Thursday, July 17, 2008

How Much Time Do Your Children Spend Outside?


Seriously. How much time do they spend outside? I guess I've never really noted how much my kids do. We spend more time than most in our neighborhood, but far less than some, and far less than I think they should.


So for kicks, I googled "how much time should children play outside" and the following articles came up (among many articles filled with psycho-babble):


http://news.softpedia.com/news/Kids-Go-Out-and-Play-30451.shtml (infants should spend 90 minutes outside.)


http://www.voanews.com/english/archive/2007-05/2007-05-17-voa29.cfm?CFID=14070631&CFTOKEN=47148328 (doesn't say how much time, but a US Olympic gold medal winner says her parents used to lock her and her 6 siblings outside and were told not to come back until dinnertime. I remember my parents doing that a few times, and I was all the better for it. I wonder, as with many things, if in this day in age one could get reported for something like that *sigh*.)


Well, it doesn't matter anyway what the "experts" say, or what others do, but I do know we need to get out more. In the second article, one is quoted as saying that as parents, we need to be outside more too. Perhaps therein lies the problem? While being outside is one of my favorite things to do, dinner must be made, laundry must be done, and, well, my kids are little yet.


Remember the schedule/routine post I wrote earlier in the week? Well, one thing I am planning on planning on (hee-hee, there are better choices of words I know, but I liked saying this for some reason) is having a set chunk of time to be outside everyday. I know for some people this happens naturally, but I'm finding for us, if we don't purpose it to happen, it just doesn't. So as I am working on routines and lists, I am definitely going to purposefully plan on outside time for a few hours AT LEAST every.single.day.


And just because posts are much more interesting with pictures, here are some more pictures of my kids playing outside (none are very recent, but mostly from last summerthis spring):



4 comments:

Liz said...

My kids are ALWAYS outside...can't keep them in during the Spring and Summer, and even the winter months when there's snow. Becca can't wait to get home from school to run and play outside and she's 11!!! My kids sleep better, and aren't as cranky when they are outside. I love being outside as well, gardening, or just watching them play. Yes, it does take timing and planning on letting your little ones outside, just grab a chair, put your feet up and watch them run around, and play...they will love life even more, and you will too. Enjoy!

Jen said...

Okay Liz! Give us some Titus 2 ("older" as in you have an 11 year old and are ahead of me in this child rearing game - I don't mean by years!!!) advice on the planning and timing! It would be very timely for me right now!

Thanks!!!

Liz said...

Wow - you want advice from me?? I read your blog, and get helpful advice from you! Be consistent, and loving...I do tend to give in a lot with my kids, a push-over so my hubby would say...but hey, I love my kids, and only want what's best for them - so I am more consistent now these days. I'm always "on top" of Becca the 12 year old. Want to know the shows she's watching, the rating and all. She wants to watch PG13 now, and it's hard, but I still say NO! I know who her friends are, what music she's listening to, etc...it's so important now that she's a preteen. It's harder now than it has ever been before. She likes boys now, and is very curious. She can't date until she's 16 - yep, 16!!! It's so hard for me to watch her growup, scary, but with the Lord in her life, I know all will be well. I will always be home when she gets home from school, there is so much she can get into being a "latch-key kid". Moms all go back to work when their kids are in school full day, but that's the time when we really need to be home, when they walk through that door, be there for them, they can get into so much trouble without us there. Just be involved in your kids daily lives, school, homework is so important, make sure they are doing their homework, and check it! Becca has tried to get away with not doing her homework,one evening, and just wanted to play outside, I caught it. Meet your children's teachers before you send them back to school, so important. I have met everyone one of them up to 6th grade. Last year was the first time I didn't meet her teachers, she started middle school, and they were never in for the parents. When Davey was younger - schedules are good, but if they interfer with fun stuff, do the fun stuff (outings, get togethers) I'm sure it won't happen more than one time a week...like on the weekends, don't do the nap thing, go out and have fun, and let the kids sleep in the car - if they're fussy, then maybe you shouldn't skip naps. We always eat dinner together as a family. That's the most important time during the day, to reflect about everyone's day and COMMUNICATE!! We hardly let the kids eat alone, cause when they get older, they won't want to come in and eat together, and this will drive us mom's crazy. With Davey, we always read before bedtime, it's a quiet time and everyone with toddlers need that time before bed to just relax, and get cozy and read. I stress to parents with preteens and teenagers to just be INVOLVED in your childs life MORE now than ever! Ok, hope this helps, nothing special, just a day in the life of Liz! Love your blog Jen.

danielle said...

Hey Jen! We manage to get outside pretty much every day-unless it's raining. It's hard here, because Kevin is really an outdoors kid. Ryan on the other hand is a bookworm. He'd rather be inside away from the heat and the bugs, and whatever else might irritate him( like his brothers!). Sean is only 2 and can't handle the heat for too long. We usually play in the afternoon for several hours. They like to ride bikes. (but since Sean can't, I end up pushing him in somekind of car, which exhausts me!
Always, always we go for a walk after dinner. There is a street behind our house that ends in a culdesac. Sometimes we bring thier bikes too. It helps them get that last bit of energy out before bed!

Stay, stay at home, my heart, and rest;
Home-keeping hearts are happiest,
For those that wander they know not where
Are full of trouble and full of care;
To stay at home is best.

Weary and homesick and distressed,
They wander east, they wander west,
And are baffled and beaten and blown about
By the winds of the wilderness of doubt;
To stay at home is best.

Then stay at home, my heart, and rest;
The bird is safest in its nest;
O'er all that flutter their wings and fly
A hawk is hovering in the sky;
To stay at home is best.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow