We didn't have electronic gizmos and gadgets when we were kids for our parents to confiscate when we misbehaved, so to punish us, they kept us indoors.

"You're grounded!"

Egads! What kid could think of a worse punishment than to be grounded? That meant coming straight home from school and no playing outside on the weekend until your sentence, usually a week or two, was served. Your only respite from home confinement was going to school.

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Things are a bit different these days. It seems not all kids want to be outdoors. Some might even consider it a punishment to be told to play outdoors.

As a result, there is something called "National Play Outside Day." It is the first Saturday of every month.

National Play Outside Day has been a thing for a while, so why am I just learning of it?

PlayOutsideDay.org says the first National Play Outside Day was on April 2, 2011. The site reported, "The beginning of a national tradition began today."

"On the first Saturday of the month, everybody in the nation plays outside," the site says. "This includes kids, parents, adults, families, and grandparents."

New Bedford Has Been Telling People To Get Out For Years
Photo courtesy of Al Tielmans Getty Images

As early as 2013, the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park began promoting the idea of getting outdoors to "get a head start to a healthier, happier you" through various outdoor programs.

The Standard-Times recently published a list of New Bedford parks "to help celebrate this official day." The paper reports, "Enjoying an afternoon in the sun offers more than just vitamin D – it also provides numerous other health benefits."

If you, like me, have never heard of National Play Outside Day but would like to participate, the next one is Saturday, August 3, 2024.

See you outside!

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Gallery Credit: Ariel Dorsey

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