Thursday, October 20, 2011

31 Days of Play! In or Out?

Beansprout in the only snow last year.
I don't know why, but I clearly remember hearing the words "in or out!?!" a lot as a child.  Most likely said with exasperation by parents and caregivers annoyed with younger ones running in and out of the house letting the door slam each time.  I think the choice was usually "out"!  Most of my memories of playing are definitely of being outside with the neighborhood kids - hide-and-seek games at dusk, games of softball on the side of the house, and tons of bike-riding, which often  involved some racing no-handed down our hill to see who could get the furthest!  (I still have a scar to tell the tale.)  We keep hearing that children need to get outside more, which makes me feel for all parents because I think things have changed tremendously in the last 30 years.  Kids don't just go outside and play in the neighborhood anymore - parents are around and things are usually organized.

On his Strider.

As Beansprout becomes more and more active, the words of my best friend keep ringing in my ears, "We have to get outside and do something every day!"  Her guy is two years older than Beansprout, so I'm now facing the energy she's alluding to.  Throughout the summer it hasn't been a problem - quick trips to the park or even an easy walk around the neighborhood with Beansprout on his balance bike have made it easy to get out and be active.  However, I am beginning to realize I'm facing a whole new world of play as the end of Fall approaches - if we want to go outside, it will take a lot more effort and will not always be as comfortable (for me!) as it is indoors.  Rain gear will be an everyday necessity for certain.  And that makes us lucky!  If we lived in the Midwest, it would be SNOW gear.  To prepare, I've purchased my raincoat with a hood and have my rain boots at the ready.

Nature Scavenger Hunt in the yard.

The trouble for me is getting my head in the right space to take on the weather and get outdoors rain or shine or snow.  I have such fond memories of building snow forts and playing for hours in the snow at the Baldwin's after school and during winter break.  (This was our second home as kids!)  We'd come in with rosy red cheeks and wet gloves, to find hot chocolate waiting for us.  I guess I've lost some of that adventuresome spirit; I seem to prefer the let's-stay-inside-and-be-cozy-with-a-cup-of-tea side to winter.  Not something Beansprout will enjoy, I don't think.

For now, I'll embrace all the days of sunshine I can.  Hopefully you'll think of me as November brings the rains and send me some playful thoughts of splashing in the puddles and "singin' in the rain"!

I've joined a challenge to write about something for 31 days!  Hope you'll stop by again tomorrow - I'll be going on and on about how much we love the Strider balance bike!  You can also read about the challenge and check out my other posts on play here.  Thanks for reading and for leaving comments -- I love making connections with you.


  1. As a kid I spent a lot of summers at our cottage on an island in Sweden. We only had our feet and bikes for transporation, no tv or video games, etc. So on rainy days, we still spent a lot of time outside. Sure we stayed in and played board games or read books but rain brings its own adventures. Rainy days are great for collecting worms and going fishing. Or finding out if the roof on your fort leaks. But, my favorite was going out into the woods to pick mushrooms in the rain. We often went as a whole group, kind or communal. Talking, telling stories, laughing as we looked for mushrooms in the rain :-)

  2. Such a wonderful memory! I'd forgotten what a good storyteller you are :) This is something that will help me keep in mind that enjoying adventures in the rain may be memories Beansprout holds on to, as well!