Kids benefit from outdoor play in every way
We absolutely love the idea behind NFL PLAY 60, the National Football League’s campaign to encourage kids to be active for 60 minutes a day to help reverse childhood obesity trends. Research shows that kids are spending as much as eight hours a day in front of an electronic screen, versus only 45 minutes engaging in unstructured play. Having a healthy lawn is a way to lure kids off their computers and into the sunshine. The worse thing? A few grass stains and an extra load of wash. (That beats a bad case of finger cramps any day!)
Childhood ain’t what it used to be (but we want to change that)
Remember our parents telling us to go outside and play? The Department of Health and Human Services reports that, “free play and discretionary time has declined more than 9 hours a week over the last 25 years.” The report adds that, “kids who play outside are happier, healthier and stronger.”
That finding is supported by KaBoom!, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids. The group says that children who live within a half mile of a park or playground are nearly five times more likely to be of healthy weight.
We think they also have more fun.
You can be part of a children’s outdoor revolution. The National Wildlife Federation has set a goal of getting 10 million kids outside, running and playing. Through its Be Out There program, families are pledging to grow their children’s “health, happiness and appreciation of nature by getting them outside and playing every week.”
Make your lawn a more kid-friendly place
We created Harmony Play turf for active families. It’s made to withstand higher foot traffic. Tell us how you plan to increase the amount of family playtime in your yard. Comment below, or join us on Facebook and Twitter.
Here are some ideas to get your creativity started:
- Organize a neighborhood water balloon tournament
- Spend more time playing fetch with the dog
- Have a backyard toy wash
- Create a play area with a swing set and other playground-style equipment
- Go on a nature scavenger hunt
- Have a family picnic on the lawn
- Pitch a tent and camp in the back yard
- Install a play house or fort
- Lay on your backs and find shapes in the clouds
- Organize a relay race
- Make and fly a kite
- Create an obstacle course
Oh, and about those grass stains? We highly recommend sending the kids outside wearing old play clothes. They can relax and have fun. And you won’t be as concerned on laundry day.