If there are two things you know we love around here, it’s open-ended, hours-long, glorious play and yummy food to help fuel it all.
Turns out these are both things Quaker really cares about too. Which is why I am so happy to be able to finally tell you about signing on as one of four bloggers making up Quaker’s new team known as The Oat Authority.
First, a little background, and then some great resources and a truly amazing contest!
What is The Oat Authority
The idea came about from Quaker’s dedication to providing both the fuel and the inspiration families want to make playtime a frequent priority. They do this first by providing kid-friendly and hassle-free snacks made of goodness, like the 8 grams of whole grains in most Quaker Chewy Granola Bars.
They also do it by taking play seriously. (Be sure to read to the end of this post to find out how to win $25,000 to makeover the family play space of your dreams.)
So much so that for the brand’s “Keep Playing with Chewy” campaign, they commissioned a study on the state of family play to find out what’s working for families (and what’s not) as well as which cities in America have it figured out when it comes to getting families to play together.
The study found that while 95 percent of parents nationwide say that play is important to their families, a little over half are devoting less than three hours per week to playtime.
So where are families actually finding the time to play together the most?
Most Playful City in America for Families
To find America’s Most Playful City for Families, Quaker Chewy examined a number of criteria indicative of family fun and playtime. The top 10 most playful cities represent communities with a high population of families and children and ample access to both outdoor and indoor family-friendly amenities.
The top 10 most playful cities in the U.S. are:
- Denver, Colo.
- Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.
- Seattle, Wash.
- Portland, Ore.
- Washington, D.C.
- San Diego, Calif.
- Atlanta, Ga.
- Sacramento, Calif.
- Virginia Beach, Va.
- San Francisco, Calif.
Denver’s abundance of parks contributed to its high scores in outdoor fun because they have some of the highest per capita numbers of amenities like swimming pools and sports courts. Additionally, Denver residents have some of the highest expenditures on musical instruments, sporting events, recreation and participant sports.
To celebrate Denver’s top spot and show America just how playful its residents are, Quaker Chewy surprised the city last month with an unexpected visit with Mario Lopez, plus samples of Quaker Chewy Granola Bars to help fuel their fun.
I was really happy to see our nearby city of Seattle represented but we want all families across the country to have the resources to make play easy! It’s part of The Oat Authority’s mission and you’ll be seeing tips and ideas on the subject here for the rest of the year to help you do just that.
Easy Ways for Families to Play Indoors & Out All Summer Long
Today, in the spirit of Quaker’s Keep Playing with Chewy Makeover Contest, we want to provide you with easy ideas for playing both outside and inside, as well as some inspiration on how to set up some killer play spaces.
Getting outside together is a quintessential part of the summer experience and I’ve found that one of the most important things when it comes to outdoor play (aside from sun protection) is just getting the kids in the habit!
We kick our kids outside just about every day (rain or shine) and, because, we’ve set up our backyard to entice them into hours of open-ended play, they never complain. It doesn’t take much to do this, some trucks and tools for digging, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, maybe a butterfly catching net or some frisbees and you’re good to go.
Because of this routine, the kids are always ready to go on a picnic, family bike ride, or a hike together because they’re so used to be outside and in nature.
For our best tips on how to set up an enticing outdoor space of your own, see our post on Creating an Outdoor Exploration Center.
For family outdoor play ideas that never fail – don’t forget about games, challenges, and water play! Kids absolutely love it and it’s usually surprisingly easy to setup and clean up. Here are a few of our favorite ideas…
Top 6 Family Backyard Play Ideas
- Play Backyard Twister (full instructions here)
- Have a Family Camp Out – in the woods, in your backyard, or both!
- Set up a Backyard Obstacle Course (more great ideas here)
- Make Fairy Gardens together (get lots more tips here)
- Make extra large bubbles, ridiculously large bubbles, and bubble snakes together.
- Make a Ginormous Water Blob/Water trampoline.
- Water Balloon Batting Practice
As much as we might like to play outside all day, every day. It’s just not always practical. Sometimes the kids need a break from the sun, or a younger child needs a nap.
That doesn’t mean families can’t still find ways to spend time together, though.
It’s great to have an indoor space dedicated to play to keep the fun going. Check out our posts 12 Fail-Proof Steps to Playroom Perfection and Principles of an Organized Playroom for ideas on how to create your own.
Of course, the kitchen table or living room floor always work too! Here are our favorite ways for families to hang out together indoors this summer.
Top 6 Indoor Family Summer Play Ideas
- Make some Ice Cream in a Bag, or go healthier and whip up this frozen banana treat together.
- Construct Life-Size Newspaper Forts together.
- Partake in a Minute-to-Win-It style tournament (TONS more ideas here)
- Set up a Gum Drop and Marshmallow Engineering site.
- Pick one of these 40 kid-friendly card games
- Have an indoor snowman building competition.
in order to give families what they need to keep playing and sharing the fun together.
And now, finally, for the super-duper, amazing contest!
Use the Inspiration Above & Create Your Own Ultimate Family Play Space
Keep Playing! With Chewy Promotion
To help inspire families’ playtime together and fuel even more family fun across America, Quaker invites parents to participate in its Keep Playing! With Chewy promotion for a chance to win $25,000 to make over their favorite play space.
Through June 13, parents can visit www.ChewyKeepPlaying.com to submit a photo of their family’s favorite place to have fun along with a description of how they would make over the space and why.
Entries will be judged on four criteria: promotes family fun, creativity, feasibility for a makeover and need for a makeover. All submitted entries will also be eligible for weekly, random drawings for a $500 gift card. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY, see official rules at website for complete details.
*This post is sponsored by Quaker, all opinions are 100% my own.