Outdoor play is very important to our family. We want our kids to be able to unplug and develop an appreciation of nature. We want them to have creative critical thinking skills to work through situations that you might encounter in an outdoor environment. Recently we decided the boys are finally old enough to go on a backpacking trip. Paul and I did a lot of backpacking before we had children, and we've missed it. We're in the process of prepping for the trip, and as preparation we are starting to do some hikes with gear. We're starting small. Packs with snacks and water. CLIF Kid organic snacks are some of our favorites. Designed to be nutritious snacks for growing kids' bodies, they contain no high fructose corn syrup, synthetic preservatives, or artificial flavors.
Outdoor play for us means taking advantage of all the incredible parks we have in the region. On this day, we checked out a new (to us) trail. Prior to hitting the trail, the boys were having fun at a skate park, and being a 90+ degree day they were a little hot and sweaty by the time we were ready to hike.
We figured we should refuel before we hit the trail. The boys enjoyed some ZBars, an organic baked whole grain snack that offers a blend of complex carbohydrates, three grams of fiber, and three grams of protein for added energy.
On top of all that goodness, they have excellent flavor. The boys don't mind eating nutritious snacks when they taste this good.
Now we are ready to play! The boys have been going on hikes since they were babies. We took them hiking when they had to be carried in packs, before they could even walk.
As a result, they know how to appreciate the little things. Like these unusual plants on the trail. The boys had to stop to check them out. They had a tropical flare to them, which you don't see too often in our region.
If you take your time on the trail, you can see all sorts of interesting things. The boys are pros at spotting wildflowers, bugs and critters. They also know how to spot and follow trail markers.
But on this day? I was the one who spotted something shocking. A BEAR! A black bear. I wish I'd gotten a picture. But instead I can offer you a picture of three shocked boys over seeing a bear in the woods.
What a fun day. We have a few more test hikes planned before we go on our overnight backpacking trip. Stay tuned!
CLIF Kid is committed to getting kids out to play. They've created an online hub dedicated to helping parents get kids outside to play. You can find tips and tools to inspire you to get out with your kids to play every day: http://bit.ly/ComeOuttoPlay. I hope you will check out this fantastic resource. You can use the hash tag #outtoplay to share your adventures on social media sites and connect with others.
Readers, what kind of outdoor play do you love?