Desert Survivor

Desert Survivor takes her family, including Desert Boy and Desert Girl, for adventures in the high desert. She particularly likes caves and getting dirty. Since she's an ecologist, she can't help but impart a few nature nuggets along the way.

desertsurvivor is a winner of Top 25 Outdoorsy Moms - 2013

What's your favorite affordable outdoor activity to do with your kids?

Splash in mud puddles!

Seriously, we often have the most fun with the simplest activities, especially if we can get dirty. We dig in volcano hill (a dirt hill that we've used for Diet Soda-mentos explosions), sail sticks down creeks, use dandelions to "write," and play hide'n seek. All these outdoor activities make the kids more willing to go on bigger trips.

What tips do you have for spending time outdoors when its cold?

Think up something fun to do--sledding down a glacier (okay, not literally!), making a snow baby or snow dog, pretending you are penguins...the list goes on.

Then dress appropriately and head on out! Limit your time, as your little one probably won't know when she's too cold and should come back in. If she's happy when she comes back in, she'll want to go out again.

What's a great vacation destination for families that want to spend time outside?

Go camping. It doesn't matter where--it will get your kids outside. If you like a few extra amenities, some campgrounds come with swimming pools, special activities, and more.

What's the best form of exercise for a tired, busy mom who wants to get back in shape?

Desert Survivor

Mini workouts! I love the 10-minute video series, and try to do workouts early in the morning before the kids are up. If the kids are up, then we might do a Cosmic Kids Yoga workout together (about 15 minutes long, available on You Tube). In good weather, we try to spend lots of time outside: --at the playground I hang on the monkey bars and chase the kids around to get a workout myself; --gardening can be a great mini-workout, especially when preparing soil; --games with the kids--if it's fun, it doesn't seem so much like exercise and I'm more likely to do it! --riding our bikes to go places instead of driving; --Saturday hikes with friends (see post for an example) --mowing grass, raking leaves, trimming bushes (not my favorite form of exercise, but it's also getting something useful done!) --walking with a friend (we used to do this pushing strollers with toddlers on bikes with training wheels) --swimming-I do modified swimming strokes if I'm hanging out in the shallows with the kids, other times I put them in a floatie and tote them around the pool Most of all, have fun with exercise and reward yourself for doing it. Sometimes I tell myself that if first I exercise, then I can have an extra five minutes on the computer or watch a show I've been wanting to see. Exercise will make you feel better, and then you won't be so tired, so it's great to start in on this upward cycle. So go ahead, while you're reading all these great answers, flex your feet, shrug your shoulders, get started with those mini-workouts. You can do it!
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