It’s Nice, Go Outside, Seriously!

Ever hear those words from your parents growing up? If it was a nice day then you got your butt outside and played. Didn’t matter what you did outside, just that you got out there because there was no need for any indoor play if the weather called for a beautiful outdoor fun time.  Spring has sprung around here so if it isn’t raining too bad then I tell the kids that we are going outside to enjoy the nice weather. If I don’t sound like my parents when I tell them, especially Aj, that there is no indoor board game playing, no electronics , no nothing except fun outside. Aj is the one who has a hard time playing various things outside. Aj doesn’t much care for riding bikes, swinging isn’t his thing either and honestly unless you are walking a nature trail for a short period of time he doesn’t really care for that either.

Get Outside and Play

My other two kids love being outside, K-man is often found racing his bike up and down the driveway and running around outside being all crazy and using his imagination. I have rarely seen a nice day, or even a snowy day, where K-man does not want to go outside to do something. My daughter picks and chooses but for the most part truly enjoys the great outdoors as well.

Running in the sun

That is why this past weekend when the weather was awesome we all enjoyed outdoor time; between racing bicycles down the hill in the backyard to walking our trail down back to the river and even a visit to an awesome playground in Newbury, NH – we had a fun filled family weekend. The boyfriend and his kids came along and it was fun for all.

So …. are you a parent who says get outside and joins the kids or do you not really care for the outside much like my middle child?

This is how you Start a Campfire says Four Year Old

My four year old tells me all of these silly stories and sometimes stories in which I realize he has a huge imagination, well here is my four year old explaining how you use plastic water bottles to start a campfire. While I have no clue why he seems to think this works, and maybe it does work, I do not burn plastic, not even in a campfire… ever. And for that matter, neither does he. He does not play with fire, but here is K-man’s video story….

Get Out and Enjoy The Fresh Air #fitness #health @harvardpilgrim

What do you do on a day where there isn’t really anything you can think to do. Maybe taking a walk in the woods or driving downtown to play on the basketball courts isn’t an option. So what is it that you do with the kids to keep active?

Well I know what my kids and I prefer to do, we head outside in our own backyard to enjoy some random fun. Whether they take out the bikes, scooter or just do races up and down the driveway on feet, we get active.

At first my oldest, and only daughter, wasn’t all into riding a bike but I knew if she had one hanging around that she would eventually pick it up on her own and ride it. What I didn’t realize is how soon it would be before she took to riding a bike so often. Now, I can barely get that girl off of her bicycle. Often, when I am cooking dinner she will be outside riding her mountain bike, all alone, just enjoying the ride up and down the long driveway.

Occasionally I will get on the bike and ride with the kids, but if they are all riding bikes, I enjoy speed walking up and down the driveway acting as if I am the fastest person alive and can beat them all on my own two feet vs their wheels! My only thing with going outside and riding bikes or enjoying the backyard is that Winter in NH is coming and it’s suppose to be a brutal snow season.

 

I am not one for the cold nor the snow so while enjoying the backyard has been and will continue to be a blast during warm seasons in NH, I try to avoid it at all costs during the Winter months.  The only issue I have with trying to ignore the cold backyard is that my children love getting outside and doing active snow fun each Winter.  Here are some ways my family and yours can enjoy the Winter months while keeping your activity level up:

  • Snow Fights - Get some snow balls made beforehand, each family member can help the other make a huge pile of snowballs in their own designated area. Take turns tossing snowballs at each other while running around in a huge “snow war” battle.
  • Make a Snow Fort – Get the shovels out, they make smalls one for the little kids, and start shoveling up snow into huge buckets or just into piles to create a cute little snow fort where you all can enjoy playing and running around.
  • Help with Snow Removal – This may be more fun for the little ones than you, every family member does their part to help clean up the snow off of walk ways and driveway to help make for a path to and from the home.

Of course, after you are outside enjoying all of that cold fun running around, come back inside to warm up to a nice game on your active game console such as the Wii, which we enjoy using while inside during the cold Winter months. There are many ways to be active in the snow, just put your imagination to use and have fun with it!

 

I’ve partnered with Harvard Pilgrim on this sponsored post but the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. You can find more ways to be well at HarvardPilgrim.org/CountUsIn.

Bicycling with Family is Fun Exercise

Biking is a fantastic way to experience the great outdoors, both for you and your family; going around on two wheels instead of two legs lets you go places faster and have more fun doing it! For children especially, learning to ride a bike is an important part of growing up and a great chance for some bonding within your family; so long as its done safely, its an activity that you and your kids can’t help but enjoy, and it’s good exercise too!

Just in case though, here is a brief summary of the essentials (and a few optional extras) that can help you enjoy a day biking with the family! First of all there are some things you definitely can’t do without; helmets are a must for you and your children, especially if you are cycling on, or near, roads. The importance of helmets cannot be overemphasized, being a legal requirement in many cases; if you are planning on doing something a little bit more aggressive, such as off-road, downhill or mountain biking, then it would probably be a good idea to consider knee and elbow pads on top of this, just to avoid preventable injury! However if you prefer the relaxed style of cycling be sure to get the ladies cube bikes at tweeks cycles. Another essential is for at least one person to have a puncture repair kit, along with a basic knowledge of how to maintain a bike. Should you get a puncture or the chain slips then, if you are properly prepared, you should be able to sort things out and not have a little problem ruin your day.

On top of these things, going cycling with your family often allows for a great time in the great outdoors, and you should take along things that complement that! For example a picnic can easily be packed in a pannier or basket attached to the bike frame, meaning that you can travel farther or to a specific scenic spot and enjoy a delicious lunch! You should also be mindful of bad weather; cycling in the rain is no fun at all and a waterproof coat is essential for everyone who is going out for more than a few hours. If you are planning on going out on a wet day then mud-guards are also useful; fitting these onto the frame over the wheels helps to stop you getting covered in mud thrown up by the wheels.

Biking with your family is basically just a fantastic way to exercise and enjoy the great outdoors. It doesn’t matter if you are in a city, just going to the park can still offer plenty of enjoyment; the fresh air and exercise makes a nice change to television and computer games to children, and by introducing them to activities like this when they are younger, you can foster an adventurous and active lifestyle that could undoubtedly benefit them for years to come.

Who Is Stronger? The Competition of Brothers

My two sons are two years and six days apart. They compete on everything. Who is taller. Who is stronger.  Who can ride their bike without training wheels. Who can do this who can do that. It’s a daily occurrence in this household, so it’s no surprise that it continues on while they take a walk in the woods behind the house.

They happen upon a small tree. They think they can break it down. The reason they think all trees can easily just be pushed down is because their Dad knocked down a dead tree once upon a time and now they think their Dad has super power strength, which obviously means they must have this power too.

Maybe if I pull it this way it will come down. No the other boy thinks that you push it down, below Aj is showing his brother how it is done.

No trees were harmed in the process of this story I am telling, but the boys did have fun testing out their super power strengths and seeing who was stronger.

And of course after all of that work they had to sit and enjoy a snack by the river. Another wonderful day in the world of raising boys…

 

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