Tag Archives: play

Get Out and Play- An Endangered Concept

26 Jun

So, here I am, having a chat with my preggo friend, about how all her kid wants to do is go, go, GO, (a rare quality these days) and it takes all she can to entertain him, being in the process of growing a minion and all. Not a problem- go, go, GO play with your friends, right? WRONG. Kids, outside, playing- its like, UNHEARD OF these days. Or at least it seems like it is. And what kind of a kid wants to play outside, alone? It sucks a real big juicebox.

It literally looks like this on my street.

See, his friends aren’t the “play outside until the sun comes down” type. At least not as often as they should be (ahem- summer break…EVERYDAY, minions!) And they also aren’t the “get dirty” type either, and actually get into trouble for playing…and getting dirty…

problem- solved!

To which, I just gotta say….What??

Okay, firstly, my mom probably would’ve F.R.E.A.K.E.D. O.U.T. if we were INSIDE every, single, hour, of every, single day. Maybe its because we didn’t have all of these cool video games and phones, gadgets and the interwebs to entertain us for literal days at a time.

Here’s lookin’ at you, Satan’s favorite pastime.

 No. We had playsets, trampolines, pools, trails, woods, bikes, balls, water. We had FRIENDS and we actually SAW their faces, not their profile pictures, everyday. We had REAL social media, REAL games, a REAL childhood.

kick the can? YEAH BUDDYYY. Sign me up!! I will DESTROY YOU!!!

But all my mom had to do was yell “go play” (if that somedays) and we were GONE. Out the door, to the backyard, playing things, building things, destroying things, blowing up things…you get it. Having good ol’ ‘Merican FUN. And we didn’t come home until we heard to dinner bell ring! (yep, we had one) It’s just like, I don’t even know. So weird now that kids don’t PLAY.

I googled ‘merican fun….hahaha you win, google.

Seriously though. It didn’t take a whole lot to get us out. We had a big yard, and lived in the middle of nowhere, so being abducted by some creep wasn’t really an issue as it can be in bigger areas (though we DID have a peeping Tom, but that’s another story). So, I guess I can see where ‘rents these days, with the constant news coverage and all that, may be a little paranoid about sending Suzy and Jimmy outside to play, while they work/cook/clean/relax/crush candy (<– judgment free zone, you guilty mommies!)

I wouldn’t let my two outside unsupervised either. So my next point…

But here’s an idea, you silly Sally’s— GO OUTSIDE WITH YOUR SPAWN! Or if they’re old enough- watch from the door/window/porch!

**SHOCKING!** Guess what?! You can do a majority of things from OUT OF DOORS, AS WELL! And, if you are worried about dirt and germs and pedos, you are right there watching! Now, with mine, I am ALWAYS outside, on account of having no yard and some real winners for neighbors. My friend, she lives in a quieter part of town, with a yard, playset, the works, and he is old enough to have some space. But like I said earlier- who wants to play alone all day?

Sucks a big juicebox, huh kid?

So, for you parents who frit and fret over every germ, worm, bump, lump and speck of dirt, I’m going to do what I do best and make a list for you. A list of WHY outside play and interaction are necessary for a healthy child, and a kick ass childhood.

You’re welcome.

BENEFITS OF OUTSIDE ACTIVITY AND PLAY

they see me rollin…they hatin….

Firstly- and most obviously, EXERCISE. Running around, chasing, catching, biking, swimming, ya de da de da, all of it burns those happy meals right off. According to the American Heart Association, right NOW, one of every three kids/teens are either overweight or obese. ONE IN THREE. 1 in 3. 1:3. 1/3. Let that sink in.

‘Baby fat’ is gone by age 2/3…unless there is a medical issue, kids should not be having this problem. Exercise and proper nutrition people.

Think of all the time spent sitting, watching, eating, lazing about. That time needs to be spent burning off the excess calories kids eat, ESPECIALLY if they favor French fries over fruit. Obesity in kids wasn’t a huge problem even a generation ago, and almost unheard of previous to that, because guess what?! WE WERE OUTSIDE!!!

In the movies, there is always one. Now, to be accurate, there needs to be one in three.

Second- Dirt and Germs are GOOD for you! Yes, you read that right. The only way to build up immunity to something, is to be exposed to it. Your body needs to experience the germ, fight the germ, learn from the germ, and be one with the germ (I dunno, sounded good) in order to overcome it. Think about it, what are vaccines? GERMS. If you lived your life in a bubble, never exposed to anything, could you even imagine the reaction to a sneeze or some pollen you may have? It would be like Hiroshima is your ‘immune system’.

BOOM. THERE GOES YOUR HEALTH.

Third- decreased stress and anger, among other things. Yes, kids get stressed too. And angry, and whiny, and bratty. Well, one way to solve that is to let them stay holed up inside all day yelling at the computer, OR, send their ‘happy asses’ outside and let them literally kick rocks (or throw them, or whatever), until they feel better. Let me tell you, there is nothing a good magnifying glass fire, game of king of the hill, or super soaker fight won’t solve.

that’s right. Pretend whatever you are aiming for is your brother’s head. you become a real good shot.

Another benefit- gross motor skills, coordination. You practice these with running, jumping, throwing, kicking, what have you. It’s a no brainer that being outdoors and DOING THINGS are going to benefit you more in the long run than exercising your eyeballs staring at the TV while engaging in a fine motor skill of pincher grasping popcorn….just sayin’.

……………… >.<……………….

And lastly, my number one benefit of playing outside, with others? Imagination and friendship are developed. Seriously, whether it’s playing a mean game of AYSO and pretending its the Olympics, or building a tree house, playing paintball, or riding bikes- you are using your mind, and making friends.

Fack yeah!

Basically, people, GET YOUR KIDS OUTSIDE!!!! It’s SUMMER. Its time for free play and fun. I can’t tell you how many times a day I get asked if we can “go outside”, and go outside we do! TV and technology can be a drag, and totally addicting, I get that, but YOU are the ADULT. YOU decide when they have it. Unplug and go do something!

If we can do it, you can do it! (look how little they are!) That’s imaginations and gross motor skills hard at work folks!

Links to prove my point, so we all don’t think I’m talking out of my bum. 🙂

http://www.aahperd.org/headstartbodystart/activityresources/upload/benefits-of-outdoor-play-2.pdf

http://www.aahperd.org/headstartbodystart/activityresources/upload/benefits-of-outdoor-play-2.pdf

http://g2goutside.org/benefits-of-outdoor-play/

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