The more fun a resolution, the easier it is to keep and what could be more fun for kids than 15 minutes of adventure? A cool place for an adventure is outside, especially at this time of the year!
I just discovered the book, Fifteen Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids, by Rebecca Cohen. I can hardly wait to read it all. She writes that the average child only gets 4-7 minutes of outside play time a day and more than 4 hours a day for screen time. Spending 15 minutes outside every day could be a great new year’s resolution and Rebecca gives practical ideas and suggestions. One of the obvious ones is to go for a walk.
Going for a walk sounds simple, but that’s before trying to get preschoolers dressed in winter clothes. Rebecca advises that it helps to have a basket or other container of the clothes needed for a walk in your area. Having the mittens, hats, boots, sweaters, and coats in one place makes getting ready for the walk much easier, as does remembering to have a potty break before getting on the outdoor clothes.
Some other activities could be a picnic outside, even in the winter, or playing a game like I Spy or Follow the Leader. Kicking a ball in the snow is much different from kicking one in the grass. Have your kids ever tried snow painting with colored water and squirt bottles? That’s for days that aren’t too cold. There are often nature treasures, like sticks, pine cones, and rocks on the ground just waiting for little hands to collect them. In some places, there is also snow, although it’s value as treasure is highly debatable. Kids enjoy shoveling snow more than grownups do, at least for a little while, and they love to play in it.
Fifteen minutes of outside time could be a new year’s resolution for any family. How about yours?