I have started to notice more and more lately that it seems as though I am the only mom outside with my kid. Especially now that it is summertime, I always make sure to take Ray outside at least once a day. Even if it is just for 15 minutes or so. I’m not sure if it is because I have such an active little boy that staying cooped up inside a house with him for too long is not a good thing or if I am realizing how much better we both feel after we have been outside for a little while.
Being outside is good for kids. I remember in the summertime we were always outside. That was our playtime and we loved it. I remember running around barefoot in the yard playing with my brother and sister. I remember how much I loved to lay on my back in the grass and watch the clouds in the afternoon shade. Kids today do not seem to get to really enjoy nature and everything it teaches them. We are always so busy that the thought of going outside to just spend sometime playing and not being stimulated by some sort of electronic device is just an awful thought. If we are not willing to relax and unplug for a moment then how do we expect our kids to do the same?
And another thing, it really is ok for your kids to get dirty. I mean with actual dirt! My son loves being outside so much that he likes to just sit out in the dirt in the driveway and dig up rocks. Just yesterday he sat out in the drive with his little dump truck and was weeding! I know a lot of you think about what you are supposed to do when they are playing outside. Especially if you are making an effort to not be on your phone and try to be in the moment just enjoying the quite peacefulness of the outdoors. I say do what I do, sit right down with them in the dirt and help them out. They think that it is great that you are spending time with them and you can really see them learning new things about the world around them.
Sometimes, I like to just sit back and take in everything around me. This is my time to really observe and see how Ray interacts with the things around him. This is also my time that I kind of just meditate on how lucky I am and be thankful for everything around me. When we are always so busy to move onto the next thing and to always be going, going, going it is hard to sit and take in the moment. I will say that this is something that I definitely have to work at. But it is nice. The only reason I have my phone on me is really to just take pictures of some of the perfect moments.
I know some of you are thinking that this is great and all for summertime but what happens when it is too hot outside? Or when it starts to get colder and snows? Well I will definitely tell you that I never used to be a very big outdoor person. Unless it came to laying out and getting a tan. However, since having Ray I am now going outside at least once a day.
On the days that it gets really hot outside, I plan my days for going outside early in the morning usually before 10am and then we go back outside after dinner. These are the days where we have an early dinner and he is able to play before he gets a bath. In the spring and summer if it is raining we still go outside in the rain. Trust me, your kids are not going to melt. Put them in their swimsuit and let them play in the puddles. They love it and as long as it is not too cold out you don’t have to worry.
On days when it is cold out and when there is snow, I try to plan going outside at least once. When there is snow we go outside and Ray usually plays while I shovel the drive. We even have a little shovel for him because he likes to help. These are the days where we cannot be outside for too long and you really have to watch to make sure they are not getting too cold. But it really does them some good to get the fresh air (it does you some good too trust me). A lot of times I try to plan going out late in the morning before lunch or early in the afternoon when it is usually the warmest. As long as you both bundle up you will be fine. I have also been known to bundle Ray up and let him play with his toys in the garage in the winter. We have a little heater for out there and as long as he keeps his hat and gloves on we stay out there for quite a while.
Overall we cannot be afraid to let our kids go outside. As long as we are mindful and are spending our time out with them they will be fine. And if they eat a little dirt or even part of a worm (Ray definitely did this once when we were weeding the flowers 😝) they will be fine. Sometimes going outside is just what all of us need.