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Do Kids Not Play Outside Anymore?

Monday, February 08, 2010

I am sitting in my home office working and something suddenly struck me. Schools are closed, the skies are blue and the there are piles and piles of snow outside. And amazingly, there is not a single child outside playing in the snow. What happened to having fun outsider in the fresh air? Have we given up on that pastime?

I remember when we were kids and it snowed you had to restrain us from running outside without our jackets. We would build a snowman, go sledding, have a snowball fight. We would be soaking wet and run inside to eat something before running back outside lest we missed any of the fun.

There isn’t a soul outside playing. I feel like I should be running from door to door and asking the kids to come out and play but that might raise some eyebrows.

Is everyone tucked inside by the TV or playing video games? Are there kids playing in the snow in your neighborhood?
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    We spent several hours outside on Sunday sledding and shoveling and "swimming" in the snow. We got too cold, though, and spent yesterday inside.
    2662 days ago
    I noticed a snow man in the park yesterday on my way home so someone was playing outside at some point. It was a really big one so maybe it was adults recapturing their youth. Since I was at work I'm really not sure if there were kids out in my neighborhood but I bet they were inside on the computer.
    2662 days ago
    Gads, we used to build tunnels and forts and snowmen that were so big that we couldn't even stack the parts!

    We didn't get enough snow for any really good projects, but DH keeps teasing me that I should go make some angels (I remind him that my horns and tail are a giveaway, LOL!).

    2662 days ago
    My kids love to play outside, but when we get snow, it is usually so cold too!
    2662 days ago
  • MARIE625
    My kids still like to play in it, but not when it's so deep. It's not much fun when it's so hard to walk in and it's up above your boots. At this point, my kids are sick of it and are Very over playing in it. We are all anxiously awaiting the swimming pool. :)
    2662 days ago
    I miss snow! Don't tell my husband...he's already saying we need to move father south!

    I remember begging Grandma to go outside and play in the snow. I'd come in for a little while to warm up (over the floor furnace) and out I'd go again! That was in the 60's...it doesn't snow quite so much in North Alabama anymore like it did back then. And, it sure doesn't snow down here! Maybe I could go to the beach and do a snow angel in the sand....hmmmm.....

    emoticon emoticon

    2662 days ago
    We had school here yesterday. I saw alot of the neighborhood kids out over the weekend building tunnels and forts. I know - the dangers that lurk if they collapse - but we did it for years...... My son went snowboarding for a couple of hours. It is quite deep so I think that does keep some kids in. My daughter and her friends were out playing/walking on Friday night - I had the piles of wet snowy clothing from both kids to prove it. They don't go out like they used to but they still go out. I'm not so sure any of us will even make it out our door by tomorrow afternoon emoticon
    2662 days ago
    I set up a lawn chair and sat out there and read my Rachel Ray magazine while they played outside for an hour. The problem is that it is so deep that unless you have snow pants then your legs get frozen and it goes in your boots. You can't even make a snow angel because you will never get out of the hole.
    2662 days ago
    it is true. Seems like kids don't go outside. I actually force it with mine in that they cannot watch TV or play video prior to 6pm in winter and 7pm in the summer. So...with nothing to do...they go outside. Our neighborhood has impromptu football and basketball games. Also, it is not unusual to see parents wondering down a few houses to talk to another one.

    It is unusual, but we all have the "get outside" attitude.
    2662 days ago
    I am an emergency worker/essential employee and there were too many kids and grown-ups out, in the streets (in the way)
    emoticon , everywhere ... stuck in the snow, freezing yet having fun! emoticon
    2663 days ago
    My kids always played outside, especially on snow days. The older they get the more they prefer indoor games. My DS just figured out that he still has to get to work on snow days, LOL.

    What a shame that kids aren't having fun outside the way they used to. emoticon
    2663 days ago
    I think the same thing all the time!! When I was kid, we were out all day, all year round pretty much!! Now, I never see kids outside, EVER!! It's so weird. And sad. And this is only over a short course of time because I'm only 28 years old!!
    2663 days ago
    I fear the mommies and daddies are too busy with THEIR computers and video games to bundle the kids up and go out and play with them. My nieces and nephews tend to play outside ONLY when they are at my Mom's house. SHE had to teach them Red Light/Green Light and other games like that. It is a sad observation you made. Maybe you SHOULD go ask if the kids can come out and play!!
    2663 days ago
    We had school today. So we were working. However, we might have a couple of snow days coming soon. Keep your fingers crossed.

    My fondest childhood memory of snow is making snow ice cream with my Mom and siblings. However, I think you are right. Children just don't get out and play like we did. They have so many more indoor distractions. We didn't have game boxes, computers, tech stuff. TV for kids didn't start to air until after 3:30pm. It's pretty obvious why there is a problem with childhood obesity.
    2663 days ago
    I work at school and when the weather is bad, they stay in for recess. OMG!! They get so excited to stay in and see a movie, they throw their trays at you to run and get a good seat. When it's nice outside, they take forever to eat. I don't get it, I was always outside, and so were my kids when they were younger. I just don't get it!!
    2663 days ago
  • GHW1968
    My son was outside today for an hour or so after school. AS for sledding, I have to take them to a nearby hill...and my one daughter feels the need to be entertained. If I don't run around with her in the snow, she doesn't want to play in it. My son can run around in it for hours on his own. And even though Sammy has a "ready-made" playmate next door, they seem to not be getting along right now. :(
    This weekend her and I spent almost an hour outside building a snowman and making snow angels. God forbid she play with her brother even...
    And when my son plays outside, he has to stay in view of the front windows...per my command. You just can't be too careful, I guess.
    2663 days ago
    No snow here in N Texas yet, but Mud-Bowl 2 is here on our street due to the rain emoticon
    2663 days ago
    No kids around here playing in the snow other than my husband and me. LOL. We are usually the only ones outside. The neighbors think we are freaks and tell us so. Last year I got my 25 year old son to make snow angels and we made tons of snow balls. We hid at the side of the house and attacked my husband when he got home. It sounds kind of mean now but I guess we are a little mean. emoticon
    2663 days ago
    Between our fear for safety and their growing preference for TV and video games, it does seem to be more and more like that. Mine like to go out and happily I have a fenced in yard so I don't worry as much.

    Granted they feel hot cocoa is warranted each time they come back in when it's cold...
    2663 days ago
    I agree!

    Although, I think it goes both ways - it frustrates me to no end that people expect their kid to go out and play in the snow or play outside while they are sitting inside on their computer or watching TV. What happened to modeling good behavior!!!

    I'm happy to say I still know some boisterous kids who are outside at every occasion they can get.

    2663 days ago
    Mine do!!! The only problem is...the city cleans off the biggest hill in town. It is their first road they clean with every snowfall!!! It tends to put a damper on sled riding! But, they went out sled riding, making forts, tunnels...etc... This is the perfect snow for tunnels because it is deep enough!! They had a blast.

    But back to your point...there weren't too many other kids out with them. Mine, make up a group in itself, but I think there were only 2 other neighborhood kids out. The neighbor on the hill they were sled riding made them hot chocolate...they loved it! They were out for 4 hours!
    2663 days ago
    Wonder why obesity is an issue in the US ... hmmmm

    2663 days ago
    I agree a lot of it is the video games and computers. You have to practically kick them out of the house to get them to play outside.
    2663 days ago
    My granddaughter in NJ, near Philly, with 19 inches of snow, was outside with two friends. Mommy took a cell phone picture for me. I am so glad she is out!!! As a child, we had the blizzard in the 50's. What fun!! In the 70's we had another blizzard. My kids enjoyed and so did we. Get your kiddos out there, make a snowman, whatever it takes!!!
    2663 days ago
    We also had a virtual winter wonderland of snow. While on the way to friends' house on Saturday night, because we and half of the community was without power, it was so dark and peaceful, and the snow really glistened off the car headlights. Once we got about 1/2 way around the community, there were houses with lights and activity, but still a calm peacefulness as the heavy snow pulled down the branches of the trees to rest on the streets.
    We had a pine tree uprooted from our yard and create a blockade as it fell across the road. People below us on the cul de sac could not pass. We high tailed it "out of dodge" and into the warm household of a friend who had power and the means of making lemon herbal tea for me.

    Take care of yourself and stay warm. Oh, my kids did get out and play in the snow. Mostly sledding, but some fort building and snow ball fights, despite the fact they didn't have better footwear with them!
    2663 days ago
    Two of mine are outside right now!
    2663 days ago
    My kids love to play outside. They beg to go out when it is too cold for them to go out safely. I am pleased that I have raised them so that they will go out and play. Provided they must stay within 3 houses and have to check in every 15 minutes. That part is sad that our world has come to that.
    2663 days ago
  • BARBIE042
    Maybe out the road but not right here ,just us old folks here .LOL

    But in today society they would rather play on computers etc.
    I am so very greatful and thankful my my son never was intreseted in such things. He has and always been a out door person. Guess he takes after his Mom & Dad we prefer the outdoors .

    Guess we just need to go out and show them what fun they are really missing Huh ?

    2663 days ago
    that's the way a lot of kids are now, unfortunately. they get mind-numb from games and tv. i've got 4 boys at home. my 16 yo twins don't care to go out unless they can go swimming or if a friend comes by to wrestle them from their caves. thank god my 5 yo likes to be out. it's killing him this winter not being able to go out as much as he'd like.
    it's just a different time and people are afraid of abductions and other mess. if i had my way, they'd probably be locked out of the house from 9-5. lol.
    i enjoyed your post. thanks for sharing.
    2663 days ago
    I love snow days! My kids would be out there, but we don't have much snow right now.

    Our JHigh took all the 6th grdaers to Outdoor Ed for 3 days. They will sleep in cabins and spend most of the 3 days doing outdoor activities- sledding, hiking, etc. I was amazed how many parents were going to need to go and buy boots and snowpants and stuff just for this program....I was surprised they wouldn't already have it to use throughout the whole winter. Luckily, with 4 kids in my house- the olderb ones love to get outdoors for some good old screaming and playing and running off steam!

    It's sad how much we have let electronics come to rule how we spend our days!
    2663 days ago
    There are a few in my neighborhood. Our school just let out less than an hour ago. We were out earlier shoveling, so that's also play-in-the-snow-time. We have too many things in the house to do now, video games, internet, movies, etc. Parents really need to make a point of shutting everything off so the kids can be creative and figure out other ways to entertain themselves, like going outside and playing in the snow. emoticon
    2663 days ago
    I think it is partly the video game thing, but also, there are more two parent working families so the kids would be a day care on a snow day. Plus you use to be able to let your kids go down to the sled hill and not worry about them. Now a days...you need someone supervising.

    2663 days ago
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