We all have visions of how we want to raise our children. Growing up I spent lots of time outside. I remember long afternoons spent swinging on our old swingset and dressing up neighborhood cats as baby dolls. I wanted the same for my kids. We bought a house with a fenced-in backyard. It sits at the end of dead end road with little to no traffic. Not to mention, we live within minutes of several great parks.
We spend very little time outside and more time than I'd like to admit in front of screens. There is always a "good" reason to stay indoors. It's too hot. It's too cold. It might rain. It's almost lunchtime or naptime or errand-running time.
I know I'm not alone in this. According to The National Wildlife Federation, the average American boy or girl spends just four to seven minutes in unstructured outdoor play each day, and more than seven hours each day in front of an electronic screen. As a result, we have children struggling with serious issues from obesity to attention deficit disorders. Meanwhile, the solution is waiting right outside our doors. Children who spend time in unstructured play are more physically fit and do better in school. Being outside can reduce the symptoms of attention deficit disorders. It can even improve vision.
Recently, I got to meet the awesome team behind GoGo SqueeZ and was inspired by their mission to get kids outside to play.
“GoGo” is really an idea and a way of looking at the world. People tend to overcomplicate things when the truth is a simple fact right in front of them. “GoGo” is the simple unstructured and active play that is pure goodness for kids (and the kid in all of us).
I realized I was overcomplicating things. I needed to stop waiting for the perfect weather or hours of free time. I needed to stop with the excuses and just take my kids outside.
So, I'm partnering with GoGo SqueeZ for a simple pledge. For the next week, I pledge to take my boys outside to play. Every day. No matter what.
We started off today with something easy. We've all been sick and cooped up inside the house for several days. So, this morning we just went for a walk around the neighborhood. Nothing fancy. We got some fresh air. We picked some flowers. I learned that Griffin was still upset about his friends yelling at him at a party several weeks ago. Not sure if I'd found that out without our time together outside. No interruptions or distractions. Just me and my boys and the sunshine.
We have plans to go to the park later this afternoon. Will you join us in our pledge to play?
~ Sarah Stewart Holland
This post is sponsored by GoGo SqueeZ the first all natural 100% fruit squeezable applesauce for kids on the go. If you believe in the power of play and have a playful photo you want to share, go enter the GoGo SqueeZ "Always Play" Photo Contest. You have until Friday, March 16th to submit your photo. The photo with the most votes by March 29th will win a year's supply of GoGo SqueeZ!