When I was pregnant with Bean, I envisioned what our future would look like. One of my “grand plans” was that I was going to be a soccer mom. I imagined my rough and tumble little girl wearing shin guards and soccer cleats, throwing her gear into the back of our car and high fiving her soccer buddies when one of them scored a goal.
After Bean was born and she started to grow up and develop a personality of her own, it became pretty apparent that she’s not going to make me a soccer mom. She’s much more interested in searching for bugs outside than running from one end of the field to the other and scoring a goal.
I’m 100% ok with that BUT I do like to encourage her to get outside and be active… I just have to be a bit more creative about how we do that. With children spending more time on ipads and video games than they are outdoors, I think it’s important for all parents to take a step back and look at how they are encouraging their kiddos to get active outdoors.
Today the Hello Creative Family Moms are weighing in on outdoor creative play. Whether you live on an acreage of land or in the concrete jungle, take a peek at how our writer’s spend quality time with their kiddos outdoors.
“We live in the heart of the city so our outdoor play space is concrete and brick. That means we use our imaginations to jump over “lava” and pretend that bird poop is the footprints of Marshmallow from Frozen.” – Brooke from Miss Teen USSR
“We are outside all the time… just enjoying the elements, period. But… we do imaginary play bike riding- pretend we are superheroes flying or escaping danger or that we are fleeing monsters under the bridge. At the bike park too my kids pretend they are mountain adventurers. Our most creative outdoor activity is gardening though. We loooovvvve it. Actually creation! It’s so simple and therapeutic and connecting.” -Heather from Mother Your Business
“We love going outdoors whenever we can whether it’s to ride bikes, play at the park, blow bubbles or create with sidewalk chalk. But one of our favourite thing to do in the outdoors is go for a nature walk and combine it with a scavenger hunt. It’s a great way to combine, learning about things in nature and having fun at the same time.” -Salma from The Write Balance
“My kids absolutely love playing outdoors – we like to collect “treasures” – rocks/fossils, feathers, interesting sticks, seed pods, the occasional random bird egg or discarded nest. We have an old black walnut tree in our backyard with branches closer to the ground. My husband pulls back the branch, lets the kids get on, then lets go and they go bouncing up. Fun for the kids, exhausting for the husband ha!” -Crystal M from CrystalMadrilejos.com
“I think kids should just get out and play. Don’t overthink it, just send them outside and let their imaginations and bodies run wild! Sometimes it’s fun to plan something special for them depending on what they are into. My son is really into dinosaurs, so I am planning a fun dinosaur scavenger hunt for him soon.” -Randa from The Bewitchin’ Kitchen
“I basically grew up wild and in the woods. I spent hours near my house, searching the woods with my brothers and our neighborhood friends. While my kids are too little, and the world is too different today, for them to explore on their own, we make it a point to go hiking as much as we can. Now we live minutes from a gorgeous wooded path that leads to the ocean. My heart lifts when I see them running through there full speed. There is something about wide open spaces that lifts me into a place to be creative. When I am stuck on a business problem, or just need a refresher, I head out. I think it is the same for my kids that being out there helps them to grow their imagination. They also often say “hey that tree looks like ….” so I know it is working.” -Karen, co-publisher of Hello Creative Family
“It sometimes makes me sad thinking about the world I grew up in versus the world my kids are growing up in. When I was a kid, my parents would send my sister and I outside and we would spend the day exploring the forest, creating imaginary worlds, leaping over fallen trees and jumping in piles of leaves. The days where you can send a 6 year old girl outside by herself to play have disappeared, at least in my little corner of the world. My son is very physical, let him outside and he’ll tear up the neighborhood running, biking and kicking soccer balls. My daughter is more creative minded and prefers imaginary play and outdoor craft projects. We recently saw a square ball court set up outside of her gymnastics class made with brightly colored duct tape. She couldn’t wait to get home and make one of her own. Her square ball rules are a bit different than the usual ones “Pirouette like a ballerina, impersonate a monkey, do the can-can” but it has her outside and being active… and I love that!” -Crystal, co-publisher of Hello Creative Family