Monthly Archives: October 2012

Another old-school outdoor game

No Comments 24 Oct 9:38 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Playsets

Kick the Can (…or ball or pillow or sock or whatever you got that is entertaining) : Divide the children into two teams. Line them up, one in front of the other. Set an odd object of choice in front of the first players in line.  Establish a finish line or goal line on the other side of the yard or playground. The kids have to kick the object across the yard and across the finish line to win a point for their team. Kick things like a pillow, empty can, a sock, and so on.  Introduce an obstacle course …

You Named It. But can you remember not to forget?

No Comments 23 Oct 10:24 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Playsets

Play Ball & Name it –  1 Outdoors Party Game for kids that exercises their memories too.  Players form a big circle. Each and every player get their own rubber ball – varied sized balls are fine of course! The first player selects a category, such as “candy bars.” He or she then bounces the ball to another player in the circle, who must catch the ball, state an item from the category, such as “Snickers,” and keep the ball moving to the next player. If the player can’t name an item, holds the ball too long, or repeats an …

Tick-Tack-Toe Cross Step

No Comments 10:10 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Playsets

Draw a ten-by-ten grid on the sidewalk or patio with chalk. Each player MUST stand on a different square. Taking turns, and one at a time, each player moves to a new square after crossing out the square she or he was formerly standing in. The trick is that players cannot step into a square that is occupied or crossed out. If a player cannot move to a new square, he or she is out. The game is over when one player is left. After or in-between rounds of this game (or for those kids who don’t want to play), …

Top 5 Manufacturers: Outdoor Playsets

No Comments 22 Oct 9:44 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Playsets

According to “Galt Home Buying Guide,” the leaders in swing sets are: Gorilla Playsets, PlayNation (also part of the Gorilla product family), Rainbow,  Woodplay,  and Cedarworks. Most modern swing sets are made of redwood or cedar. Some outdoor playsets come in pressure treated yellow cedar – such as those by Gorilla Playsets.  Some playset manufacturers warn customers to steer clear from pine and  fir.  Others will highlight the problems with sealing and maintenance of redwood playsets. The truth is, probably any wood you select will last for the 10 years (or so) that your kids will use their outdoor play sets. There’s really …

We know enough to act (says director, Dr. Howard Frumkin)

No Comments 9:26 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Playsets

Because research into the relationship between children and nature has been neglected for so long, no one can expect answers to a wide variety questions for many years to come.  Questions, not only about the quantity of nature experiences, but also questinos regarding their quality and meaningfulness. Among the gaps in knowledge is the need for a deeper knowledge about how parents, educators, health professionals, urban designers, and others can optimize the benefits of nature experiences in everyday life in both informal and formal settings. As Dr. Howard Frumkin, Director of the National Center for Environmental Health /Agency for Toxic …

Fall consideration

No Comments 19 Oct 9:15 am Author: Richard Category:Outdoor Sports and Camping

This Fall why not consider buying your family a food smoker and create great family memories centered around delicious meals? There are a lot of food smokers on the market hence we advise that you know what you’re getting into before you start pulling out a -credit card. Smokers can be bought for as little as about $50-USD or for as much as $10,000, or even more. If you aren’t sure you want to do a lot of smoking and don’t want to invest a lot of money  then consider getting a mid-sized, vertical smoker. These mid-sized models are the best buys …

Halloween Game Old School Forensic CSI style

No Comments 8:41 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Playsets

Skeleton (or you-name-it) Scavenger Hunt Have kids search your back yard and / or inside your house (or garage) on the hunt for skeleton parts (i.e. plastic ones purchased from a toy store, or cut the parts out of cardboard and color them fun scary shapes and colors). For an extra challenge, see if the kids can reassemble their bony treasures into a complete skeleton set. Give the kids one list of treasures -or- if you have kids that are not competitive (or have anger issues or get their feelings hurt easily) then give each kid their own unique list …

Neighborhood influence

No Comments 18 Oct 9:12 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Playsets

Your Neighborhood influences your children’s free-play outdoors Active free-playtime outdoors serves as a critical way to increase children’s activity levels. In a recent study, the relationship between various individual, social, environmental factors and children’s active free-play in three locations was examined: the yard at home, in their street/court/footpath, and the park/playground. Researchers also examined relationships between how often children played in these three locations and their physical activity levels. As part of this study, 187 parents of 8- to 9-year-old children from primary schools completed a survey about individual factors (e.g., marital and employment status), social environmental factors (e.g., crime …

Lock out

No Comments 17 Oct 8:43 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Playsets

Locked Twins Game Objective: In this kids outdoor game kids have to run around an obstacle course to finish the race, but with a twist! Game Learning: Coordination No. of Players: 8 or more Age Group: 4 to 9 years Rules of Engagement:  Divide into pairs. Tie each couples’ shoes laces together. Set up obstacle courses for each pair (around the bush or tree, or outdoor playground equipment, ad lib). Create a start line and finish line. As the race starts the pairs have to run, jump, hop…do whatever to complete the obstacle course and WIN! This is a great …

Suggested reading for parents and educators

No Comments 16 Oct 8:44 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Playsets

Suggested Reading: ” Children and Nature: Psychological, Sociocultural, and Evolutionary Investigations” Author:  Peter H. Kahn The natural world has always been one of the most important contexts of a child’s maturing. The experience of nature was, and still is, a critical component of physical, emotional, intellectual, and even the moral development of humanity  Yet scientific knowledge of the significance of nature during the different stages of childhood is sparse. This book provides scientific investigations and thought-provoking essays on children and nature. Children and Nature incorporates research from cognitive science, developmental psychology, ecology, education, environmental studies, evolutionary psychology, political science, primatology, psychiatry, …