Fall Means Serious Play

by Heligirl on October 26, 2010

in Reviews/Favorite Things

Since getting home from my Hawaiian vacation, it has really hit home that fall is here. Before I left it was sunny and warm, but now that I’ve returned it seems fall is in full swing. The leaves on my maples and fire bushes are brilliant orange and red. The wind is blowing and the rain is coming down. Welcome a Seattle fall.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, rain doesn’t seem to bother us. We’ll play just as hard in the rain and mud as the sun (otherwise we’d only be getting out 30 days a year, right?). Now that the kids are mobile, Sweetness wants to be outside regardless of weather. Rain? Bring it on. She has her new boots and umbrella so she’s set in her mind.

This fall, however, I’ve rediscovered mud and dirt in the form of filthy kid clothes. In past years, the kids were too young to really get messy, but not this year. I’ve found myself worrying about letting them out to play for fear of ruining clothes.

Then I was reintroduced to my old friend from my playful youth, Shout. Growing Tree Toys, who offer learning toys, offered me the opportunity to try out a few Shout products, from the tried and true pre-wash spray to their ultra concentrated Shout Advanced gel. They also sent me a box of Shout Color Catcher, a product that allows mixed washes and prevents color runs (perfect for a mom like me that doesn’t separate the kids’ clothes into darks and whites, but also helpful for the Hubby who believes a pair of jeans that have been washed 5 times constitutes “whites.”)

What really interested me, thought, is the fact that Shout has started a really wonderful initiative called Shout Go Play. The company is working to educate people on the value of unstructured play. By letting our kids get out and play, we’re helping them build the fundamental skills they’ll need in life like problem solving, coping and conflict resolution. Play is serious work for kids and through it they’re growing into happy, healthy adults.

So while it may be slightly self serving – get your kids out to play so they get really messy and you need Shout – I have to admit that it’s such a great cause that I’m both impressed and respectful of Shout for this initiative. I was a little reluctant to let the kids get too messy, but now I’m letting go and getting down and dirty with them.

To help give me ideas, Shout also sent a unique card set called “52 Nature Activities” by Lynn Gordon. A regular deck of cards with each card individually illustrated with a creative outdoor activity, this was an excellent tool to get us started on our new quest to get out and play.

The first day we drew the “Natural Alphabet” card. This card gave us instructions to head outside and gather twigs, leaves, rocks and other small things then try spelling our names and other words. If you wanted to get really creative, you could glue the “names” to a nameplate of wood or paper. It was kind of wet when we played, so I skipped the nameplate part but will definitely revisit this another day. What a fun art project. Sweetness can recognize her name and the words “Mommy” and “Daddy.” After a few of these she then took the initiative and started making letters of her own while Mr. Man had fun lining up sticks.

I don’t do may product reviews because I’m pretty strict about the things I review being in line with my positive discipline philosophy. I give two big thumbs up to Shout for this great initiative and for directing me to a cool product, the cards, to help keep the creative outdoor juices flowing.

Happy Fall everyone!

{ 1 comment }

Twitter: solarchief
October 26, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Good idea. Children need to understand that it is their responsibility to fill their time and not assume someone else will have it all scheduled out for them… Good luck with the clothes cleaning… You get your payback when they have kids of their own! Come visit when you can…
SharleneT recently posted: Opening Night for Is He Dead and NC Fair Entry Follow-Up

Previous post:

Next post: