When the weather begins to warm and the sun comes out of hibernation, I want to be outside soaking it up and so do my kids.
I love sending the girls outdoors to work out that energy, fill up on Vitamin D, and get a little (okay, a lot) dirty. They are always happier, and more tired at bedtime, after a few hours of romping around the yard.
However, life goes on and dinner still needs to be made, laundry washed, and a myriad of other chores completed. I can’t always leave my kids to fend for themselves in the backyard, so I have learned to take my chores outdoors in order to allow my children hours of outdoor play time, while still accomplishing necessary tasks.
Scripture tells us that, “Through laziness, the rafters sag; because of idle hands, the house leaks.” (Ecclesiastes 10:18). So, where is the balance? If my children want to spend multiple hours outdoors, what can I do to maintain a productive spirit and keep my home running smoothly?
Here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy the outdoors while still accomplishing household tasks:
1. Laundry: Bring clean laundry outside to fold or sort. I use the patio table for this and then place all of the folded stacks back into the basket to be put away in their respective places once I am back inside.
2. Meal Prep: Chopping or peeling vegetables or rolling dough into rolls can easily done while at an outside table. We also often eat lunch and dinner outdoors to give the children more time in the fresh air during warm weather.
3. Organizing: Need to declutter? Bring a drawer or basket out to the yard and go through the items as you watch your kids play. Bring a trash bag with you to help sort the items.
4. Relax: We have the yard set up well for sand box play, mud kitchen play, bikes, and more. This allows my kids to play safely and self-sufficiently, which means that I can sometimes even read or do a bit of Bible study while they play! Sometimes I may even take the time to send a few e-mails or pay a few bills. This can also be a great time to write notes, letters, or thank you cards to friends.
5: Exercise: Lunges, push ups, calf raises, and stretches are easy exercises to do in the yard. With so many little ones at home, regular exercise has been difficult for me, but outdoor time is the perfect opportunity for me to start a simple and brief workout routine.
6: Outdoor Chores: This is the most obvious option. I save these chores for when the kids play. I feed the chickens or bunny, rake, water plants, pull weeds, organize outdoor toys, purge the shed, and more!
Fling open the windows and the doors. Head outside to soak in the Vitmain D and to let those kids explore and use up their energy. Now, you can do so without feeling guilty of idleness as you keep track of your brood in the great outdoors.
Ephesians 5:15-16 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
Jenny is a wanna-be homesteader living in California with her husband, 3 daughters (and a baby on the way). She enjoys raising suburban chickens, baking bread, homeschooling her children, and adventuring in the outdoors. Her family is committed to living small in square footage, but living large and full lives!