In full disclosure, this post was sponsored on behalf of CLIF Kid via One2One Network. All opinions stated are my own. We appreciate their support of Jersey Family Fun and the opportunity to host a fun event with them for our community.
What happened to going out to play?
I can remember growing up as a child in Texas, before coming to New Jersey in my tweens. I was always outside. Some days I would pick strawberries in the backyard. Other days I would pretend to go camping with the neighbor across the street. And I still remember a day when I walked around the neighborhood leaving notes and flowers on the doorsteps of all our neighbors. Outdoor play wasn’t something we had to think to hard about it just happened.
Fast forward to today. Parents are busier. Kids are busier. Both parents may be working outside the home. During the school year kids are juggling school, homework, and sports. My own boys go to school, come home to homework, eat something quick and then are off to sports. Thank goodness that slows down a bit during the summer. Spontaneous outdoor play may be harder to make happen BUT it doesn’t mean we give up on kids playing outdoors. It just means we need to take some time to think about it and plan for play. It doesn’t need to be hard either. Just follow these steps for an outstanding outdoor playdate and you’ll see how easy outdoor fun can be again.
How to Have an Outstanding Outdoor Playdate
Find a great park
I love the idea of having playdates in the park. No one has to worry about getting their homes playdate ready or the mess that gets left behind when kids have been playing for hours. Parks also make for a great place for new friendships to start. Moms and dads can get to know each other in a comfortable setting as their kids play.
If you have a favorite park, why not try a new one? New parks have new playground equipment to play on, new trails to explore, a new way to experience the outdoors.
Here’s somethings I look for in a park, whether it’s just my boys, a playdate with friends, or a Out To Play event like we cohosted for CLIF Kids Snacks at Jake’s Place in Cherry Hill.
- Bathrooms, do they have them? How close are they to the play areas? Is there toilet paper, lighting, soap?
- Shade, is there sufficient shade? It’s always a good idea to have a place where kids can get some relief from the sun.
- Tables and seating, you’ll probably want to sit at some point. The kids might want to snack. You’ll want places to do that.
- Age appropriate, consider the ages of your kids and the ones you might invite to join you. Will you be bringing younger or older children? Some playgrounds are equipped with equipment for all ages and some are geared to preschool children OR older children.
For help in finding a New Jersey playground check out our playground reviews.
Invite 3-5 friends
Which of your kids’ friends will you invite? Are you looking to invite new classmates/teammates or reconnect with friends? Generally 3-5 friends is a good amount. With less friends it can be hard for kids to play games like tag or hide & go seek. With too many friends, you might spend the whole time counting and checking to make sure you haven’t lost anyone or that no one is feeling left out.
Pack a few toys to add to the outdoor fun
Playgrounds generally have lots to explore but occasionally kids still claim to be bored. Throw some balls, jump ropes, hula hoops, bubbles, or chalk into the trunk. All of them are good choices for adding to your outdoor fun.
Bring healthy snacks and beverages
If your kids are anything like mine they are always hungry and thirsty, especially after active outdoor play. We like to bring along extra bottles of water, and healthy juice boxes and snacks. On our CLIF Out to Play playdate with Life Without Pink and our readers we brought along strawberries, blueberries, and lots and lots of CLIF Kids snacks. They were a big hit!
Whether it’s the park, backyard, gardens, or city sidewalks, CLIF Kid is challenging families to get outside and play every day. Their snacks are specifically crafted to nourish active kids so they can play, play, and play some more.
CLIF Kid’s Family of Snacks
CLIF Kid makes nutritious snacks for kids’ growing bodies with no high fructose corn syrup, synthetic preservatives or artificial flavors.
About CLIF Kid Zbars
CLIF Kid Zbar is an organic baked whole grain snack made with a nutritious blend of complex carbohydrates, three grams of fiber, and three grams of protein to maintain kids’ energy.
Available in these flavors: Chocolate Brownie, Chocolate Chip, Honey Graham, Iced Lemon Cookie, Iced Oatmeal Cookie, and Smores
About CLIF Kid Zbar Protein
CLIF Kid Zbar Protein is a nutritious and delicious snack made with organic whole grains and 5 grams of protein for kids’ growing bodies.
Available in these flavors: Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Mint, and Peanut Butter Chocolate
About CLIF Kid Zfruit
CLIF Kid Zfruit is a tangy twisted fruit rope that is an excellent source of vitamin C and doesn’t need to be washed, cored, seeded, cut or refrigerated before eating – making it easy for kids to eat organic fruit snacks anytime, anywhere.
Available in these flavors: Fruit Punch, Grape, Mixed Berry, and Strawberry
About CLIF Kid Zfruit + veggie
CLIF Kid Zfruit + Veggie is a tangy, chewy organic fruit and veggie snack that is an excellent source of vitamin C, a good source of fiber and makes snack time fun with its peelable twisted ropes.
Available in these flavors: Blueberry Blast, Cherry Cherry, and Mango Mania
About CLIF Kid’s commitment to play
CLIF Kid created an online Hub to inspire outdoor experiences that will encourage kids (and parents) to get outside and be kids. The CLIF Kid Play Hub provides tips and tools for parents and communities to promote play for kids of all ages.
Tell us! Show us how you get your kids OUT TO PLAY!
We’d love to see your pictures on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Use the hashtag #OutToPlay and tag Jersey Family Fun.