“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” – Plato
I am pleased to present a guest post by Gary Mathews from his wildly popular blog, Skipah’s Realm.
I love this post because it represents what my blog is all about—leisure, recreation, and play.
The following post is Gary’s review of Voices of Play, an initiative that promotes the benefits of outdoor play in parks and playgrounds.This post is a compilation of two of Skipah’s posts on the subject.
Take it away, Mr. Skipah!
There is STILL time to play outside!
Skipah’s Realm, in conjunction with the good people at Voice of Play has a new message for you. Get off your butt and get outside! The outdoor temps are still inviting and it is time to get your kids off the electronics and doing something active. Let’s not make this too complicated! Here is an idea for you, head to the playground or local park. Dora the Explorer can be an effective babysitter at times, but after a long winter of watching a magical backpack it’s time to hit the great outdoors and go have some fun with your kids!
The International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA) created the Voice of Play initiative to promote the benefits of healthy outdoor activities at local playgrounds and parks. I’m no expert in this area myself, but studies do show that active children develop critical life skills on their own by doing something they love to do anyway….by playing! So get off of the Twitter, grab your shoes, and go make the future a better place with your children.
I’m a divorced dad who values his time with his daughter, like a Rockefeller likes their money. With warm weeks still ahead, I am looking forward to more bike riding excursions and riveting Q & A sessions at the playground, not answering questions about why Mario & his brother Luigi are being stubborn on the Wii. Mr. Skipah is encouraging you, the reader, to do the same. Seriously, get off your butt and take little Johnny and Fiona (not the ogre from the Shrek trilogy) out for a fun day at the park.
Community parks are free!
Free is a good thing last time I checked! Most of us pay taxes for perks like this so take advantage of them for crying out loud! I challenge all my followers that have children to head off to your local playground/park and have the time of your life with your offspring.
They will love it and so will you! Since I’ve been divorced, some of my fondest memories with my daughter are seeing her brave new heights climbing up a slide the wrong way and testing the limits of gravity on a swing set.
Get outside and get active! Spend some time with your children; they are only going to be at the playground-age once in your life. Don’t squander it by watching Bonanza reruns and checking Facebook for status updates on your third cousin’s vacation.’’
No parks in your area?
No problem! Channel your inner cyclist and go hit the roads Tour De France style. Take it from me; riding bikes with your child(ren) is one of the most liberating things you can do as a parent.
To this day one of my proudest dad moments was teaching my daughter to how to ride her bike and anytime the weather allows us we are tackling the roads one pedal at a time.
Explore and Embrace the Outdoors!
Mr. & Mrs. Suburbanite, you may live near a famous National Park, state park, or just some little play area that some area businessman stuck his name on for some good public relations. It doesn’t matter; get out and explore it, embrace it, and, better than that, do it as a family!The bottom line is don’t be sedentary and go out and enjoy life! Click To Tweet
After being stuck in the daily corporate grind of turning paper clips into tiddlywinks just to kill the time before leaving the office or treating the next phone call at work like it’s bad news from your doctor, what better way to brighten up your day then spending the great outdoors with your family?
Recently my daughter and my new family had an opportunity to visit Rock Island State Park in Wisconsin. Granted, we were on vacation and, as a family, have visited local parks and the riverfront in the past, but this one was just a little different.
In between the roughly four miles we walked on the island that day, I realized that seeing children outside of their own element getting a chance to explore is something every parent should embrace.
In between “no, don’t touch that, it’s poison ivy,” there were plenty of tender moments explaining to them how the forest works, hiking the amazing trails, and taking in the wildlife in general. Racing to see the lighthouse on the island is something I will never forget. To say it was a proud parental moment would be an understatement.
What is the Voice of Play?
The good folks at Voice of Play identified eight of the most playful trends for this year. For information on what is trending on all things active, you can click here. While I can identify with most of them, number five (Back to Nature) stuck with me the most.
The Voice of Play is an education and advocacy initiative of the non-profit membership association, IPEMA (International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association), formed to educate and promote the benefits of children’s free outdoor play and playgrounds. Through the Voice of Play website and social media properties, IPEMA highlights the scientifically proven physical, social, emotional and cognitive benefits of play.
The Voice of PLAY has advanced light years from when I was a kid, but the great outdoors hasn’t. Don’t let your children forget this.
Technology is a great thing, but technology is also the devil when it comes to children. Too many are stuck building the latest and greatest structure in some popular app or watching hours of YouTube.
In my day, it was called Atari and MTV, but I’m trying to make sure my daughter and extended family don’t forget there is more to life than making sure some electronic device has been properly charged the day before.Exercise and wellness are direct benefits of experiencing the outdoors. Click To Tweet
Join the Voice of Play and their movement in promoting playful trends. If getting in touch with nature isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other options you and your family can explore.
The bottom line is don’t be sedentary and go out and enjoy life! More importantly, spend your play time with your children. They will grow up eventually, and you don’t want to be “that” person that lives a life full of regrets because you were more worried about picking out the right tie for a business function or making sure you had your nails done for a company picnic.
Take your kids outside!Take your kids outside! Click To Tweet
This post is sponsored by the Voice of Play, the thoughts and views are strictly 100% of Skipah’s Realm. The post first appeared on March 31, 2016.
I am a divorced father of the most precious little girl in the world. My journey into blogging began after being blindsided with divorce and a life changing custody battle. Even after those wounds healed I stayed with blogging for the mere chance some other person would stumble on to my site and figure out things do get better. At my site Skipah’s Realm we keep it loose, fun, and most of all humorous. Whether it be my Russian spy rodents, rock star girlfriend, or just about my daughter, I’m not happy until I hear people tell me they were wondering what “zany antics” were going on at Skipah’s Realm.
Thanks so much, Gary for your support of play and recreation! For more information about leisure, play and recreation, visit this page to read more about the benefits of play and leisure time!
This post also appears on my blog page at Second Wind Leisure Perspectives.
As always, thanks for reading!