It’s summer. In Chicago.
School is out, and usually it’s hot. However, our dear weather has been having some sort of mood swings or something because we have gone from 90+ degrees down to 65. Let me say right now that I EMBRACE 75-80, but I digress.
Usually, my biggest issue in the summer is keeping the kids active when all we want to do is stay underneath the comfort of the fans and air conditioners and veg out on various television shows or books all day.
Wait…scratch that. The cellist and I want to veg out on television shows and books all day, the trifecta (ladybug, lil miss, and sir twizzler) could run around for hours on end. While I do have to pull myself from the couch to venture outside most days during the summer, I do so love watching my children when they are in their element.
What I love most about them, is the fact that they make a game out of whatever happens to be around at the time. One of their favorite things to do is to toss a football back and forth (it happens to belong to their eldest brother, but that’s what makes it even MORE fun, right?) or attempt to jump rope without ever hopping off of the ground. It’s magic I tell ya. MAGIC!
As an American, I’m well aware of the high rate of obesity among our youth AND our adults. As a parent, I want to make sure that I’m not an enabler when it comes to my children and their activity levels. We aim to MOVE for at least one full hour per day. Once again, for the trifecta, that’s a piece of cake – not so much for me.
I have taken it upon myself to teach them the games of my day – hopscotch, foursquare, red rover, freeze tag, red light, green light, ghosts in the graveyard, and off the wall. All of these great games really don’t require any equipment (other than off the wall) and can do wonders for keeping your heart rate up, and the laughter in full force.
I also TRY not to limit what the youngest children try out. I know that they may not understand all of the rules of outside play – for example, the ladybug loves to hide in the same spot as the person who she was seeking during hide and seek. It’s quite comical. The twins giggle uncontrollably at the thought of being “found” and we’re limited to their hiding unless there are other older children or adults for them to hide with.
Essentially, these are the times where you can do so much for so little. If these types of activities don’t interest you, you can always gather the troops and go down to the nearest playground, or if you’re lucky, your local beach and take a run through the rubber mulch or very dense sand. Just go OUTSIDE!
The NFL is currently running a contest to help promote their Play 60 program, (that’s playing OUTSIDE for 60 minutes or more each day) where your child can give their best invention to help children play for 60 minutes each day. They DO need the permission of their parent/guardian to enter. The contest ends July 12 at 11:59 pm EST.