As a child who loved to play outdoors, play started early and ended late. I used to harness every extra minute of play I could – often ignoring calls from my parents eager to get me indoors for a bath and bed. We dressed for the weather, did rain dances in our swimsuits on hot summer evenings, drank from the garden hose when we got thirsty (we didn’t want to risk going indoors in case our parents decided it was time for lunch, dinner, or even worse, pajamas!), and as I recall, more often than not, had band-aids on our knees and elbows. Needless to say, a childhood of active play paved the way for what has been a life-long love of physical activity. If it’s active and fun, I’m in!
Although the Longest Day of Play is a school day for kids and a work day for parents, there are plenty of ways to add some active play to the day and to enjoy active after-school and after-dinner fun as a family. At our house, we like to eat dinner as early as possible to make the most of spring and summer evenings. Evening runs, games of tennis, walks with our dog, bike rides, soccer games, and shooting hoops are some of the activities we enjoy (my kids are 14 and 11), but I have terrific memories of evenings spent playing at local parks, skipping, and enjoying classic games like: “What time is it Mr. Wolf” with them when they were younger. You’ll find all the classics games we used to play on our Bring Back Play app.
The Longest Day of Play provides us with a little extra daylight — a gift! Seize it to teach the kids the active games you played; to learn the games they play at recess; or to make up some new ones altogether. No matter what your age or stage, play helps keep us happy and healthy… so on June 21, toss the dinner dishes into the sink or dishwasher and get outside to play. Everything else can wait!
Over the next few days, I’ll be sharing some simple and fun ideas to encourage families, schools and communities to plan towards and participate in, Canada’s first-ever, Longest Day of Play! I’m also planning to check out some of YOUR Longest Day of Play events myself – so please email details of your events to my attention at firstname.lastname@example.org and don’t forget to post them in the “events” section of our website too!
Cheers to all,
Ambassador, Active Living