Join us as we try to create 30 days of fun memories with our kids outside EVERYDAY starting April 1st.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Did You Come Outside to Play?

Did you come outside to play with us?  What were your experiences?  What were your challenges?  Your joys?  What new games did you play?  What new places did you discover?  Did you make it every day?  Most days?  Was is hard or easy?  I want to hear from you!  Please comment or link up your experiences.  I will randomly select a participant from the comments and links to win the $30 gift card to  (If you joined us at the beginning of April, shared on your facebook page, or blogged about the challenge, or linked up any time this month to our virtual play dates, those entries are entered as well).    I look forward to hearing about your experiences!

April 29th-April 30th-Backyard Camp-out

I wanted to do something special with the kids to celebrate our month outside.  We were lucky enough to make it outside every day this month, without fail, rain or shine, sickness and in health.   So we decided to surprise the kids with a backyard camp-out and spend the last of April outdoors.   I love backyard camping!  The house is there for those of us who would like to use the restroom indoors, the kitchen is accessible for late night treats, and if we forgot anything (like a very special bedtime lovey), we can hop right back in the house and get it!  Don't get me wrong, our family also loves real camping, but backyard camping is its own kind of fun.

 Here is our tent all set up and waiting for us.

  We grilled outside for dinner.  Then Daddy blew bubbles with the kids while I got things cleaned up.

We  played a comical family game of kickball.    Comical because the children couldn't remember having ever played before and kept mixing up the rules with soccer.  Andrew didn't want to touch the ball with his hands.  Ryan wanted to keep kicking the ball after the initial kick.  Molly wanted to pick up the bases.  As you can see, eventually we got the hang of it.  Kind of.

After the difficulty with kickball, we decided to stay with a game we all knew the rules to.  Hide and seek!

We moved next to jumping on the trampoline.  Then we laid down on the trampoline and watched the sunset together, listening to the sounds of the crickets, birds, and neighborhood dogs.

 Of course we made S'mores once it got dark.  How can you have a camp out without them? 

We put on our jammies and read stories and sang songs together until the boys fell asleep.

I'd like to say that Molly fell asleep soon after, but that would not be truthful.  Our neighbors were having a party and played loud heavy metal music until after 11pm.  Molly danced and sang along with the music. 

In the morning, the kids crawled in our sleeping bags for snuggles, before we had hot cocoa and breakfast. We laid there and listened to the animals outside.  Andrew was very excited because we heard an owl.  

Later the kids helped take down the tent, and were happy and helpful, despite the fact that they wanted to sleep outside FOREVER!

We had a wonderful time together, last night, today, and EVERY DAY this month. 

I knew this month would be challenging.  April is such a busy month for our family.   I was afraid that with all we had going on, I would be tempted to justify turning on the tv instead of going outside to play on exceptionally busy days. 

Thank you for joining me in this journey, for taking this challenge with our family. I appreciate your support and enthusiasm.  I hope that you have been able to spend more time outside than you usually do, even if you were not able to make it out everyday.  I hope that you have been able to get some fun ideas from others who have posted.  I hope you have been blessed to create happy memories with your loved ones outside.  

***If you have participated in the challenge, please comment and let me know how you did.  It is okay if you did not make it every day.  I know sometimes weather or illness make it impossible to get outside.  I just want to hear from you if you tried and want to know what the experience has meant to you and your family.  All those who comment will be entered into a drawing for the $30 amazon card.  I will draw on Monday.   (If you signed up at the very beginning and shared it on your facebook pages and blogs, you will also receive entries for those)!

***There is now a linky up for anyone who would like to share any outside fun they have had this month!  All those who link up will be eligible for another entry.

Friday, April 29, 2011

April 29th-Afternoon at the Park

Friday was lovely and we decided to go to the park for lunch.  Coincidentally,  our cousin had the same idea!  Ryan was so excited to play at the park with his cousin.  They took turns pushing each other in the swing and the spinning chair.  (Or as Molly calls it "Potty."  I guess she thinks it looks like her little potty seat at home).   

Ryan was very sad when his cousin left.   I told him that there were lots of other kids on the playground his age he could play with.  He told me he only wanted to play with kids bigger than him.  So he proceeded to walk over to the tallest kid on the playground and introduced himself.  "Hi, I am Ryan.  I am 4 years old.  I want someone big to play with me."    The little boy was very sweet and let Ryan play with him and his friends.  

Thursday, April 28, 2011

April 28th-Putting on a Show

One of my kids' favorite activities outside is "putting on shows" for the grown-ups.  They like to show off their coolest tricks.  It was fun to watch Molly get into the action.  She was so proud of herself.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

April 27th- More Fun with Bugs

We had a bug themed Mommy and Me Book Club today.    It was so much fun!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April 26th-First Fruits of the Season

We found little strawberries on our plants this morning!  Ryan was so excited!  

Monday, April 25, 2011

Bug Hunt

We had a great time this afternoon hunting for bugs in our own backyard! What did you do outside today?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Egg Hunt

My 90 year old Grandmother couldn't wait for someone to get her a basket, so she made one herself!  We had such a fun day hunting eggs together!  Hope you had a joyous Easter!

Virtual Playdate Week 3

I can't wait to see what all of you did this week!  Anyone have fun Earth Day activities to share?  The pic above is from our Earth Day fun!  Take a moment away from hunting eggs and share your best outside fun from this week! I'll be back this evening with pics from our outdoor egg hunting!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

April 23rd-Outdoor Easter Activities

 Today we painted eggs outside.  I love painting eggs with the children.  It is a great alternative to traditional dying.  The children are able to be involved in the entire process. 

We also made a Resurrection Terrarium.  We loved this idea we found on Impress Your Kids.

Friday, April 22, 2011

April 22nd-Earth Day

We celebrated Earth Day by planting basil, oregano, and daisies together this morning.  And, no it wasn't raining yet.  We have found that rain coats are awesome for gardening!  The dirt rubs right off and our clothes stay dry whenever someone accidentally purposely aims the hose in the wrong direction! 

When it did begin to rain we were at our cousins' house!  They have a fun fort on the back porch! 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

April 21st-Backyard Fun

My kids enjoyed the beautiful weather this afternoon.  It is always fun to watch them try to settle into an activity.  All of these pictures were taken within a 30 minute time period.  They jumped from activity to activity, until they finally settled into sidewalk chalk spelling for the rest of the afternoon.  Does anyone else have children who try out 10 different activities before settling on one? 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

April 20th-Teddy Bear Picnic

We held a picnic outdoors for my daughter's 2nd Birthday! We had a great time and perfect weather!