I’m not sure what it is about the summer, but my kids want to watch TV and play video games. A.LOT. Like all day! I find myself saying, “Go outside and play!” about a million times a week. I know. It is hot. I get it. But, outside is fun! Go and make childhood memories, already.
We decided to give them a hand. The Healthy Hen and I (with the help of Clif Kids) threw a Party in the Park last week and it was awesome! We sent out a cute summer evite and invited all of our friends. Yes, it was hot. But the kids played and laughed and ate and played some more. They didn’t want to leave!
I’ve learned that sometimes they just need a boost in the right direction. Here’s how we did it.
Here are my tips for planning your own successful play date in the park.
1. First. Have it at a playground!
For real. Renting the shelter at our local park was GENIUS! Having it at someone’s house is great, but then there’s the mess and the cleaning before AND after. Plus the threat of kids whining to go inside. haha. They know there’s a TV and air-conditioning in there!
Have a few simple organized games. We had three organized games with prizes and then just let them have free play for the remainder of the time. There’s something about getting the kids on teams and promising prizes that brings out their competitive nature. It’s hilarious.
2. We had a good old fashioned relay race with homemade stilts.
Two teams, and a finish line. Easy.
3. We played “Jump the River” using jump ropes.
We started with two jump ropes laying parallel to each other, to form the river. After each child jumps over the river, you move the ropes a little further away, making the river wider. If you can’t make the jump, you’re out. The last one standing wins! Simple, fun and no prep work.
4. And then we had a game of “Flinch”.
Have you played “Flinch”? It’s one of my kids favorites. Just have everyone stand in a big circle, around one person in the middle. The person in the middle has a ball, and throws it (or pretends to throw it) to each person standing in the circle, one at a time. Catch the ball if it’s thrown to you…but don’t FLINCH if it’s just a pretend throw! Flinch and you have to sit down. Last person standing wins!
And after all that competing, they were ready to just make up their own games and have fun together when the organized games were over. Perfect. They were engaged and their bodies are moving and they were using their imaginations and getting their creative juices flowing. And we just sat back and watched.
5. We provided some chalk, crayons and coloring sheets, as well.
This was great for when they came wandering back into the shelter all sweaty, for snacks and water. They caught their breath, chilled out for a bit and then went back out to play!
6. We had a simple photo booth.
Everyone loves taking pictures and sharing them on social media these days, so we knew the kids would love this. I brought silly hats and stuff from our dress up box. They hammed it up. Easy and fun!
7. Healthy Snacks!
This was simple. Kids really love fruit and veggies with dip. They think they want chips and cookies, unless you only provide the good stuff. Then they don’t even notice!
We had lots to choose from. Something for everyone. We had watermelon, cantaloupe and apples. Veggies and pretzels with hummus and ranch. Crackers and cheese. And tons of ice cold water. And the best part, lots and lots of CLIF Zbars and CLIF Zfruit ropes. CLIF Kid snacks are specifically crafted to nourish active kids so they can play. And they are delicious!
The kids were burning tons of energy, so they came back to the shelter for snacks a lot. I loved that we provided healthy options that they all loved. They got the energy they needed to play and feed their adventures.
Have you tried some of the CLIF Kid products? Seriously, they’re so good. CLIF Kid makes nutritious snacks for kids’ growing bodies with no high fructose corn syrup, synthetic preservatives or artificial flavors. Gotta love that.
My kids like the ZFruit and the Zfruit + Veggie ropes the best. So good. They are tangy chewy twisted fruit ropes that you can peel apart. FUN! They are an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber and individually wrapped, making it easy for kids to eat organic fruit snacks anytime, anywhere. I didn’t even know they existed. But, now they are on my weekly grocery list.
I really loved the ZBars. Specifically the Chocolate Mint flavor. Think ‘Thin Mint’ but with organic baked whole grains, three grams of fiber and three grams of protein! YUM!
CLIF Kid has also created an online Hub to inspire outdoor experiences and to encourage us all to get outside. Check it out. It’s full of tips and tools to promote play for kids of all ages. There are recipes, and game ideas. Good stuff.
Get outside and play everyday! It’s fun.
How do you get the kids outside to play? What games do they love? Share your pictures on social media using #outtoplay. It’s fun!
This post was sponsored on behalf of CLIF Kid via One2One Network. All opinions stated are my own.