THIS SITE REQUIRES JAVASCRIPT TO BE ENABLED TO BE VIEWED CORRECTLY. PLEASE ENABLE JAVASCRIPT! INSTRUCTIONS

Tag Archives: kids in the outdoors

Supervision. Barrier to Kids Playing Outside?

Awhile back The Heritage Council published the results of a survey that examines the differences in playing outdoors between generations. Parents were asked where they played when they were children and where their children (ages 7-11) now play. Although playing at home, in a friend’s home indoors, the garden and the school playground are still the most popular locations for playing across the generations, it’s no surprise that there were decreases in the number of kids who played in fields, wild spaces and the woods.

I was however a little surprised at first when “supervision” emerged as the number one barrier to children playing and experiencing the outdoors.

This is something I’ve thought about quite a bit in relation to how I was raised compared to how I’m raising my own kids. I feel like I ran wild (to which I will be forever grateful to my Mother), and although I want my kids to have the same experiences I did, I’m just not sure I’ll be comfortable with the same level of supervision my Mom was.

To make my point let me dissect the first paragraph in my About Me page.

  • I grew up in Southern Utah.
    My kids were, until recently, growing up in a gated community, in the biggest little city in the world, Reno Nevada. (more…)

The coolest outdoor family bloggers I’ve ‘met’

I know it’s kind of taboo to say that you’ve ‘met someone online’. I never thought I’d say that. But the truth is I’ve met whole families online! Really inspiring families that deserve some recognition for all the work they put into their blogs. Here’s a list (in no particular order) of some of the coolest families I’ve had the privilege of ‘meeting’.

Do you know of more? Leave them in the comments!

Brave Ski Mom
Family skiing tips, unbiased resort and mountain reviews, off-season biking and hiking. We’re a western Colorado family that has seen it all and done a lot. I don’t just share our adventures. I provide information to help you fuel your own adventure — from skiing to parenting.

Tales of a Mountain Mama
Tales of a Mountain Mama (Family) aims to help inspire families to get outdoors and adventure, even with young children. We share our own stories and tips and feature weekly guest bloggers and experts to round out our own knowledge and experience. Watch for a diverse make-up of honest gear reviews and lots of giveaways!

The Kid Project
As a family, we want to live an adventure together. We want to play together. We want to live life and grow together. Our goal is to inspire families to get outdoors together, to provide gear reviews [for better or worse], family-friendly locations, posts/interviews from kindred spirits we’ve met along the way and encouragement on the road of parenting.

Velo Mom
Velo Mom is the place I share our family bike adventures, highlight inspirational families and kids on bikes, discuss exceptional products, great rides and the latest news.

Adventure Parents
Adventure Parents entertains and informs with stories about parents, families and kids who enjoy outdoor adventure in any of its forms. It has a mix of posts from personal narratives to news to product reviews that appeal to the outdoorsy parent.

Go Explore Nature
Go Explore Nature is all about connecting kids & families with nature, in your own backyard and beyond. You’ll find everything from tips on bird watching and backyard camping to ideas for backyard nature play. Happy exploring! (more…)

Teaching kids stewardship… with a grabber?

Todays post is brought to you by my friend Amber. We got into a discussion one day about kids volunteering and learning to taking ownership of their favorite natural places. The result was this awesome essay about her experience taking her kids to volunteer in Yosemite. I love it.

Has anyone else incorporated outdoor volunteerism into their outdoor outings? We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences!

I grew up in a house where certain things were just, understood. Among such things was the understanding that if we didn’t take care of our things, we would eventually be out of things to take care of.  Although there was a certain resentment that accompanied this understanding, I knew when I had kids of my own that I wanted them to have the same sense of responsibility, or stewardship, over the things that were theirs.

I had the grand expectation that it would be fairly easy to help my child develop this sense of stewardship in every aspect of life, from toys, to friendships, to the natural world around them.

My child would not have the sense of entitlement that is so prevalent in so many kids today.

My child would always be noble, kind, and responsible. (more…)

Your Best Camping Tips (and the winner is…)

Lets get right to it. The winner (chosen by random.org) of the $50 REI gift certificate is LAUREN!! Congratulations!

Her best camping tip:

I have to agree with those who mentioned “the bin” system. I live by it. It makes camping life so much easier. But, a tip of my own… frisbees make great plates and obviously provide other fun functionality as well, and always have duct tape on you… whether car camping or backpacking. It’s easy to have a bit of it wrapped around your water bottle or stashed and it almost always comes in handy. I mean, what can’t you fix with duct tape? :)

Now for a roundup of YOUR BEST CAMPING TIPS:

Note: Some comments were combined and most have been shortened, for details on these ideas read through the comments on this post.

1. Create “The Bin”, The Bin (a rain proof tote) has everything you need for your camping trip with mini-bins inside separating your camp area essentials (make two: one for backpacking, car camping, etc.).

2. Go often. The more often you go, the easier it is to actually get out the door because you have to establish some sort of a routine to actually get out the door!

3. Glowsticks and headlamps for kids. Makes them easier to spot in the dark, plus makes the dark that much more fun.

4. Simplifying your meals and prepare as much as you can ahead of time.

5. When camping with kids, go with another family. Everything seems a little more manageable when there are more hands on deck.

6. We have a list that we print out before every camp trip so we don’t forget anything. We have a specific list for camping near water, in the mountains, or backpacking. (more…)

A risk worth taking? I want your thoughts.

Last week Adventure Parents posted a link (on their facebook page) to an article about a woman rock climbing with a  two-year-old on her back

This article was accompanied by the photo on the right.

I wanted to comment on his post. I just couldn’t find the words… I mean, the photo looks pretty sketchy, and while I personally wouldn’t have felt comfortable with this, I sorta get why she made this decision. I know what it’s like to want so badly to continue all the outdoor hobbies you did before you had children. You crave that feeling of adventure, adrenaline, the freedom and just plain feeling like yourself!

…and lets face it, you want to prove wrong all those people who made you think your adventurous life was over the day you got pregnant.

I’ve been just as tempted as the next guy to strap a pack-n-play to the front of a raft. But it never seemed quite like the good idea I wanted it to be. For me it came down to the risks involved. Or is it because as Menna says in the article: we have become a “sue-and-blame culture” where “so many people are nervous, so afraid of getting into trouble, and taking small risks.”?

I want your thoughts on this! Does this look like a “small risk”? Do you agree with her decision? Is our culture just over paranoid?

All thoughts are welcome!

Debi – Getting outside every day

You may not think you know who Debi is, but if you click on the links found in many of our posts, you’re sure to have come across her blog at least once. It’s one of my favorites. Want to know why? Simple:

Debi’s blog reminds me that I don’t need to plan big grandiose adventures all the time in order to instill an appreciation for nature in my kids. It can come from the little things I choose to do every day. It can come just by making an effort to be outside, even if just for 15 minutes, every day.

Her blog is full of those simple little daily ideas (well, and a few grandiose ones…)

Thanks for doing the interview Debi, and for taking the time to create the amazing resource known as Go Explore Nature.

Quick note: Debi has two adorable sons, referred to here as the Big and Little Explorers.

1. Where did you gain your love for the outdoors? Was this something you grew up with (and if so, tell us about your upbringing), or something you stumbled on later in life (and if the latter, tell us the story!)?

I grew up in the city but was fortunate enough to have access to an enormous outdoor space in our backyard. I never thought twice about being outside. Most afternoons, I played in the dirt, climbed trees, picked boysenberries off our vines (or tried to sneak pomegranates!) and played Hide and Go Seek with my older brother. We also rode our bikes everywhere.

Beyond our backyard, there was our family cabin in Yosemite National Park, where we spent two weeks every summer. We hiked, swam in the river, rode horses, hung out doing nothing and always made tons of friends. Believe it or not, at the time I actually hated our summer trips to Yosemite; being away from my friends seemed like torture. But when I left home for college, it didn’t take long for me to miss the place, and the slower pace of life I had experienced as a kid.

Of course now I try to get to the cabin as many times a year as possible – and always at least two weeks every summer. It is here that I seek solace when life presents its biggest challenges and where I go to slow down and find reminders of what’s most important to me. I hope my kids come to love the place as much as I do. (more…)

Bonnie: Raising Outdoor Savvy Kids

I know Bonnie because I know her daughters. I met Liv and Sus while living and working with them in the Grand Staircase. Never have I met women more selfless, self-sufficient, compassionate, strong, capable and outdoor savvy. I wondered how it was possible for two sisters to turn out so utterly amazing. I soon found out.

You should hear the stories Liv and Sus tell of their Mom.  She taught them how to slide down glaciers on the balls of their feet, using a stick as a rudder.  By excusing them from classes for a day of hiking, she reminded them never to let school get in the way of a good education.  She demonstrated the joy of mischievousness when she hid with them, snickering in the pitch black of a lava tube, while other tourists walked by unaware that anyone else was around.

She encouraged confidence by challenging them to jump off of even bigger sand dunes, swim in the even the coldest lakes, and find a way across (or down) even the angriest rivers.  And she taught them to appreciate fully the moment they were in, even as they prepared for what might come.  If you’d ever had the privilege to hearing these stories you would understand why I deemed Bonnie the perfect candidate for an OutsideMom interview.

Thanks for doing the interview Bonnie. Thanks for emphasizing that outdoor time can teach us about living no matter where we find ourselves. Thanks for reminding us of the value of spontaneity and the importance of throwing structure out the window.

Why did you emphasize the outdoors when raising your girls?

Being outside teaches children to see themselves in context. In the built environment of the city, everything natural is controlled. I think children in the city eventually come to believe that control of everything is their right, and even (sadly) their responsibility. It burdens them with an inflated sense of their own importance.

If you think about it, it’s just cruel. In the natural world, they are one part of something bigger. Their individual contribution makes a difference and can change things, but it doesn’t bring down the house if they make a mistake. They are free to play, act, wonder, discover and experiment and to learn the consequences of doing just that. For city kids, the loss of a life is an earth-shattering event.  For a natural kid, it’s part of a never-ending, life-affirming pattern. (more…)

  • WELCOME

    I'm Lindsey. I'm an environmental educator, my husband's a biologist. The outdoors is infused into everything we do; which explains why I'm better at mud pies than home decorating. More About Me

    I don't blog alone! Meet outsidemom contributer Olivia
  • KEEP IN TOUCH

  • PROUD TO SUPPORT

  • ACCESS ARCHIVES