Wednesday, August 4, 2010

We're Joining the 30 Day Outdoor Challenge...Anyone Wanna Join Us?

As our summer winds down and the "school year" is quickly approaching, I have been working on getting organized, making materials, and just thinking about what this coming year might have in store for us. Well, this morning, while perusing some of my favorite blogs, I happened to discover a new favorite called Kids Discover Nature.  They have kicked off the Second Annual 30 Day Outdoor Challenge.
Basically, how it works is that you are to commit to 30 minutes of outdoor time with your children for a full month...rain or shine...busy or not so busy just get out there and do it!

We are normally very good about taking in the sunshine here in the Sunshine State, but not so much when we get huge storms.
Our rainstorms here are not the type that you can go out with rain slickers on and enjoy playing in puddles. they are usually very powerful tropical storms...heavy downpours and thunder and lightning.
We do not get the gentle rainstorms I remember as a child growing up in Pennsylvania.
The storms are usually awesome to watch from inside the windows of our home...they are not something that you can go out and enjoy first hand.

But, with that being said, I need to be more proactive and have a plan in mind...
Big Bro, Little Bro, and I should get our time outside even when we have days like these, as the storms never last all day and night. My goal is to either get our time in before we get these storms or else, to get out there and take in some outdoor time after the storms subside.

Dear Hubby has a degree in meteorology and even though he no longer works in that field, traded weather in for computers, he still is very on top of what the weather has in store for us, so there should be no reason why I can't plan things out and make the most of our windows of opportunity for outdoor fun...

So, that is the plan...
Am working on a way to let my sons have more fun doing a Florida version of a mud pie kitchen, as we really don't have mud here, unless you are near a construction site and they have hauled in dirt. My plan is to scoop up some sand from the area beaches and put it in a bin and let the rain beat down on it and then, we will have our own Florida style sandy mud for some mud pies!
For anyone wanting inspiration, please check out Jenny's post at let the children play.
Am also coming up with some art projects that we could start before it storms and then, we could use the rain to help us with the art project, such as putting some dried paint powder on some paper and then, waiting for the rain to do its thing. Think that we will get out and do some chalk drawings and then, we could watch them wash away...or maybe do some marbelized art...we will see...

We have loads of ants (all of the nasty biting varieties), along with ticks embedded in our St. Augustine grass...not to mention cottonmouths, rattlesnakes, and coral snakes, which can easily hide in the thick, sandy grass in our yard. Our neighbors have swimming pools and there are ponds virtually all  around us, so our block is ripe for snakes and ants.
The snakes have only been an issue in our front yard a few times...just a little creepy though, as twice, the snake was literally at our front door...and then, once in the bush by our front window.
Our neighbors had to call the Florida Fish and Wildlife to ask what to do about the rattlesnake in their garage this week. Our other neighbors have had to deal with cottonmouths hanging out in their backyards and pools, so it has been an interesting few weeks...
But we do have lots of cool frogs and toads, along with loads of lizards and grasshoppers.
We like to get out and about to play with these...
So, the key is for me to navigate through the weather and dangerous critters so that we still get some decent quality time outside every matter what.

If  you want to join the 30 Day Outdoor Challenge, please be sure to check it out, as it sounds like it will be a blast!
We are going to give it our best and really take in more than just the sunshine.


Jen said...

I, also, have a problem getting the kids outdoors because I have a mild fear of the Florida outdoors. I grew up in PA, so I'm used to fairly tame woods and gentle weather. Here, where there's fauna (and some flora!) which likes to eat you... I don't really like going outside.

Luckily, my husband is a big outdoors lover and likes to take my daughter outside and show her snakes. We just don't go out in the summer, but as the heat calms down, we may transplant the 30 outdoor days into the fall or winter.

Our goal this fall is to make a kid-friendly section of our yard, inspired by "let the children play". I, also, love the mud hole idea!

Leptir said...

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I have The Versatile Blogger Award for you on my blog:

Please check it out!

Gréta María said...

Hi colleen I´ve been reading your blogs :) I love how active you are with your kids and how creative you are, I hope I will be half as good of a mom as you are. Just wanted to tell you that
miss you all

Greta Maria

The Sunshine Crew said...

Thanks Greta. We miss you, too.
Did you see the post with the photos of the boys making snacks?
I have add'l ones of P and B and will email them to you via FB.
Will have to catch up via FB.
Thanks for following my blog...
Have a great one:) Colleen

abbie said...

This sounds right up my alley! We are already doing nature themed activities everyday as a part of my personal challenge so why not throw in an everyday outdoor component!

Kara said...

What a great idea! I've just gotten to be a wimp about the Texas heat and I regularly feel guilty that we don't go out more often.

Juliet Robertson said...

I think it can be a lot of fun doing these sorts of challenges. Last March an environmental educator organised the "Iditanature" Challenge as she was based in Alaska. This happened during the duration of the Iditarod race. Only participants converted the race miles into minutes outdoors...!

D and A said...

Just letting you know that I am following you back. Looks like you have some neat ideas on here.

Amy @ Missional Mama

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