Friday, February 10th, 2012

One of the advantages to being a parent is that you get to call the shots. Some parents take this too seriously by being dictators and I don't mean benevolent ones. My experience, however, has been that most parents take it too lightly and as a result, their children have too much power in the family. I remind friends and family all the time: your kids don't get a vote. They really don't. You get to tell them what to do. In the movie Spiderman it was said, "With great power comes great responsibility." (I'm sure someone more important said that originally but I don't know who). Therefore, when you start ordering your kids around, you do need to take the responsibility to make sure things are fun and safe for them. The next time they are complaining about something you tell them to do just remember what I said: kids don't get a vote. Now that we've established that, I can move on to the point of my post.


Parents complain that their kids don't want to go outside and play and of course we know it is healthier for them compared to endless hours in front of the television or computer. When my kid were little, sometimes we just made them go outside and play. And you can do the same thing! Because kids don't get a vote!! Here's the cool thing: usually when they get out there, they're happy or they'll find something to make themselves happy. With that in mind, here is the top ten (eco-friendly) basics list for your backyard for your kids to have fun with after you've made them go outside to play. Click on the links to go to our eco-friendly picks.

1. Sidewalk chalk.  Think hopscotch, art.
2. Child-sized table and chairs. Tea parties, playing surface or just a rest.
3. A hose. Can't go wrong with this one.
4. A mud pit - patch of dirt and see #3 above.
5. A little garden. Also teaches responsibility, patience, science, and healthy eating.
6. Playhouse. Tent works well too.
7. Assorted balls. Ball games, bouncing, target practice.
8. Jumpropes. Doubles as rope for tying kids against poles (just kidding, not really).
9. Large trucks. Works well with mud pit.
10. Inflatable swimming pool. Go with something PVC and phthalate free. You can find these anywhere. They're generally made of LDPE (low density polyethylene which is #4 on the recycling scale).

Here is our backyard mud pit. Endless hours of fun. 


What have you made your kids do that they resisted at first, but then ended up have fun?


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