Kick your kids out...

...outside that is.  And don't literally kick them, just opening the door will do.  But the point is to get them outside.  Kids these days are deficient in Vitamin D.  Milk isn't enough, they need to get it from sunshine too.  My Aunt who is a nurse, encouraged me to have my kids out in the sunshine everyday for 10 minutes sans sunscreen.  This short time would be enough for their bodies to produce the needed vitamin.  I then whisk them back inside and slather on the sunscreen if we plan to be out longer.
Kids also, just need to be outside exploring nature and using their imaginations.  I bought the book 15 Minutes Outside by Rebecca Cohen several months ago.  It just so happens to have been reviewed this week over at Simple Kids.  It has some wonderful ideas for play and exploration outdoors throughout the year.  It has been a great jumping off point for me in getting them out and about. 
But, it doesn't have to be complicated, especially this time of year when the weather is nice...for the most part.  Do things that you normally would do indoors, outdoors...
Have a Snack Alfresco.  Load up your kids plates with their snack and park them outside to dine.  I am convinced that dining outside makes food taste better and the usual eating battles become non-existent when eating under a maple tree.
Fold a Paper Airplane...and send them outside to fly it.  The plane not only has much more room to fly, but any passing breeze seems to take the plane higher and farther...thrilling for any child.
Go Fishing.  Our state fish and wildlife department is hosting family fishing days throughout the Summer.  They provide the rods, reels, tackle, bait, and instruction and the kids get to have a blast.  We went last night and even managed to catch a small Bluegill...can you see it down there?  I couldn't get Elijah and Evelyn to touch it, but they were thrilled with the accomplishment.  Will continue to work on it.

Find a Local Nature Center.  Most areas these days have natural areas to visit.  Many have native animals to see and trails to hike.  These are a wonderful resource that are often free.
Walk to a Park, Blow Bubbles, Paint...Something, Anything.  Just getting outside helps my kids be happy and healthy.  Don't worry so much about messes and getting dirty.  They won't learn about the world unless they explore it and that often means getting dirty.  I have had a hard time with this, but I work on it from day to day...remember there are always baths and always clothes to clean, so whats a few more at the end of the day?
Just get them out there!


Prairie Rose said…
Woohoo! Nature rocks! My kids love to be outside. They love to color the driveway with chalk and chase bubbles. They pick up evergreen cones and pick flowers. And of course, they love to visit mommy at the nature center. Great post!! :-)

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