This post was sponsored on behalf of CLIF Kid via One2One Network. All opinions stated are my own.
I am definitely a home-body.
I’m not lazy by any means, in fact I don’t stop moving all day long. You know how it is as a mom – I’m either driving around and running errands, or attending play dates, or washing dishes, or climbing the stairs to do laundry, or working, or making a meal, or cleaning up a meal, or folding laundry, or vacuuming, or washing floors, or chasing a toddler, or getting someone juice or a snack… the list goes on and on.
But when it comes to taking time for exercise and play with my kids, I kind of suck at it.
My idea of a great Friday night is spent on the couch watching a movie and eating a bowl of popcorn – and my husband is very similar, which makes for a dangerous pair of lazy parents. Don’t get me wrong, I like being active and exercising and I attend yoga on a regular basis, but that’s always been my “me” time. Being active with my kids is a whole other battle and it goes against all of my natural instincts.
Moving to Colorado – a state where everyone is moving/exercising/being active pretty much all the time – has been good for me. You can’t drive somewhere without seeing someone running or biking on the side of the road. Skiing and hiking and rock climbing are just things that EVERYONE does. It’s kind of obnoxious in a motivating way….
And as my kids have grown and become more active in the last couple of years, I’ve tried hard to embrace getting outdoors with them. I challenge myself at the park to be up walking around and playing instead of sitting on a bench watching. And I try to base our family activities around something active instead of something sedentary. There are so many options where we live and so many ways to enjoy the great outdoors.
Did you know that 70% of moms played outside when they were kids compared to 31% of kids who actually get outside to play today? And kids today are 6 times more likely to play a video game than ride a bike… (source)
That’s just sad, and yet I know how it happens. Because the biggest hurdle for my kids getting outside is me…
I don’t want to take the time to walk them to the park or kick around a soccer ball because there are chores and work to be done. I am too busy to fill their pool with water or turn on the sprinklers, so I tell them to watch TV instead. I need to make dinner in peace and the best way to keep them quiet and out of my hair is with the iPad. See what I mean?
It’s a constant struggle, but it’s one I am more and more willing to fight for the health and wellbeing of our family. Because play not only helps children’s brains develop in terms of creative thinking and problem-solving, but it also helps develop their motor skills and coordination; and playing together as a family or with others helps them learn how to interact as a group, resolve conflicts and strengthen bonds (source).
One of our favorite activities lately has been getting the kids on their bikes; Mia just learned to balance on two wheels and is begging to practice with her dad every night. Lincoln got a balance bike for his birthday in June and we have been encouraging him to practice actually pushing off and going faster than the snail’s pace that he seems content with (at his rate, I think just walking would be a better form of exercise!). Turns out, teaching your kid to ride a bike is a great workout for you as well since you have to run along side them… just not so fun when it is 90 degrees every.single.day.
We also have a park in our neighborhood that the kids love to play at. It’s surrounded by a huge grassy area, so bringing along a soccer ball and practicing coordination with the kids is fun too. I HATE running, but if I’m doing it with my kids while playing a game of soccer, it’s not so bad.
Recent research with Foresters™, conducted by Harris Interactive, found that the more time a family spends together at a community playground, the greater its sense of family well-being in terms of strong relationships, quality health, and time spent together (source). I’m all for that. With all the time that the Mr. and I spend working, we need quality time with the kids.
If you are like me and have a hard time getting active with your kids, CLIF Kids has some great ideas. You can download their summer bucket list or outdoor scavenger hunt list for free on their Come Out to Play page; it’s a great way to keep busy when the kids are driving you nuts and you all need to get outside and take a breather. They also have ideas for exploring outdoors after dark and how you can try mountain biking, rock climbing or even zip lining with your kids – maybe an activity you hadn’t previously thought about trying as a family. I love this resource because when I’m all out of ideas, I can turn to it instead of the TV.
Oh, and don’t forget about snack time – kids are supposed to eat every 3 hours to keep up their energy and strength! My kids are obsessed with CLIF bars and I love that they don’t have any artificial flavors, preservatives or high fructose corn syrup (I also eat just as many as the kids because they are GOOD).
CLIF Kid challenges families to get outside and play every day; and with summer winding down and my kids bouncing off the walls, getting outside has been more important than ever. Of course, even when school starts we’ll feel the need to enjoy the outdoors as fall ushers in and the cold winter approaches. When you live in a state that receives snow, you relish your time outdoors and in the sun even more. I plan to pull out that scavenger hunt list in the fall so we can use it on after-dinner walks when the temperature finally drops a little.
Do you struggle with getting outdoors with your kids and being active? What have you been doing this summer to stay active and healthy with the kids?