How often do your children play outside?

A recent study concludes that our children are not getting enough outdoor time.

The study, of nearly 1,400 10- to 12-year-olds, found that 37 percent typically spent a half-hour or less being active outside. Few were outdoors for two hours or more on a typical day.

On the other hand, researchers found, many children devoted at least two hours per day to the TV or computer screen, with 49 percent of boys and 36 percent of girls doing so. (NEW YORK -Reuters Health)

Does this hit home with you and your family?

I know with my oldest son it can be really challenging finding a balance between school (yikes he is only in JK), my need to get stuff done around the house and the ever seducing allure of TV, movies and just chilling in the house. Ronan longs for rainy days...

But I try.... we walk to school, to the babysitters, we walk to the park, we play at the park, we bike (first on the back of Dad's bike and now slowly on his own), we hike and we walk to Bloor Street and the Library (well maybe not as often as we should).

Do you find yourself worried to let your children outside without you there? Well you are not alone... Read the Toronto Star article about "Free Range Kids" and take our poll (right hand side).
But what is the right age? Share your feedback with us.

I also read an article this winter about Active Kids Club- they advocate active childhood in the great outdoors in all kinds of weather. Their belief is that we as parents have the power to ensure this for our children. Children have the right to be exposed to the great outdoors from a early age. The great outdoors can be everything, from more hardcore activities like skiing to just playing in your backyard or your local park.

What can Active Kids Club do for you? They provide information and hopefully inspire parents and children about what one can do outside in all seasons. They believe in using nature to expose children with “safe risk” outside in all kinds of weather.

So my neighbours - I challenge you to get out with your children. Yeah, it is easier now with the warm weather but....... when it rains ask yourself why can't we put on our raincoats/boots and splash in the rain? (I bought my first grown up rainboots when my first son was two). Then when winter comes again remember you too can throw on the long johns and snow pants to make a snow angel with your kiddies.

What can you do now? Get out there....to the park, make a network with your fellow neighbours to meet with other families and plan fun activities... In the Norseman community we have soccer in the park and baseball (all just non organized- drop in).

Another idea - 5peaks Trail Run - Races for the whole family -

Saturday, June 13, 2009
Children's Challenge1 km$5.00
Sport Course4.95 km$40.00
Enduro Course12.3 km$40.00

My friend and crazy non stop organizer - Probir is running with his two sons and he has recruited my family.... Probir is looking for other other families to join and picnic after the event. Interested? Email Probir at probir@grinningdog.com - Ohh and he is also a half marathon leader at the Running Room, Kingsway should you want to train for one of those ...

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