We spend a lot of time outdoors and make it a priority to visit plenty of local parks. We plan annual camping trips around birthdays, We have dreams of visiting every national state park one day, we’ve already crossed off a few. If you follow my blog then you know I am passionate about getting kids outside and into nature in any capacity. The benefits are incredible, and with it being “Earth Week” and all (because one day just isn’t enough), I thought I’d share the latest in Kids To Parks Day 2017.
Each year, the National Park Trust hosts the annual Kids To Parks Day. A day dedicated to getting kids outdoors for some good old-fashioned play. Kids To Parks Day takes place on Saturday, May 20th. Anyone can participate in Kids to Parks Day, which is a national day of park play. National Park Trust (NPT) urges kids across the country to discover science, history, nature and adventure in a neighborhood park right around the corner or just across town. In an effort to get kids playing outside again, I’m listing a few of the ways you can encourage the children in your life to appreciate outdoor play.
One of the best ways to get kids outdoors is to constantly provide the space and opportunity. Keeping their schedule light and free for unstructured play to take place is crucial. While sports are outdoor activities, it’s imperative to have time for creative play without competition. It doesn’t have to be a huge ordeal, some days we just take a walk after dinner around our neighborhood lake, or local trails. You’d be surprised the type of interaction this environment sparks. Many an important conversation have taken place on a simple hiking trail.
Don’t expect kids to stay immaculate in their Sunday’s best all the time. Constantly policing stains on a natural hike will the opposite effect and could discourage a child from wanting to engage outdoors. I keep a spare pair of play clothes in case we happen upon some park play fun one afternoon after school. I change it according to the season.
This year, National Park Trust is delighted to welcome their new Kids to Parks Day sponsor: Northside. Their generous support will provide park grants for some of the winners of our Kids to Parks Day School Contest. This year we all are taking our Northside Shoes for a spin. They are extremely comfortable and perfect for any elements. We all have matching pairs of the hiking sport sandals to keep us comfortable and safe on any terrain.
Last year more than 4,000 students from Title 1 schools benefited from the contest. Kids to Parks Day is the signature event of NPT’s popular Buddy Bison® school program, which teaches environmental education and the benefits of outdoor recreation to children in under-served schools across the country. NPT’s goal is to cultivate future park stewards and outdoor enthusiasts. Read more about the Buddy Bison® school program.
I find one of the easiest ways to get our kids interested in something is giving them complete control over it. If the boys are being picky with dinnertime, I begin to ask them what they would like to eat certain days of the week. I take them to our garden to pick the vegetables to cook. The more involved they are in the decision-making process, the more interested they become. By letting the kids pick some of our destinations from time to time, they get excited about planned dates to “their pick”.
Only good can come from teaching our kids to appreciate nature and get outside. After all, they are the generation that is going to have to defend it, and discover new ways to sustain it.
You can find out more about Kids To Parks Day and National Park Trust on their website. You can even schedule a park date of your own using NPT’s free resources. Kids to Parks Day 2017 promises to be bigger than ever! Last year, Kids to Parks Day had more than 730,000 participants in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. This year, the goal is to have 900,000 people enjoy Kids to Parks Day all across the country. To participate you can do the following:
Keep checking back to www.kidstoparks.org as more information about park events and prizes are updated until the big day.
I hope you’ll join me in celebrating Kids To Parks Day this year on May 20, 2017.We’ll be sure not to leave Buddy behind!
In order to encourage one of my readers to participate, I am partnering with Northside to give away a free pair of Northside shoes of your choosing. Simply enter the giveaway below for your chance to win between now and May 1st, and #GetOutside.
National Park Trust is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow. As people spend more time indoors, and as successive generations grow up with less of a connection to nature, NPT wants to build a greater awareness and appreciation for the importance of our country’s public lands and parks. NPT’s Buddy Bison® School Program and Kids to Parks Day National School Contest were selected in 2015 as a National Park Service Centennial Challenge Project. Learn more at: www.parktrust.org or call 301-279-7275.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Mott’s®. The opinions and text are all mine. #MottsMovieBonus
Cooking together in the kitchen has long been a tradition in my family. The Latin culture believe that the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where all of the special moments are shared. My mother learned to cook from her mom, and I have learned some of what I know from my mom.
Just because I have boys, I don’t want that tradition to end with me. I cook regularly with my little guys and let them in on the process. It’s always been important for me to model healthy eating habits in the kitchen. My oldest is a foodie just like me and we always joke about how he never let a drop of food go to waste. Not even when we first introduced him to baby food. He took his very first spoonful like a pro and never looked back!
My hope is to instill a love for whole foods, and healthy eating choices. That, and perhaps they will one day to grow up to be husbands and fathers who love to cook and feed their own families. Besides, they really do make the cutest sous chefs. I adore our time in the kitchen together, some of our most special moments took place while cooking or baking together.
There are so many lessons to learn from these experiences, aside from the obvious. Measuring and pouring ingredients are great for motor skills and mathematics. Mixing can be a wonderful sensory experience with all that they can touch and smell. My favorite is learning patience, as we wait for our delicious treats to finish baking.
While I love the recipes I’ve learned from my mother, I’ve worked hard to add healthier options for my own family. Sugar intake is something I am very aware of with my boys and I do my best to find tasty alternatives. I love substituting any sugar in a recipe with Mott’s® Applesauce and/or Apple juice. Its naturally sweet flavor is enough to brighten up any recipe. Any of Mott’s products ( there are plenty to choose from, even Apple Cherry) can be used as a substitute, I much rather prefer this all natural taste compared to refined sugar. One of our favorite recipe conversions are these light and delicious Sweet Potato Apple Muffins. The perfect afternoon snack!
Right now, you can purchase any 3 Mott’s Apple Juices or Applesauces to receive a free child’s ticket for the new “ The Secret Life of Pets” movie, you can redeem your ticket here . Purchase any 5 Mott’s Juices or Applesauces to receive an additional $8 movie voucher – also very easy to redeem your voucher here. Mott’s has a large variety of snacks to choose from.
While we love our time in the kitchen together, they can also provide healthy on-the-go snacks.
I hope you can get in the kitchen with your loved ones and bake some memories!