Sprite Tabs for Humanity

When I was growing up, my parents didn’t have any problem at all with opening the back door of our house and telling me to get outside. We lived on a busy road but had a huge front yard, and I spent many afternoons in that yard, whether I was practicing gymnastics, looking at leaves, talking with our neighbors at the fence, and sometimes even roaming around in the woods by myself. It was a pretty carefree environment as far as childhoods go, and I’m so grateful for those memories.

Once I became a mom, however, I sort of assumed that our little boy would never know the joys of roaming around outside for hours on end. It’s a different time, after all. And you really only have to watch the nightly news one time before you start to wonder if your kids might not be better off if they spent their days inside. FOREVER.

But for our family, a funny thing happened on our way to self-imposed seclusion. People with children moved in next door. And as our kids started to get to know each other, they started playing outside more and more. They started doing all sorts of stuff that I loved when I was growing up: riding bikes, jumping on the trampoline, sitting on the back porch and looking at the clouds and naming the shapes that they found. And the more they played outside, the more other kids from our street started to join the fun.

The abundance of kids in our neighborhood has honestly been one of the best things that’s ever happened to our little boy. Being outside with his buddies – whether it’s at our house or a neighbor’s house or the park – has taught him so much about building relationships and solving problems. It’s easy for everyone to get along when they’re all inside and taking turns playing video games – but doing stuff outside requires teamwork. It requires cooperation. You have to learn to adapt to all sorts of different situations – and you learn a whole bunch of great lessons in the process.

A couple of weeks ago the kids on our street started playing baseball every afternoon. There’s no field – there’s only the backyard a couple of houses down from us. And there aren’t bases – there are only sticks. The uniforms are whatever the kids happen to be wearing at the time, and the teams are made up of whoever happens to be getting along best on a given day.

But when our little guy comes home at suppertime, he is full of stories. Not stories about characters in television shows or video games or computer games. His stories are even better, because they’re stories from real life. And they’re about real people – and their real-life adventures playing baseball together. As a parent I have to say that it’s totally refreshing to hear about those real-life connections he’s making in a world that’s increasingly virtual. He and his friends will have memories that last a lifetime, and they’re learning firsthand that the great outdoors offers a whole lot more than the great indoors could ever think about.

In the interest of recognizing the importance of outdoor fun, the Sprite Spark Parks Project focuses on building and refreshing local parks across the country. Whether they’re improving basketball courts, community spaces or outdoor school spaces, Sprite is committed to providing great areas where families can stay active and healthy outdoors. They’re giving you the opportunity to get involved by collecting green tabs found in specially marked packages of Sprite and Sprite Zero. Starting April 1, 2011, send the green tabs in to Sprite to contribute to the building and refurbishing of homes and active spaces for Habitat for Humanity by June 30, 2011 and for every tab received Sprite will donate 10 cents to the organization, up to $500,000 with a minimum donation of $250,000! BlogHer is matching the donation: when readers upload a photo of their personal green tabs collection from Sprite as an additional comment on one of the participating blogs, BlogHer will donate 10 cents to the organization, up to $2,000. If you’d you’d like to join the fun, just take pictures of your own Sprite tabs, upload the pictures to your own blog or Facebook page, and leave a link to your post in my comments.

And if you’d like to enter to win a $100 Shutterfly.com gift card, leave a comment that answers the following question: How do you plan to keep your family in motion this summer? Team sports? Trips to the beach? Volunteering? Some time at camp?

This giveaway will be active from 5/5/2011 – 5/31/2011. For even more chances to win Visit the Promotions & Prizes section of BlogHer.com.

Rules:
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older.
Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail.
You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
Please visit Spark Park Sprite Hub.
Visit the official rules.

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Comments

  1. Carrie Grubb says:

    Time together, working in the garden, library visits, picnics, road trip, family reunion, swimming, parties, late nights

  2. I don’t have kids of my own, but as a youth director, I like to plan a lot of outdoor sports and activities to keep the kids moving and having fun. We’ve got kickball, flag football, soccer, etc.

  3. ANGEL JACKLYN says:

    OH WE’LL BE GOING TO THE BEACH A LOT- WE ALWAYS DO!

    kytah00 at yahoo dot com

  4. ANGEL JACKLYN says:

    2ND ENTRY TWEET @ http://twitter.com/#!/kytah00/status/71629033053499392

    kytah00 at yahoo dot com

  5. trips to the pool!

  6. clynsg says:

    An older tip, but one that works–do a little each day, and pick up as you go.

  7. Annette D says:

    We are planning on staying at my father-in-law’s lake house and we love all types of water sports!

  8. We’re headed to the beach in a few days and then we’ll have to wait and see. My son is still just crawling and pulling up on things so it’s hard for me to let go of my paranoia and just let him crawl outside. It won’t be long though so hopefully as soon as he’s truly mobile we’ll have to go outside to keep him from destroying the house!

  9. Jessica says:

    We will be spending lots of time at the park, taking walks around the neighborhood, drawing with sidewalk chalk, blowing bubbles, swimming in the kiddie pool, and of course grilling out!

  10. We have several fun runs planned, swimming lessons, karate lessons, camp and a couple vacations to the beach where we will fly kites, ride bikes and build sand castles. I’m positive we will be having almost nightly trips to the park to play on the swings and roll down hills! Summer is such a magical time.

  11. Eva C. says:

    Headed to the pool and family reunions in the South!! we recently joined the local Y so Ethan will be moving soon!

  12. Erica C. says:

    I want to get a bunch of sports stuff for outside games…like a volleyball net, etc.

  13. Reagan groom says:

    We love to play outside with neighbors or meet friends at the park on most early mornings during the summer. An occasional trip somewhere special during the morning such as the zoo is also a favorite as well. In the afternoons we break out the water fun to keep cool, whether it’s at a neighborhood pool or just out in the sprinklers. Looking forward to all summer holds!

  14. Megan Reed says:

    Swim lessons for my boys!

  15. Jessica Labrum says:

    Trips to the beach!!

  16. M & M Mama says:

    We are always in constant motion. Monday is Gymnastics, Tuesday is Gymnastics and hubby at the Fire Department, Wednesday is a family bike ride and hubby at Fire Department training, Thursday is ball and Friday they like to sleep at Grammy’s or Grandma’s while hubby is volunteering at the fire station. We have VBS one week, science camp another week and then a few camping trips with hikes and lake days thrown in. Then there is Autrocross for the husband and the kids and I are training for a kids triathalon. I think the challenge for me will be sitting still for a moment! :)

  17. I enrolled my daughter in ballet class for the summer! :)

  18. I have a 1 year old and a 2 year old. We are making a move from Iowa to Texas next month so that will be keeping us in motion!!
    We also love to be outside and go to parks.

  19. We are going walking!! And of course teaching my boys about gardening…. =)

  20. T. Lawson says:

    We typically take the kids hiking in the Summer months. We also play ball outside in the yard quite a bit.

  21. We walk together nearly daily, work in the yard togther, play catch and the like. We are all also going to walk to raise awareness and money for a cure for colon cancer in my Dad’s honor and memory.

  22. amy dendy says:

    play helps to bond my family and help us feel close with theses memories even when we are apart.

  23. Barbara M says:

    We’re going to be moving with having regular Wii Just Dance 2 nights!
    Thank you.
    barbara dot montyj at gmail dot com

  24. Barbara M says:

    Tweet: http://twitter.com/#!/JalapenoMama/status/73954545264373760
    @JalapenoMama
    barbara dot montyj at gmail dot com

  25. We do “family adventures” at least monthly. They must be within 90 miles, they must be free or very cheap, and they must be somewhere we have never been before. We are in our 3rd year of doing this with our 5 year old daughter. It also gives me a chance to practice my photography (which is my favorite hobby). You can only take so many pictures of your backyard!

  26. LAMusing says:

    I plan on getting a metal detector to encourage us to get out and walk on the beach!

  27. Daniel M says:

    yardwork keeps us busy

  28. We love swimming and water skiing in the summer!

  29. sandra says:

    swimming

  30. My family has a farm. They’re always outside and always BUSY!
    patrice@everydayruralty.com

  31. judith says:

    Kids are water rats. So it is swimming lessons, diving lessons. swim team partice. swim competitions. I have 6 so it is alot of water.

  32. judith says:
  33. Our family will be in motion on the water – in our boat and in the pool.

  34. We would die without our local park; water play for the little kids and skate ramps and b-ball for the big boys… benches and shade for mama and my friends… that’s where I park it!

  35. Molly Capel says:

    We will be going lots of bike riding & playing at the park this summer

  36. Howell Lee says:

    tennis!

  37. Eugenie W says:

    hiking keeps us moving.

  38. mickeyfan says:

    We farm, so there is really never a lack of outdoor things for the kids to do!

  39. My husband and I have both made a commitment to getting back in shape and working out this summer. We also have made a commitment to planting our first garden together! I just hope that we’ve got a little time to work out outdoors before it gets too blazing hot. ;)

  40. Deborah Rosen says:

    We’ll be walking and biking together instead of driving.

  41. Nikki White says:

    Lots of family walks, trips to the pool and playing in the city park!

  42. We are new to Washington State…this will be our first summer…so I expect lots of exploring of parks and beaches. What I have noticed is that with the crazy weather and lots of rain, as soon as there is a break in the rain or the sun peaks out the kids come out of the woodwork…all the doors start to open and kids play. My boys are loving playing with the kids on our street and just plain having fun.

  43. Debra F says:

    Play is very important to our family…we especially love the warmer weather when we can picnic and hike the peaks around our area. It really brings us very close as a family.

  44. Debra F says:
  45. Soccer, soccer, soccer, with a sprinkling of track, add to that a fabulous greenspace area in the back of our house just perfect for the “old fashioned” neighborhood games of kick the can & capture the flag… Now if I can only keep my three from killing each other in between said activities, we’re in good shape!

  46. Erin E says:

    I’ll be giving birth this summer and officially kicking our “family” into motion! Thank you for the lovely giveaway.
    sewmuchstuff at ymail dot com

  47. Erin E says:

    Tweet:
    http://twitter.com/SewMuchStuff/status/75382052979081218
    sewmuchstuff at ymail dot com

  48. rebecca says:

    I don’t handle the sun well, but will take my granddaughter to do her volunteer work on Thursdays and for trips to the Library.

  49. Darcy B says:

    Play is important—I think that active kids grow up to be active adults –kids that are used to walking, biking, running, hiking, and playing sports will be less likely to turn into couch potatos!
    kakihararocks@gmail.com

  50. I keep us active by planning a lot of outside activities during the week for me and the kids, and we go to the lake a lot on the weekends with hubby manning the fun. Keeping active in the summer is fun and creates memories the kiddos will never forget!

  51. Shelley Mitchell says:

    I have hard wood floor so this would be perfect for me! Thanks for the great giveaway!

    msjem2001 at yahoo dot com

  52. walking and gardening- anything to move- going out to the library and walking- walking to the store for fruit- anything to get moving

  53. susan smoaks says:

    we plan to stay in motion in the pool and on our bicycles

  54. I Like You.

  55. My kids (we) will be going to the pool, a lot, and plenty of bike rides.

  56. Being in Texas, we battle the sun so we spend a lot of time in the pool!

  57. We go on nightly bike rides as a family, we will visit the local park, my parents have a pool we enjoy swimming in, we are active in summer events at church & we make sure that weather permitting, the kids play outside at least 2 hours a day to get that fresh air & sunshine.

    bamagv at aol dot com

  58. Sarah L says:

    biking, hiking and swimming
    Thanks for the contest.

  59. Sarah L says:
  60. Heather W says:

    We will walk the dog every night after dinner
    Lovefool827 (at) yahoo (dotcom)

  61. Debbie Bellows says:

    we like to spend time at the lake!

  62. Debbie Bellows says: