Make Every Day a Play Day!

Unless you are new to this blog (and welcome if you are!) you know that we strongly endorse a “15 minutes of outdoor time a day” rule.  We are entering into the time of the year when getting outside just takes a bit more effort.  Believe me, sometimes the thought of all the wrestling that has to take place to get my kids safely dressed for winter conditions is enough to make it less than appealing.   And yet, the benefits far out weigh the inconveniences.

Here is a short list of previous posts on the blog all about how important those 15 minutes can be:

We also know that having good gear helps make it EASIER to get outside with kids, hence our commitment to providing extensive reviews (and giveaways) on the blog.  Watch later this week for a review of some incredible suits from DucKsday that are now available in the United States (and a perfect, affordable option for wet conditions.  There may be a giveaway too….

This week we are joining Polarn O. Pyret (a Sweedish company with great outdoor gear for kids) in celebrating outdoor play.  We are challenging you to get outside EVERY day (and bring your kids with you!)  And because it is easy to assume that this “outdoor time” has to be more elaborate than it really does, we’ve come up with a list of things that are easy to do to get at least 15 minutes in for the next week.  Please feel free to add in your own suggestions in the comments!


  1. Walk the dog
  2. Take out the trash
  3. Ride Bikes
  4. Pull a wagon (or sled) around the block
  5. Identify a natural obstacle course in your yard and time your family members going through it (this means you too, Mom and Dad!) Example: Run to the tree and touch it, jump 5 times over that big rock, skip around the car 3 times, do your silliest dance to the back door and then jump like a frog all the way back to the start.  Modify for your own family and see who can do it the fastest/best/most creatively.
  6. Kick a ball around
  7. Climb under a tree and have a picnic (even if it is just a snack!) **Dress warm if needed!**
  8. Chinese Fire Drill (around the house!)
  9. Visit a different playground every day (we only have 3 around here, but I know bigger towns have more!)
  10. For Toddlers: Do an alphabet hunt at a playground (or really anywhere).  Set out letters (bath tub or fridge ones work great) and have kids find them in order.
  11. Dance, dance, dance (use music if necessary.)
  12. Build a snow fort (or use sand or sticks)


Join in all the fun the KIDS are having!

One of the most influential factors we have found in successful outdoor play is parents getting outside with their kids too.  We all know how tempting it is to just kick them outdoors, but this week I challenge you to go too.  The housework (or job work) can wait 15 minutes (and there is a very good chance you will be more productive afterwards.)

Celebrate with Polarn O. Pyret

We encourage you to join forces with everyone celebrating this week and check out the “HUB” over at PO.P.  To join the celebration, here is what you can do:

1)    They want to hear the stories about playing outside from all 50 states. Email your stories (or have your kids write the story) about your play days this week. You do this: send to [email protected], post to their FB page or post to your FB page and tag them AND usFor all emailed entries, we will enter you each day for a daily prize drawing.

2)    They want to see your kids in play. Email your photos to [email protected] or post to their FB page or post to your FB page and tag them and usFor all emailed entries, we will enter you each day for a daily prize drawing.

3)    1,000 hours of play. We want to log 1,000 hours of outside play this week.  Email, post to FB, tweet or tag them (and us) each day or every few days with how many hours you spent outside.

4)    Blog. If you are a blogger, please share your experiences of getting your kids outside to play this week. Share with everyone your photos, stories and hours of outdoor play as well.

If you are unfamiliar with Polarn O. Pyret, you can find a review we did of their gear this spring here.


I want to know: How do you plan on getting outside every day this week?  Do you think the goal is realistic for your family (why or why not?)

© 2012, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.

3 thoughts on “Make Every Day a Play Day!”

  1. Grace didn’t quite know what to make of that 15 minute rule the first snow storm of the year … no matter how bundled up … snow in the eyes and on the nose just takes a bit of getting used to for an eight month old ; ) But I managed a few smiling photos!

  2. We love outdoor play and are lucky to live in Southern California where we can easily get outside everyday. In fact, when we redid our backyard this past Spring, we built our own train table to keep outdoors instead of having one inside. It certainly encourages a lot of outdoor play — often starting at the table, but then exploring the whole backyard and integrating natural elements (sticks, rocks) into his train world. Thanks for sharing this post to encourage outdoor play and to stress how possible it is for everyone, no matter where you live.

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