Before having children, when I thought of outdoor play the images that came to mind were always calm, yet fun: picnics, relaxing on a bench watching ducks, sitting outside in a hammock with a glass of lemonade, barbecues with family, etc.
Now that I have kids, I do still think of those things... but they also include grass stains, splattered mud, sticky hands and chalky fingerprints. Even when my daughters and I are only outside for a short time, it's almost as if they are magnets for all dirt within a 20-mile radius.
However, I don't let that stop us from heading out in the fresh air to enjoy all of the benefits that being outdoors can bring. My girls love running, playing and discovering and even though seeing the messy aftermath can often make my heart race, the fun is worth it, right?
That's exactly what Shout and their Go Play initiative wants us to all keep in mind as we take our families and head out to have fun.
Launched last June to help educate parents on the benefits of play, Shout's Go Play initiative works to get families having fun outdoors without worrying about getting dirty. Messes happen, don't worry!
This year, Shout has even more power behind them as they have enlisted Jennie Finch, USA Softball Player and Mom, as their Shout stain expert. Between her years playing softball and caring for her 4½-year-old son, Ace, and new baby boy, Diesel, Jennie has encountered her fair share of stains.
That's why Shout and Jennie have teamed up to create 27 Lessons for Life: On and Off The Field, a way to offer lessons about life, laundry, play, stains and more each week on their Facebook and Twitter pages.
I was able to take a sneak peek at a few of the upcoming lessons and I have to agree that Jennie really knows her stuff. Lesson #6 in particular jumped right out at me, as it's something that I am continually working on:
You've got that right, Jennie!
I am continually scolding myself when I see my kids laughing and playing and having a great time and I don't have my camera with me to capture the moment. Whether you're at the zoo, the park, or just going for a walk around the neighborhood, you just never know when you're going to want to preserve that smile or that curious grin on camera.
So, don't wait! No matter what the weather is in your neighborhood, get your kids outdoors for some unstructured play - studies have shown that it helps kids build fundamental skills like problem solving, coping and conflict resolution.
Plus, I think all of us parents know that being able to run around and burn off some energy can have such a positive impact on the moods of the entire family. And don't worry about stains, who has time for those? With all of Shout's incredible (I tend to think they're a little magical) products, a little dirt, grime or grass doesn't stand a chance.
Be sure to tune in and see even more of the great lessons that Jennie has to share, you're not going to want to miss what this supermom has to say. And, thanks to the generosity of Shout, one person will be more than prepared for whatever messes might appear when their family takes the initiative to Go Play, because...
One lucky person will win an amazing Shout prize pack*!
*Prize pack will include: An autographed copy of Jennie Finch's new book, 1 Shout t-shirt, 1 box of Shout Wipes, 1 bottle of Shout Advanced Gel, 1 canister of Shout Advanced Stain Lifting Foam, 1 box of Shout Color Catcher, 1 autographed bottle of Shout Trigger, and 1 bottle of Shout Advanced Ultra Gel all in a Shout Cleaning Caddy! Total ARV $80!
To enter to win: Tell me your lesson or tip for enjoying time outdoors with your family.
Extra Entries (available after the mandatory entry above is completed; please leave a separate comment for each entry in order for them to be counted).
1 Extra Entry (per method) if you follow Shout on Twitter and/or Like them on Facebook.
1 Extra Entry (per giveaway entered) - Enter any (or all) of the giveaways running on Thanks, Mail Carrier for the duration of this giveaway.
1 Extra Entry if you follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway by copying and pasting the tweet below and leaving me the link. Tweet daily for an extra entry every day!
WIN a HUGE prize pack of @Shout products and never worry about stains again! #GoPlay! http://bit.ly/rbr5HN @thxmailcarrier #giveaway #win
2 Extra Entries (per follow method) if you follow me publicly with Google Friend Connect, subscribe to my RSS feed, subscribe to Thanks, Mail Carrier by email, become a fan on Facebook or add Thanks, Mail Carrier to your blogroll.
3 Extra Entries if you put my cute button up on your blog. Please leave an address where it can be found.
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Giveaway will end on October 25th at 11:59pm CST. Do me the favor of leaving an email address or making absolutely sure it is visible in your profile, I have to have a way to contact the winner. The winner will be chosen by random.org and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to contact me or respond to notification or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.
A big thank you to SC Johnson for providing a Shout prize pack for one lucky giveaway winner. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.