Monday, March 19, 2012

The Best Compliment!

Last night while Jeff was in the front yard, a neighbour walked by and stopped to chat. She lives on our street, but we hardly ever see her and have not had the chance to get to know her very much. She asked Jeff, "Do you guys have cable?" Jeff told her that we do have cable and she was quite surprised. "Your kids are outside playing all the time!", she said. That is one of the best compliments I could get as a parent. My kids do play outside a lot, and in fact, she is not the first neighbour to make that comment. It is not that our kids don't ever watch TV - ironically they were watching TV when Jeff was talking to the neighbour. But we make an effort to limit it and they usually only watch an hour a day. I think my kids need that downtime at some point in the day. I know I need to veg in front of the tube from time-to-time so I am sure that kids need it sometimes, too.

Since it was Sunday today, we spent an hour together at the end of the day watching America's Funniest Videos, but other than that, the kids spent the entire day outdoors! The entire day!

Collecting "things" while Addie pulls the wagon.

She prefers to sleep the day away and comes out just before dinner!

All 3 kids had grime all over their feet, legs and faces! Signs of a busy day.

Jeff took the kids to Laurel Creek this afternoon.

They brought back piles of snail shells!

The loot from the treasure chest made its way to the trees!

A special treat to celebrate a great March break!

I am curious: How much screen time do you let your kids watch?


  1. Tricia
    It is so great your kids are outside so much! In BC, there is a huge movement in education around outdoor learning and spending lots of unstructured play time outdoors. There is so much research about how good it is for children's brain development and their learning. What a great post!

  2. it was SUCH an amazing weekend! i loved seeing so many people, kids and adults, outside.
    thumbs up on how you and jeff encourage so much outdoor play. but i also agree with about one hour a day of tv time - it's about balance!
    when i was little, we got about an hour a day, too. maybe 30 min of mr dressup in the morning and 30 min of polka dot door after dinner. as we got older, the tv time increased a bit. my parents also encouraged outdoor play. a happy memory is my dad playing with us outside after dinner and on the weekends.

  3. Thanks for the comments Deb and Cathy. Cathy, I think it is important that we get out there and play with them too, so that they see us getting fresh air and exercise as well. I have fond memories of my dad playing outside with us, too.

    Deb, I am amazed at the creative things that my kids end up doing without any input from me whatsoever. I like organizing games and activities for them every once in awhile, but usually I leave them to their own devices. They seem to have a lot more fun when they come up with the ideas themselves.

  4. I try to limit screen time to an hour/day. Some days it's zero. Other days more (especially on Saturday morning when the wii is involved). I agree re downtime -- sometimes we all need to give our minds a break and tv can work; but sometimes it backfires and just makes everyone grumpier. This weather all week has made going outside and spending tons of time outside so easy. We don't play very often in the front yard, but I was thinking that we don't go to the park very often because our own back yard is like a mini-park. The trampoline was a good addition last summer -- the older kids had outgrown the swing set (literally), but they'll never outgrow the trampoline.