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Get Your Kids Away From the Screen and Into the Sun

When I was a kid we played outside. We woke up, scarfed down breakfast and then hit the cul-de-sac, where we would find the other neighborhood kids waiting to take on the day. We would ride our bikes to the usual spots, hit up the local parks, buy candy and ran back and forth from each other’s homes. This may sound incredibly basic, but “outside” was the best place in the world. Not only were we playing with our friends, but we had a sense of independence while we were at it.

I knew the boundaries that kept me from going too far from home, I knew not to talk to strangers and I knew to come home before the sun went down. I wouldn’t have dreamed of sitting in front of a television all day or stare at a computer, and I was a child in the ‘90s, it’s not like these things didn’t exist. But kids back then still wanted to be active and actually play together, not just watch things on a screen (plus my mom would have never allowed it even if I had wanted to). 

I get it, things are different now. Household dynamics vary, usually with both parents working full time, making it more difficult for kids to have the type of freedom I experienced in my youth. It can be a lot easier for parent’s to stick an iPad into their child’s hand while they deal with “work stuff” for a few hours instead of taking them to the community pool or neighborhood park. However, as convenient as this can sometimes be, the habit of affixing your child in front of screen is one that needs to be broken. If you are having trouble figuring out what to do with your children in the outdoor realm, below are some fun activities that are sure to get you guys having fun in the sun.

Capture The Flag

Nothing is more fun than organizing a game that involves all the kids in the neighborhood. Capture the flag is the ideal game to get a bunch of people of all ages involved. You divide the group into two teams, give each a flag and then try to steal each other’s pennant. The game involves running, hiding, plotting and sneaking. It has everything. Capture the flag has the ability to last for hours to, making it a perfect Sunday Funday activity. 

Water Balloon Ball

Who doesn’t like a good water balloon fight? I think I pretty much lived for those moments as a kid. There is something about hurling plastic balls of water at each other that just screams “pure joy!” Water balloon ball takes this concept to the next level. Think dodgeball but with water balloons. Enough said.

Scavenger Hunts

Going on scavenger hunts throughout your neighborhood is not only a great way to get your kids and their friends out and about, but it promotes working as a team, a skill everyone eventually needs to learn. It is also a good way to meet your neighbors. Who knows, maybe along the way your kid will scavenge up a new friend.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Virginia State Parks

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