This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BackToPlay #CollectiveBias Thank you Back to Nature Macaroni & Cheese for sponsoring this post. Try the new Back to Nature Made with Organic Macaroni & Cheese Dinners!
When we moved to Wisconsin, one of the things about the move we were most excited about was not only the extra space (four times the size of our tiny apartment) but the huge yard, deck, and outside green space! We feel so fortunate to live next to a pond and down the street from Lake Michigan. Having space is nice for kids; but, let’s be honest–they would much rather be outside! Even in the rain, I have to call B in or go get her rain boots and a rain coat! These days, I often find myself preparing dinner while the kids play on the fenced in deck (don’t worry I can watch them the entire time!) These beautiful summer days call for easy dinners that the kids love like Back to Nature Mac & Cheese and don’t require a long cook time. I just want to be outside as much as possible during the three months of the year that it’s warm!
Getting the kids outside as much as possible is not only great for the kids (they love it and have since they were babies) but it keeps them learning & engaged, sparks their imagination, and the heck, even keeps the house clean! Nature is filled with learning opportunities, which is why I seized the opportunity to grab Back to Nature Mac & Cheese. National Mac and Cheese Day is July 14th, so we are definitely going to celebrate.
I was able to not only make a delicious dinner, but I made it an artistic AND outdoor activity! Mamas, high five for dinners that are not only a family favorite but spark imagination!
How to Make Mealtime Your Playground
First, I free-handed some drawings of some of the animals we see in our local pond: frogs, fish, and turtles. Jack ended up being disinterested in coloring (he wanted to throw the markers) so I did it with B while he played with some blocks on the floor. But B absolutely loved it!
Then, I had her color in the animals and we talked about each and where they lived and what they eat. She absolutely hates flies right now, so she was happy when I told her that frogs eat flies! We got a little creative with the colors of the animals and what exactly lives in our pond! As much as I would LOVE to find a purple turtle and dolphins in our pond I think they might only live in her imagination–which is I think the best habitat!
Kids are so creative, and activities like this only help nurture it! I love seeing her mind work and hearing about her invisible friend “Boo-ita” and their many adventures outside! Childhood is all about comfort, imagination, and good old fashioned fun, which is why I love Back to Nature Mac & Cheese!
After dinner, we walked over to the pond (and Jack rode in the stroller at 25 pounds he gets heavy fast!), and I asked B where she thought we could find all the animals.
Unfortunately, the creatures were being shy (or maybe were just scared away by our loud talking;) but, B decided that throwing pinecones in the pond was the next best thing! Jack loved watching!
After we threw pinecones, we went on a stick finding adventure!
Make sure to grab some Back to Nature Mac & Cheese, when you stop by your local Target! It is a good source of calcium and protein, has no artificial flavors, preservatives, or synthetic colors, non-GMO, and made with organic pasta which is perfect for this #crunchymama!
Make sure to get outside! Tell me how you are going to get outside today! We are headed to the pool and run this morning, and for a walk this afternoon around the pond with the dogs!