Recently, I joined the National Wildlife Foundation’s Be Out There Movement. I teamed up with The Motherhood and more than a dozen mom bloggers to come up cool outdoor ideas for hot summer days. Together, we wrote a crowd-sourced e-book, which is now hot off the presses, or shall I say laptops. You can be the first to get a free copy by clicking here.
The e-Book features tips from only bloggers but moms like you as well. Several Diary of a First Time Mom readers submitted suggestions and photos of their families for my assigned chapter, Cool Activities for Hot Summer Days. Other chapters include Balancing Screen Time with Green Time, Outdoor Time in Everyday Life, Nighttime Activities and Celebrating Special Occasions in the Great Outdoors.
Why publish a book on this hot topic? Well, The Motherhood and the National Wildlife Foundation conducted a survey of social media moms back in June 2012 and found that 94% of moms think kids are not spending enough time outdoors and one-third of moms feel guilty that their kids aren’t spending more time outside. According to the mothers surveyed, the biggest barriers to getting kids outside were: weather (61%), safety concerns (38%) and technology (36%). So, hopefully this book will help families find fun ways to get outdoors. If you want to join the Be Out There Movement, you can take the pledge here.
I was thrilled to be assigned the “water baby” chapter. I’ve been swimming since I’ve been walking, and Caitlynn is following in my fins–I mean footsteps. I found more than the amount of information that was required for my portion of the book, so I’m excited to share what made the cut and what didn’t. Check out this slide show to see what DFTM members are doing to keep their little ones cool without a pool.
When the temperatures rise, playing in the park isn’t always a pleasant outdoor experience. The hot summer sun beats down on playground equipment and results in sweltering slides, monkey bars and merry-go-rounds. Parents are left chasing their children away from potential dangers instead of enjoying their time out and about. Fortunately for Pittsburghers and others in select cities around the country, spray park season is underway. Toddlers to teens enjoy running through sensor sprinklers and standing under water canons. The parks accommodate all ages and abilities, since children in wheelchairs can join in on the action. There are even safety surfaces at some sites to protect kids who slip and fall. “If you can’t go to a spray park, the spray park can come to you,” said June Hopson, a former preschool teacher featured in books by local legend Mister Rogers. “You can make a sprinkler using a soda pop bottle, heavy-duty tape and a nail. Just pierce the sides of the plastic bottle with the nail, tape it to a hose and let the fun begin!
Hey DFTM Fam–What outdoor activities would you add to the list?