You can tell they’ve been craving the outside time when we get a block from the park. Their walk turns to a skip to a gallop and to a run in the matter of moments and then they are racing to the playground.
City kids spend an inordinate amount of time being reminded to “use indoor feet” and “stop climbing on the furniture!” This is even worse when you don’t have a backyard.
Our family moved to New York City about a year ago and while there are many good things about it, there are things that are hard. Our apartment is small. There is a yard out front and a park down the street, but they need a grownup to take them to either.
Gone are the days of – “You can’t run in the house, why don’t you go play outside!” Followed quickly by the slam of the back door.
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To further complicate matters our twins don’t have recess at their school. (Gasp. I know it’s terrible.) Apparently not everyone got the memo that physical activity is essential to learning.
So, as you can imagine, I am on a mission.
My city kids need more outside time. There are never enough moments in our day, but I need to set aside a few more for fresh air and gross motor movement, and free play.
Will you join us?
Join the #CityKidsGetOutside Movement
Our family will be doing this challenge from Oct 1 – Oct 30 of 2017, but feel free to start your outside challenge whenever it works best for you.
Anyone who feels like they just don’t spend enough time outside.
I call this the “CityKids” challenge because since moving to NYC we have found it much more difficult to find time outside, but anyone anywhere can participate.
Challenge yourself, your kids, and your family to spend more time outside. Take the next 30 days to kick start more outside time. You can define “more” however you want for your family.
Download our cheat sheet below to give yourself some simple ideas, but feel free to invent your own as well.
Other places that inspire our outdoor adventure include:
- The Kids’ Outdoor Adventure Book by Stacy Tornio and Ken Keffer
- Treecology by Monica Russo
- Rain or Shine Mamma blog
- Citizen Scientists: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery from your Own Backyard by Loree Griffin Burns
- Even more ideas on our City Kids Get Outside Pinterest Board
download your City Kids Get Outside FREE Printable
30 Outside Ideas to Get You Started
- Beach Day – yes, even in the off season
- Snack Outside
- Coloring Basket
- Practice Catching and Throwing
- Paint, Hide and Find Rocks
- Make Pinecone Feeders (inspired by the Outdoor Adventure Book) or these gorgeous ones.
- Visit an outside area at a local museum. (We’re going to the MakersYard at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum)
- Go Camping
- Hike and Look under the trees for treasures and different kinds of leaves. Take these paper bag journals with you.
- Draw Maps (inspired by Treecology)
- Create with Chalk
- Go Bike (or Trike) Riding
- Read a Book Outside
- Visit a Pumpkin Farm or Apple Farm. For New Yorkers, we LOVE Alstede Farm.
- Visit a Butterfly Gardens (Find inspiration on what to look for in Citizen Scientists)
- Blow bubbles or if you want to have a little after dark fun THIS looks awesome!
- Make Body Shapes with Your Friends at the Park
- Do homework outside
- Take some BIG boxes and other building materials outside.
- Visit a Farmers’ Market
- Jump Rope (we didn’t have one so I ordered 2 of these)
- Rain Collecting and other experiments
- Go for a Photography Walk or Scavenger Hunt
- Make Rain Paint (kool aid and rain = paint)
- Sight word Chalk game or Chalk Math Game
- Visit a new Playground
- Play Soccer
- Play the Listening Game. Sit outside. Cover your eyes and listen. How many different things can you hear?
- Invent a playground obstacle course. (Up the stairs, down the slide, run around the structure…)
download today: City Kids Get Outside FREE Printable