Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Review: Shout Go Play and 52 Nature Activities

I have a confession to make- I don't really like the outdoors. Yes, I live in Seattle, land of nature and outdoor activities, but I happily live in the city and am surrounded by concrete, safe from dirt and bugs :)  But, my kids are getting older and I know that it's really important for them to get exposed to nature as much as possible, so I'm having to change my ways a bit.  Enter the Shout Go Play initiative and Growing Tree Toys (purveyor of all sorts of great learning toys!). Here's some information on the Go Play initiative from Shout (visit their Facebook page for more info):
Shout knows play is so much more than fun and games. Studies show that unstructured play helps kids build fundamental skills like problem solving, coping, and conflict resolution. In other words: play is how kids become happy, healthy adults. Fall has arrived with crisp, cool air and new reasons to go out and play. So, let your kids take that rewarding jump into a pile of leaves. Take at trip to the park and watch their imaginations run free. The one thing you won’t do is worry about their clothes; play should get messy and Shout can help.

Shout kindly sent me several great things to help clean up my family post-play- Shout Advanced Ultra Gel, Shout Color-Catcher, and Shout Trigger Laundry Stain Remover. These are fabulous stain-removing and laundry-saving products- I use and love them all. The stain removers really do help penetrate our stained clothes (of which I have many lately!), and I love the color catcher, since I'm all about combining whites and colors in my loads of laundry. Efficiency! So I'm all prepared for dirt and grass stains- no ruined kids' clothes here! Thanks, Shout!

I also received another great item- the 52 Nature Activities card set. I love this! It's a great little box of cards- the size of normal playing cards, which contain 52 different ideas of things to do outdoors to get your kids involved with nature and playing outside. The front of the card has the idea and an illustration, while the back contains a materials list and more detailed instructions. My kids are only 3 and 1, but there are ideas in here that work for us- as well as many other ideas for those with older kids. The cards are designed to be used in whatever situation you're in-whether its on a patch of grass or a national park, with one kid or an entire group.  I'm going to keep this handy card set in my diaper bag and whip it out whenever we need a new idea!

Since it's a beautiful fall day here in Seattle, we took on two of the ideas: "under a rock" and "rub a leaf".  We put on our jackets and headed out to Seattle Center where Ethan had a great time poking around in the dirt with a stick and telling me about what he saw. We also picked up lots of pretty autumn leaves and brought them home. Then we pulled out the crayons and paper and made pretty pictures for Daddy.

Checking out the dirt

 Playing on the grass

 Vivian loved bringing me dirt and grass

 Working on Ethan's leaf rubbing

 Having a great time!

I can't recommend this card set highly enough. If an outdoor-avoider like me can go and have a wonderful afternoon playing outside, then you'll probably love it even more!

Disclosure: I received these products from Shout so that I could review them for myself. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions posted here are mine and mine alone.