Make a Resolution to Go Play!

Creative Commons License photo credit: celine nadeau

This year, instead of vowing to go to the gym more or give up caffeine, make a resolution that will impact your physical and mental health and that of your children – PLAY MORE!

Make a resolution to:

  1. Get down on the floor and play with your kids more often.
  2. Pick up a new hobby or dust off an old one.
  3. Laugh harder and dream bigger.
  4. Start a garden in your yard, on a balcony or in window boxes.
  5. Get in the kitchen and cook with your kids. Start a family recipe book together!
  6. Unplug and connect with your family. Substitute game night for another night in front of the TV.
  7. Spend more time in nature – hike, ride a bike, camp, fish – whatever you and your family enjoy.

Need a little inspiration? Check out this beautiful video that will have you ready to head outdoors and enjoy a beautiful day with the children in your world.


Happy, happy 2012, my friends! xoxo

See ya outside! ~ The Grass Stain Guru


Back to School? Make Time for Play!

“It is becoming increasingly clear through research on the brain as well as in other areas of study, that childhood needs play. Play acts as a forward feed mechanism into courageous, creative, rigorous thinking in adulthood.” –Tina Bruce, Professor, London Metropolitan University

Photo Credit: emilyonsunday

This year as you send the kids off to school, take a moment to think about their days. Their weeks. Is there enough time for play? Not sports, or after-school activities, but real honest-to-goodness play? Child-directed, child-driven free play — no rules unless they decide to cook some up.

You see, adults have this habit of thinking that soccer or gymnastics or even music lessons are play. But they’re not. They ‘re great, but they are goal driven and adult directed, which is exactly what school is. Children spend all day in school. They need to take a break and be put in the driver’s seat for awhile.

Free play is when children are in the driver’s seat. Kids need to use their outside voices, to not care about getting something right or wrong, to make things up and mess things up. Simply put, they need time to be kids and goof off without us adults telling them what to do. So this year , make an effort to make room for play.

If your child has little to no down time between school and activities, strongly consider taking an activity or two off the table and give them some wiggle room to be kids. Helping children find balance in their lives will help them in so many ways, including learning readiness.

As an added bonus, you’ll spend less time as a taxi driver and juggling a crazy calendar, and have more time to play yourself. After all, play is important for everyone – adults included!

A time-saving secret weapon. Plus, no need to fear pink undershirts anymore!

Another great trick for saving time and making more room for play in your life is using Shout© Color Catchers. You can mix colors without fear, and save yourself time in the laundry room. I don’t know about you, but I will take every spare minute I can find!

Cheers to all the kids, parents and caregivers out there. Happy new school year! May in be filled with the love of learning, laughter and lots of play.

See ya outside! ~ The Grass Stain Guru

Disclosure: The Grass Stain Guru is a proud partner of Shout and is quite happy to share the sandbox with them!

Go Play: Have Fun & Win Prizes!

puddle jumping

As readers of this blog know, I am the #playoutdoors pied piper in the social media world, and a firm believer in the benefits of play, time in nature, and unstructured time for kids and adults alike. So, when the great folks at SC Johnson’s Shout asked if I wanted to partner on their new Go Play initiative, I jumped at the chance!

Go Play is dedicated to getting children and families outside to play – it’s that simple. Whether it’s going on a nature scavenger hunt , building a fort in the backyard, playing Frisbee, or running through a sprinkler, Go Play encourages families to make the active decision to unplug and head outside for some active fun.

Research indicates that children who play outdoors regularly:

  • Have stronger immune systems
  • Have reduced stress levels
  • Are more creative
  • Sleep better
  • Are fitter and leaner
  • Have a greater respect for themselves, others, and the planet

Naturally, time outdoors and play offers lots of benefits for adults too – including decreased stress levels! Who doesn’t need that these days?

I applaud Shout  for recognizing the importance of this issue for the health and well being of today’s children and families, and kicking off this initiative. You can follow the conversation on Twitter – we’ll be using the hash tag #GoPlay.  Also, make sure to keep up with the Go Play news on Shout’s Facebook page.

To kick off this initiative, Shout is launching the Go Play Sweepstakes. One lucky winner per week (for four weeks) will win a $200 gift card for Growing Tree Toys. One grand prize winner will receive a  Sunshine Castle II, which is a Best Seller from Rainbow Play Systems Inc.

Click here to enter!

Sending you lucky vibes. See ya outside! ~ The Grass Stain Guru

Disclosure: The Grass Stain Guru is a proud partner of Shout and is quite happy to share the sandbox with them!

photo credit: redjar

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