Outdoor Family Fun

One of my favourite things to do with my family is to be outside; all year around. The weather doesn’t scare me away from doing the things we love and the life long activities that we want to instill in our daughters.

I grew up playing soccer all summer long (and indoor in the winter), downhill skiing, riding my bike everywhere and I even walked to school. I walked 17 minutes one way to school from Grade 6 to Grade 9, then had to take the bus as it was too far away to walk to. When I was in University I started working in the Environmental Education field which then lead me to the Outdoor Recreation/Education world.

I learned how to cross-country ski, kayak properly, snow shoe, winter camping and started running a lot more. It’s because of sport and being active as a child that I am where I am today. I’ve learned life-long skills that I continue to build upon. As a thirty something adult, this past winter I tried Speed Skating and Sledge Hockey for the first time! Nothing like building your physical literacy as an adult! They are both amazing sports.

Now that we have two little girls we hope to be able to transfer our love for being active and see where it may take them. Both our girls love to be outside at almost 4 years old and 17 months old; the outdoors is not a stranger to our daughters.

We decided as a family to give up our television cable last year but do have some dvd’s that are appropriate for them and watch them occasionally. They get less than the recommended daily screen time which I’m completely fine with. They are still young and would rather play with toys or be outside.

In Canada, we are seeing more kids sedentary, more inactive and are becoming more overweight and obese. Don’t worry adults…your on the same path too. How do I know this, well…it’s my job to know this information as I work in the Physical Activity world.

For all you Canadian readers out there, I am confident you remember “ParticipACTION”, you would probably remember Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod?!?! I remember as a kid the commercials that Hal and Joanne had  on TV that promoted healthy lifestyles.It’s funny what things stick in your mind from when you were a kid/youth. Now that I have refreshed your memory or made you Google Hal and Joanne,  ParticipACTION has a new campaign called “Bring Back Play”.  Sounds simple, right?

It’s time we bring back play to our children…and I’m not just speaking to Canadians. If you are reading this, then I’m speaking to you. We need all kids around the world to get a little more active. ParticipACTION has some great resources that you can use to become more active WITH YOUR KIDS! Let’s get serious people, adults need to be active too!

For winter (and maybe into spring) activities, check out their resources here: Winter Bring Back Play. They even have a mobile app you can download. Think quick and easy games you can play WITH your children! Sweet, eh!

 

Do your kids get 60 minutes A DAY of physical activity?

Active Healthy Kids Canada releases a “report card” on physical activity (active transportation, physical education, after school time period, etc) each year. The 2013 Active Healthy Kids Report card can be found here: 2013. This information is one way we understand that kids aren’t getting enough daily physical activity.

On a personal note, through my job, I get to attend the Global Conference on Physical Activity for Children where they will release the 2014 report card. Needless to say, I’m pretty excited for this conference, to learn more and bring this information back to the communities that I work with.

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Please note: These are my own opinions, however I was asked to write a post on outdoor play from ParticipACTION to help promote Bring Back Play. I was not paid for this post. I know I could  write multiple posts on children, youth and adults being active as I am very passionate about the topic as I have a lot of thoughts. I am a full believer in outdoor play, natural playgrounds, getting dirty and dealing with the mess later if it means my children are going to grow, learn, play, be healthy and happy. 

Don’t forget to check out their #sneakitin for April 7th – 11th –> more information here!

Do you play outside?

Do you take your kids outside to play?

How much TV do you/your kids watch? 

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14 thoughts on “Outdoor Family Fun

  1. Good for you! I feel the same way you do! Everyday we go out and walk the dogs and get fresh air, and we no longer watch television save for kid friendly movies (no more than one a day) and you would not believe the difference it has made. Last summer I was out with all three kids for 2-4 hours a day, walking and going to the park and I have never felt better in my whole life! Great post. BTW didn’t know you were Canadian. I am in Ontario 🙂

    • It’s amazing what a little fresh air and outdoor play can do for kids. I’m sure you must find it hard too, to bundle up all your kids and get out in the winter…but it’s so worth it!

      Yup, I’m from Nova Scotia….live in Ontario for a few years too 🙂

  2. Our kids watch too much TV probably, but sometimes it’s the only way I can get them to sit still so I can make their dinner or do the dishes or the like. Haha! But yes, we do take walks most days and try to go play at the park. Then it’s hard to get them to leave!

    • Our problem with that is our TV is in our basement and our kitchen is upstairs…so I make them with their toys while I make meals…sometimes it works and SOMETIMES it doesn’t 😦
      Leaving the park is always hard.

  3. How cool is that? We live on a very busy road so the kids can’t play outside and have no friends in the neighborhood, it’s one of the most sad things I have to deal with living in this house. 😦

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