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Boy play? Play in the dirt, play monster and ninja games

I often hear this from parents, "My boys are not into nature play" or "They are just into sport or it is so hard to get them outside to play; they would rather be inside playing video games".


If you are a regular reader, you have noticed I have two girls. They are all about getting dirty and my oldest is a climbing master who teaches boys in her neighborhood how to climb trees. But, I realized after observing boy play that they play a bit differently and it is something I wanted to explore. So I had a chat with Debi, a mother of two boys and outdoor play blogger (GoExploreNature), to hear about what she had to say about this.
Do you have any tips about what boys like to play with outside? Above all else, my boys like to get dirty. They like to play with sticks and rocks, throw things and climb on things - all very physical stuff. They also like to play monster, cars and ninja games too - I try to push them to do that outside sometimes, which they love.
And yes, there is a clear trend for boys & video games. I am dealing with that issue for sure. I could talk on this subject for hours, in fact!!!
Do they like to make mud pies? My boys like getting dirty as part of digging or running vs. making mud pies. They love to destroy stuff, too. Lovely image, isn't it?


Do they like rough and tumble play?
Yes. One favorite thing is "bashing" those annoying plastic ride-on toys into each other. Bikes work for this purpose as well. Bottom line: I'm learning a lot about what it means to grow up as a boy. Now that my oldest is 71/2 years-old, I'm embracing Ninja fighting, dragon lore and other stuff. Things I never thought I'd learn about. While I'd love for a stick to be a magic fairy wand, these days it's more likely to become a scythe or a sword.

Then again, these kids have a love and appreciation for nature that warms my heart. So I figure I must be doing something right. :-)

Here are some more outdoor activities Debi's boys like to do. Kari-Play-mud

Play in the Dirt : Where there is dirt, these kids will play.

Make Mud Prints : Did I mention that the kids enjoyed pretending to be mud monsters more than making the prints!


Explore Nature With Favorite Toys : If given the opportunity, the kids love bringing their favorite toys outside ­ usually cars, trucks, trains and such. They're both really into Lego, so playing with Lego mini figures outside is a hit.
What do you think; do you think boys play differently than girls?
Check out GoExploreNature for fun outdoor play ideas  and outdoor living ideas.

Make sure you check out Courtney and her two boys and here her perspective about boy play:  Every day is an outside day.

Check out Raising Boys World website for more information for how to raise boys.
The first resource and online community for parents raising boys. More articles : 10 fun rainy day activities Dandelion secrets Fairy houses Treasure hunts Geocaching

Kari Svenneby is the founder of

Outdoor play advocate,nature lover, foodie, biker, skier,
gardener, entrepreneur and speaker.
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