-brainer.

Nick

While the kids keep trying to guilt me into playing outdoor games every day, I am figuring out how to do other things outside. I’m measuring my kids for health insurance forms here.

Bubbleup

Even though I started off thinking that I would be in every picture, I am not going to be legalistic about that. I played giant bubbles with Elaina again. You can get this set at Wal-mart and kids of every age love it.

Daisyup

Another benefit of being outside is that I get to play with my other kid more often. Daisy seems just as excited about outside time as the kids. Although, I have to be honest, and say that the kids aren’t always excited. They LOVE video games. However, I have been pleasantly surprised by seeing the kids get outside more on their own–even when they have friends over.

Swingup

Swinging with the kids brings back fond childhood memories, but it also threatens to bring up my last meal. My husband and I have both noticed motion problems with age.

Bikeup

I missed several days of outside time this week due to attending a debate tournament with my oldest, but the last day of the week was the best. We loaded up the bikes and went for a family ride at the park. At 6:00 p.m., the 90F temps had cooled and it was ideal riding weather. I hope we do a  lot more biking together this year. I have no idea why my daughter looks so put upon in this photo. She seemed plenty perky the rest of the time.

Linking up to Loving our Children Tuesdays. Enjoy!

Do you go for family bike rides? If not, could you, should you, would you? 🙂

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