Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Are You Out There?

The National Wildlife Federation has launched an initiative to increase the amount of time our nation's youth spend outdoors.  According to their website, "American childhood has moved indoors during the last two decades, taking a mental and physical toll on today’s kids. The negative impact of decreased time outdoors includes a doubling of the childhood obesity rate -- accompanied by an incremental hundred billion dollar cost to our health care system -- as well as declining creativity, concentration and social skills.  Studies show outdoor time helps children grow lean and strong, enhances imaginations and attention spans, decreases aggression, and boosts classroom performance. In addition, children who spend time in nature regularly are shown to become better stewards of the environment."

We signed the Be Out There pledge today.  Check out their web link for many great resources for spending time outside with children of all ages.  The benefits are myriad!

National Wildlife Federation: Be Out There
http://www.nwf.org/Get-Outside/Be-Out-There/Why-Be-Out-There.aspx

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rainy Day Delights

What to do with children on a rainy day when you're cooped up inside?  Always be positive, even if rain is not your favorite type of weather.  Kids feed off your mood.  Here is an undecidedly UN-comprehensive list of some ideas:

First of all, turn off the lights, draw the drapes,and:
1. play flashlight tag
2. have a shadow puppet show
3. have the children sit for silhouette portraits, traced onto black paper and cut out
4. round up any funky lighting you have available, put on some funky music and have a dance party

Do you have a rainy day fun idea? I'd love to hear it!